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“Beautiful Location, terrible experience” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Balboa Inn

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Balboa Inn
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   105 Main Street, Newport Beach, CA 92661   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 17 Hotels in Newport Beach
Chino, California, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Beautiful Location, terrible experience”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 3, 2012

I stayed at the Balboa Inn in Newport Beach, California recently. The photos and the 'testimonials' painted a wonderful picture but that was not our experience. We had to deal with a wedding and rececption in the patio area adjacent to our room, then dinner service till after 11:00 in the same location with the wait station/busboy area directly in front of our open windows. It is a historic hotel, so there is no a/c as to be expected, so our windows had to be open exposing us to noise, clanging dishes, and second hand smoke from the patio below. Additionally, there were security lights that shined through the windows all night. There were no inside window coverings except for louvered blinds that had to be open to cool of the room. Oh, and the room was in need of updating because of holes in plaster, musty linens, and a broken toliet seat. The highpoint of the weekend was the beautiful scenic Balboa penninsula. I would NOT refer anyone here.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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174 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    2 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Way too expensive. They should charge motel price, not resort price.
Our "suite" was just a small room with a queen-size bed.
Ocean view is more like parking lot view.
Dirty reception area.
Noisy machinery. Noisy guests at night.
Crappy-motel-worthy breakfast buffet with no meat or eggs.
Do yourself a favor and stay anywhere else.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norris, Tennessee, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

The hotel from the outside was beautiful the inside was a different story. We arrived to find out that our room didn't have air conditoning. We had to sleep with the windows open and the fan on. They also provided us with a floor fan that I had to put in a chair so it would blow cool air on us. Our fridge was broken it was a terrible time. We paid $170 a night and they told us we could upgrade to a room (I assume maybe it would have air conditioning) for an extra $125 a night. The hotel was built in the 20's so some of the rooms have air conditioning others do not. The only pros to staying here was that the staff was very friendly and its very close to the beach.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mammoth Lakes, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2012

We booked 2 nights at this hotel to attend a wedding. While I typically book hotels through websites, I decided to call the hotel directly to book the room. We were specifically looking for a location close to the wedding venue and this hotel proved to be the closest, however, I would have much rather stayed 20 minutes away than stay at this place.

I called the hotel directly to make the reservation because I saw they had family suites and I thought it would be nice if my mom, boyfriend and I could share a space as were would be traveling to the same venue together. I was told there would be 2 bedrooms and a sitting room,. There was a room with a queen bed, a hallway with a closet which led to the kind bed and bathroom. There was no privacy, no separation of the rooms. It was awful and awkward to say the least. And there was no A/C which more often than not it would not be an issue, however, it was close to 90 degrees with crazy awful humidity. The rooms were unbearable.

We were able to switch into a room for one night with A/C. My boyfriend who is 6'5" walked into the room and above the door was a metal flashing. He almost knocked himself out he hit the threshold so hard. When I called the front desk the women was less then helpful. My boyfriend almost threw up from the pain and they could offer not even an apology. I had to call to the front desk when we were getting ready for the rehearsal dinner as 2 of the 3 lights were out in the bathroom. Even with the additional light, there was still not enough light to do my makeup. This was true for the other room as well.

There were ceiling fans in the family suite, along with a free standing fan which was so filthy we didn't want to turn it on because of the dust.

When we checked out they took $80 off our bill which was $800. The location is the only redeeming quality of this place. The customer service was awful, the rooms were dirty, dingy and run down. Had the front desk staff been a bit more proactive, helpful and apologetic I would not be giving this property such a poor review.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

I first saw the Balboa inn in 1965 I was 11 years old and it impressed me, sleepy old hotel on the beach, open air courtyard, beautiful architecture. My other half and I could not get our time share at Capistrano beach at Dana point so I said let's go to Balboa inn and watch the people.
And what a great place to do that and not be at Venice beach or Santa Monica where the crime is.
Our stay in 7/2011 was great, yes the beach is busy and there is a parking lot across from the hotel fun to look at the cars and people come to the beach and play. Music at the bar and everyone having a great time on the walkway. It is that time of year and it was busy and that is what we came to see. No trains, coast highway traffic, no walkway over the highway like Capistrano and we love Capistrano also. The room in the new resort was clean, great view of the pier, valet parking in a secure lot and the staff was great, The nights get quiet enough to hear the surf in the room.
So 8/2012 we had to come back, and our stay was AWESOME one more time :) The beach is not near as busy, quiet nights, and people to watch in the daytime. Again the staff and room were great, beautiful sunsets and all kinds of food, the Italian restaurant food is the best.. Our choice is to stay on the new side resort on the sand and worth every penny spent. Huge spa and a small one as well to warm up after the cold water on the beach.

Room Tip: New side 3rd floor south facing
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2012

My husband booked our holiday weekend here at the Balboa Inn without reading any reviews. We had seen this hotel on our last trip to Balboa island and it looked cute. He wanted to take our son and girlfriend to the beach for the weekend and thought this would be a fun place to go. I started reading the horrible reviews about two weeks prior to our arrival. I had great reservation about staying here, so we called and spoke to a manager that assured us we could have a look at the room before we checked in, if it wasn't to our liking we did not have to pay. He also said it was the biggest suite in the hotel and very nice. We took a chance (first mistake) and kept the reservation. We arrived, and yes, the staff was friendly. We were shown the room, #216. It seemed clean, and since I was expecting dirty due to prior reviews, it looked better than expected. It was/is extremely dated, but large enough and we wanted to enjoy our weekend so we agreed to stay. After we checked in they informed us there was a wedding taking place at 4:30 p.m. The door to our room was literally in the middle of the chairs they were setting up. It was 4:00 so we got our luggage in and then left so as not to be trapped by a wedding. Of course, we couldn't return to our room, as the wedding was late, until about 6:00. My husband was sick, and needed to rest but we couldn't go upstairs. We returned about 9:30 and he went straight to bed. The wedding reception was however, directly under our room, and the volume couldn't have been any louder if we had been at the party. The vibrations from the bass and music shook the bed and floors. Luckily, my husband was sick so he went to sleep. The rest of us endured that until 11:30! Breakfast was served, where? Why right outside our door of course. Not only did we stay up later than we wanted, we were awakened by the noise of the other guests laughing and talking as they ate outside our room. Not to mention the room look out over a public parking lot, so the barking dogs, car alarms, etc. added to the early morning. Please, just don't waste your money here. I cannot believe my husband agreed to pay the price he did for this room. It has very dirty carpet, worn, outdated furniture, broken blinds over the windows, a balcony door that wouldn't stay shut, one window air unit that only cooled the front room. This is not a luxury anything. We checked out the next morning and went to a RESORT down the road. Modern, quite, two full bedrooms, resort amenities, CLEAN, and oh yeah, for LESS than what we paid back at the Balboa Inn. It's not even on the beach, really. Horrible stay.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pleasanton, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

I wanted to like this place. It shows well online. But, the rooms were filthy, small, and expensive. Ancient windows fail to close properly eliminating the ability to drown out the incessant club noise from across the street. We actually changed rooms after the first night, and they were very accommodating on that front. Without air-conditioning, the temperature increases significantly with each higher floor. It's lmost unbearable. The portable industrial fan in the room was rusted and fuzzy with dust, but luckily loud enough to create a white noise buffer. Bring foam ear-plugs if you stay here. The rooms on the older side of the hotel are just run down and lazily maintained.
Positives: The water pressure in the shower was AWESOME. The people were friendly and helpful. The proximity to the beach is great, but it has allowed management to rest on their laurels. Consider the other local options.

Room Tip: Street side rooms are very noisy. Higher floors are very warm.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balboa Inn

Address: 105 Main Street, Newport Beach, CA 92661
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Newport Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Newport Beach
#8 Spa Hotel in Newport Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Balboa Inn 2.5*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The newly remodeled Balboa Inn, in Newport Beach, Orange County, is a place where casual beachside ambiance and classic Old World charm combine in a historic landmark that’s lured Southern California's rich and famous for decades. Set on the colorful boardwalk at the foot of the Balboa Pier, this oceanfront establishment’s relaxed air may have you kicking off your high heels before you stroll down the aisle. Built in 1929, this upscale Orange County inn has entertained such notables as Howard Hughes, Barry Goldwater and a host of other politicians, entertainers and honeymooners. Once owned by the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kareem Abdul Jabbar, its nine-foot ceilings still bear a telltale sign of the basketball star. A recent $6-million addition features two oceanview terraces, a new oceanview Italian tile sundeck with hot tub, 34 upgraded rooms, 11 top-of-the-line suites and convenient subterranean valet parking. Guests enter the Inn through the Mediterranean-style courtyard, a natural space for pre-ceremony mingling. With its original tile, adobe walls, potted palms, bar and the soothing sound of surf crashing in the background, the space is a comfortable area for people to come together. Meanwhile, you, your groom and all your attendants have full use of an oceanview honeymoon suite with a Jacuzzi and fireplace. For the wedding ceremony itself, options include the hotel’s magnificent second-floor Siena Terrace overlooking the ocean, as well as the nearby gazebo at Peninsula Park and the adjacent rugby field fronting the ocean, where a decorated arch can provide a focal point. After you’ve said your “I do’s,” the Pacific Ocean provides fabulous scenery for photos taken on the pier, the sand or the grassy field next to the beach. When you’re ready to receive your guests, return to the upstairs terrace with its panoramic views from Catalina Island to Dana Point. Or, hold your wedding reception in the Siena Grand Dining Room and adjoining courtyard, where antique streetlights and colorful murals of gondolas on canals capture the romance of Venice. Along with five-star Italian cuisine by the restaurant’s gifted executive chef, you’ll enjoy a dreamy indoor-outdoor setting cleansed by refreshing sea spray. Far removed from the straight-laced formality of more corporate properties, the Balboa Inn is just steps from Newport’s famed Fun Zone. Here, you can pose for some playful photos on the historic carousel and Ferris wheel, or take a stress-busting ferry ride across Newport Bay. After you’ve returned to your guests to dance the night away, there’s one more thing you’ll probably want to do before heading for your honeymoon suite: go for a moonlit stroll along the sand. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balboa Hotel Newport Beach
Balboa Newport Beach

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