By Susie Ellis
Even if I am not scouring papers and magazines 24/7, I do not live under a rock. In fact I usually feel pretty “in the loop” when it comes to new hotel and spa happenings. So it came as a real surprise to me that I was so blown away by the new Resort at Pelican Hill Resort
- a Leading Hotels of the World
– which I toured in Newport Beach, California a few days ago.
The resort is like an Italian seaside village of large bungalows and villas, gorgeous swimming pools (one is the largest circular pool in the world), two Tom Fazio golf courses, a lovely spa, five excellent restaurants, etc. All the rooms, every hole on the golf course and almost all their facilities overlooks the Pacific Ocean! It’s like vacationing on the coast of Italy and yet very near both LA and San Diego.
Could I have missed reading about this resort’s opening event? Did no spectacular photography catch my eye? Didn’t anyone write about how this is going to trump Pebble Beach or that it is the ultimate “staycation” especially for the southern California! Or that it will likely become world renowned?
I was really perplexed.
Digging a bit further I noticed a few things which might have contributed to the “under the radar” debut for such a striking property. First, they opened in Nov, 2008 – at the very time the US economy was plunging off the cliff and people were otherwise distracted. Also the AIG debacle had just happened right up the road from them at the St. Regis Monarch Beach
(now in bankruptcy) creating a lot of negative news. Also, they seemed to have opened in stages….the golf courses at one point, the restaurants at another, the rooms at yet a third point. (That makes it difficult to plan the big “ta da!”)
In addition, the photography I could find showing the property didn’t seem to do it justice. Other than this golf course photograph (here on the right) which I think captures the magic of the place, the other photos seemed lackluster – many which seemed to have been taken on days with coastal fog. A quick look at their web site’s press section tells me also that up until this summer the media coverage hasn’t been as stellar as I would normally expect.
I hope that will change.
For now, the best advice I can give is for people to visit the website http://www.pelicanhill.com/
or, better yet, book a stay at the property. As for the resort itself, I hope they might be able to plan an opening “do-over” sometime in the future that would announce their presence on the world stage in a grander way. More along the lines of bringing in Tiger Woods and Andrea Bocelli for a philanthropic evening….now that should get some attention and paint a better and more accurate picture of the masterpiece that sits here.