In early January, my family and I spent a few wonderfully relaxing days at The Resort at Pelican Hill, and it was a luxurious way to ring in 2020. Little did we know that much of our world would change in just a few months. That unhindered time of rest and relaxation would become a mental buffer for the multitude of stressors that were coming our way.
After we shut down our offices in March, our home became the safe place where my husband and I work. We often think back on our time at Pelican Hill for inspiration. We found a gently used elliptical machine online and decided to put it in on our patio so that we could work out with a view. We strung twinkling lights around the trees in the backyard and put our fire table next to the pool – our version of the resort’s Coliseum Pool and Grill. As the shutdown continued throughout the spring and summer, gophers started digging in the grass in our backyard with a new determination they seemed to have found during the pandemic. But despite the uneven divots and the usual dry summer grass, we started calling our house in the Valley, “The Woodland.”
The desperate need for a real getaway is definitely settling in, and I’m thrilled that The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach is open and offering some holiday pampering, following all the necessary COVID safety mandates.
What’s great about Pelican Hill, especially at this time, is that it’s naturally designed for social distancing. Even when we were there in January, we felt like we were in our own private oasis. The resort’s Tuscan-inspired architecture and manicured grounds cover 504 acres on a hilltop surrounded by 50,000 acres of protected green space. The views of the ocean are spectacular.
Pelican Hill’s bungalows are private, stand-alone buildings with no shared elevators or indoor corridors. They all come with furnished outdoor terraces where you can soak in the ocean breeze. The villas are an ultimate luxury experience, offering two- to four-bedroom layouts from 2,200 to 3,581 square feet with gourmet kitchens and personal staff. Access to the Villa Clubhouse includes its own radiant pool, fitness center and dining room. The bungalows and the villas feature exposed wood-beam ceilings, limestone fireplaces and deep-soaking marble tubs.
The showstoppers at the resort are the pools.The Coliseum Pool and the Villa Club Pool are grand, circular infinity pools with hand-cut mosaic tiles surrounded by terraced decks, ocean views and private cabanas. We enjoyed the heated pools during the day, and at sunset – even in January – and felt like we were somewhere in the Mediterranean.
Kids have always been welcomed here. While the resort is most definitely luxurious, there is nothing stuffy about it. It’s all about the relaxed California coast vibe. And in December, you’ll get the extra charm of holiday lights and decorations throughout the facility, plus a cup of cheer with hot apple cider and roasted chestnuts served in the Main Estate lobby from 3-5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. Pre-fixe holiday menus are available on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Resort dining will be exclusive to overnight guests on these nights. Resort guests will also be invited to enjoy Elf Story time and holiday treats on select dates in December – all socially distanced on the resort’s event lawn.
We started 2020 with a feeling of complete rejuvenation, and it’ll be nice to end it the same way. We have all certainly earned a few days of immersive relaxation.