The charming seaside community of Newport Beach, known for its luxurious homes and mansions and its role as a playground for the rich and famous for more than a century, is a truly delightful place to work or play. Seeking a nearby escape from the gridlock? Newport’s eclectic offerings await.
Situated between Huntington Beach to the north and Laguna Beach to the south, the greater Newport Beach area includes Newport Coast, Corona Del Mar, San Joaquin Hills, Santa Ana Heights, West Newport, and Balboa Island and Peninsula. The area is served primarily by John Wayne Airport, followed by Long Beach Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and Ontario Airport in order of proximity.
Newport Harbor welcomes those arriving by sea to Newport Beach and the surrounding areas. The harbor, which serves as home to more than 10,000 private vessels, is also graced by a handful of residential islands. Perhaps the best known, Balboa Island, was artificially created before World War I and features the historic Balboa Pavilion, a famous area landmark dating back to the city’s 1906 incorporation, as well as other attractions and dining options in a boardwalk atmosphere. Both Balboa Pier and Newport Pier offer visitors a lovely walk out to watch the waves and take in this beautiful stretch of coast.
A link between the Hollywood and Newport Beach elite has long existed; numerous celebrities have called the Newport Beach area home over the years, including Kobe Bryant, Jay Leno, Michelle Pfeiffer, Nicholas Cage, Lauren Bacall, Rock Hudson, and Shirley Temple (crowned the first Miss Newport at age 13). The long-running TV series Gilligan’s Island set out from the Newport waterfront on its fateful departing sail, and scenes for movies and TV shows from A Few Good Men and All Quiet on the Western Front to Lost and The OC have been filmed in the area as well.
Opulence and Comfort in True Italian Style
Nestled into the hills above the southern California coastline is an enchanting enclave of luxurious accommodations that feels a world away. Easily accessible from most areas of Orange County yet removed from the bustle of the myriad freeways crisscrossing the county, The Resort at Pelican Hill is a place like no other. Luxury and comfort go hand-in-hand at this gorgeous coastal resort, which dominates the hillside rising up from Pacific Coast Highway.
Pulling into the curved driveway fronting the main building transports visitors to a world of beauty and ease facilitated by five-star service. Italian Renaissance inspired architecture is accentuated by breathtaking views at every turn, and the resort’s 750 mature olive trees attest to its authentic Italian vibe. In a successful attempt to recreate the warm community of a Tuscan village yet maintain the privacy of a vacation escape, the bungalow guest rooms and bungalow suites are nestled into the terraced hillside.
Enter your private bungalow below a vaulted ceiling with rustic wood beams and let travertine flooring pave the way to a feather-top bed with luxurious European-style linens. The bungalows feature limestone fireplaces, deep marble soaking bathtubs and walk-in showers, granite wet bars with refrigerators, and open onto furnished ocean view terraces to boot. Watch your favorite shows on the large plasma TVs while accessing high-speed wireless Internet and enjoying the Bose stereo system. These modern conveniences – coupled with lavish bath robes, a gourmet espresso maker and milk frother and signature bath products such as bath caviar – are just a few of the perks awaiting fortunate guests of the resort. Significantly larger than the bungalows but similarly outfitted, the villas serve as a home away from home. Both the villas and bungalows are available for stays of varying lengths, and the resort offers an extended stay program for those who simply cannot bear to leave.
Take a stroll on the beautifully landscaped pathways to one of the myriad restaurants or take time to relax by one of two gorgeous pools on property. More than a million glass mosaic tiles form the perfect 136-foot diameter circle of the unique Coliseum Pool. The Villa Club Pool, a private pool exclusively for Villa guest use featuring a radiant blue glass mosaic tiled bottom, sits adjacent to a whirlpool spa and children’s wading pool. At both pools, attendants provide full service dining and beverage options. In addition, bungalow and villa guests may reserve furnished private cabanas beside the pool to best enjoy the panoramic coastal view. Lounge in a luxurious cabana outfitted with a flat-screen TV, Bose audio system, lounges, and dining tables with chairs.
With indoor and outdoor venues that can accommodate groups of 10 to 400 guests in casually elegant settings, meetings are certain to be memorable at Pelican Hill. Whether gathered for personal or professional reasons, the attentive staff will help make your meeting or event unforgettable. Experience the magic of an afternoon spent with loved ones under the domed cupola inspired by the views of the Pacific.
Voted #1 spa by Conde Nast Traveler magazine and recipient of the Forbes Five-Star for the seventh consecutive year, the resort spa is a destination in and of itself. The spa offers a personalized experience tailored to your specific needs and desires, whether you seek an invigorating, replenishing, or relaxing treatment. Where better to shed the stresses of everyday life than a full-service spa complete with a steam room, sauna, and large jetted hot tub?
Those seeking a bit of sport will gravitate toward Pelican’s Hill’s legendary golf courses. With a panoramic view from each of the 36 holes, every round is spectacular regardless of the outcome. Memberships are available to Oak Creek Golf Club and the two 18-hole courses, Ocean North (par 70) and Ocean South (par 71), designed by golf architect Tom Fazio. Fazio, who has more designs on Golf Digest’s list of the country’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses than any other living designer, took pains to make certain each course reflects the natural beauty of the environment. The result is stunning, challenging golfers to focus on their game amidst jaw-dropping scenery. Take advantage of the Golf Academy, led by Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher Glenn Beck and a team of PGA professionals.
Executive Chef Jean Pierre Dubray, who is responsible for the resort’s culinary selections, brings his French upbringing and stellar culinary training to Pelican Hill. The resulting cuisine is, simply put, infused with culinary passion. The seasonal farm-to-table offerings of the three restaurants and two cafes are accentuated by the lovely surroundings in which they are enjoyed.
Andrea at Pelican Hill is known for its fine Northern Italian regional cuisine, outstanding wine menu, and fabulous ocean views. The restaurant’s authentic pasta, handmade daily in a temperature-controlled Pasta Room by in-house pastaia Julia (who offers weekly classes in the art of traditional pasta making) is fresh and absolutely delicious. Try the traditional risotto, prepared tableside in a Parmesan wheel, for an explosion of classic Italian flavor. The varieties of gelato are all amazing as well!
The Pelican Grill & Lounge is also a great place to enjoy the spectacular view from the ocean view terrace while appreciating the best in quintessential coastal California cuisine. Featuring an extensive wine menu, the open-concept kitchen produces excellent seafood and pasta dishes as well as artisan sandwiches, salads, and starters inspired by the flavors of the Napa Valley.
In brief, the view is unbeatable, the cuisine incomparable, and the experience a breath of fresh air at this gorgeous resort. Whether staying in one of the luxurious ocean-view villas or bungalows or simply stopping by to admire the spectacular view from a chic restaurant over handmade pasta and delectable gelato, the resort offers something for everyone. pelicanhill.com
A visit to the Newport Beach area isn’t complete without experiencing the captivating natural beauty of the coast. At Crystal Cove State Park, you can walk the length of the beach and explore the tide pools or hike the 17 miles of hiking trails carved into the 2,400 acres of native wilderness in the backcountry adjacent to the coast. Just across the road perched above the beach, the popular Beachcomber Café welcomes diners for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a spectacular view. Rent a fire pit on the beach and watch the sun set over one of California’s most beautiful coves.
Those seeking adventure on the water will likely find what they seek along the shores of Newport Beach and the surrounding coastal areas. In addition to multimillion-dollar yachts, visitors can rent everything from kayaks, sailboats, paddleboards, and more along the waterfront.
Looking for the latest and greatest in shopping? The elegant commercial area known as Fashion Island contains upscale department stores, boutiques, and restaurants in addition to a business park. The open-air shopping center offers the discerning many opportunities to indulge and discover treasured items. Restaurants such as Fig & Olive, Sushi Roku, and R+D Kitchen can be a destination in and of themselves or a stop on a shopping excursion.
Steeped in history and flush with luxurious charm, Newport Beach beckons visitors with its gracious accommodations, elegant shopping, fine dining, and coastal pursuits. You will not regret the decision to spend a day – or week or longer – at Pelican Hill or surrounding accommodations exploring this gorgeous stretch of coastline.