The South Coast and Catalina Island Hotels

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Guidebooks

Balboa Bay Resort

Exterior

At a Glance

    Pros

  • exquisite bayfront views
  • comfortable beds
  • romantic

    Cons

  • service is helpful but can be slow
  • not much within walking distance
  • $20 hospitality fee per night

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Balboa Bay Resort Review

Sharing the same frontage as the private Balboa Bay Club where Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, and the Reagans hung out, this hotel has one of the best bay views around. There's a yacht-club vibe in the public spaces, especially in the nautical dining room. The spacious rooms, some with bay or courtyard views, have a beachy decor of rattan furniture, plantation shutters, and tropical-pattern drapes. Duke's Place, a bar named for John Wayne, a former member and club governor, has photos of the star. Rent an electric Duffy boat or stand-up paddleboard from the resort's private marina.

    Hotel Details

  • 149 rooms, 10 suites.
  • Rate includes no meals.
  • Credit cards accepted.
Updated: 05-20-2013

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Very Disappointed

    My family and I have stayed here many times over the years. We always stay during the festival of lights on water. This year was no exception. However, we will not be coming back sad to say. Let me begin with the condition of the room. Very outdated and in need of an update. No outlets to plug in any electronic device. Unless you wanted to go to the bathroom or literally move furniture to access an outlet. We found lets just say someone elses "hair" under our " bedsheets". When I pulled back the bedsheet I found stains from coffee and "hair" that had appeared to have been there for a long time. Lamp shades were broken, slider doors did not work properly and maid service was lacking. Room service was horrible. We ordered room service 3 nights in a row so we could watch the parade from our balcony. We spent over $1000 just for food and I must say the quality, service and attention given to each area was not 5 star. The concierge was not helpful and always appeared distracted when asked a question. The front desk service needed to smile and appreciate their patrons. Overall, just very disappointing. Would not return based on quality of service and price. Too many other places to stay.

    by dougtackett, 1/5/13
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    Balboa Bay Club and Resort Review

    White. It seems like everything in Newport Beach is white, from the buildings to the people. And the Balboa Bay Club & Resort echos that.

    This is the place to go where, just for a minute, you find yourself in a place in the world where it doesn't seem as if anyone has any clue we're in a recession. But the thing is, it means you leave your worries behind, even if it's just for a moment. Which is a good thing.

    The staff is young, energetic, and blonde. They remember your name. They smile, but not a Disneyland because they have to smile, but because they seem to really enjoy their jobs. Or maybe it's because they enjoy having a job. Even the maids walk down the hall and say hello to you and smile. Cheery. I like this!

    The rooms are first rate, they really are. Of course, it depends on where you have your room. I don't think I would have been happy with a room that overlooked the valet parking area. But the courtyard and bay views are very nice.

    The pool is lovely and warm, but it seems to be lap swimming, for the most part, only. At least they had the lanes for that purpose when we were there. And getting a drink from the pool area meant you either had to go to the little snack/beer store inside, or use the telephone that rings to the bar by reception, and they bring it out to you. In about 20 minutes.

    All in all, it's a nice place to chill, and it was a nice place for me to attend a business retreat. You do have to get in your car to explore, but it is close to Balboa Island -- Balboa bars!

    I think really the only con, in my opinion, is the monotone, monocolored look of the hotel clientele. And I'm not sure that's something that can be fixed -- my personal preference for a melting pot of people. Maybe that's why I live in L.A.!

    by Surfergirl, 6/8/11
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    Pricey But FAR from Perfect

    We found the service in the restaurant to be unbelievably slow. People who left the hotel for outside restaurants returned long before we finished. The food was very mediocre for the price. Nothing at all unique or exciting. The waiter's attitude was most condescending and he shocked the 3 professional women at our table when he asked, "Will you ladies be having coctails or will you wait for the wine that the gentleman will order?" There was one man at the table (who was not looking at the wine menu) and he was a guest. It had been made clear from the beginning that the dinner was hosted and paid for by one of the women. The man laughed and said, "I don't think that was the right thing to ask at this table." The waiter asked what was wrong with what he said and the hostess had to explain that "Any of us could be ordering wine." Another friend who had dined there earlier commented, "It's a view with food." I think that describes it well. I wouldn't return. The valet parking service was also very slow. I didn't stay at the hotel but I saw my relative's room, which was very nice.

    by lsmoon, 5/16/07

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