Photos: Shapiro

It seems somehow fitting that the modern-day gods and goddesses of Orange County have a Greek-inspired Coliseum Pool at THE RESORT AT PELICAN HILL around which to revel in decadence, merry make and indulge in general over-the-top celebration.

The Pelican Hill pool is perfectly circular, 136-feet in diameter and the resort calls it their very own “pleasure forum, overlooking endless sea and coastal backdrops.” It really is the heart of the property, with stunning views of the coastline, the golf course and general expansive beauty surrounding it.

There are balconies, decks, and cabanas around, next to, and overlooking the pool area where Orange County residents come for an elegant lunch or a casual dinner, even if they aren’t staying overnight. I half expected one of those famous housewives to make an appearance on our midsummer visit.

They say it’s one of the largest circular pools in the world and it is pretty spectacular. It is only 3-and-a-half-feet deep throughout, which makes for a whole lot of pool to explore, even for those who haven’t quite mastered the freestyle crawl. Me and my kids spent a fair amount of time trying to gauge exactly where dead center was located, and also fighting each other to stand with feet planted on that exact spot, or to go down and touch it underwater. And speaking of the bottom—the whole thing is lined with a million-plus mosaic tiles, each hand cut and set when the pool was built. It’s saltwater, which means those Orange County blondes don’t have to worry about their hair turning green after swimming. I know, I know, As-if.

There’s a smaller (and also round pool) in the kids club, as well as a more standard pool accessible to some of the pricier villas.

It’s an upscale resort and the Tuscan-style architecture, the smell of olives and lavender, and a general feeling of abundance permeates. Best memory of our day: Late afternoon, a uniformed poolside attendant arrived carrying a tray of little plastic cups. She handed us each one as we relaxed on our chaises. Inside: frozen purple grapes that turned out to be the most perfectly delicious poolside cool-down imaginable. We could get used to this.

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