We chose this hotel because we were in town for a wedding, and the happy couple were staying there, too. When we emailed the hotel about a wedding rate based on the couple's names, we never received a reply. That should have been the only warning required. We initially booked at the Bay Club, but found a slightly (and I mean SLIGHTLY) lower rate at the Balboa a week prior to our stay. We cancelled the Bay Club and reserved a "deluxe king room" at the Balboa.
The staff was incredibly nice and helpful. They were very friendly and we have not a negative word to stay about the staff. That being said...the website for the hotel (which I always check before booking through a third party) stated there was underground parking for guests. We could find no parking allotted to the hotel at all. My husband drove around in circles while I checked in and got information for parking. As it turns out, I was told guests either park catch-as-catch-can in a municipal lot or pay $35 daily for valet. The Balboa is literally yards from Balboa beach and pier, so the parking is a nightmare (especially on weekends) and the salt air eats up your car pretty effectively.
Silly me: I assumed the valet was the underground parking. Not so much. When we picked up our car from the valet the following day, it had obviously been parked outside all night.
The room looked nothing like that on the website (I've since realized the "room" they show is a suite),had no view of the ocean (though we paid for a deluxe room) but rather sat over the boardwalk surrounded by shops and bars. It was tremendously noisy. The elevator was filthy and in disrepair, there were ants scouting the bathroom throughout our stay, and the oldest known carpet was pulled away from the wall. The desk was battered and filthy and was finished off by an artificial plant that hadn't been dusted since the beginning of time. The heating/cooling system in the room didn't work, nor did the Jacuzzi jets on the tub. Standard cable and room service from 5-10 p.m. only. Based on what we saw of the hotel, we decided not to trust the cleanliness of the kitchen and dined elsewhere.
Stay ANYWHERE else.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Balboa Hotel Newport Beach
- Balboa Newport Beach