“Property is fantastic. Service could be improved.”
We visited Pelican Hill for a week in March. Let me begin by saying that the property is amazing. The grounds are immaculately maintained and the entire area is pristinely clean. If I were giving a rating for the property alone, it would be a 5. Due to service issues, though, I had to give it a 4.
We were in a one bedroom / two bath bungalow with an ocean view. The bungalows are very large with a bedroom and very large living room area. We also had a private patio with ocean view. It had two lounge chairs and a table with umbrella and chairs. It was lovely to sit outside and enjoy the view and a drink or meal. The bungalow had two large flat screen tvs with bose sound systems. The sound systems were difficult to figure out, but then again, I am not great with such things. The bedroom and living room had sliding glass doors that allowed for a wonderful view of the ocean. The sliders in one of the rooms, however, would not close properly. The baths were large and well appointed. We loved the hotel's own bath products and bought some to bring home as souvenirs. The hotel provides turndown service with chocolates and water, which was appreciated.
The spa was wonderful! They had some awesome rates for weekday services (Monday-Thursday). I received the best massage of my life from Maria P. There is a sauna, steam room and hot tub/pool that may be used before your service. If you are a guest, you may use them for free during your stay. The eucalyptus in the steam room really helped my sinuses after a long flight. While you wait for your service, there are teas, dried fruits, nuts and an ample supply of reading material in the very relaxing room which features soft blankets and a calming water feature.
The fitness room was great, with ample equipment and very clean.
I would love to give the Pelican Hill a 5, but the service was a bit "inattentive". We were there for a week, and it seemed like the front desk staff and bell/door staff (with the exception of Tyler...who was wonderfully friendly) just didn't care about you once you checked in. When requesting a ride using the property transportation, I felt like I was imposing on the guys at the front door. No smiles, no welcome...very weird for a property of this calibur. The drivers, though, were very friendly.
We often had to wait at the Caffe Uno for a very long time just to get a coffee drink. One day, one poor girl was working there by herself and it was packed. Apparently, someone called in sick. She called for help and the executive chef came in and cleared a few tables, but then left!! There was still a long line of customers and he left her alone....meanwhile there were many employees in the lobby milling around at the check in desk who could have lent a hand to help her out and serve the customers. Not the fault of the young lady behind the counter, but it was really something that management should have picked up on immediately.
Room service seemed to take a very long time. One night, it took an hour and 15 minutes to get a meal. Also, the service at the coliseum grill was slow. There was hardly anyone there, yet the food took a very long time to come out. We wised up and if we were under any time constraints, we let them know and then we got our food a bit quicker. Again, you'd expect better service given the price you pay to stay here.
There are some restaurants that we enjoyed that I would like to share. The Beachcomber at Crystal Cove Beach had a fantastic breakfast! It is a nice walk from Pelican Hill or you can take the hotel shuttle. Breakfast served until 11:30, which we loved! We also enjoyed the Mexican restaurant called Javier's. Great food and even better people watching. Modo Mio was great for Italian. Make reservations for any of them on Open Table. There is also a Starbucks at Crystal Cove Promenade if you are a Starbucks person.
Crystal Cove has some wonderful walking/running trails. I saw many, many dolphins and what I think was a whale while I was on the beach.
We enjoyed day trips to Balboa Island and San Juan Capistrano. There is a 1:00 tour at San Juan Capistrano that only cost an extra $3, but was quite enjoyable and informative.
With a bit more attention to providing welcoming and prompt service to the guests, Pelican Hill would be a 5.
Get an ocean view room if you can swing it!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
27 March 2012
Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your recent experience with us. While I’m delighted to hear that you enjoyed Bungalow stay, The Spa and activities in the surrounding area, I understand your level of disappointment regarding service that fell short of your expectations and our goals.
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I regret the unfortunate circumstances you encountered, and have taken this opportunity to discuss solutions with the managers of the areas you mentioned. As we continuously strive to heighten service levels throughout the resort, I kindly invite you to call me directly to discuss your experience further and have sent my contact details to you separately in a private message.
Your thoughtful feedback is valued, and I thank you again for providing it here. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you again soon.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC