When my colleague Julie and I rolled up to our private villa at the Resort at Pelican Hill, we felt like we had just stepped into a reality show. With 10 girls arriving by private limo to an estate set on the California Coast, all we’re missing is Chris Harrison and a Bachelor to vie for.
This weekend was so graciously organized by the Resort at Pelican Hill and United airlines, who have put up with 10 up-and-coming agents and our constant Instagramming and fawning over their bellmen, a sign of the times for the travel industry.
It has been a truly incredible getaway and revealed what a fantastic girls getaway this property would make, amongst other getaways where you want to be with friends or family, yet still retreat to you private, spacious bedroom and bathroom. Our 4 bedroom villa is a sanctuary adorned by perfectly manicured gardens, complete with a full kitchen, garage, and picture-perfect views of the ocean – and sunset. Oh, and a fireplace, which I happen to be sitting beside as I write this.
It does not get better than a retreat to Pelican Hill, a fact I now know all too well – after a nonstop few months of launching Epperly Travel and entering into our busy season, I’ve been feeling like I couldn’t catch my breath. This weekend provided the much needed respite I had been looking for – travel often surprises me with how restorative it can be.
Beyond the down time spent by the fireplace, the weekend was jam-packed with incredible activities. Julie and I took in our first afternoon by the Coliseum pool, the largest circular pool in the world, before heading to a site inspection of the property, ending in a dinner of Japanese and Italian-style tapas from Piccolo.
The dining on the resort is something that Pelican Hill truly prides itself in, especially at Andrea, their signature Italian restaurant, known for its preparation of the risotto. Now, I love risotto no matter how it’s prepared (if there was an Easy Mac version of risotto, I’d be all over it), but when a place prepares it piping hot in a 70 pound block of parmesan cheese instead of merely adding parmesan to it, that is a risotto to remember. And it was delicious.
Beyond the risotto preparation, it’s important to note that every single piece of pasta served at Pelican Hill is handmade on property in the pasta room – had there not been availability in the villas, I would’ve been fine staying in this room just to watch the pasta being made (and in hopes of receiving a bite or two).
On our second day, my roommates and I enjoyed an in-room dining breakfast by the fireplace before heading off to explore Newport with the group. The highlight of our day was an hour and a half spent touring the Newport Harbor by Duffy Boat, an electric boat that was invented in the area that is completely silent and environmentally friendly, like the Prius of boats.
This is the perfect outing to grab a group of friends and enjoy mimosas and cheese while learning about the rich history (literally) of the private homes on each of the islands, from Shirley Temple’s first big purchase as a child star to the founder of Yahoo’s former home, which started off with the asking price of a mere $27 million.Our fantastic guide, Cherie, gave us a great rule of thumb when valuing these homes, which all sit one on top of the other and often look like Charleston’s shotgun-style architecture, longer than they are wide: take the value that you would give the home, mostly in the $200,000’s, and add another zero. Then you’ll know the selling price.
Very few things in life make me happier than being on a boat, so I was as content as could be during this excursion.
Afterwards, we enjoyed a quick trip through Fashion Island (not a real island…but definitely real fashion) and lunch at Fig & Olive, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant with a delicious menu and a clean, fresh decor. Definitely my kind of place.
Our day ended with an 80-minute spa treatment, each of us receiving a different therapy, from the Coastal Renewal wrap & scrub combo to a Terra Stone massage, all of which left us equally dazed and relaxed once we met back up after, most of the group choosing to walk through the resort in their robe and spa slippers. We finished with a delicious dinner at Coliseum, overlooking that expansive pool all it up a night, a truly unforgettable scene right after seeing the sunset illuminate Catalina Island.
There’s something really magical about this property and area in SoCal – from the year-round 70 degree weather to the unbelievable views of the Pacific and surrounding nature, it’s a picturesque retreat for any of our clients. To find out more about our exclusive amenities for guests booking a stay at Pelican Hill, please email firstname.lastname@example.org!