It List: 45 Best New Hotels of 2009
Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Beach, California
Frankly, we didn’t want to like the Resort at Pelican Hill going in. After all, who wouldn’t find the sprawling Palladian-inspired resort—with its marble-tiled, mansion-size villas and 23,000-square-foot spa (treatments start at $180)—to be a little out of touch with the pared-down sensibility of 2009?And yet when we were hiking or biking the 504 coastal acres, strolling past colonnades and through archways, or lounging beside the circular Colosseum pool, we had to admit that it was fun to play contessa for a day. Doubles from $695.