After a few days of nonstop fun and running around in sprawling LA, we took a quiet drive through lovely Long Beach and Orange County, towards our next destination, Newport Beach, to crown our long West Coast journey at the luxurious The Resort at Pelican Hill. We had heard and read about the Resort, one of the world’s finest Five-Star destinations, perched above Southern California’s upscale Newport Coast®. But we weren’t prepared for actually finding a small piece of heaven on earth. Because -dare we say it?- it was the “Possibility of Perfection™”!
Cool fact: Bathing suit rental was a big business in Newport Beach In the 1920s.
A long morning walk across the domain gave us a sense of peace and tranquility. Reflecting on our road trip so far, we took in the charming scenery while breathing clean, fresh ocean air. Spanning 504 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean, The Resort at Pelican Hill is an oasis of calm, beauty, comfort and refinement. Contemplated from afar, the property looks like the picture of old Roman architecture standing among rich greenery, somewhere between stretches of endless blue. The Resort is in fact the physical representation of the vision and principles of Italy’s most renowned Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio. With its 204 bungalows, guest rooms and suites, 128 villas, 36-hole championship golf course and world-class spa, The Resort at Pelican Hill takes resort life to the next level.
Our bungalow gave on to the impressive golf course, with a nice view of the sea from the terrace. The comfortable bedroom is very soothing with its ocher, beige and wood hues. Natural light floods into the room through wide window panes and balcony doors, giving it a warm and inviting ambiance. Fireplaces framed with Italian limestone and large marble tubs add an elegant touch to the decor. The lavish stand-alone villas, all offering ocean views, were conceived in the utmost in luxury, with thoughtful, personalized service programs offered for their occupants, along with various amenities including access to the exclusive 10,000-square-foot Villa Clubhouse.
The Coliseum Pool is amazing! One look at this blue promise of freshness makes you want to jump right in. Inspired by its namesake, the pool is guarded by cabanas that offer more privacy. When hunger strikes, options are plenty. Our favorite was the Coliseum Pool & Grill, where delicious fare satiated us fast while we admired the pool, golf courses and the vast ocean. Quite frankly, The Resort at Pelican Hill is a gem. It felt like ‘home on the hill’. We now know where we’ll be staying next time we pass by Newport Beach!
Leaving ‘the hill’, we drove off to the last stop of our road trip: San Diego. Friends had raved about the city which is popular for its long stretches of white sand, warm climate and multiple surf spots. One of California’s major cities, SD attracts tons of students to its prime universities such as University of California, San Diego. That aspect can be felt all around; streets, restaurants, bars, all buzzing with 20 and 30 somethings enjoying a laid back life. Walking around in shorts and flip flops, surfing all day, enjoying a drink in the evening, what else could one ask for!
We spent the weekend on Coronado Island, at Hotel del Coronado, a beachside resort that would be adequate for family getaways. The hotel looks like a white castle, with tower-like corner structures crowned with red peaks. A quick shuttle ride for us to Little Italy in Downtown San Diego. The charming area was originally mostly an Italian fishing neighborhood. Today, it has become a hip, urban neighborhood filled with patio cafés, restaurants, pubs, art galleries, shops, hotels… We loved the lively atmosphere of Little Italy. It was a great place to end our road trip before flying off to a new adventure, a few hours away…
Cool facts: San Diego’s Little Italy is the largest in the United States! The Navy Seals are based in Coronado and undergo training on the island. Better behave!
Cover image is our far shot of San Diego.