Resort At Pelican Hill Joining Marriott, Becoming St. Regis

Resort At Pelican Hill Joining Marriott, Becoming St. Regis

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A well respected resort in Southern California is joining Marriott, as flagged by bcosinteno.

Resort at Pelican Hill joining Marriott as of July 2024

The Resort at Pelican Hill, located in Newport Beach, California, is undergoing a strategy shift. The resort has operated independently since it opened in 2008, but that will finally be changing:

  • As of July 1, 2024, the Resort at Pelican Hill will join Marriott, and will participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • After an extensive renovation, the property will be branded as a St. Regis, though there’s no timeline yet for that happening

The hotel will continue to be owned by The Irvine Co., but it’s just that day-to-day management will be handed over to Marriott. The owners of the hotel state they’ve made the decision to join Marriott after conducting a strategic review. Most of the associates at the hotel will continue to remain at the company.

This is a major win for Marriott. This will be California’s second St. Regis property (once it’s rebranded), after the St. Regis San Francisco. Funny enough, it’s also the second time that there will be a St. Regis resort in Southern California. The St. Regis Monarch Beach left the brand in 2016, and was then operated independently, before eventually becoming the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach.

It’s not yet clear exactly how the Resort at Pelican Hill will be branded until it undergoes a renovation. Will it join one of Marriott’s other hotel collections, or just have the original name of the resort, but be bookable through Marriott channels?

The Resort at Pelican Hill is joining Marriott

Resort at Pelican Hill is a big win for Marriott

For those not familiar with the Resort at Pelican Hill, it’s one of the most popular luxury resorts in Southern California. The ocean view property has 204 guest rooms, 128 villas, and two golf courses.

I tend to think that most of the luxury Southern California resorts are convenient getaways for those who live in the area, though they’re not necessarily destinations worth getting on a plane for. They tend to be “resort factories,” as these hotels aren’t exactly boutique.

Based on what I’ve heard about the Resort at Pelican Hill, the property has exceptional service, and people love it. However, the facilities could definitely use a refresh, so a renovation will be good news.

On the plus side, with the Resort at Pelican Hill joining Marriott Bonvoy, there will be opportunities to earn and redeem points there, and take advantage of elite perks. However, I can’t help but think that service standards may deteriorate over time, since Marriott doesn’t exactly have the same commitment to great service as an independent luxury property may have.

Still, on balance I’m happy to see this change, as more opportunities to earn and redeem points are a good thing.

The Resort at Pelican Hill will be renovated

Bottom line

Marriott is gaining a new luxury resort in Southern California, in the form of the Resort at Pelican Hill. This Newport Beach property will join Marriott as of July 2024, before becoming a St. Regis at a later date, after an extensive renovation. I’m curious to see how these plans evolve…

What do you make of the Resort at Pelican Hill joining Marriott Bonvoy?

Conversations (17)
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  1. Mike Guest

    I have stayed at this property many-many times. They also have a entire separate set of Villa on the other side of Pelican Hill Road which are very popular with foreign visitors from the Gulf. Pelican Hill was painstakingly developed as a trophy project by Irvine Company owner Donald Bren. He built and imaged it after northern Italian properties he visited. His attention to detail included bringing in hundreds of olive trees.

    Agree that...

    I have stayed at this property many-many times. They also have a entire separate set of Villa on the other side of Pelican Hill Road which are very popular with foreign visitors from the Gulf. Pelican Hill was painstakingly developed as a trophy project by Irvine Company owner Donald Bren. He built and imaged it after northern Italian properties he visited. His attention to detail included bringing in hundreds of olive trees.

    Agree that this property needs a refresh and that Irvine Company has done a great job with it and has high expectations, but I remain in the skeptical camp that Marriott will continue the legacy of this being a high-end property. I hope they can.

  2. tassojunior Guest

    When La Concha in Key West changed from IHG to independent to Marriott recently rates and awards doubled.

  3. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    It's sad that St. Regis is becoming a conversion brand.

  4. Dwondermeant Guest

    Imagine the rates will go through the roof and skyrocket once renovated and rebranded
    That will keep out the riff raff

  5. Mike Guest

    As someone who lives nearby and frequents the Pelican Hill Resort regularly, I can attest to the outstanding service provided at the hotel and its dining facilities. The Irvine Company has extremely high standards and ran this hotel exceptionally well. I concur with Ben's assessment that service standards will probably drop over time. Marriott seems to tarnish almost everything they touch. Case in point: Starwood. I long for those days where the brand actually cared...

    As someone who lives nearby and frequents the Pelican Hill Resort regularly, I can attest to the outstanding service provided at the hotel and its dining facilities. The Irvine Company has extremely high standards and ran this hotel exceptionally well. I concur with Ben's assessment that service standards will probably drop over time. Marriott seems to tarnish almost everything they touch. Case in point: Starwood. I long for those days where the brand actually cared about the customer.

  6. Christian Guest

    Nice get for Marriott since they lost Monarch Beach…..but I guess that didn’t really matter much since they have the RC Laguna Niguel.

  7. ECR Guest

    "Will it join one of Marriott’s other hotel collections, or just have the original name of the resort, but be bookable through Marriott channels?"

    Smells of Luxury Collection

  8. CJH Guest

    “resort factory”. I like the term.

  9. pstm91 Diamond

    "Most of the luxury Southern California resorts are convenient getaways for those who live in the area, though they’re not necessarily destinations worth getting on a plane for." As a non-Californian, totally agree with this... Unless you're a golfer. This is a big time golf course/destination. But if I'm visiting SoCal, I'd much rather visit a place like Post Ranch Inn.

    1. TravlTravl33 Guest

      Haha the post ranch inn is not in Southern California. It’s 400 miles away in Big Sur (Northern California).

    2. Nunya Guest

      Haha, it's not 400 miles from Big Sur to So Cal.

    3. JohnnyBoy Guest

      Post Ranch Inn, while amazing, is not in SoCal. It is a solid seven hour drive from Newport Beach.

    4. pstm91 Diamond

      Post Ranch/Big Sur was a bad pre-coffee example. I suppose in the grand scheme of things it is more southern CA lol, but it was just the first that crossed my mind. A better example would be something like Montage Laguna Beach.

    5. AD Diamond

      @Nunya, you're right. It's only 396 miles from Post Ranch Inn to Newport Beach. And @pstm91, I assure you that if you tell anyone at Post Ranch Inn or anywhere nearby, that the are on southern California they be deeply offended. There's a massive cultural difference between northern California (which is really the middle part of the state culturally) and southern California. Post Ranch Inn and that area are very, very northern California culturally.

  10. Drew Guest

    Agreed - this property is more for staycations rather than a destination - however for golfers the views from the two Fazio-designed courses are truly amazing!

    One other interesting note is that a new Pendry-flag just opened very close to this hotel (formerly a Four Seasons). That along with Marriott re-branding another nearby property as a VEA - and building adjacent Ritz-Carlton Residences - perhaps is bringing some renewed attention from national, upscale brands to...

    Agreed - this property is more for staycations rather than a destination - however for golfers the views from the two Fazio-designed courses are truly amazing!

    One other interesting note is that a new Pendry-flag just opened very close to this hotel (formerly a Four Seasons). That along with Marriott re-branding another nearby property as a VEA - and building adjacent Ritz-Carlton Residences - perhaps is bringing some renewed attention from national, upscale brands to the area…

  11. mark Guest

    Why do you say "Funny enough"? Hotels changing flags isn't all that uncommon.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ mark -- Maybe your interpretation is different, but I say "funny enough" because I do find it kind of amusing that the area had a St. Regis, it rebranded, and now another property in the area is rebranding as a St. Regis. Hotels rebranding isn't uncommon, but it's the proximity that I find interesting.

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Mike Guest

I have stayed at this property many-many times. They also have a entire separate set of Villa on the other side of Pelican Hill Road which are very popular with foreign visitors from the Gulf. Pelican Hill was painstakingly developed as a trophy project by Irvine Company owner Donald Bren. He built and imaged it after northern Italian properties he visited. His attention to detail included bringing in hundreds of olive trees. Agree that this property needs a refresh and that Irvine Company has done a great job with it and has high expectations, but I remain in the skeptical camp that Marriott will continue the legacy of this being a high-end property. I hope they can.

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tassojunior Guest

When La Concha in Key West changed from IHG to independent to Marriott recently rates and awards doubled.

0
FNT Delta Diamond Guest

It's sad that St. Regis is becoming a conversion brand.

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