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The Resort at Pelican Hill Opens Its Doors on November 26, 2008

NEWPORT BEACH, Southern California – The Resort at Pelican Hill, the long-awaited destination resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, will open its doors on November 26, 2008, offering guests a level of service and luxury that is unmatched in the resort world. 

The Resort at Pelican Hill will blend the principles of Italy’s most renowned Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio, with chic and casual California elegance. Boasting inspiring, expansive views of the Pacific Ocean and Newport Coast, The Resort at Pelican Hill will feature: 128 villas with an unparalleled array of appointments, immersing guests in the absolute finest of everything; 204 luxuriously appointed bungalow suites; a rejuvenating spa with 22 treatment rooms and a menu of the world’s most celebrated therapies; world-class restaurants including authentic Northern Italian cuisine at Andrea; an iconic “Coliseum” pool, the largest circular pool anywhere, with tiered decks and the most luxurious cabanas of any resort; and Pelican Hill Golf Club with 36 dramatic holes by Tom Fazio, nearly all with ocean panoramas. The resort is rising on a 504-acre site that is one of the most serene and beautiful coastal settings in Southern California, where the Pacific laps uncrowded beaches and thousands of acres of coastal habitat are permanently protected as open space or designated for recreational use only. The Resort at Pelican Hill captures the essence of an Italian seaside village, terraced on a verdant hillside in harmony with the natural environment.

“With the final touches being put on one of the most awaited resorts ever built, The Resort at Pelican Hill is emerging as a masterpiece in the art of hospitality,” said Ralph Grippo, president of the Irvine Company Resort Properties, the developer and operator of the resort. “The unprecedented attention to detail – in every aspect of the property and guest experience, from the distinct and refined architecture to the most innovative and comprehensive personalized service program – is setting The Resort at Pelican Hill apart and establishing it as a new paradigm among the world’s finest resorts.”

The Resort at Pelican Hill was inspired by the Renaissance belief that humanity is uplifted by aspiring to perfection. And underpinning this quest for perfection is the one aspect of Pelican Hill that will most set it apart: service that is extraordinary, precedent-setting and the most personalized of any resort. The service will begin before the guest’s arrival – with a level of pre-planning unrivaled in the luxury resort world –with a personal travel designer planning and arranging every aspect and detail of the Pelican Hill experience, everything from having golf clubs pre-shipped to the resort to scenting the suite with the preferred aromatherapy. Once at the resort, the most highly trained, around-the-clock staff – from personal butlers to concierges, even chefs to cook personal meals – will see to your every need, completely customize and individualize your experience, and create a truly one-of-a-kind stay for you.

The Resort at Pelican Hill will offer:
128 Villas: The two-, three- and four-bedroom villas – the largest inventory of luxury, ocean-view home accommodations in the resort world available for daily rental – will be the ultimate accommodations. The villas will be exceptionally spacious, ranging from 2,193 square feet to 3,581 square feet, with expansive terraces with dramatic ocean views, dining areas, private one- or two-car garages, and gourmet kitchens with Sub Zero refrigerators, Wolf oven and cook-tops, professional cookware from Cuisipro, fine table linens from boutique manufacturers Rivolta Carmignani and Fili D’Oro, granite countertops and pale fruitwood cabinets. Villa guests will enjoy a personal butler and a 24-hour staff to fulfill every need and desire. The appointments will immerse guests in the absolute finest of everything, from the interior finishes, materials and furniture to the glassware and china, including: hand-hewn wood-beam alder ceilings, limestone fireplaces, sumptuous beds with 500 thread-count linens, luxurious baths with fine toiletries from Gilchrist & Soames and marble walk-in showers and deep-soaking tubs, 15-bottle wine cabinets, and the gamut in technology from 60-inch flatscreen HDTVs to Bose audio systems and MP3 ports. As a privilege exclusive to villa guests, there is a 10,000-square-foot Villa Clubhouse, with a light-bathed living room, private gourmet dining, radiant blue pool created by hand-setting 300,000 hand-cut glass mosaic tiles, luxurious cabanas and stunning sea vistas.
204 Bungalow Suites: Ranging from 847 square feet to 2,486 square feet, the bungalows feature luxurious appointments and an intimate, residential ambiance. No detail has been overlooked to make the bungalows the most plush, relaxing and comfortable accommodations. Among the features
will be hand-crafted wood-beam alder ceilings, fireplaces framed by Italian limestone, marble deep-soaking tubs, 42-inch flat screen HDTVs, wet bars, Bose audio systems, 500-thread-count sheets, and large private terraces with unobstructed ocean panoramas.
The Spa at Pelican Hill: Evoking a “21st century wellness philosophy,” the spa will recapture the original purity and effectiveness of the world’s most celebrated traditional treatments, from the Global Traditions herb, massage and heat therapy to the Mediterranean Mosaic mud and clay body treatment. With 23,000 square feet, dramatic 28-foot-high Palladian rotunda, wall of flowing water, 22 private treatment rooms, steam rooms, saunas, whirlpools and soaking tubs, the spa will offer unequaled indulgence – in a cocooned, sophisticated ambiance where every sense is awakened, and every moment is one of extraordinary pampering and rejuvenation. So much more than a place to enjoy a good massage, the spa will help restore health and balance through the ultimate personalized care. Professional naturalists on staff will conduct everything from environmental education programs to tide pool exploration. The spa will also offer a full-service salon and fitness center.
Dining: A variety of mouth-watering and singular dining experiences, for every mood and occasion of your stay, will make dining one of Pelican Hill’s unforgettable experiences.
Andrea: Offering classic dishes bursting with the true flavors of Italy, particularly Tuscany, Andrea will rival the nation’s top Italian restaurants. By sourcing the perfect ingredients and implementing time-honored practices and preparations – from100-year-old Balsamic vinegars to a one-of-kind, temperature-controlled Pasta Room – Chef Gianluca Re Fraschini will recreate the best of Italy. A glassed-in wine room will display 1,200 bottles, predominantly from Italy and notably a number of vintages exclusive to Andrea. Before-dinner apéritifs will be sipped in the luminous ambiance of a round bar with golden granite countertops and golden fruitwood paneling. Open-air dining on the beautiful ocean-view terrace will be comfortable throughout the year with the radiant-heat travertine flooring.
The Coliseum Pool & Grill: The menu of American favorites will run the gamut from pizzas, panini and sandwiches to seafood dishes, pastas, specialty salads and smoothies. There will be something on the menu for every taste and desire. This incomparably fun and intriguing place to dine will come with fabulous views of the scene at the strikingly iconic Coliseum Pool and of the Pacific Ocean beyond.
The Caffé: Guests will be immersed in one of Italy’s most enduring national pleasures – an indispensable part of la dolce vita – at this true Italian coffee bar serving Italian coffees, light breakfast fare, smoothies, homemade breads and pastries, traditional gelatos made in the Laboratorio del Gelato and more. The tantalizing aromas of freshly ground coffee will be sweetened by panoramic ocean views.
Great Room: In the resort’s sophisticated yet unpretentious “living room,” guests will discreetly indulge in the finer things in life. The Great Room will offer a champagne cart, interesting and original Italian cocktails and organic coffees, teas and infusions.
Pelican Grill: The restaurant at Pelican Hill Golf Club, which opened in November 2007, celebrates the best of the California lifestyle with its gorgeous seaside location, delectable menu of California cuisine prepared with the highest-quality fresh and locally sourced foods, stylish and
comfortable décor, gracious personalized service, and sophisticated, yet relaxed bar with two huge nine feet by six feet HDTVs for watching sports events. Pelican Grill offers one of the best spots for al fresco dining on the coast with a spacious ocean-view terrace and hidden heaters and sunscreens for year-round comfort. The generous and balanced wine list features mostly California selections and more than 30 wines by the glass.
The “Coliseum” Pool: Inspired by Rome’s famed landmark, it will be among the most striking swimming pools at any resort – and the heart of Pelican Hill, where guests will gather daily to see and be seen, or simply relax and wile away the day pampered by pool butlers and taking in the magnificent back drop of endless sea and coast. Perfectly circular and 136 feet in diameter – making it the largest circular pool in the world – The Coliseum Pool will dazzle with its radiant blue bottom created by 1.1 million hand-cut glass mosaic tiles and amphitheater of terraced decks offering private cabanas, sunbathing areas, dining and fabulous ocean views. The cabanas will be suite-like with every amenity from private servers, wet bars, Bose music systems and flatscreen HDTVs to 12-foot-high ceilings and draping curtains for privacy. Guests will enjoy a saltwater pool that is gentle on the skin. For vacationing families, a separate children’s area will feature its own circular pool complemented by a circular interactive fountain.
Pelican Hill Golf Club: One of the nation’s premier golf clubs, Pelican Hill Golf Club boasts 36 holes designed by Tom Fazio with stunning ocean panoramas from nearly every hole. In addition, the club offers: a 44,000-square-foot clubhouse with separate men’s and women’s locker rooms and lounges with a full array of appointments and amenities; Pelican Grill, recognized for its California cuisine and popular lounge; Caffé II Italian coffee bar; golf shop offering the latest golf fashions and accessories; and a full-service practice facility located right outside the clubhouse door featuring an expansive driving range, a complete practice tee and tour-event Nike Platinum One balls waiting for guests when they arrive. Once ready to play, guests depart in a golf cart from the practice area and reach the first tees by driving over the resort’s stunning and iconic entrance: a classically-designed bridge that appears as if it could span the Arno River in Florence.
Weddings: The Resort at Pelican Hill is Southern California’s most highly anticipated wedding destination. Couples will be able to opt for such one-of-a-kind ceremony locations – both with spectacular ocean panoramas – as the charming, free-standing La Cappella, and the secluded, idyllic wedding lawn complete with an iconic and romantic Renaissance rotunda. Mar Vista, with its own bell tower, is the definitive reception venue with its large terraces for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and grand, high-ceiling main room for dining and dancing featuring expansive walls of glass that bathe the room in light and showcase exquisite ocean and links views. Couples will enjoy a complimentary villa with a personal butler on their wedding night.
Meetings & Events: With an array of plush indoor and beautiful outdoor venues, along with the latest in meeting technology, the resort will be a preferred venue for the most exclusive and demanding group functions – from top-tier board meetings and corporate retreats to private banquets.
The 20,000 square feet of function space includes ballrooms and meeting rooms in the main hotel, the separate Mar Vista stand-alone event center with a variety of specialty spaces and its own arrival area, and an outdoor event lawn with an iconic rotunda.
Management Team: A team of the most experienced executives in the resort industry was assembled to establish new paradigms for service, luxury and guest experience. The management team is headed up by Grippo, who was a senior executive with The Ritz Carlton Hotel Company for nearly two decades, most recently as vice president and area general manager for China. Managing Director Giuseppe Lama has served with some of the world’s finest hotels, including general manager of the legendary Hotel Del Coronado. General Manager Thierry Grandsire previously managed The Ritz-Carlton, Doha, acclaimed as the best hotel in the Middle East. Executive Chef Jean Pierre Dubray was the executive chef of Five Diamond The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco. Spa Director Kasia Mays directed the heralded spa at the Five Diamond Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. Pelican Hill Golf Club General Manager Steve Friedlander previously operated Kohler Co.’s celebrated trio of Whistling Straits, Blackwolf Run and The Duke’s in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Easily accessible, The Resort at Pelican Hill is located just 15 minutes from Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, 45 minutes from LAX, and adjacent to an abundance of shopping, dining, art galleries 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 in Newport Coast and 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.

Opening rates for bungalows start at $695, and $1,450 for villas, based on availability. For more information and reservations, please call 800-820-6800. The Resort at Pelican Hill is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World.