Passion Points: Family
Families looking for a taste of Southern California high living adore this billion-dollar resort that was modeled on a Tuscan village. Terra cotta roofed bungalows are scattered amidst hundreds of ancient olive trees imbuing the owner’s love of all-things Italy. The over 300 villas and bungalows each have their own outdoor space (though none have a private pool), and are extremely spacious—the smallest rooms seem more like junior suites.
That the hotel is still owned and managed by the Irvine Company results in a country club sensibility that is ideal for big families or groups of friends traveling together. An extensive kid’s club is separate enough from the adult’s pool that grown-ups will feel removed but still be close. The beach, which is a four-minute drive away, features a club that serves snacks and drinks throughout the day.
Multiple dining establishments means that guests can enjoy different restaurants each night (one of which features 17 different kinds of fresh pasta) or can pop into nearby Newport Beach for dinner. The gelateria and caffe off the lobby is beloved by kids and their parents alike for sugared- and caffeinated treats.
Those looking for an intimate boutique property or something right on the beach will be happier elsewhere, but families, golfers (the property features two Tom Fazio–designed courses) and spa enthusiasts will be delighted.
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