The Resort at Pelican Hill seeks to bring a Mediterranean/Italian mood to Orange County.

With its plush lounge chairs, fluffy towels, towering palms and an enormous, round pool, the spacious pool deck looks like a relaxing spot if you can resist the distractions: celebrity guests, private cabanas and, beyond the pool’s infinity edge, endless, unobstructed views of the Pacific. “We have Mother Nature on speed dial,” says Kelly Hendrix, the director of guest services.As the setting sun slips into the Pacific, the sky transforms into slices of cantaloupe and watermelon. Just beyond the pool, bathed in that golden light photographers crave, a few straggling golfers are finishing their round. It took ambitious thinking – and undisclosed millions of dollars – to create the Resort at Pelican Hill, an Orange County version of Mediterranean Italy. The owners, privately held Irvine Co., seem to have spared no expense. It’s hard not to be impressed. – From Dallas Morning News