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“Nice place if it were half the price” 3 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
San Luis Obispo, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Nice place if it were half the price”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2014

We booked at the Balboa Inn, even after reading quite a lot of negative reviews. I can see why the reviews were so bad. It is not a bad hotel, but, for the price--even at this location--you really would expect more. The room is small, but comfortable. Our room was on the 2nd floor and the restaurant is also on the 2nd floor--really bad planning. I suppose they were taking down tables, but for about an hour or two there was loud clanging and banging, just when we were getting ready for bed. Noisy guests are one thing, noisy staff quite another. The location is awesome and check-in smooth and easy, but we won't be staying there again.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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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188 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    2.5 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 (44)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Las Vegas, Nevada
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

Worst hotel experience of my life. Poop in toilet upon arrival bad, RAT in room horrible, customer service atrocious. My family (me, wife, 2 young daughters) had a large RAT in room 333 on late Saturday (August 2, 2014) night, early Sunday morning. Management did NOTHING to rectify the situation. In fact, I wound up cutting my vacation short by 2 days and driving my family home (Las Vegas) at 1:30 in the morning. 3 days after the fact, still no apology and they charged me for the night without providing an alternate room.

Full Story: Initial booking was for Ocean View (upgraded price of $450). The room was not an ocean view so I immediately called down. The manager rudely insisted that it had a “partial” ocean view (gave my wife and I a good laugh, you’d have to see to appreciate) and that this was what I ordered. My wife and I figured we’d deal with it but after seeing poop in the toilet we decided to seek out a different room. I went downstairs and asked for an ocean view in the front tower, similar to what we had on our previous visit 5 years ago. They accommodated my request, but for an additional $100 a night.

This room was much nicer (mainly just cleaner) so we were happy. Well, for the first 2 nights. On the third night at around midnight I was awoken by a RAT, yes a RAT (not a mouse, a large dark RAT). I woke my wife up and she didn’t believe me. So we turned the lights back off, set out a cheese zit, and sure enough the rodent came and got it. The RAT ran behind the small refrigerator cabinet and when I looked behind it there were holes in the cabinet so it was a safe assumption the RAT was inside the cabinet. When I opened the cabinet and shifted the fridge the RAT darted out and ran directly towards the bed, ultimately behind the bed. We quickly grabbed our sleeping kids and went to the lobby.

Now, I can somewhat accept the fact that there was a RAT in my room (can’t believe I just said that). Don’t get me wrong I have high expectations when I’m paying for a premier suite, but things happen – that’s life. What I can’t accept is that there was no effort to rectify the situation. Remove the RAT, not offered. Offer us another room, not offered (fully booked so understandable). Set us up in another hotel on their dime, not offered. The night clerk called a nearby hotel and informed us that it was available for $460 but because he couldn’t reach his boss it would be on our dime. I was baffled that this was all that was being done, but I didn’t want to make a scene because I knew the clerk had no decision making power (decent enough guy). And I didn’t want to upset my family anymore, especially my youngest daughter who was confused, scared, and crying.

The clerk helped me clear the room and load up the car. He said that he’d handle/return the bike and beach equipment rentals from the rental shop next door. He also said his boss, the owner of Balboa Inn, would call me at 7 am. Neither of these 2 things happened. I had to contact the rental store myself and coordinate the return of the rental bikes, helmets, umbrellas, etc. As far as the owner of the Balboa Inn calling me at 7 am, never happened. After waiting 8 hours I finally called the hotel and this is where things get even worse. I did not get the owner, but the manager instead. He basically inferred there was no RAT (feel bad for the next family) and they’re trying to figure out the “story”. This was insulting and frustrating beyond words and quite frankly they should be ashamed of themselves. After the ordeal my family and I just went through words can’t fully express how upsetting it was to hear this. And quite frankly, I didn’t know there was a burden of proof on my end to prove a RAT was in my room. I was more concerned with my 5 and 7 year old daughter than taking action photos of a huge RAT scurrying across the floor. The Balboa Inn, specifically the night clerk, had an opportunity to verify this. When he and I returned to pack up the room I offered to chase the RAT out from behind the bed. He declined and opened the patio door instead, stating “maybe he’ll go outside when we leave.”

It’s been 3 days since this ordeal and this morning they charged me three nights on my Credit Card. Meaning the first 2 nights and the night when the RAT incident occurred. This is truly a bad to worse situation! Needless to say the Balboa Inn will be hearing from my attorney. DO NOT under any circumstances stay at this hotel, you will regret it! The Balboa Inn cuts corners, you’ll see it from the moment you get there.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Greenwich, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

A friend raved about Balboa Island and suggested that we stay at the Balboa Inn on the peninsula. Perhaps one of our mistakes was going on the July 4th weekend, when the Balboa area was overrun with the Great Unwashed. But judging from the plethora of tee-shirt and tchotke shops, this area is just a tourist trap with expensive residences. We checked in on a Sunday to the hotel's unassuming lobby (just a valet and one employee behind a small desk). The common areas were bright and had some thoughtful design touches. Our room had been renovated but was a little rough around the edges (plumbing fixtures weren't secure). if there was a pool or restaurant, nobody bothered to show either to us. That night we were awoken by drunken revelers in the halls and the following morning we were subjected to the drone of garbage trucks removing trash. Suffice it to say that we located a breakfast spot and checked out shortly thereafter. Never again...

Room Tip: ask for a room on the ocean side
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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.
Santa clarita
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014

Tried to have a quick 2 day relaxing trip with my family. Absolute horrible experience stay away. I called the hotel Monday the 23rd asking about the rooms the picture shows the family suite with an old style and an updated style. Laura had explained to me all rooms were remodeled so I went ahead and booked the room trusting her word. I show up with my family late probably about 10-1030Pm. I check in take my family to our room to find out the room had not been remodeled the fire place was broken with pieces hanging off of it. Spiders on the ceiling carpet stained old towels in the bathroom stained dirty air condition barely hanging on wall. I go down stairs to complain they move me to a room that is remodeled but 1bed so now my 4 kids have to sleep on the floor. We get into the room the lights don't work the tv only works manually the drain in the bathroom sink is clogged and this is supposed to be a remodeled room. By this time it was midnight. Next morning I go back down to complain they move me and my family again. We move our stuff and go to the beach we get back about 9 from dinner and beach ready to relax and finally enjoy our night. Now in this deluxe suite the air is broken and makes a horrible noise tv is broken no picture or remote. So I go back down to complain they send someone up to fix tv but can't fix it. The guy at the front says I don't know why they would put you in that room the air is broken. We could not have the windows open because the room next door was smoking cigars. So it was hot and no tv with 6 six of us. Next day talk to owner of building he says nothing he can do nothing that's the
price you pay for location. Really???? Everyday basic things should work at all hotels no matter location. Waste of money no discount no compensation what so ever. I took pictures of everything I will be posting and writing reviews everywhere. Please save yourself when thinking about coming to the balboa inn. Oh and the employees are scared of him (Michelle) yes that is his name. That should also tell you something.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mesa, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

After reading reviews that were less than great , I went ahead and booked a two night stay at the Balboa Inn to take a fishing trip for my husbands birthday. It was a wonderful experience! Taking heed of some reviews, I booked a suite. I was able to negotiate a fair price, and actually got the best room in the place! The staff was extremely helpful and kind. The views and location are excellent. I will certainly book another stay there when we go fishing again. Thanks Balboa Inn for a lovely experience!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
Anaheim Hills, California
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

We loved being in such great walking distance to the Fun Zone, several restaurants and bars, bike rentals, and the whale watching opportunities, Walked to both piers and spent time on the beach. The view from the Jacuzzi was lovely. The parking was reasonable for the area--we self parked one car and used the valet for the other.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Desert, California
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2014

Just returned from a 4 day stay, reservation through booking.com. advertised free bike rental, breakfast, outdoor Jacuzzi, refrigerator inn room, restaurant and parking might have a fee!

No bike rental included, continental breakfast - not breakfast, Jacuzzi broke 3 of 4 days there, gave us a refrigerator last night, restaurant closed Monday and Tuesday, parking $45.00 per night. Mold on shower curtain.

Response from management and owners that were available around property - "THATS BOOKING.COMS PROBLEM!"

Thank god it was my 19th anniversary and not my 20th! there are 3 other hotels in Newport all for the same price and all have better management.

Room Tip: the suites are not suites - we were in a jr suie. it had a Jacuzzi tub - small tv and no dresser co...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miche M, General Manager at Balboa Inn, responded to this review, May 10, 2014
The customer was booked for a Deluxe room and was given a free upgrade to a Junior Suite. There was a fridge delivered to the guest upon their request. We do have 2 outdoor Jacuzzis one of which was under repairs and the guest could have used the other one with no problem.
We do offer complimentary continental breakfast for all our guests from 7:00 AM - 10 AM on a daily basis. We do offer valet parking for a fee and is not free. There are other choices for parking in the area which was explained to the guest.
There is also a bike rental shop that rents all types of bicycles and offers a discount to hotel guests but not complimentary.
And it is unfortunate that some guests think they should get all services for free and threaten to write a negative review if their demands are not met.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access 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:
#6 Spa Hotel in Newport Beach
#8 On the Beach 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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