We live an hour away from the Newport Coast Villas, and we originally bought a week at the timeshare in order to escape the scorching inland summer heat. However, last year due to scheduling conflicts we ended up booking our week over Thanksgiving vacation. As mentioned by the other reviewers, the units themselves are spacious and wonderful, while the grounds are lovely. I was especially happy when the management switched out to flat screen TVs a couple of years ago. The higher the floor you can secure the better your view of the ocean; plus due to some construction flaw, if you are on a lower floor you can always hear the people walking around above you (but surprisingly, I can't say that I've ever heard any noise from the units on the same floor next to ours). There are many activities at the resort and in the surrounding areas. There's a bar at the main pool, and it's nice to go have drinks and watch the sunset. Since the other reviewers have discussed many of these aspects, I'm just going to mention a couple of things that may have been overlooked.
Newport Coast in the Fall
If you don't live in Southern California, you might not realize that it's beautiful along the coast in the fall. In the early summer we get what is called "June Gloom", a misty on-shore flow that keeps the mornings cool but usually burns off by lunchtime. However, in the fall we get the Santa Ana winds which blow from the desert out to the ocean and keeps the days dry, warm and sparkling. Of course, everyone in So-Cal wants to go to the beach in the summer (myself included!), but vacationing in the fall has its advantages: clear days, less crowds (especially if you are going to Disneyland), and--if you come around Thanksgiving--holiday decorations. Be advised that our formal "rainy season" can begin as early as mid-October and we occasionally get rain then, but for the most part the fall has lovely weather. Tip: no matter what time of year you come, bring a light jacket or sweater. It can always be cool by the ocean in the evenings.
I personally like to request one of the new buildings at the top of the property. I forget the numbers, but they are the ones closest to the tennis courts, the new pool, and the small workout room. From our unit at the top of the building, we had a panoramic view of Pacific Coast Highway, the cliffs of Crystal Cove, and the Pacific Ocean. The disadvantages to these buildings is that they are far from the main pool with its bar and grill, the teen center, and the Marketplace located in the resort lobby which sells Starbucks coffee and Pizza Hut pizza. However, I believe that there is a shuttle which runs throughout the resort and down to the Crystal Cove drop off point if you don't feel like trekking up and down the hills. Also, the workout room by the tennis courts is tiny, so we often just walked down the the main workout room next to the main pool. Tip: if you like to walk, bring your tennis shoes for a power walk along the Crystal Cove cliffs. It's free with stunning views.
In every unit I have stayed in at the Newport Villas, the second bedroom has faced the walkway corridor and the master bedroom and living room have faced south-east towards the ocean. Sometimes, you will hear the housekeeping carts in the mornings if you are sleeping in the second bedroom. Also, be sure to draw the blackout blinds in the master bedroom because, unless it's overcast, you will get morning sun. Tip: if you are a light sleeper, you should probably bring earplugs and a sleeping mask.
Mid-week Tidy Clean
Some Marriott Vacation Clubs will give you a mid-week tidy clean for free (e.g., the Marriott's Frenchman's Cove in St. Thomas), but at the Newport Coast Villas, timeshare owners must pay a fee (perhaps this fee is waived if you are doing an exchange). Because I wanted to clean up the unit before my relatives arrived for Thanksgiving dinner, I scheduled a tidy-clean. Basically, the housekeepers came and made the beds, removed the trash, brought new towels, and tidied up. Except for providing new towels, that's exactly what my family and I do every day on vacation. I really didn't think it was worth the extra fee. However, when later in the week we needed more bath towels, dish soap and paper towels, I called down to housekeeping and the items were sent up within an hour. They even called later to make sure I had received the items in a timely manner. I was pleasantly surprised by such great customer service. Tip: if you are not a timeshare owner and are renting on a nightly basis, double check to make sure your rate includes daily housekeeping.
Eating out in Newport can get expensive, but like all Marriott timeshare properties the resort provides grills conveniently located between the buildings. My daughter doesn't like Thanksgiving turkey, so my husband was able to pop downstairs at the last minute to grill Korean bbq while the turkey finished baking in our unit. Tip: if you can find someone just finishing up on one of the grills, you can quickly clean it off and then you won't have to wait long until it warms up again.
The Newport Coast Villas is a beautiful property. Even though we only live an hour away, it's a completely different world down in the OC with its mild, temperate weather and elegant lifestyle. The Marriott resort provides spacious villas with washer/dryers and a kitchen which is perfect for families or friends traveling together. If you can avoid rush hour traffic in the So-Cal basin, most of the famous attractions are not that far away. LAX is probably only 45-60 minutes away while Santa Ana/John Wayne Airport is only a 15 minute drive time (again, these times are without traffic). And while Southern California is famous for its summers, it's really a lovely place to visit in the fall.