Ralph Grippo is taking the reins of both The Irvine Company’s resort division and the extraordinary destination resort the company is creating overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Southern California’s Newport Coast®.
Grippo, formerly a senior executive at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company who has managed luxury resorts from California to China, has been named president of The Irvine Company Resort Properties and managing director of The Resort at Pelican Hill™.
The Resort at Pelican Hill is a masterpiece in the making, blending the principles of Italy’s most renowned Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio, with California comfort and style. The resort will open in two phases: Pelican Hill Golf Club®, with 36 holes of Tom Fazio-designed golf and signature Pelican Grill restaurant, in fall 2007; all other components – from the bungalow and villa accommodations to the function space and spa – in fall 2008.
“Detail by detail, The Resort at Pelican Hill will set a new standard for style, comfort and beauty,” said Clarence Barker, executive vice president at The Irvine Company. “Ralph is the right person to help us deliver on that promise. He has operated some of the finest hotels in the world with great skill, creativity and passion. He understands the singular vision we have for this destination resort, and what will be involved in making it a reality.”
Grippo, 43, has worked in the luxury resort industry for more than two decades, the past 17 years with The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company. Most recently, he was Ritz-Carlton’s vice president and area general manager for China responsible not only for seven luxury hotels with approximately 2,600 rooms but also serving as general manager of the company’s China flagship, The Portman Ritz-Carlton in Shanghai.
Previously, Grippo was vice president and area general manager at The Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel & Spa in Pasadena, where he was responsible for the company’s hotels in Southern California and Hawaii.
“The Resort at Pelican Hill will be a sanctuary at one with its spectacular seaside setting, reflecting Renaissance-era architectural principles of simple grace and harmony with nature while balanced with comfortable California style,” said Barker.
Grippo added, “The resort is being created piece by exquisite piece and will emerge a masterpiece of the art of hospitality.”
The resort will include: 204 bungalow rooms and suites; 128 villas; a dramatic, circular pool with an amphitheater of terraced decks inspired by Rome’s Coliseum; world-class dining options from exquisitely prepared Italian cuisine to upscale California fare; a 20,000-sq-ft. spa offering therapies and treatments from around the world; function space including a facility with a separate arrival area; a golf club with two 18-hole courses; and a stunning Italian-style wedding chapel.
Easily accessible, The Resort at Pelican Hill is located just 10 minutes from Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, 45 minutes from LAX, and adjacent to the famed shopping, dining and beaches of the chic seaside communities of Newport Beach and Laguna Beach.
The Irvine Company Resort Properties owns and manages the finest resort and leisure destinations on the Newport Coast and in the City of Irvine. In addition to The Resort at Pelican Hill, the portfolio includes The Island Hotel Newport Beach™, the city’s landmark property and only AAA Five Diamond hotel; Hyatt Regency Irvine, the city’s only Four Diamond hotel; Oak Creek Golf Club® in Irvine, featuring a challenging, Tom Fazio-designed public golf course; and several of the finest marinas in Newport Harbor and Northern California.
For more information on The Resort at Pelican Hill, please go to www.pelicanhill.com.