September 11, 2012
September 11, 2012
By: Lisa Barry
Recently, my family and I were invited to be guests at the ultra-luxurious Pelican Hill, nestled in the hills of Newport Coast overlooking the amazing Crystal Cove. Since opening in 2008, Pelican Hill has been well received by the community, raved about by critics, and loved by those who have visited. Resting on 504 beautiful acres with 204 bungalow rooms and 128 villas, you and your family will feel as if you have escaped to Italy.
As I toured Pelican Hill, I realized it is an ideal location for families of all sizes. Need a weekend away with your husband and kids? Maybe a night to reconnect with your spouse? Or the ever-needed girlfriends’ weekend? Pelican Hill is perfect for all of these getaways.
Looking to have a family reunion? Pelican Hill has options for families of all sizes. The hotel offers both bungalows (standard but LARGE rooms starting a 850 sq. ft.) and villas (choose from spacious 2-, 3- and 4-bedrooms). The villas are the perfect setting for multi-generational vacations, allowing for everyone to have their own room and enough space to be comfortable. Villas come with a gourmet kitchen, living room, expansive patios with beautiful views, plus amazing perks such as a private garage, butler service, and assistance with pretty much anything you could need during your stay (think personal chef!). The villas have a separate, gated entrance away from the main resort, increasing the privacy and peacefulness. It also has its own large infinity pool and will be introducing a villa-based kids’ club this summer.
Speaking of pools, one of the most amazing features of the resort is the Coliseum Pool, the main pool at Pelican Hill. This is probably the most incredible pool I have ever seen. It is 136 ft in diameter (yes, a perfect circle), approximately 3.5 ft deep, making it great for children, and hand laid with over one million tiles. With the pool consistently heated to a comfortable 82 degrees, expect your kids to be begging you to stay in and play a little longer each day! When you first walk out onto the terrace above the Coliseum Pool, the view is breathtaking. You will be amazed by the pool alone but the bonus is the incredible ocean view just beyond the pool. Like I said, breathtaking.
If you do take your kids, be sure to check out Camp Pelican. Every kid (and parent) will be amazed! It was clearly not an afterthought tucked into some tiny spare room of the resort. It is spacious and beautiful with everything a kid could dream of having: karaoke, computers, Playstation 3 and Wii (my son’s personal newfound favorite!), plus an amazing outdoor space for crafts, ping-pong and sand play. Adjacent to the kids club is a smaller pool, larger sandpit and splash pad. Also, I can’t say enough about the staff - an amazing group of young people who clearly love their jobs. They are so attentive, helpful and kind, which makes it easy for mom and dad to sneak away for a break. Camp Pelican offers ½ day or full day camps so you can pick what works best for you. On select evenings, there is a Kids’ Night Out with dinner, movie and popcorn for children ages 4-12. Your kids will feel like they get a great night out away from mom and dad and mom and dad can have a peaceful, kid-free dinner for once. It’s a win-win, right?
Dining choices don’t disappoint. Keep it casual at the Caffe for pastries, sandwiches or gelato (made daily at the resort, some with local, fresh ingredients) or head over to the Coliseum Pool and Grill for easy, delicious dining at breakfast, lunch, or dinner (we tried all three!). The weekend brunch is spectacular and perfect for families. Kids under 5 eat free and there is every breakfast item imaginable so no one will leave hungry!
If you are looking for an amazing dining experience, try Andrea Ristorante & Bar, the resort’s northern Italian restaurant that even has its own pasta kitchen where 14 pastas are made fresh daily. Andrea is loved by both visitors and locals so you know they must be doing something amazing!
While the resort does not have beach access, shuttle service to Crystal Cove is available. Not only will the shuttle drop you off right at the beach, call ahead and you will find everything you would need at the beach already waiting for you: beach chairs, towels, sand toys and more. If you plan on staying for the day, just purchase lunch at the Beachcomber Café and charge it back to the room. Thank you Pelican Hill for making a beach day so easy!
Love to golf? Experience Pelican Hill’s Golf Club with 36 championship holes featuring amazing ocean views. Check out The Pelican Hill Golf Academy for amazing clinics, personal instruction, or week-long summer camps for kids.
Love to spa? The Spa at Pelican Hill has been awarded a Forbes Five Star Rating and is a must see. With 22 treatment rooms, a full-service salon, wellness programs and more, you will definitely find a way to pamper yourself! A perfect way to spend your afternoon while the kids play at Camp Pelican!
Everyone should escape to Pelican Hill- for a night, a weekend, or a week - whatever fits your family’s schedule. You will come home feeling pampered and relaxed and ready to face the real world once again!
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