We're in the middle of a 10-night stay here at Marriott's Newport Coast Villas, and I already want to share my great experience. First off, we know the difference between a luxury timeshare property and a luxury resort, unlike some reviewers who have shared their experiences. We know that we're not going to have daily turndown service or room service options or a fine restaurant on property. So please do your homework; this is a timeshare property, and so it may be lacking in some amenities, and there will be offers of sales presentations (which you do not have to attend, by the way), and owners in the Marriott Vacation Club may be given priority in choice of rooms. That out of the way -
This is a beautiful property! The location cannot be beat; every building seems to have some view of the ocean, and those units that don't still have breathtaking views, nonetheless. The landscaping is impressive, and the lobby and the main pool area are both beautifully done and do give the impression of a fine resort. The views from the pool area and particularly LaVista lounge (the poolside bar) can't be beat; the ocean is your backdrop, no matter where you look, and on clear days Catalina Island looks close enough to swim to. We've enjoyed spending time at the main pool area and LaVista every day; bartenders are friendly, drinks fine, and it's just so darn scenic. We don't have small children, so daily activities are really not something we've noted but they seem to be plentiful.
The property is not as hard to maneuver as some other reviewers have said; there are shuttles driving around all the time, with regular shuttle stops, but walking around it is very doable. There are no end of little paths and shortcuts that make it easy to get from the more remote buildings to the main activity areas, and there are two additional pools near those more remote buildings, as well as a 2nd fitness center. Besides, it's great exercise to walk around the property, enjoying the hills and landscaping and the view - and as I said, there is ample shuttle service for those not able to do this.
And no, the property is not directly on the ocean. Again, it's a short walk or shuttle ride. But because the property is so beautiful and beautifully maintained, it doesn't really see to be a detriment not being directly on the beach. Very few resorts or hotels in this part of California are, to tell the truth; it's not like Florida where all the beaches are cluttered with hotel after hotel after hotel. That's not the California experience.
The units are clean and comfortable; I do agree that the furnishings could be updated, but they're perfectly clean; in fact, I saw some units having furniture cleaned while I was out on one of my walks (we're here during the off season, which is perfect; not too crowded at all). We enjoy our balcony every morning, sipping coffee and looking out at the ocean. The beds aren't king-sized; they're queen-sized, which is a little strange for a Marriott. We've stayed in other properties where the furniture has been updated to something more modern, and I can only assume that this property will update sooner rather than later. I do agree with what others have said; you can hear, rather easily, boisterous activity on floors above you. But this is just a quibble, really; it's not unexpected in a timeshare property. (Or any hotel property, really.)
But these observations do not mar, in any way, the terrific experience we are having. We've found every employee here to be cheerful and helpful; we cannot get over the beauty of the property and this part of California. The property is so convenient to John Wayne Airport, as well. We've enjoyed exploring; Newport Beach is close, and cute, but we have preferred exploring Laguna Beach; it's just a bit more laid back and charming. We took the ferry to Catalina one day and enjoyed that island; we have absolutely loved discovering Crystal Cove beach and park, particularly the Beachcomber restaurant. That area is really a hidden little gem on the beach, and close enough to walk to (or you can take the free shuttle provided by the property. I would say that it would be nice if that shuttle ran later than 4:00 PM, though. This may be due to off-season; I'm not really sure.).
Overall, we're so pleased we chose this Marriott, as Marriott Vacation Club members; there were a lot of properties we considered, and feel we chose the best for our extended vacation (which we're still enjoying!). We definitely plan on returning.