Pelican Hill Serves Up Italian Riviera with West Coast Style
Resort’s Fall Festa dell’Autunno brings Tuscany to Southern California
Text by Noelle Valentine Photography courtesy of Pelican Hill
When September rolls around, Houstonians are ready to feel the chill of the fall’s first cool front. Summer is over; the kids are back in school; and we can begin to plan our next getaway. One place that always brings the best of any season is Southern California, and after a long hot summer in H-Town, there may be no place lovelier than Newport Beach and no destination more alluring than The Resort at Pelican Hill. Even better, the autumn season at Pelican Hill brings with it the much-anticipated Festa dell’Autunno.
As if the cooler climate weren’t enough (fall temperatures range from lows in the 60s to highs in the 70s) from the moment of arrival, you’ll experience a place like no other. The Resort at Pelican Hill is inspired by the work of 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, best known for his grand homes across the Venetian countryside. Resembling its Tuscan counterparts, the Resort nestles into the hillside along the sea, making the most of the natural setting. Distinctive Palladian elements include elegant corniced columns and courtyards, rows of arched porticos, barrel-vaulted ceilings, multi-story entry rotundas, flowing fountains, and archways framing vivid vistas of the sea. The sun-drenched climate of Southern California, like the Italian Riviera, allows for indoor spaces to open up to the outdoors and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.
Pelican Hill has been internationally heralded for its emphasis on detail unprecedented in the resort world, including an unparalleled array of appointments, luxurious guest rooms and suites, an iconic “Coliseum Pool” with tiered decks and luxurious cabanas, a grand spa experience and the acclaimed Pelican Hill Golf Club. The resort’s unfailing reputation of indulging its guests with the finest of everything has garnered Pelican Hill multiple industry awards.
FESTA DELL’ AUTUNNO
The weekend of October 7-9 features the Resort’s signature epicurean event, the Festa dell’Autunno, where this year, the family-friendly Italian Street Festa will feature an al fresco children’s carnival. Just like in Italy, Festa celebrates the abundance of the autumn harvest season with food, wine, music, art and entertainment.
- Menu a Quattro Mani at Andrea Ristorante, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7-8 from 6-10 p.m. – Andrea Chef Marco Criscuolo and guest Chef Filippo Gozzoli from the Armani Hotel Milano join forces for Menu a Quattro Mani (“the menu by four hands”), an autumn-inspired multi-course dinner with fine Italian wine pairings. $225/person (wine pairings, tax and service included).
- Italian Street Festa, Saturday, Oct. 8 from 2-8 p.m. – Experience a harvest season celebration along olive tree-lined Bungalow lanes, with Italian food and wine, live music and dancing, traditional art, a Mercato, Motori Italiani auto exhibits, bocce ball and traditional flag performances. $150/adult (wine, tax and service included).
- Carnevale dei Bambi, Saturday, Oct. 8 from 2-8 p.m. – This chaperoned al fresco children’s carnival runs simultaneously with the Street Festa. Kids may participate in dancing, Venetian mask decorating, flag waving lessons and dressing up in Renaissance-style costumes for a parade. $100/child ages 4-12.
- Under the California Sun Jazz Brunch, Sunday, Oct. 9 from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. – From endless Prosecco mimosas to endless ocean views, Festa weekend concludes with a festive al fresco jazz brunch. $125/adult; $50/child ages 4-12 (Prosecco, tax and service included).
- Festa Weekend Bungalow Package, Available Oct. 8 only – Enjoy the complete Festa dell’Autunno experience with a Bungalow stay along Via Capri, two adult tickets to Saturday’s Italian Street Festa and two adult tickets to Sunday’s Under the California Sun Jazz Brunch. Receive a special Festa dell’Autunno weekend welcome amenity with the hotel’s compliments. Starting from $975 per night, plus applicable taxes and fees, for double occupancy Bungalow accommodations.
For golfers, there’s hardly anything more captivating than a resort that features an acclaimed Tom Fazio-designed course, like the Pelican Hill Golf Club. This course offers a truly unique golf experience. The Ocean North course features panoramic views from every hole, while the Ocean South course takes you closest – with three holes directly on the coast. Then add to that the unmatched service and amenities available at Pelican Hill Golf Club – professional forecaddies, impeccable practice facilities, plush locker rooms, shoe attendants, club cleaning service, golf shop and golf academy – and you’ve got yourself a game.
The Spa at Pelican Hill — Newport Beach’s only Forbes Five Star Spa — has been an award-winning destination since its inception. Every moment, with every touch, the Spa works in concert with your intention, and your visit will be carefully crafted based on your focus: Replenish by restoring balance, detoxifying and rejuvenating; Invigorate by strengthening, energizing and immune boosting; or Relax by de-stressing, unwinding and centering. With 22 treatment rooms, men’s and women’s Aqua Colonnades, relaxation lounges, fitness center, wellness classes, personal training, salon, day packages and more, this 23,000-square-foot retreat echoes the same distinctive Palladian accoutrements and refinement as the resort itself.
Accommodations at Pelican Hill are super luxurious and comfortable. Each of the 204 one-story Bungalow guest rooms and suites offers hand-hewn wood-beam ceilings, Italian limestone fireplaces, deep soaking marble tubs and private terraces (most with ocean views and adjacent parking.) The Bungalows are a spacious 847 to 1,634 square feet. Scenic pathways and residential-scaled streets, all lined with Italian-inspired landscaping, invite guests to stroll to dinner, walk to the Coliseum Pool or simply explore the breathtaking grounds of the Resort.
The 128 awe-inspiring Villas are set in an exclusive, gated enclave and are a more intimate way to enjoy The Resort with a private clubhouse and pool, butler service and dedicated staff. With inspiration from the charming hillside villages of Italy, the Villas range from 2,193 to 3,581 square feet and offer two, three or four bedrooms and expansive ocean view terraces. These accommodations are perfect for families or friends to get together.
At Andrea Ristorante, the resort’s signature restaurant, guests can enjoy classic Italian cuisine and al fresco dining. Diners savor salads made with 100-year-old Balsamic vinegar, delicate milk-fed veal dishes, exquisite pastas made in a one-of-a-kind temperature-controlled Pasta Room, sublime artisan-style gelato made in the Laboratorio del Gelato and wine from a 1,200-bottle collection predominantly from Italy, and notably a number of vintages exclusive to Andrea.
Request VIP status and enjoy privileges such as savings on rooms, at Resort restaurants, Resort boutiques, the Spa, the Golf Club, Camp Pelican Kid’s Club, coach service and more.
- Crystal Cove Beach. Below the Resort sits one of the most beautiful beaches the West Coast has to offer. Distinguished as a National Natural Landmark, its three miles of pristine beach are excellent for strolling and exploring the many tide pools, as well as a swim, surf or dive into the ocean.
- The Crystal Cove Beach Experience includes complimentary coach service and chairs and umbrellas, including a beach bag equipped with towels and water from Pelican Hill, making for a seamless day.
- Dining at Crystal Cove includes The Beachcomber Café (a vintage beach house on the sand with a large ocean view deck and Bootlegger Bar). Perched up on the bluffs, Ruby’s Shake Shack has a casual menu and all outdoor seating to take in the panoramic views.
- Bluff-Top Trails at Crystal Cove Beach offer guests a place for jogging, biking, hiking and picnics with incredible views of the Pacific.
Pelican Hill is a sanctuary of beauty and sophistication that sets a new standard and gives guests the perfect place to play. “Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report recommends Pelican Hill as an ‘Opulent Seaside Retreat,’ ” said Pelican Hill Resort Managing Director Giuseppe Lama. “If you prefer the best fall escape available, then look no further than ‘Newport Beach’s own Tuscan Seaside Village’ for luxury and value.”
Pelican Hill is perched on the coastline just south of Newport Beach and is a 15-minute drive from Orange County’s John Wayne Airport. Festa dell’Autunno event tickets and accommodation packages are available for purchase at pelicanhill.com/festa. For reservations and information by phone, contact Pelican Hill’s Festa reservation specialists at 855-55-FESTA. Advance purchase is recommended as ticket quantities are limited. All pricing is inclusive of tax and service charges unless otherwise noted. General resort information is available at 855-467-6800 or at pelicanhill.com.