Stretched out on a chaise lounge soaking in the afternoon sun, one can feel a sense of release overtaking mind and body. The breezy, Italian-inspired architecture may play a role, or it could be the immersive greenery: age-old Mission olive trees, stately palms and tens of thousands of shrubs. Salty air hints at the Pacific Ocean a half-mile away.

It may feel like a resort, but this scenario is playing out at Villas Fashion Island, a residential community adjacent to Newport Beach’s shopping, restaurant and entertainment hub. The ambiance is, by design, part and parcel of apartment living here. Open since early January, the breathtaking, 524-villa complex is already considered second to none, in part thanks to an upscale and comprehensive set of outdoor amenities.

Think five saltwater pools, each with its own spa. Picture an outdoor kitchen replete with pizza oven imported direct from Italy. What if bocce ball, putting green, open-air yoga, massage therapy and spa services were right out the back door? At Villas Fashion Island, residents celebrate indoor-outdoor living by making daily use of the 4,300-square-foot fitness center, grand lawn, dog park, a variety of open-air lounges, an indoor great room and more.

New and Improved Apartment Living

“Today’s luxury lifestyle goes beyond beautiful interiors,” said Chaz Mueller, president of Irvine Company Apartment Communities. “Villas Fashion Island delivers what the market wants most: the luxuries of time, space, privacy and service — all in the atmosphere of a resort.”

Adding to that feel is the community’s around-the-clock concierge service. “We encourage our concierges to go the extra mile for residents,” said Santosh Kuruvilla, general manager of Villas Fashion Island. “They make restaurant reservations, book specially priced spa treatments at nearby Island Hotel and offer assistance with day-to-day needs.”

One resident discovered the friendly community vibe while moving in after hours. An exclusive “Buon Appetito” pizza-making demonstration was being hosted that night by the chefs of nearby Ristorante Canaletto. A concierge, sensing that it had been a long day for this new arrival, ducked into the event and delivered a freshly made pizza and a glass of wine to the apartment as an impromptu welcome gift. It’s precisely this kind of over-the-top thoughtfulness, noted Kuruvilla, that helps to transform an assortment of individuals into a residential community.

Taking it Outside

Less than six months after its opening, Villas Fashion Island already has hosted more outdoor events than indoor ones. A Day at the Races, held in May on the lawn, celebrated the running of the 143rd Kentucky Derby. Residents enjoyed Southern-inspired hors d’oeuvres, mint juleps, lawn games and live streaming of the horse race. This summer, an Evening in Italy event at the outdoor lounge will feature bocce lessons, dinner and wine hosted by local favorite Cucina Enoteca and desserts from the popular Gelato Paradiso.

“When it comes to our events, we strive to bring our unique spaces to life and encourage residents to interact with each other,” said Kuruvilla. “For Villas Fashion Island, we insist on a certain degree of exclusivity. It’s why we partner with local restaurants for one-of-a-kind experiences. And it’s why everything is included.”

The outdoor lounge, featuring a fireplace, seating, umbrella tables and the pizza oven, can be used any time. The on-site cafe even sells make-your-own pizza kits with crust, mozzarella and toppings.

The villa interiors also impart a sense of sophistication. Each residence is equipped with stainless steel appliances, quartz-countertop kitchen islands and a wine refrigerator, while living areas feature walk-in closets with organizers, well-appointed bathrooms, Internet-connected thermostats and glass balcony railings for unobstructed views.

“A lot of residents comment that it feels like a resort,” said Kuruvilla. “They tell us that there’s no need to leave the grounds because it delivers way beyond expectations. Many add that they feel as if they’re perpetually on vacation.” Which, if you’re going to live in Newport Beach, is the whole point.

Six to 24-month leases are available. Prospective residents may call for an appointment; walk-ins are also welcome. For details, please call 949.524.8400.

The Resort at Pelican Hill VISIT PELICAN HILL