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Newport Beach Blog

Charming Newport Beach Retreats

March 21, 2014

Newport Beach is well known for its awe-inspiring resorts and hotels, but the hidden gems of our destination are the chic compilation of boutique offerings, many situated right on the sand in the middle of the area’s popular beach scene. Check out — and then check in to — these small hotels for an intimate experience you’re not soon to forget, and be sure to visit the websites for updated rates.

An unrivaled locale just steps away from the popular 18th Street beach has helped propel the Bay Shores Peninsula Hotel to its status as one of Trip Advisor’s top 10 best-hidden gems in the entire U.S. At this friendly family-owned hotel, guests are treated to fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies in the lobby every afternoon, as well as trips to the rooftop deck via the original 1960s caged elevator and complimentary beach equipment. In addition to its regular guest rooms (each decorated with surf-themed artwork by renowned surfer and artist John Severson), special accommodations include The Bay Suite featuring two bedrooms, kitchen, living room and large private sundeck.

For visitors who want to be as close to the beach as possible, the Newport Beach Hotel is about at close as it gets. Just mere seconds from walking out the door, you’ll be dipping your toes in the water, and because it’s so close to the water, the hotel provides guests with lots of beach toys from boogie boards to beach chairs and even the use of its beach cruiser bicycles. There are 15 rooms (all on the second floor), including many with oceanfront views, jetted spa tubs and fireplaces.

Upon checking into the family-owned Newport Channel Inn, just across from the beach, each guest is given a map tour of the area’s nearby restaurants (think Eat Chow, Big Belly Deli, Cappy’s Café and Spaghetti Bender), as well as bike- and surf-rental shops and much more. Once you’re settled into one of the hotel’s rooms (all of which are being updated with new bedding and window treatments), you might want to grab a towel, boogie board, chair and umbrella and head to the beach; take in some bird watching; or enjoy the park with your family. The front desk also can provide discounted tickets for many local attractions including Disneyland and ferry to Catalina Island.

Its classic Victorian design is just one detail that makes Doryman’s Oceanfront Inn  — across from the Newport Beach Pier — stand out from the crowd. Once an old bunkhouse for local fisherman, the inn has since been transformed into a boutique hotel offering 11 distinct ocean-view rooms including special touches such as handmade, custom canopy beds; sunken bathtubs crafted from imported Italian marble; hand-carved antique furniture; and gas-burning fireplaces. There’s also a rooftop terrace for sunbathing and sunsets.

Next to the boardwalk — and about a block away from Newport Harbor — Balboa Inn The Resort offers up 40-plus guestrooms ranging from deluxe rooms to family-style suites to romantic ocean-view suites with fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs. You won’t want to miss the ocean views from the sundeck and oversized Jacuzzi pool, as well as the terrace of the Siena Italian Restaurant & Bar.

Well-traveled visitors will recognize these famous hotel brands right away. The Holiday Inn Express Newport Beach Hotel — on the historic Mariner’s Mile, across from the harbor — is within walking distance to numerous restaurants, shops and entertainment venues, and of course, the ocean. Here you can always count on signature services from the complimentary breakfast bar to on-site fitness center. At the Best Western Hotel, you’ll want to be on the lookout for updates that will give front desk, lobby and guest area a new sophisticated, modern and chic feel. And of special note, says General Manager Angélica Rivera, not many folks know about the beach across from the hotel because it doesn’t offer “public” access, but it can be accessed through houses right across from the hotel and there is no real parking in the area so only locals and hotel guests go.

Last, but surely not least, don’t miss the Little Inn by the Bay, conveniently located on Balboa Peninsula and just a stone’s throw away from the beautiful pacific ocean and Newport Harbor. Although, the water is just minutes from your door step, you may find it difficult to leave one of the 18 charming and newly renovated rooms at the Inn.

*Photo Credit: Jon Edwards
Balboa Inn Hotel Featured

Written by Wendy Bowman

Wendy Bowman is a San Clemente, Calif.-based freelance journalist. She spent 15-plus years as a writer and editor for Atlanta Business Chronicle, covering nonprofit business, homes and lifestyle, the Atlanta visitors market and more. She currently writes for Modern Luxury magazines including The Atlantan, Men's Book Atlanta, Interiors California, Interiors Atlanta and Brides California, as well as websites such as DIGS.net.

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