Newport Beach, California
Pelican Hill Resort
Tuscany Meets the Pacific
What it is
A new 504-acre estate that took its cues from the best of Italy.
What it isn't
Teensy. Example: there are six restaurants on-site (all of them indoor/outdoor).
What we think
When 16th-century Italian architect Andrew Palladio inspires a new mega-resort, you know you’re in for a decadent treat. Every moment of a guest’s experience here is akin to what they’d find in under the Tuscan sun, except you’re a quick hopscotch from Los Angeles (and there’s a 36-hole, Tom Fazio-designed golf course on-site that’s not exactly an Italian Idyll). We adore the Coliseum-inspired pool, which could have easily read as cheesy but is the delightful opposite, and the fact that each neutral-swathed bungalow on the property has an Italian limestone fireplace, exposed beam ceiling and a soaking tub Pope Francis himself might appreciate (plus, Southern California necessities like Bose stereo systems, plasma TVs and granite wet bars).
You're here because
You long to wander through olive groves, lavender and cypress, but you can’t take two weeks off work to do jet-lag to Italy justice. Thankfully, this resort has all that (seriously: they replanted 100-year-old olive trees) and more—so beautifully scented you wish you could bottle it.
“Sure,” you think. “It looks like Italy. But does it taste like it?” Pelican Hill’s restaurateurs have perfected dishes that would pass any nonni’s muster, including gelato made fresh every day. When they begin to prepare your risotto tableside within a giant wheel of parmesan, you can feel yourself literally floating up to heaven.
Less than an hour from downtown L.A.; the quickest trip to Italy on earth.
Restaraunts & Bars
Andrea - Northern Italian cuisine with fresh, local ingredients
Coliseum Pool & Grill - Poolside favorites like pizza, pasta, and salads
Pelican Grill - Coastal California dining with an extensive wine list
Piccolo at the Villas - Globally inspired menu
Caffe & Market - Gelato, espresso, and retail
Caffe II - Offers an array of Italian coffees, beverages and light fare for breakfast and lunch
Great Room Social Lounge - A lively scene of contemporary music, creative cocktails, small bites and seasonal activities