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“Nice try, but Mildly Disappointed”
Review of Balboa Bay Resort

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Balboa Bay Resort
Ranked #5 of 18 Hotels in Newport Beach
Certificate of Excellence
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
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1  Thank NorCal_Mika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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697 - 703 of 779 reviews

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
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Thank FirstClass001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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Thank AntZuzu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Thank diamondfairy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
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1  Thank tubeguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2010

I don"t know why anyone would have bad experience here. Everything was all good - clean, big room, great service and built-in great SoCal weather.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled on business
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Thank JustSittingHere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2010

Greeted very warmly, rooms were spacious and great location. The bath products with citrus orange aroma was very nice. Left a jacket and it was overnighted to us quickly!
Very well kept. Concierge was very helpful and all his recommendations were spot on!
The hotel had a small band in the bar for St Patrick's Day. Nice touch. Hotel guests and club members were gathered in around happy hour.
First time visiting the area. We didn't want to leave!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Justthere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balboa Bay Resort

Address: 1221 W Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92663-5026
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Newport Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Newport Beach
#3 Business Hotel in Newport Beach
#4 Spa Hotel in Newport Beach
#4 Romantic Hotel in Newport Beach
Price Range: $254 - $569 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Balboa Bay Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 159
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. **Please note that starting Friday, November 6 through Thursday, January 7, 2016, the resort will begin a very exciting and highly anticipated guest room enhancement project. Each guest room will be updated with fresh, modern and contemporary furnishings including carpet, wall coverings, furniture and fixtures, along with a select number of rooms which will receive reconfigured bathrooms. We anticipate the noise level to be slightly higher than normal during the hours of 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Please be assured that your guest room will be far removed from the area of work so you can fully enjoy your time with us and delight in a quintessential Southern California lifestyle experience.** ... 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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