As summer begins, The Resort at Pelican Hill (located in Southern California's Newport Beach) already has 50 percent more holiday celebrations booked compared to the same timeframe last year. With venue space and sought-after entertainment at a premium, holiday event organizers are proving it's never too early to start planning.
In addition to early booking trends, Pelican Hill's booking patterns have broadened into the late fall through early winter time frame. October, November and January are becoming popular months for annual celebrations traditionally held during the month of December.
According to Pelican Hill Special Events Director Douglas Hoagland, "Among groups large and small, positive budget outlooks, heightened prioritization of employee recognition, and a desire to out-do past year's events is driving an early booking trend that we expect to gain significant momentum this summer."
Other leading trends for year-end celebrations include interactive food stations and live entertainment within the ever-popular reception-style setting. For example, Pelican Hill is seeing demand for wine, cheese and olive oil tasting stations this year. Cooking classes, spa soirees, cabana parties, and golf outings are also emerging as popular options for year-end celebrations. The resort can host meeting groups up to about 300, in a variety of venue spaces.
Here's a sampling of 10 ways groups, whether corporate or social, can enjoy the holidays at Pelican Hill:
- The Acqua Lounge. Cirque-style performers, troupes of synchronized swimmers and live musicians dazzle guests in, around and atop the Resort's Coliseum Pool. As one of the largest circular pools in the world, the Coliseum Pool provides a remarkable outdoor setting for entertaining groups of 150 guests or more. Reception or banquet-style catering paired with comfortable decorative furnishings and creative outdoor lighting complete Pelican Hill's Acqua Lounge event concept.
- Italian Street Festa (pictured). Along the Resort's olive tree-lined bungalow lanes, an outdoor Italian Street Festa brings the sights, sounds and tastes of Italy to Southern California's own "Tuscan Seaside Village." Reception-style gatherings of 100 guests or more feature olive oil and wine tasting, strolling musicians, stilt-walkers, Venetian-masked entertainers and other traditional festivities to celebrate la dolce vita!
- Private Chef-led Cooking Classes. For groups of eight to 15, chef-led cooking classes entertain guests with hands-on preparation, multi-course seasonal menus and paired wines. Classes are set in the gourmet kitchen of a luxurious private Villa overlooking the Pacific coastline. Recipes cards and chef's cooking tips make the perfect parting gift for this gathering!
- Spa Soirée. For a relaxing and rewarding gathering, spa parties grow ever more popular for busy professionals and parents alike! Whether it's Pedicures & Prosecco, a Balanced Wellness Retreat, the Barber Chair Experience or an Afternoon Escape featuring spa lunches and massages, The Spa at Pelican Hill personalizes Spa Soirée events for groups of 16 or less.
- Cabana Party. Overlooking one of the world's largest circular pools, an amphitheater of 18 luxurious cabana suites at the Coliseum Pool provide a stunning ocean-view setting for celebrations of six to 116 guests. Flat-screen TVs and BOSE audio systems within each cabana bring the comforts of home outdoors for slide shows, sports-viewing and other on-screen entertainment.
- Wine Tasting & Cheese Professor. Whether it's a large gathering on the Resort's spacious ocean-view terrace or an intimate group event on the terrace of a private Villa, Pelican Hill's cheese professor and Resort sommelier turn the typical wine and cheese reception into an insightful seminar. This epicurean experience entertains by nurturing the mind and nourishing the taste buds!
- Golf & Grill. Two ocean-view Fazio-designed golf courses, both ranked by Golf Digest as two of America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses, accommodate group tournaments for golfers of all experience levels. Pelican Hill Golf Club coordinates rounds for groups as small as 13 players, or tournaments as large as 144 golfers. After a game of golf, players enjoy grill food favorites in the Pelican Grill private dining room, or outdoors barbeque-style on the Club's spacious terrace.
- Yoga with a View. Take in an endless view of sea and sky in the breathtaking setting of The Resort's idyllic Rotunda and Event Lawn. Although this space traditionally creates the magical ambiance of Pelican Hill's outdoor wedding ceremonies, its panoramic Pacific vistas and charming white rose garden also provide a serene environment for a group yoga session. This relaxing activity is followed by healthy refreshments served al fresco to create a memorable gathering among friends, colleagues or family.
- Tea Time Get-Together. For traditional afternoon tea or special occasion tea parties, the Great Room at Pelican Hill welcomes social, charitable and business gatherings for six or more guests. The simple luxury of tea service delights with tea, sandwiches, scones, pastries and wines by the glass. A grand glowing fireplace, plush residential furniture and a classical harpist complete the timeless elegance of Tea Time Together.
- Pelican Hill Off-Premise Catering. New to the Resort's event and entertainment offerings, off-site catering at superb Southern California venues introduces more variety paired with Pelican Hill's unsurpassed service and quality. Options include the natural setting of the Irvine Ranch's Bommer Canyon, the historic allure of an adobe-built California Mission, and the magnificent mystique of a sustainably designed wine cave, the nostalgic charm of a hacienda-style canyon estate, the thrilling vibe of a premiere automotive museum, and the timeless beauty of a private hilltop Villa in Laguna Beach.