Villas feature fully equipped kitchens, access to a private clubhouse, and a personal staff
No resort fee
Fee for use of in-room coffee
No iPod docks
Sprawling property means guests have to take the free shuttle to get from one spot to the next (or walk a lot)
The ultra-luxe Pelican Hill is a sprawling, immaculately kept resort (500 acres!) with two golf courses, a 23,000-square-foot spa, two pools, five restaurants, and 332 bungalows and villas. The rooms are large, with top-notch technology (although the absence of iPod docks is surprising) and beige decor (of the upscale variety, not the bland kind). All rooms feature large marble bathrooms, fireplaces, and terraces, many with ocean views, but the villas are where things get uber-fancy. All villas have fully equipped kitchens, huge living spaces, and are attended to by a private staff. Guests staying in villas also get access to a separate clubhouse with a pool and fitness center. One downside to the size of the property is that guests have to take the resort's shuttle to get around, but it's hard to find many other faults with this luxury hotel.
On the coast of Newport Beach, a wealthy seaside retreat with beautiful views and plenty of water sports
Newport Beach is a posh seaside enclave offering everything from upscale shopping, to a kid-friendly Fun Zone, to a nature-lovers estuary. The artsy city of Costa Mesa is just a seven-minute drive away.
Snuggled between super-affluent Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach (one of the most famous surfing hot spots in the world), Newport Beach attracts both an upscale older crowd and young party goers. It is home to beautiful mansions overlooking the water and top-notch restaurants and shops, but you can still find quaint bars and surf shops by the beach.
17-minute drive to John Wayne Airport
8-minute drive to Corona Del Mar beach
8-minute drive to Fashion Island, an upscale shopping mall
9-minute drive to Roger's Gardens
10-minute drive to Orange County Museum of Art
10-minute drive to Balboa Island
11-minute drive to Laguna Beach
15-minute drive to Newport Pier
18-minute drive to Newport Harbor Nautical Museum
18-minute drive to Balboa Pavilion's shops and restaurants (and the Fun Zone)
19-minute drive to Huntington Beach
25-minute drive to Disneyland
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