Stay among some of California’s richest neighbourhoods in this coast-hugging city in Orange County; TV celebs Judge Judy and Jay Leno both have homes here, in a city prolific in gated mansions, and a glitzy harbour welcomes superyachts with elan. Sandwiched between San Diego and Los Angeles, its municipal beach runs for five miles, plus there are notable hotspots including the Wedge (purported to be one of the best places in the world to bodysurf), a retro seaside amusement park and the Ocean Front (board) Walk. Newport Beach is also home to The Orange County Museum of Art.
The Resort At Pelican Hill
Voted the number one resort in the United States by Condé Nast Traveler magazine, Pelican Hill has welcomed the likes of Kate Beckinsale. 332 bungalows and two, three and four-bedroom Tuscan-style villas (the latter provide access to a Villa Clubhouse) are set within over 500 acres of manicured grounds, boasting rattan furniture, wood-beam ceilings, deep soaking marble baths and limestone fireplaces. Guests can sun themselves on private cabanas beside the Roman-inspired Coliseum Pool, where 1.1 million hand-cut glass mosaic tiles glow beneath the waters. All of this is surrounded by serene and protected green space.
Lido House Newport Beach
If you’d rather immerse in historic elements of the area, check into Lido House, the site of the former City Hall. It has a Cape Cod meets nautical feel, designed by Los Angeles-based architect Rob Sinclair and a five-storey lighthouse as part of its makeup. 130 bedrooms have cranberry-red Dutch doors, and guests can stay in cottages with private roof terraces with BBQs. Dining takes place at the Mayor’s Table restaurant with its open kitchen, bar and glass-walled wine room, while outdoors, there’s a saltwater swimming pool with private cabanas and an English garden.