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“Ants, Noise and Yuck.” 2 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
Dana Point, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Ants, Noise and Yuck.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

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.

Room Tip: Stay someplace else.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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167 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (32)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013 via mobile

Great location-close to all the night life and the pier. Our room was clean and the balcony had comfortable chairs to sit and have drinks. The spa was clean. The continental breakfast was good and served in an area that was perfect if you wanted to hang out and talk.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parker, Colorado
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

I stayed August 19th 2013 in room 204. For two hundred dollars my window backed into a brick wall. I heard the clanging of pots and pans below and the guy in the bicycle shop has a potty mouth. The structure is old, not much counter space in the bathroom. I could not get my window to open but thank goodness the room had a fan overhead that gave some relief from the heat. My son's room had a fan but it didn't give off much relief.....that was their air conditioning. I loved the Casablanca feel to the room and loved the old carpet. The hallway carpet is heavily stained but the tile patio floor is beautiful downstairs. You will get charged 15.00 extra dollars to park your car across the street at the beach. We had a few phone requests and someone was at our door to help us within one minute. The bed was VERY comfortable and slept well. The room could have been cleaner, lots of dust on the blinds and corners of the rooms.

Room Tip: The rooms closer to the beach are nicer but you'll pay more.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

Our room was so disgusting and the manager/owner? was so unhelpful that we left the hotel without staying the night.

Anyone reserving a standard room (which runs $249/night in the summer) should beware. Our standard room was located in the un-renovated half of this hotel. The hallway carpet is dirty and hallway doors are propped open with filthy hand towels. Our room had mysterious red marks on the floorboards, questionable smudges in the bathroom and very worn furniture (see photos). Upon discovering a stain on the bed cover and requesting a new one, someone simply dropped a new one onto the corner of our bed. Stained cover still on the bed.

The manager (owner?) was surly and unhelpful. His solution was to offer us a suite in the renovated building for $400 - yes, we would be required to pay the difference.

The rooms in the renovated section start at $349/night and while they are ocean-facing, what the hotel website doesn't mention is that they also have a spectacular view of the large, public parking lot directly below them. Anyone gushing about this property is either friends with the owner or doesn't realize they paid a ridiculous rate for their renovated room.

We left.

Room Tip: Find another hotel. This property is a rip off. Even the renovated rooms, while ocean-facing, are fi...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013 via mobile

We got the bait and switch too. Called ahead and were told they would hold a double 20 minutes. Got there in 10 and 'poof', only room now available was the suite. Regardless, REALLY old, cramped and smelling strongly of industrial disinfectant. The furniture reminded me of the bedroom set my sister and I had growing up in the 70's. SO loud even with the windows closed. Dumpsters, drunks and dudes don't care people are trying to relax and sleep.

On the plus side, very convenient to everything, cool looking from the outside. Lots of bronze sculpture tucked all over, staff very friendly and pleasant. Food and service at terrace restaurant very good although view of the beach is obstructed by railing. Bed was comfy, nice pillows.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Tulsa, Oklahoma
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Stayed in a family sweet with my husband and two kids in June...it was perfect. Fantastic location, beautiful room (clean, updated and very comfortable) and fantastic staff! Footsteps from the beach. Tons of shops, restaurants and activities in walking distance. We will be back!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

So to get those fancy rooms everyone has pictures of is an extra 300-400 a night on top on the 1100 a night in this dump I'm in now. Got a two bed room it has 2 BOX TVs, windows that open with a rotating handle and 2 of the 4 handles don't work so anyone can open or close my window thankfully I'm on the second floor. My room is 204 and outside my room happens to be the trash dumpster below me I can hear everything being dumped in there due to my windows not operating properly. NATS!!! I had to kill 5NATS flying around my bathroom from god knows what. 45$ for valet on weekends 35$ a day during weekdays not to mention the 10$ a day wifi fee. Looks like a broken smoke alarm in my room also, and then there is this god damn water pipe sticking out the wall I just stubbed my toe on. You would think people paying 11-1500 a night they could do a little matenence twice a month. Just noticed when doing the video they have an empty box in my room see video. Luckily this doesn't allow me to curse or F bombs would be flying

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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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*
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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