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“Disappointing stay... but manager ultimately proved very responsive” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Newport Channel Inn

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Newport Channel Inn
6030 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663   |  
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Ranked #7 of 17 hotels in Newport Beach
Brookline, MA
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Disappointing stay... but manager ultimately proved very responsive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

We stayed at the Newport Channel Inn on Labor Day Weekend. We selected the hotel based on the positive reviews here as well as on the fact that my research indicated that this would be about the least expensive option for a family of four in the area.

Unfortunately, this proved to be the most disappointing of five hotels we stayed at during our recent southern California trip. Some of it was bad luck and some of it was bad service from some of the junior members of the staff.

In a nutshell, our stay began on a Friday night that was literally the hottest day of the year. In spite of that, the A/C was not on when we arrived, and the A/C unit itself generated only a modest breeze. We went to the office, and the junior staff member came out to our room. After about a minute, he said that there was nothing he could do. The result was an unpleasant night in our sweltering room. We slept poorly and had little energy for the next day, which was supposed to be our big day at the beach.

We spoke to the staff again the next day and ended up getting a lot of excuses and no results. The weather cooled down a bit, so our second night was better but still not really comfortable. When we checked out, we also had to deal with an unpleasant attitude from a staff member and no offer for a discount.

So we left feeling pretty down about the Newport Channel Inn. Here's where the story gets interesting, though: I wrote an initial TripAdvisor review in which I captured our disappointment very factually--no ranting or exaggeration. I said that under normal circumstances, I could imagine the hotel being worth 4/5 as a rating. However, the malfunctioning A/C brought my score down to a 3/5, and the attitude of some (but not all) of the staff members brought it down to further to a 2/5. And I figured that was that.

So I was very pleasantly surprised to get a personal call from the hotel manager after he read my review online. At great length, he expressed his sincere regrets over our difficult stay and that he appreciated the care with which I had written my review. He told me it was the poorest review that they received in over a year and that they were determined to turn the experience into a learning opportunity for the staff. They also had made plans to replace the inadequate A/C unit in the room. He told me that many homeowners in Newport Beach don't even bother having A/C because it's only an issue a few days a year--we just happened to catch one of those days. Still, he agreed that the A/C needed to be ready to do its job on those days.

He also informed me that they had already refunded my credit card for the first night of our two-night stay--the night when we were so uncomfortable. This saved us $190 and seemed to me to be a very fair outcome. All of a sudden, the hotel went from being the most expensive of the five places we stayed (admittedly Labor Day Weekend rates were a significant factor there) to becoming the least expensive on a per-night basis. While I still would've preferred to have a nice cool room, this left me with a very different feeling about the whole experience, and I retracted my review so I could update it with a more thorough commentary on what happened.

The impression I'm left with is that this is a small, family-run hotel run by someone who deeply cares about the customer experience... and who responds to a dissatisfied customer with poise, courtesy, and a complete lack of defensiveness. He finished our call by urging me to stay again in the future so I can be really wowed the next time, and I will take him up on it if I'm in the area. Of course, the goal for any hotel is to do the right thing, the right way, the first time, and that didn't happen here... but it was nice to see a great response to my review.

There is a good moral here for TripAdvisor reviewers as well as for hotels and attractions reviewed here: As a reviewer, it's important to write fair and balanced reviews without any hyperbole or ranting. That makes the service provider more likely to respond reasonably. And for those who receive bad reviews, it's still not too late to make things right! Owners who take TripAdvisor reviews seriously get a major plus in my book.

FInally, some general comments on the hotel:

Positives: It was good to have three proper beds instead of a cot or a rollaway, as we had in several other hotels... Within easy walking distance, there's an awesome cafe for breakfast with absurdly huge pancakes (an order of three pancakes is enough for three people!) and a restaurant called Eat Chow that was quite good... The hotel is very close to the beach and not a far drive to the best parts of the beach... The shower was good, as was the housekeeping... Some of the staff were really good: After walking two blocks to the beach, I was concerned to find that surfers dominated it. Where could we swim? The guy on duty gave us a map and all sorts of tips about where to swim and park for free.

Negatives: As mentioned, the A/C was a problem, as was the customer service from a couple of individuals. But I understand that the A/C has been fixed and that steps have been taken to turn the customer service problem into a "teachable moment." The beds were okay--not super comfortable, but adequate... While you can easily walk to the beach, I'd be reluctant to swim there due to all of the surfboarders... Breakfast is not included: Hmm, it would be interesting if they could work out a deal where your hotel room fee includes a complimentary breakfast at the place next door! Many of the hotel breakfasts we had elsewhere were only so-so, and the place next door had a terrific breakfast.

Room Tip: Their website has photos of the rooms to give you some sense of what you're getting. It's d...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
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English first
bergen county, nj
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2013

I am not one for flair and extras, so Newport Channel Inn was perfect for me.
My room had a mini-fridge, microwave, coffee maker, and wifi. The front desk lends out beach towels (and I think boogie boards and chairs, but I didn't ask). They have cable with HBO (my room had a nice 40" tv.)
The only downside (as is with most inns) is that the windows face the hallways, so you have some foot traffic noise, but it was off-season, so this was not bad.
I found this a great place to stay.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

We choose to saty here each time we come to Newport Beach. The small hotel is clean, efficient, and has everything you need. The beach is directly across the main highway. The hotel offers free use of umbrellas, beach towels, an chairs. You can book a family size room or a smaller depending on the size of your group.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

We booked 4 nights at this hotel in August, not really thinking it would be up to the excellent reviews it gets. We were, however, pleasantly surprised: the room we got was spacious and had been renovated (new TVs, mirrors, showers, sink, etc), and the cleaning service is better than most larger and more expensive hotel. Like the reviews we had read, the staff was polite and helpful, and after the first night we entered full-on "vacation" mode: stayed in Newport Beach the first day, walked to the pier and back, then drove to Huntington Beach (15 min North) the next day, and Balboa Beach (5 min South) too. We used the bodyboards, chairs, towels provided by the motel (very nice!). It was the perfect "home base" from where to visit all of the nice beaches around. Very impressed, and very happy we stayed there. We could have spent $100 more for a smaller room at the other nearby hotel, or twice as much in the bigger hotels in the area, but we didn't--instead, we spent the extra money to actually enjoy our vacation time. Excellent choice, highly recommended.

Room Tip: The walls are not too thick, and noise from fellow guests will be heard. Choose a room upstairs to a...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mill Valley, California
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

This is more like a motor hotel, with clean rooms and friendly service. The rooms are a good size, definitely not too small. The location to the beach and a few restaurants is perfect. The surrounding neighborhood is a little funky, but Cappy's next door is a fun friendly place to eat, with really good food. In fact, we had breakfast there 3 days in a row! If you are going with a group, the roof deck is a great place to meet up, look at the beach houses across the street, and watch the world go by. If you are looking for plush and room decks, this is not the place to stay. But if you are looking for location and low key, this place is for you.
**There is a park right next door if you are travelling with small children.

Room Tip: Try not to be on the street side--it is quieter in the back
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

This "inn" is a motel, complete with rooms bordering the parking lot. There was a lot of noise from the parking lot as well as the highway. The rooms are ok. The proximity to the beach is what you are paying for. Although it is nice that they supply beach towels and boogie boards and you can easily walk to the beach, parking does not seem to be too difficult and next time I plan on staying at a nicer hotel farther from the beach and just driving there. There is also so much else to do in that area that although we were travelling with kids we actually only spent one or two days at the beach during our whole week there. Also really missed having breakfast included. The restaurant that is across the way, Cappy's is VERY crowded and noisy and not a relaxed place to wake up to. The bicycle rental place right next door is run by a very nice guy and I recommend renting bikes and cycling along the beach. I felt that Newport channel inn is more suited to young single travelers than families or older travelers.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

Seeing as this is identified as the best value in Newport, I had some expectations. Whenever the owner answers the phone or you talk to him......he is fantastic, helpful beyond measure and very kind. The kids he has working for him seem bothered if you ask questions and certainly arent going out of their way to help you, and God forbid they ever smile.Over the phone they were very helpful but the messy haired guy at the desk seemed downright annoyed that we came in the door. Sad, because I dont think that is the thinking of the owner.
The room was clean but they never cleaned our room once we arrived so we didnt get clean towels or coffee for the next day.
The location is great and the rates arent bad. Appalling for someone from the Pacific Northwest but ok for Southern Cali. I think they could make this place much nicer with a couple inexpensive fixes, like take down the 1970s art and the 1980s comforters. Be a little creative with the decor and you could really step this place up.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Newport Channel Inn

Also Known As:
Newport Channel Hotel Newport Beach
Newport Channel Hotel
Newport Channel Beach
Address: 6030 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Newport Beach
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Newport Beach
#4 Family Hotel in Newport Beach
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Newport Beach
#7 Business Hotel in Newport Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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