Earlier this summer, I was able to explore a property I’ve heard a lot about—The Resort at Pelican Hill. After reading glowing reviews in Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, and Departures, my curiosity had definitely been piqued. My trip started off with a visit to T5 at JFK Airport, Jet Blue’s state-of-the-art terminal. After an easy flight—I was actually on time and able to watch Food Network the whole way—I landed in Long Beach, CA, and headed over to the resort. Saying that I’m an Italophile is an understatement, which is why I was thrilled to see the Italian-inspired resort with its colonnades, arches, and terracotta-capped buildings. Although the California rays were shining, I felt like I was under the Tuscan sun.
With a grandiose pool called The Coliseum, the creamiest risotto this side of the Atlantic, and a café that serves gelato worthy of a warm afternoon in Florence, the resort pays an elegant homage to its Italian roots throughout the entire property, including at the spa. The comprehensive treatment menu for the 23,000-square-foot spa includes Mediterranean-style services, such as the Olivo Pedicure ($80, 60 minutes), an olive-based pampering treat for feet, and the Body Gelato ($180, 60 minutes), a scrub and massage, which ends with a scoop of ice cream for further indulgence. While classical influences cannot be denied, the spa seamlessly incorporates high-tech equipment for maximum results. Thanks to the use of Ageless Aesthetic’s ULTRA machine and the expertise of a very experienced esthetician, I enjoyed a stellar Reveal Facial ($230, 60 minutes), which left my skin looking like porcelain. For more about The Spa at Pelican Hill, keep an eye out for American Spa’s December issue.