Pelican Hill Resort: A Venetian Paradise On The Pacific Coast

Diana Subirats


The idyllic views of the Pacific Ocean become even more spectacular when seen from The Resort at Pelican Hill. This elegant enclave in Southern California reminds us of Northern Italy with the style of classic Venetian villas, immortalized by the 16th century architect Andrea Palladio, one of the most influential figures in the history of Western architecture.

Pelican Hill Resort
Photo: Courtesy The Resort at Pelican Hill.

The site is a palatial haven where guests can choose between the expansive bungalows (850 t0 1,600 square-foot) with spacious suites and roofed terraces, or the emblematic villas—up to 3,600 square feet— with several bedrooms and bathrooms and beautiful views of the sea and golf courses. In a masterful combination of luxury and good taste, the vaulted ceilings, hand carved wooden beams and Italian limestone fireplaces create a cozy and warm atmosphere.

Even the smallest detail has been addressed with great care in every villa and bungalow. Guests can relax and enjoy intimate moments in the large marble bathrooms with showers and comfortable tubs. Even the bathrobes, slippers and bedding, imported directly from Italy, are of exquisite texture and quality.

In addition, Pelican Hill villas come with a professional staff that includes a concierge and butler assigned to fulfill every guest’s wishes during their stay. Personal chefs are at hand to prepare romantic or family dinners in the villas, which are equipped with special high-tech kitchens, ovens, refrigerators and wine cellars with controlled temperature and humidity.

Pelican Hill Resort
Photos: Courtesy The Resort at Pelican Hill.

The tile roofs, the sepia tones of the buildings, the classic sounds from the fountains and the lush interior gardens create a unique environment in this haven of peace, tranquility and elegance.

To the delight of parents, the resort offers programs for children of different ages with interactive games, video game consoles, Wi-Fi and PlayStation, karaoke, a covered heated patio and a pool designed especially for infants.

Every detail has been thought out with utmost care to maintain the classic look that distinguishes The Resort at Pelican Hill. Its exclusive Coliseum Pool, surrounded by Canary palms, is a perfect circle, 130 feet in diameter, and boasts more than a million hand cut glass mosaics. It will surely make you feel as if you were in the Mediterranean coast or in the countryside of Renaissance Italy. The full-service spa has 22 private treatment rooms, beauty salon, fitness, sauna, steam room and Roman style thermal deep soaking pook, covered by a magnificent barrel vault ceiling.

Pelican Hill Resort
Photo: Courtesy The Resort at Pelican Hill.

If you enjoy outdoor sports, there are two 18-hole golf courses, designed by the award-winning landscape architect Tom Fazio. The Clubhouse features individual rooms for men and women, and a famed boutique, offering a selection of golf paraphernalia unmatched in the U.S.. You can also find first class professional advice at the Pelican Hill Golf Academy, under the direction of Glenn Deck, an authority in the sport recognized, by Golf Magazine, among the top 100 instructors in the world.

Great cuisine abounds in this gourmet paradise. The renowned French Executive Chef Jean Pierre Durbay has the last word on all the dishes prepared at the resort’s five restaurants. The most authentic Italian flavors are served in the elegant but casual atmosphere of Andrea, where the pasta is handmade, and its famous Cannelloni al Sugo di Mare reminds us that fine Italian food can be available in California as well as in Milan. To top off a superb dinner, the chef suggests the gelato with seasonal flavors. And, of course, an extensive list of the best wines is available to accompany your meal.

A gourmet pizza in the terrace of the Coliseum Pool makes a refreshing and enjoyable lunch, but if you prefer dinner with spectacular ocean views, the Pelican Grill, known for fresh seafood, is the perfect choice. Meanwhile, Piccolo at the Villas offers a tasting menu of small portions from around the world.

Pelican Hill Resort
Photo: Courtesy The Resort at Pelican Hill.

Finally, for a good espresso, cappuccino or macchiato with the authentic taste of Italy, you have Caffé and Caffé II, located in the resort’s main lobby and in the Golf Club, respectively.

The Resort at Pelican Hill, set on a hilltop between the exclusive communities of Laguna Beach and Newport Beach, and 45 minutes from Los Angeles International Airport, is the ideal getaway to relax in a classic Venetian villa overlooking the Pacific Ocean.


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