Balboa Bay Resort
What We Love
- Private marina and dock offering charter boat excursions and kayak, paddleboard and electric Duffy boat rentals
- The OC Body Scrub at the full-service spa
- Only eight miles from John Wayne Airport
What To Know
- Guestrooms will be undergoing renovations from November 6, 2015 through early January, 2016
- The hotel is on Newport Harbor, not the ocean
- Parking, whether valet or metered, can get pricey
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The AAA four-diamond resort has only been around since 2003, but it’s adjacent to The Balboa Bay Club, a private club whose members have included Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The classic, Old World elegance that attracted the stars of yore shines through at the newer resort, and especially at Duke’s Place, named for the resort’s most famous member, John Wayne. It’s a great spot to sip one of the resort’s signature drinks — the Duke’s Cocktail or a BBC (short for Balboa Bay Club) mai tai, perhaps? — while taking in the sounds of local jazz musicians.
Bed & Bath
Furnished balconies in Bay View rooms make a memorable escape with magnificent views of multimillion-dollar yachts docking in Newport Harbor as the sun sets. Standard and Courtyard guestrooms are also a treat; all are decorated with understated nautical flair, highlighted by plantation shutters opening to courtyard or pool views.
Dinner is at the award-winning First Cabin restaurant, where Austrian chef Josef Lageder serves up delectable morsels of fresh mahi-mahi and dry aged filet mignon with béarnaise sauce. The spa is an escape unto itself. Treatments include a volcanic clay wrap, a caviar facial and the signature OC Body Scrub for a skin-refreshing dose of orange blossoms and Vitamin C followed by some more lounge time by the courtyard pool.
How to Get There
Stayed here for a few days at the end of our trip. We had a bay view room which was stunning, the room is big, spotless & the bathroom was large with a walk in shower and large tub. Water and wine were in the fridge already included. Our room overlooked Balboa bay and the hotels private beach where there was loads of activities going on with food, games, outdoor pool which really got our kids excited to go to.
This is where it gets very disappointing. When we went to go and join in, we were then informed that this is only for members. Only it’s not just members than sign up to the hotels website, this is members that have their yachts in the bay and live in the local area. It’s then that you become aware that all the attention is for the members and us regular hotel guests just seem to be subsidising the fees for the members.
There is one pool for hotel guests which we used but to be honest the drinks weren’t great and the chicken salad was inedible, rubbery chicken. There is a bar and restaurant for hotel use but since the food at the pool comes from the same place, we gave it a miss.
This really should be a members only establishment because sadly they’ve forgot about the normal hotel guests.
On my photos you can see how nice and inviting it looks. The 3rd photo is the only thing you’re allowed to use.
Family of 4 doing a week long southern CA trip. We wanted to spend 2 nights at an Orange County beach. I pride myself on being a pretty good vacation planner and enjoy the research that goes with planning trips. This trip, I was a little bit hood-winked by the Balboa Bay Resort website and TripAdvisor pictures... while the Balboa Bay resort is truly a luxury property, I would not stay there again for my purposes.
1. The property does sit on the bay in Newport Beach, however you can only see water if you are in one of the resort restaurants or have a bay view room. There were pictures on TripAdvisor of a little beach area and grass area on the water, but I learned upon check-in that you cannot use this area- it is for CLUB MEMBERS. I had no idea about this "Club" aspect of the property. Only members have access to the beach area, bayside pool, and marina. The pool for hotel guests is completely surrounded by the hotel buildings, so it is almost claustrophobic. You could be in a hotel pool anywhere, you have no idea you are on the bay.
2. The traffic to get to "the beach" in Newport from the resort is awful. If you are visiting Newport Beach to go to the beach, I would recommend not staying here. It took us 45 minutes to get the 3 miles to the beach area...then parking was a complete nightmare. We lucked into a spot after 30 minutes of circling the blocks.
If you are reviewing the resort in a vacuum, I would say it is definitely a very nice hotel. The rooms were well-appointed and large, the decor was fresh and high-end, the bathroom suite was huge with a full tub and separate large shower. Beds were comfortable and there was a large balcony. We ate at Waterline for breakfast which was good but small portions. Ate at A&O for dinner and lunch- good food but nothing very healthy on the menu. Free coffee in the lobby early morning was a nice touch. Valet service was fast. Front desk and housekeeping were very friendly.
If you are looking to be at "the beach" this is not the hotel for you. If I knew ahead of time we would not be able to spend any real time on "the bay" at the resort, I definitely would have selected another hotel or AirB&B.
Definitely a great resort to consider for your stay in Newport Beach. Location is good but not great if you want to be close to the beach. The rooms are very nice and the service was first class. We took short Ubers to get around to different restaurants, beach and bars.
Upon our arrival I was lucky enough to be checked in by employee and Assistant Front Office Manager, Damian Garcia. Damian was the most wonderful front desk employee that I have come in contact with in sometime. I do a lot of travel, but on this travel for "pleasure" not business it was so nice to be treated with the engaging kindness and the professionalism that was given by Mr. Garcia.
His disposition and willingness to help, started our girls weekend off in such a positive way that next year we will 100% consider doing another fun overnight at your resort!
Very nice Hotel! Fantastic location with a wide choice of restaurants near by. Conveniently located near Newport island and the harbor. it was a relaxing stay. I would recommend a visit for a nice getaway weekend.