Our second visit to this gorgeous property, and definitely not my last. We're not Marriott Vacation Club Owners. It's not obvious, but based on availability you can rent a villa, just like any other room at any Marriott. Just make sure to make a reservation well in advance. Do walk the grounds a few times, even with the big hills. It's like being at some beautiful complex on Lake Como. Except on a very clear day, you can easily see Catalina Island. We stayed in the 5100 building this trip and just down the hill at 4700 last time (March '10). Both afforded beautiful ocean views from the balcony. Although the 5100 is as far from the clubhouse as you can get, it is right next to one of the pool/hot tub/fitness center complexes in a quieter part of the property. As others have said, try to get a top floor if possible. You'll receive an email about 2 weeks prior to arrival asking for special requests. The staff is very helpful and genuinely want your vacation to be enjoyable. Look at the resort map you can find on-line and do give them 2-3 requests before you arrive. The villa was immaculate, and we were able to arrange for housekeeping at a certain time each day (of our 6 night stay), which was a nice touch. Yes, the reception area is undergoing a rehab, but no big deal. The main pool by the club house is where the action is, but if you're into a more quiet experience, try one of the satellite pool areas; one of which I've mentioned. There is an activity center on site, including many sporting needs rentals, like bicycles for the great trails across the PCH along the beach. The villa itself is spacious. It can easily sleep 6. The kitchen is small but has everything you need. Even a compact washer/dryer is available which comes in handy. I can't say enough about how spacious and appealing the villa is......OK...the decor seems a little dated. The only 2 knocks we can come up with are that there is no full service restaurant/bar (yes, there is the poolside facility, but just during pool hours) and the check-in is pretty late in the day - 4 PM. There are plenty of great restaurants in nearby Laguna Beach and Corona Del Mar villages as well as the huge Fashion Island Mall to find eateries. If you're going to do some eating-in, the Pavillions' supermarket in the strip mall (with Starbucks and a couple of casual restaurants) about 2 miles up Newport Coast Drive, has everything you'll need. Show them your Marriott keycard and receive the same discount as their shopping club members do. This part of California is among the most spectacular places on the planet to visit and the Marriott Newport Coast will make your time in this special place most enjoyable. Can't wait to return.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.