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Keeping it low-key

Notable athletes and movie stars are this coastal town's guests whenever they want to take it easy.

July 30, 2010|Joanna Clay, joanna.clay@latimes.com
  • Gilles Marini is seen at Resort at Pelican Hill on June 11 in Newport Beach.
Gilles Marini is seen at Resort at Pelican Hill on June… (Jean Baptiste Lacroix )

NEWPORT BEACH — For as long as locals can remember, Newport Beach has been known as an easy Hollywood getaway.

Celebrities such as Humphrey Bogart and Frank Sinatra were known to seek R&R in the coastal town. Lauren Bacall, former wife of Bogart and "Den Mother" of the Rat Pack, resides in Newport. Joey Bishop, Sinatra's famed comic sidekick, was tempted by the tranquility of the beach city, moving to Lido Isle and making that his residence of choice until he died in 2007.

And, of course, Newport had its best-known resident in the late John Wayne. At least until the current era, when Kobe Bryant moved into Newport Coast.

Perhaps the stars of today are taking a cue from old Hollywood because Newport Beach has again become a hotspot for celebrity staycations. The Pelican Hill resort, located just minutes from Crystal Cove, has graced the pages of People, US Weekly and other entertainment magazines. And the Balboa Bay Club and Island Hotel have also wound up on the gossip pages.

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Paul Pierce, the Boston Celtics player, wed interior designer Julie Landrum under Pelican Hill's gazebo on July 17 — not far from rival Bryant's mansion. Although Pierce is no unknown, the ceremony was small, with only around 100 people in attendance.

Giuseppe Lama, managing director of Pelican Hill, thought the ceremony came together wonderfully.

"It was so nicely done … from the flowers and décor to the menu," Lama said.

On May 28, Ian Ziering of the original "Beverly Hills: 90210" wed his longtime love, Erin Ludwig, at the resort. Co-stars from the '90s hit show were in the crowd, including Brian Austin Green and his leading lady, Megan Fox.

Besides big events, many celebs view the exclusive resort, which features two-, three- and four-bedroom villas — all with ocean views — as the perfect excuse for a quick trip.

Shortly after their 2009 romance leaked to the press, actress Kate Hudson and New York Yankee star Alex Rodriguez were guests at the resort, where they were frequently found poolside.

This past June, "McSteamy" Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart visited the resort. Only a month after the birth of their daughter, Billie Beatrice, the solo trip gave the couple some time to focus on each other. Felicity Huffman and husband William H. Macy enjoyed some alone time as well. They were seen sipping cocktails and cuddling up on chaise lounges by the pool in late May.

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