““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
The resort at Pelican Hill
The biggest dilemma guests face at the Resort at Pelican Hill is making sure they don't get diverted from golf. With 36 holes designed by Tom Fazio, there's enough there along the Pacific Ocean 45 miles south of downtown Los Angeles to hold the interest of the most discerning golf traveler. But it's easy to get distracted when you're surrounded by 504 acres of lushly planted ornamental gardens and the world's largest circular, coliseum-style pool and have direct access to 3.5 miles of beachfront, a wellness spa and luxurious bungalows and villas with patios that practically let you to dangle your toes in the ocean.
The two golf courses at Pelican Hill-Ocean North and Ocean South-are flawlessly sculpted works of art that weave their way down, around and across vast arroyos. Dense stands of pine and oak line the fairways, with the North layout occupying higher, if more dramatic, headlands and the South layout culminating with four holes of the back nine along the beach.
The architecture of the buildings-including courtyard, restaurants, lobbies and even the parking garage-are all in the High Renaissance Italian style of Andrea Palladio. The effect is transportive, as if you've been carried by a time machine into some idyllic Roman estate. For those who want to do business, the property includes
a 20,000-square-foot conference center. But frankly, the only "business" you should get done at Pelican Hill involves indulging without apologies.
The Resort at Pelican Hill
The Resort at Pelican Hill is at 22701 Pelican Hill Road South in Newport Coast, Calif. For information, call (949) 467-6800 or (800) 820-6800 or visit www.pelicanhill.com.
John Wayne (SNA), eight miles north of the resort, has a 5,700-foot runway. FBOs: Atlantic Aviation, (949) 851-5061; Signature Flight Support (949) 263-5800