It is officially summertime. And that means planning some fun in the sun. Sometimes going away just means getting away, but not really going very far from home. And why not unplug from daily chores and schedules for a day or two? One easy way to make this a reality is to enjoy a Stay-cation. Park yourself by a shimmering azure pool at one of the many hotels right here in Newport Beach, and just relax.
This is YOU time. And since relaxing soon turns to dining, I have visited all the local spots and have the inside track on their pool dining and beverage programs. All you have to do is make a reservation, pack an overnight bag and you are there!
See which one might best match you and your family’s needs. ( Please note–the pools and bars noted in this article are for registered hotel guests only.)
Hyatt Regency Newport Beach
The Hyatt Newport Beach sits on 26 acres, offering a lovely garden feel with walking pathways, palm trees, low-profile buildings. They are poised for leisure activities too, with a nine hole executive golf course, bike rentals (just steps to the bike path along the Back Bay), and best of all they have three pools! The main pool is the Oasis Pool and features a slide and Cabanas can be rented for a fee. This is heaven for kids and is quite a large pool. The Indulge Pool and Serenity Pool are smaller pools with a more sedate ambiance. (The Serenity Pool just completed a renovation with all-new landscaping, furniture, and so forth). These two smaller pools have a modern vibe, with bright lime colored umbrellas, pillows and accents. On Fridays and Saturdays they have a Backyard BBQ at the Oasis Pool—grilling hamburgers and hot dogs from noon time to 6:00pm. Guests can order every day from the menu of the SHOR American Seafood Grill, and offer breakfast, lunch and dinner items. A few of their specialties for lunch include: Greek Salad Wrap, Ahi Tuna Bowl, Curry Chicken Salad, Fish Tacos and Blackened Salmon.
Something special: The Hyatt Newport Beach has a Hotel App so guests can you can place an order for food and beverage in the comfort of their poolside chair, order room service or even pull up the property map. Search Hyatt Newport Beach in the app store to download the App. Now that is cool!
The Resort at Pelican Hill
This resort is just magical. The expansive 136- foot circular pool is breathtaking as it cascades toward the lush green golf course below and the ocean beyond. There are 18 cabanas that are available for rent to hotel guests, and 18 sheltered sitting areas. Chaise lounges are all along the edge of the water and it is restful. They have their own Pool Kitchen and Bar so items can be ordered quickly by the host of servers. Poolside food and beverage service hours vary by season. This summer season hours are from 10:00am to dusk daily. From tomato bruschetta, to ceviche, flatbreads, salads galore, sandwiches and entrees, and a nice selection for kids as well. The menu goes on for two pages, followed by two pages of drinks, wine and just about anything you can think of to order. It is the most extensive menu of all the poolside offerings.
Something Special: For those who are not staying at the Resort, guests can dine upstairs above the Coliseum Pool & Grill. The views are just as nice and there is also a bar with a big screen television set as well.
Photo Courtesy of Pelican Hill
Island Hotel Newport Beach
The Island Hotel has a charming pool area with lots of lush tropical greenery. They also have four cabanas, lounge chairs, tables, and pod-shaped chairs for cozy lounging near the fireplace. There is another large fire-pit area just beyond the pool as well. The pool area is open from 11:00am to 6:00pm.
Cuisine includes: chicken tenders, a fruit plate, hot dogs, heirloom tomato and fresh Mozzarella Flatbread (my personal favorite), chicken club sandwich, romaine Caesar salad, a cobb salad and blackened Ahi and Belgian endive salad.
Something Special: There is a Pool Bar dedicated to serving cuisine from Oak Grill, as well as all types of cocktails and beverages from the Aqua Lounge. Both are just steps away from the pool.
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa
The Newport Beach Marriott pool area has nice shady spots for reading, a ping pong table which was actively busy, and a lovely pool with palm trees and greenery. There are three cabanas, three long community tables, chaise lounges and umbrellas. The dining is ordered at the pool bar and is prepared inside. They feature appetizers, such as: the kale chips and fruit skewers, a grilled tuna or cobb salad, sandwiches, fish tacos, and of course, burgers.
Something Special: This pool area has its own Pool Bar and is a perfect spot to order snacks, lunch and beverages. The Pool Bar is open from noon to 5pm daily.
Newport Beach Marriott Bayview
This property just completed a renovation four months ago and the outdoor space is perfect for visiting with friends or family. They have fire pits and conversation areas galore, a large pool with both outside and a covered patio to get a break from the sun. Dining for the pool area can be ordered through the wait staff, and the Vista.Kitchen.Bar prepares the food quickly. They serve at the pool area from 11:00am to 10:00pm. Perusing the menu there are many choices, including: four different gourmet burgers, grilled market fish, short rib pasta, four different salads, flatbreads and even a soup and salad combo, which is always my personal favorite. They feature seasonal specialty cocktails made with locally grown fruits and herbs.
Something Special: There is a lovely view just beyond the pool deck. The Back Bay waterway is tranquil with birds, kayakers gliding past, and a sense of nature abounds.
Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel
The Fairmont is a contemporary hotel just a few blocks from the airport. It features an impressive pool on the rooftop. The Palms Pool is a great way to escape the heat. They have a special poolside menu served right to guests on their lounge chair by the helpful pool servers. This service is available from 10:00am to 6:00pm, every day. Their menu is expansive–including: a 10 oz. burger, chipotle chicken wraps, avocado shrimp salad, the OC chop salad, fish tacos, turkey club, and sweet and salty snacks as well. They also have a complete selection of beverages from wine and champagne to sangria, lemonade, blended iced cocktails (made with natural juices) and a selection of seven bottled beers. And for the kids, a child-sized menu is available at the pool, offering: crispy chicken strips, burgers, hot dogs, fruit salad and freshly baked cookies.
Something Special: There is a big surprise on the rooftop! The Palms Pool features 12 Cabanas that are available on a first come, first serve basis for hotel guests. With pool servers available from 10-6 every day, guests do not have go far for wonderful food and beverages!
Carlton Hotel Newport Beach
This is a primarily a business hotel, however what a pleasant surprise to open the door to the pool area. It is a large space with sprawling lounge chairs, umbrellas and palm trees meandering through the hardscape–offering shade and a gentle sway as the breeze kicks up. The pool cuisine arrives from the restaurant, and features many of our favorites, such as: chips and salsa, grilled vegetables topped with cheese, nachos, beef sliders, seared rare Ahi, pizza, salads and a host of desserts. Beverages, beer, wine and cocktails can all be ordered as well.
Something Special: The Carlton has a menu board and a telephone right there at the pool. Guests are just steps away from requesting their favorites, which are promptly brought out to the pool area.
(Please note: Balboa Bay Resort is undergoing a renovation to their pool area and will return with a wonderful refreshed offering for everyone to enjoy this fall. More on that as soon as it is ready!)
Well, hopefully this entices you to take a short vacation right here close to home, and recharge your battery. It’s summer time after all. Dine Well!