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Ritzy Revamps

May 26, 2014
  • Ritzy Revamps
  • Ritzy Revamps
  • Ritzy Revamps
  • Ritzy Revamps
  • Ritzy Revamps

There’s been some major revamping going on at a couple of Newport Beach’s most venerable resort properties.

At Balboa Bay Resort, what’s old is new again! The luxurious AAA Four-Diamond resort, which has been undergoing renovations since late last year, recently unveiled a new look and name for its signature waterfront dining spot overlooking Newport Harbor. The restaurant, which originally opened as First Cabin in 2003 and has been a dining hot spot for resort guests, locals and club members alike ever since, reopened this past spring as Waterline Newport Beach.

Newly refreshed and refined, visitors to the updated dining destination can expect to find a contemporary nautical theme sporting classic yacht-style touches such as navy blue, bone and espresso hues, wave-inspired patterns, polished chrome and clear glass lighting.

And, at the helm of Waterline’s tantalizing menu, is Executive Chef Vincent Lesage (former executive sous chef at St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point), serving up a menu highlighting fresh, local seafood with a SoCal twist.

Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Waterline showcases seasonal delicious and generous-sized dishes such as “Light & Healthy” breakfast options such as a Fitness Frittata with vegetables and a side of lychee yogurt with citrus or — for those who wish to indulge in something a bit heartier — an OC Wet Burrito or Crab Eggs Benedict. For lunch, there’s the Baja Lobster Salad or Local Halibut BLT, while the “From the Sea, Land, Rivers & Lakes” dinner menu standouts encompass Scallops “Peas & Carrots,” Organic Bone In Chicken and Coho Salmon.

Two distinct private dining rooms also are available for private parties. But, the best part of all is the spectacular harbor and marina scenery, of course, along with an outdoor walkway offering casual seating and striking sunset views.

Other updates unveiled recently at the 159-room resort also include the new Italian-style gourmet coffee shop Blend, open morning ’til evening with fresh-brewed coffee, espresso, teas, fresh pastries, paninis, gelato and grab ‘n go sandwiches, and even to-go orders for a picnic on a Duffy boat or outing about town, as well as the revamped Bayfront Boutique, a hidden shopping gem offering a distinctive collection of purses, belts, hats and costume jewelry for women and men.

Visitors can look for even more changes in the coming months, including a modernized main lobby complete with a new open lounge area featuring laptop tables and flat-screen TVs, plus the new A&O, Kitchen+Bar (“A” is for Anchors and “O” is for Oceans), boasting an enlarged wrap-around bar with a beautiful waterfront view, casual gastropub-inspired fare and outdoor fire pits.

Meanwhile, at the Five-Diamond Island Hotel Newport Beach, a grand reinvestment project currently under way throughout the entire property is set to unveil a vibrant and energized new outdoor pool space early this summer. Sleekly redesigned to mesh with the high-energy atmosphere of the hotel’s new restaurant and lounge destination — Oak Room & Aqua Lounge — the revamped pool area will serve as the social center of the hotel and comes complete with poolside cabanas for relaxing, modern lounge seating for gathering and a stylish new al fresco bar.

As part of its first-floor reinvestment project, the hotel also has been busy enhancing its guest rooms with updated furnishings and décor, and under the leadership of newly appointed Rooms Executive Chad Bates, will be continually enhancing its service standards to match the property’s revitalized tone. Yet other first-floor improvements include a newly designed state-of-the-art fitness center and the addition of a grab-n-go market that’s expected to make its debut this fall.

Photos Provided by Balboa Bay Resort

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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