Pelican Hill- Family Friendly Luxury on California’s Golden Coast

Set on 504 acres of the bluffs of the exclusive Newport Coast, Pelican Hill is a Renaissance-style resort with architecture reminiscent of Andrea Palladio’s celebrated churches, villas, and palaces in Northern Italy.  Everything about this resort is grand and luxurious, from the massive arch your car passes under as it heads up the hill to the resort to the circular infinity-edged Coliseum Pool (one of the world’s largest) with its 1.1 million hand-cut glass mosaic tiles which mirror the brilliantly blue coastal skies. The stunning views from the lobby, with the Tom Fazio designed golf course in the foreground and the brilliant Pacific looming behind, are breathtaking and best enjoyed with a cup full of house made gelato from the Caffé.

Can a resort this opulent and luxurious also be family friendly? Absolutely! This resort is designed to appeal to those who are used to the finer things in life; people who are used to the best want the best for their children as well!

Spacious Bungalows and Villas

One thing that families always appreciate in a hotel room is space! Those staying at Pelican Hill will be happy to hear that the smallest room is a spacious 847 feet. Each bungalow features a private terrace with ocean views, a fireplace framed with Italian limestone, and décor that is the finest in understated luxury.

Large families, multi-generational travelers, and those looking for extra space will fall in love with the villas. Massive two-, three-, and four-bedroom villas ranging from 2,193 to 3,581 square feet feature the best of everything including huge patios with expansive ocean views, private garages, plenty of privacy (the villas are in a guard gated area to protect the rich and famous, or just regular folks like me), full kitchens, large living areas, plenty of room for the kids to run around (or ride their scooters as my kids did!), and personalized service from your butler.  That’s right- your own butler! Run out of diapers at 10 at night? No worries, your butler can get them for you! Want someone to come in and cook a personalized meal for your family? Your butler can arrange that! As a matter of fact, your butler is happy to make any of your requests a reality, as long as they aren’t illegal or immoral. Just imagine the possibilities…

Complimentary Extras

Staying at Pelican Hill is not cheap. Rooms start around $400 per night, but the bungalows truly are a great value.  Unlike many luxury resorts, you aren’t nickel and dimed with resort fees and hidden charges. Internet is complimentary, self-parking is free, use of the house cars (a bunch of Escalades and one sweet Bentley is included), and even usage of the spa facilities is complimentary! While my kids were enrolled for a morning session at Camp Pelican– the resort’s kids club which has its own kiddie pool, sandbox, and covered yet heated outdoor patio for enjoying crafts in the fresh air- I was happily relaxing in the sauna, whirlpool, and quiet room (a luxury in itself to any mom) while sipping on refreshing spa water.

Another complimentary extra that every family staying at Pelican will definitely want to enjoy is the Beach Experience at my favorite beach in Orange County, Crystal Cove. It includes

  • Complimentary round-trip coach service
  • Set-up of complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas on the sand
  • Food and beverage service on the sand from The Beachcomber Café
  • A Complimentary Adult Beach Bag for two with two towels, two bottles of water, sunscreen, Smashball paddles and ball
  • A Complimentary Children’s Beach Bag with two towels, two waters and assorted sand toys

You haven’t really experienced pampering until you have experienced a beach day like that!

Whether you watch the sun set from your patio, the Coliseum Pool, the 18th green, or Crystal Cove, you will be doing so surrounded by beauty, style, and of course, the finer things.

Want ideas for fun in and around Newport Coast? Check out our reviews of family friendly activities in Orange County and beyond.

Travel with kids to: CA |CO | DC | FL | HI | IL |MA | NC | NY | OR | PA | TN | TX | VA | WA


About the author

Sharlene Earnshaw is Trekaroo’s Editor in Chief. She lives in sunny Orange County, CA, with her husband and 10-year-old son and daughter (twins!). She is a self-proclaimed National Park junkie and has the goal of visiting each and every one with her kids. When she isn't traveling to places like Norway, Peru, Disney World, and Hawaii with her family, she enjoys hiking, beach days, obsessively rooting for the San Francisco 49ers, and planning her brood's next trip.
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