By Mary Rambin

Admittedly, I’m a spoiled gypsy travel writer.  So when I say my Saturday at The Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach California was pretty much perfect, that should make you curious as to why. I actually got out of this delicious bed early for an early workout.

Spent the morning playing a round of golf on one of two plush beachfront courses. Devoured a delicious lunch on this lovely terrace. Layed out by the pool overlooking the ocean with a surprisingly lively crowd drinking and mingling to a Jimmy Buffet cover band.

Spa-ed the rest of the day away with a soak, steam, and massage.

And dined on traditional, hand-crafted Italian food. What more could a girl want?!

I’m not the only one who touts this property as extraordinary. The Pelican won The Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards in 2010 for #1 California Golf Resort,  #2 of the “Top 100 U.S. Mainland Resorts” and #22 of the “Top 100 Best in the World.” The Spa has won the Forbes Five Star Award in 2010 and 2011. The golf courses have won so many “The Best…” awards I don’t have enough space to list them all. So, this place is legit.

The Pelican resort is what I call a “fully furnished” destination – it has everything. Anyone can find something to fall in love with, and in my opinion, it’s the ultimate vacation for a golfer with a family.

The sprawling property designed with Palladian Italian symmetry and style (that honestly seemed very Tommy Bahama to me) includes 204 bungalows and 128 stand alone villas, two golf courses constructed by Tom Fazio (clinics and all-inclusive packages available), a gigantic pool with cabanas, multiple restaurants that serve fresh pasta and olive oil produced on-site, wine tastings, a huge spa, kids’ activities for all ages, free wifi, and coaches to drive you around the meticulously landscaped, palm-tree lined streets.

Should you want to enjoy this little adult wonderland without the room rate, simply book a spa treatment or buy a day pass!  They offer weekday specials to locals who aren’t guests. Otherwise you can expect regular spa prices.

For Spa Week (October 10-16), The Spa at Pelican Hill will sweeten the deal:

  • $50 for a 50-minute Amber Gold Massage
  • $50 for a 50-minute Classic Cleanse Facial

In additional, they are also have other special offers in honor of Spa Week that aren’t listed

  • $30 for lunch at the Coliseum Pool & Grill, overlooking one of the world’s largest circular pools and the Pacific Ocean
  • $25 for one-day Coliseum Pool access (a rare opportunity as pool access is usually reserved exclusively for Resort guests)
  • $50 for a 50-minute Personal Training Session at The Spa’s Fitness Center (full-price regularly $76)
  • $20 for an add-on Bright Eyes Facial upgrade (conducted within any facial treatment) to rehydrate the delicate eye area and soften fine lines and dark circle in the orbital area.

The Pelican Hill Resort and Spa
22701 Pelican Hill Road South
Newport Coast, California  92657

Mary Rambin of is a professional blogger and travel features writer for The Houston Chronicle. In NYC, she co-founded NonSociety and produced a weekly web series called TMI Weekly. Now she trains small businesses in the basics of social media amidst her travels all over the world.  Follow Mary on Twitter at @MaryRambin.



(Full disclosure:  A generous media rate and comped golf was provided for my stay.)