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“sent review to Director of Operations in May, but never received a response :(” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Balboa Bay Resort

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Balboa Bay Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   1221 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
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$100 Daily Resort Credit
Ranked #5 of 17 Hotels in Newport Beach
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“sent review to Director of Operations in May, but never received a response :(”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2010

Mother/daughter weekend May 2010.
Upon our arrival before 9pm, both our taxi doors were opened by the ever-present valet staff...a special touch that is over looked in some of the nicest hotels we’ve stayed in.

We were warmly greeted by Jenn at the front desk who proceeded to check us in. Jenn was very friendly, professional, and informative and seemed genuinely interested in making our stay a comfortable one. She informed us that the hotel store was closed and asked us if we had everything we needed. Coincidentally, we had both forgotten some items, so Jenn supplied us with safety pins, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and a couple of razors and shaving cream. Way to go Jenn!

There was a mix up with the original room we were given being currently occupied. I phoned Jenn from the nearby fitness center and she quickly rectified the problem by sending a staff member with a key to a new room. We found our new room which was C201... an end suite, nice view of the marina, and nearest the valet circle.

We were hungry and wanted to meet up with my sister for a drink, so we headed to Duke's for the Friday night entertainment. We seated ourselves in the lounge and were promptly greeted and served. The drinks and then food arrived quickly. We ordered the coconut shrimp and Mediterranean sampler, both of which were surprisingly good for 'bar food'. When my sister arrived we moved onto the patio so we could have a conversation. The entertainment inside was good, but a bit too loud for three ladies who needed to catch up on each other's lives. That night I had a hard time sleeping because of music that I thought was coming from a neighboring room.

The next morning I realized the music that kept me up was coming from the valet circle and had played thru the night. My daughter and I visited the concierge (front desk) to find a place to walk to for breakfast. The girl was not as well-informed and called Jenn out from the back to assist. I pointed out on the map of where I thought I remembered a cappuccino/bakery location. Jenn knew the place and confirmed the name and location for us. She arranged a shuttle for us later in the day to get us to our reception on a nearby yacht. As well, she took the time to ask us how our stay was so far and if we were happy with the suite. I informed Jenn that the noise from the valet music kept me up and she said she would have them turn it down or off at night. Problem solved...way to go, again, Jenn!

We had a nice morning walk to start our day. We were in town for a wedding that afternoon and chose staying at BBC for the location nearest the yacht we'd be boarding. Our plan was simple...eat breakfast, go to the pool, go to the steam room and then back to our room to get ready for the wedding by 1pm. We enjoyed the pool in the morning, though not updated, the pool and jacuzzi are on the marina which lends to a nice relaxed ambiance on a Sat morning. Members, however, pay no attention to their own rules and ignore signs prohibitting toddlers in the jacuzzi. We decided to shorten our stay at the pool to relax in the steam room between 10:30-11:00am.

We approached the young girls at the spa desk as we were not sure where the steam room was. I gave them my guest information and informed them that we just wanted to use the steam room. The girls asked my daughter her age and told us that since she was not 18 that she could not go into the spa. (At 5'8" my daughter can pass for 18 and had already been asked if she were my sister more than once.) I pleaded with the girls that we were only going to use it for 20-30mins before getting dressed to go to a wedding. they informed us that it was 'members rule'. I told them that no member would question my daughter's age. I understand rules and agree with them. Being a member of two private clubs back home, I thoroughly agree with rules restricting children in certain areas. There are times, however, when one must assess the rules and why they were made. this was just such an instance and what these young ladies should have done. Their youth, lack of judgement and life experience, prevented them from seeing past a 'rule' and why it was made. If there were any members in the steam room they would not have questioned or been disturbed by us, a mother and her mature teenage daughter. It was very disappointing for us not to be able to use the spa and steam room during our stay, but especially that morning. Needless to say, it was a negative experience and one that will dictate whether we return, as we regularly use spas and steam rooms when we travel.

We went back to our room and decided to order room service since we had extra time. The soup was lukewarm (warm in the middle, cold on the edges). The server didn't open and pour the waters we ordered…but maybe this is routine? I don't mind the automatic 18% gratuity for room service, but a little more effort would be appreciated.

We dressed and went downstairs to catch the shuttle Jenn had arranged earlier for us. There was some confusion from the valet desk as to where the shuttle was. Ten minutes passed. I informed the valets that we needed to be to our destination by 1:30 boarding time. Finally they figured it out and a nice valet successfully dropped us at our destination at 1:30. This was the only glitch we had w/ the valet service. All other experiences with them were grade A.

Sunday we had breakfast at the restaurant on site. We were greeted by a hostess and a manager who confirmed our room number. I thought this was wise of him and loved seeing a manager with obvious experience. The assistant server promptly took our drink orders, was very friendly and informative as was the server. The cappuccino was delicious! My daughter and I ordered a la carte menu as opposed to buffet. I loved the healthy egg white omelette choice. It was a bit watery which makes me wonder if they steam it as an even healthier alternative? It arrived with a white string on the edge of the omelette. The server saw me pull it off. He tried to insist on making a new one, but I told him I would not let him because the omelette looked too delicious. Unfortunately my daughter's eggs Benedict was overcooked (yolk not runny at all), much to her disappointment. She did not want to bother to send it back. We enjoyed the service, the view and the overall ambiance of Sunday morning at the restaurant. Later, we utilized the valet service to drop us off at the Fun Zone on Balboa Peninsula. The driver was friendly and informative, telling us how and where to catch the ferry to Balboa Island if we desired. We did just that and phoned for the car to pick us up after we finished shopping.

We decided to give room service another try as we wanted to pack up and lay low Sunday evening. We ordered a simple dinner of 2 small Caesar salads, fried calamari, and French fries. It took 50 mins for our order to arrive, though the receptionist said it'd be there within 30 mins. I thought the room service attendant would apologize for the tardiness, but he didn't mention it upon his arrival. I commented that he must be very busy because he was so late, but still no apology. The calamari and French fries were warm and tasted fine, which leads me to believe it was a delay in the kitchen. The Caesar salads were too small for the $10 price tag per salad and quite bland. Frankly, room service leaves much to be desired at BBC. As well, upon our departure Monday morning, we noticed that there were 3 room service tables in the stairwell containing dirty dishes and old food. Two room service tables were from Saturday because they belonged to our neighbor and us. This would be a concern to the health dept, I’m sure. I'm not sure who pushed the tables into the stairwell, but clearly either there was no communication between employees passing by the tables or it was another thing room service ignored.

I paid the bill Sunday evening as we were to depart early the next morning. The bill was correct. I ordered a taxi at the valet desk for 5:45am the next morning. My daughter and I were ready to go at 5:25am so we ventured downstairs. The valet told me that there may be coffee inside so I went to look for it. It wasn't ready yet. My daughter wanted to wait in the lobby, so we started to move inside and a nice staff member passing by quickly grabbed our bag, held the lobby door for us and carried it in. I jokingly informed him that the coffee wasn't ready yet. He checked and replied that it usually is. He left and returned a few minutes later with a hot cup of coffee for me from the spa. What a saint! I'm sure anyone would agree that at 5:30 in the morning, that gesture gets extra brownie points! Not to mention that it was literally the last 15 mins of our stay and made for a pleasant departure. Sorry I don't know this gentleman's name, but the valet attendant said he worked in the fitness room or spa. In my opinion he and Jenn are the backbone of your hotel and resort, exemplifying gracious hospitality, professionalism and genuine kindness.

I might have recommended this hotel had I received a response to the detailed evaluation I sent to the Director of Operations in May, but since my letter was ignored I can only conclude that guest satisfacton is not a priority and the problems I encountered would never be looked into.

What worked:

-reservations, the girl I made reservations through was exceptional.

-car service shuttle

-general location...especially with car service

-valet’s initial greeting and opening doors for more than one car passenger

-reception (sundries from Jenn)

-Two amazing employees, Jenn at front desk/reception (and fitness mgr? we encountered within last few minutes of our stay).

-Dukes’ laid back atmosphere… surprisingly good lounge food and entertaining to watch the ‘regulars’ dance.

-good cappuccino at restaurant in morning

-balconies in marina view suites.

What didn't work:

-spa rules too strict. Inform these young girls about when, how and why to make a good judgement call.

-members breaking obvious rules. I.e.…babies in the Jacuzzi when the sign reads 14 yrs and older, adult members speaking on cell phones at brunch though signs on each table stated no cell phones. This was a slap in the face to my daughter who was refused to go in a simple steam room the day before because of ‘member rules’.

-valet music thru night too loud

-bad room service (food cold, not prompt, disappointing overall)

-Sunday brunch (a la carte menu, Benedict) eggs were overcooked. No reason for this.

How to improve:

-friendly professional employees like Jenn and fitness manager (name?) should be recognized and be training other employees in gracious hospitality (especially other spa/fitness and pool staff who were not naturally friendly).

-promote car service/shuttle. I didn't readily know about the 2 mile radius service and learned about it thru valet staff. Is it mentioned on the web-site?

-guests feel at home if referred to by name. No employee accomplished this during our stay. It'd be a nice touch for the valets who we encountered daily to greet us by name. This could easily be accomplished if someone gave it some time and effort.

-when making hotel reservation, I asked if BBC had a car service and was told no. There may have been a miscommunication because they may have thought I meant to/from airport. It would have been a good time to inform me of the general 2 mile radius car service as that is a definite plus of staying at BBC when one doesn't rent a car.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
richard4205, Manager at Balboa Bay Resort, responded to this review, November 1, 2010
Dear Fivestartraveller001,

I am responding to your recent posting on tripadvisor. Please accept an apology for not replying to you earlier. We appreciate the time you took to write such comprehensive review. Traditionally we have processes in place to respond to all guest comments. For some reason, in this case, that did not happen, again please accept my sincerest apologies.

From the Desk of,
Director of Operations
Balboa Bay Club and Resort.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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459 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Level Contributor
24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2010

This was our second stay at the club- its not a flashy place but it is a very comfortable place to stay.

The beds our incredibly comfortable and the staff are quite charming.

Patrick the concierge was as helpful as ever recommending great restaurants nearby.

Excellent pool - 25 m.

The set menu in the restaurant was good quality and value.

Ideal location but you need to walk quite a way or drive to other attractions.

  • Stayed August 2010, 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
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Rio del Mar, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2010

I do not think "RESORT" is a fitting tag for this place. I was Orange County by invitation from a college sorority sister whose company was staying there the week of July 19-24, 2010
Nice inconspicuous property with nice views of the water and sunsets, but it simply is not what you'd come to expect when they use "waterfront resort” as a tag line.
It is VERY low-key, which is not necessarily a problem, but if you're expecting the typical resort atmosphere and amenities, you will be disappointed. The resort is far smaller than I had envisioned and definitely a "sleepier" type of place. I suppose the atmosphere is in keeping with the general feel of the block it is located on. The resort is next door to a shared apartment complex, which one of the valets later told me is mostly occupied by retirees.
There are no tennis courts, no nearby golf courses, the small beach on the resort is for the apartment residents only and although they have a very small guest work-out room, the other and more desirable fitness center is on the apartment side and is available, but for an additional charge. The Spa is located on the apartment side as well. The pool is a great size but while we were there, an employee was giving swimming lesson to kids which meant half of the pool was being used.
The hotel offers only one restaurant, which is fine dining for breakfast lunch and dinner, so it’s not the best place to dine if you’re wearing a sarong. We asked the valets where to go that didn’t have a STRICT DRESS CODE and we ended up walking down the street to what he called “restaurant row”. The resort bar provides nightly lounge music, but the performers and music are dated and the atmosphere is so dark you can’t even read the menu. The property basically stops "breathing" by 8:30-9:00 pm, so if you are expecting any late night activities, head on down the road once again to restaurant row or to the nearby shopping center
The staff overall, met expectations but Jenna at the front desk, was extremely nice, professional and always extended a warm greeting when passing by her. The valet parking staff was friendly enough, all things considered, and there was no problem retrieving our car at a moment's notice - although at $28/day, they SHOULD be attentive to your needs. Only bad service was getting our bags dropped to our room; that took over 40 minutes. The rooms themselves were decently appointed in this Bombay Wicker Style. They were average with the exception of the extremely comfy beds and the balconies that offered pleasant views of the water. I really didn’t care for the boats moored on the docks. The bathrooms were a nice size with a roomy shower and deep bathtub. The double vanity was nice but the sinks were extremely slow to drain. I made a complaint to a housekeeper but she didn’t quite understand me, so I called the front desk and that resulted in zero resolution. The other problem we had was trying to slide open the shutter styled doors that led to the water view patio. And the curtains in the room don’t fully close. They’re merely floral drape accent pieces. That was the first hotel room I’ve stayed in where you couldn’t close the curtains!!
In closing, I stayed two days and had a blast with my college sister, but was mildly disappointed with the resort. Maybe a remodel with a modern splash, serious attention to detail in the little things, more on site activities and dining options and the vibe in this place could be livelier! Or maybe I’ll live my retirement years here!!!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Level Contributor
520 reviews
75 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 427 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2010

If you are a Preferred Member watch out! This hotel has no idea what the Preferred Club is all about. My wife and I stayed with our two chidlren for 7 days. No room upgrade, do not get a room on the 2nd floor as you can hear the guests in their room on the third floor; very annoying. The hotel has a club attached and it seems that club members get better service than the actual paying hotel guests. Pool area lacked service and amenities. Housekeeping was not consistent with service. Simply OUTSTANDING Valet service; the best I have ever seen in all my travels! Concierege service was efficient and adequate. Restaurant and room service not bad as well. Breakfast service each morning at the restaurant was top notch.
I would recommend this hotel to others and would return when in the area.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Washington, DC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2010

This hotel was everything you would expect in a resort and more. Friendly and helpful staff, fabulous food (and a very accommodating maitre d’ at The First Cabin) made this business meeting week a real vacation! Too bad if you get a room with the view of the parking lot or the neighbors close-by. My view was the pool area, and while this is usually an undesirable location unless you have children; it was very peaceful. What we all seemed to notice about this hotel (and we all travel often!) was there was no yelling up and down the hallways, no screaming children no noise. It was very civilized and peaceful. There is a library on premises, for the early risers - and wonderful coffee service right outside. Thanks to the staff at Dukes who opened their arms (and bar) to our German friends for their World Cup match – an hour early!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Dana Point California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2010

My husband and I were at the hotel to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary. We were staying for one night. We had reservations to the gondola ride at Newport harbor. As soon as we arrived in the driveway of the hotel our first impressions were impressive. As soon as we arrived we were quickly greeted by a valet with a smile and ultra polite demeanor. Took our car. We asked about a taxi for later as we wished to take a taxi to our gondola ride nearby. We were escorted to a wonderful young woman with dark hair at the valet stand and she said she could reserve a taxi for our trip to the gondola ride later that night. We checked in and the young woman at the front desk was so gracious and happy. She checked us in and the bell person helped us to the room with our bags. The bell person was outstanding, he got us ice, adjusted our room temperature and completely explained the room features and then asked if there was anything he could do to make our stay more pleasant. I was floored, he was fantastic. The room was beautiful. Clean, elegant. During our stay we found the bed to be very comfortable, the sheets were so soft. Looking around the room it seemed like every item was well taken care of. Crown molding etc looked spotless. We loved our gondola ride. After the gondola ride we went to the duke’s bar in the hotel. There was a singer, and a piano player. It was relaxing and the bar service was very good. The next day we sat by the pool and were served lunch. The only down side I could say is that it took a long time for someone to come to the pool to take our order. It was about 11:00am; maybe it was too early for them. I shopped around a great deal on the internet, and there were several higher priced and lower priced hotels in the area, but we were very pleased with our choice. It was an impressive, relaxing and beautiful visit.

Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Upland California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2010

I have been back a couple times since my first review. I went with a ladyfriend to get a room and check the Christmas Lights Boat Show in the harbor.

This visit started a little rocky. I booked a water-view room, thinking it was one of the ones facing straight out onto the bay. Turns out it was partial-view, and that would be okay for most but given what we were there for, not what I wanted.

The bellman...who I think had other jobs too, was very helpful, and explained what the different rooms were. I called down to the desk, and they offered me a ground-room floor on the club side as it was vacant. Perfect!

This kid was with us for 45 minutes helping. He got us a key to check another room, then moved our stuff, then got us sodas from the shop in the hotel. He was really super...I hope he gets a raise. I popped him $20 and that made him even happier. Jeez....it was all about happy happy at that point.

They had a barbeque outside for the festivities. I thought the food would suck, but it was really good home made stuff. The chili was among the best I've had (seriously).

We wanted a Cafe Mocha, and they didn't have them at the bar. So the bartender went to the restaraunt and had one prepared. No kidding when I say it was special.

Staff is great. I want to get their formula for making a comfy bed. Fabulous! Life is groovy at the Balboa Bay Club.

  • Stayed December 2009, 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
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Additional Information about Balboa Bay Resort

Address: 1221 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Newport Beach
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Newport Beach
#3 Business Hotel in Newport Beach
#4 Romantic Hotel in Newport Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Balboa Bay Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 160
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience life and style that’s perfectly balanced at the Balboa Bay Resort. A boutique ambiance combined with plush accommodations, sophisticated and personalized service, gourmet dining and unparallel location close to scenic beaches, nearby world-class shopping, restaurants and award winning designed golf courses make it the perfect destination for those seeking the quintessential Southern California lifestyle experience. Whether you’re planning a romantic weekend getaway, a large-scale business function, or the wedding of your dreams, the Balboa Bay Resort offers unparalleled services and amenities to suit a variety of needs. Located on 15 waterfront acres in the heart of Newport Beach, halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego, the four-diamond property sprawls along the bay like a meandering Mediterranean villa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Balboa Bay Club Hotel Newport Beach
The Balboa Bay Club And Resort
The Balboa Bay Hotel
The Balboa Bay Resort
Balboa Bay Club

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