Eight years ago we spent a glorious August weekend at the Marriot's Newport Coast Villas and were enticed to buy a week of timeshare. Since then, we have either booked a week in the fall or have traded out to other resorts. This July was the first time we actually went back during the summer. Now that the resort and my kids are a little older, I discovered a few changes which were either new or that I had overlooked before. Here's what I noticed during my summer vacation stay:
1. Unlike in the fall, the resort is very crowded during the summer months. There's a lot of traffic in general. Parking in front of your building can be a challenge. The pools are full, and it can be noisy. However, if you have children and are subject to a school schedule, a summertime visit just makes sense.
2. Summer weather is not always sunny like in the movies. I live in Southern California, so I know all about June Gloom--that early morning coastal fog which usually burns off by the pm. However, this year we also experienced an unusual tropical storm which came up from Mexico and brought some much needed rain. Great for the environment, but not great for sunbathing.
3. Contrary to what I thought, owners do not automatically get a view. I was surprised when I opened the curtain to my balcony and saw the back of another building, even though I had requested a "top floor." When I asked to be moved, the front desk staff said that they were completely booked, but I could come back later in the week to see if something else came available. I was going to take them up on their suggestion, until I discovered that trying to move teenagers is like trying to herd cats. It's just not going to happen, not even for an ocean view.
2. The Marriott Villas resort is still stunning, especially when you catch sight of the property while driving down Newport Coast Drive with the shimmering Pacific Ocean in the background. I also noticed that the foliage has grown in, creating a truly Tuscan paradise. The rooms themselves, while still spacious and clean, now seem slightly tired.
3. The location of the resort is still unparalleled. If you have little kids, it makes a wonderful base for visiting Legoland, Disneyland, Laguna Beach, and Corona Del Mar. This time with teenage girls in tow, we spent most of our time shopping at Fashion Island, Spectrum, South Coast Plaza, and The Lab. And when they ran out of spending money, there was always the US Open in Huntington Beach and the Orange County Fair. Interests may have changed, but the Marriott Villas resort is still centrally located for summertime activities.
4. However, you really don't have to leave the resort to have fun. They now offer a wide array of exercise activities-- yoga, zumba, beach walks, and tennis--not to mention two small but adequate gyms. The kids' club seems to have been expanded, with some sort of craft or game going on all day long. Plus, there is now a small cinema showing mostly kid-friendly movies throughout the day with free popcorn (and adult-themed movies on a couple of nights).
5. While the resort offers many organized activities, teenagers don't particularly like being organized. However, I noticed that my daughter and her friend seemed perfectly happy to hang out with other teenagers at the ping pong and pool tables at the main pool area. They also enjoyed ordering snacks at the Vista Grill or pizza from the Market.
6. When we took our timeshare tour years ago, we were told that the Preview Center would eventually be converted into a restaurant and a larger gym facility. There is still no full-service restaurant on site, but there are many great places to eat nearby. However, teenagers like fast food, and the closest fast food chains I could find were about 15-20 minutes away.
7. Finally, the resort lacks a dedicated, adults-only pool. While there is a "quiet pool", it is located right next to the boisterous main pool, so it's not really conducive for late afternoon naps.
Overall, we had a good time at the Newport Villas this summer. The resort is conveniently located in a very beautiful area of Southern California. While my kids are now older, the resort is still suitable for our needs. The second bedroom and bathroom are particularly nice, providing teenagers with their own space. Next year, though, I will probably come in the fall, when the weather is better and the crowds are less.
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- Also Known As:
- Marriott`s Newport Coast Villas Hotel Newport Beach
- Marriotts Newport Beach
- Marriotts Newport Coast Hotel
- Marriott Newport Beach
- Marriotts Newport Coast Villas
- Marriott Newport Coast Villas