More about Fairmont Newport Beach
Fantastic Father's Day Weekend
We left the Fairmont Newport Beach this weekend convinced that there is an oasis of excellent customer service in this desert of over-hyped hotels where we're supposed to be so impressed with the hotel that the poor customer service is accepted.
We enjoyed a fathers' day weekend of soaking up the sun around the pool. The free cabanas w/ flat screen tv's were really nice. We mentioned to the bellman (Scott) that we were there for our anniversary and a birthday. He recommended some great restaurants. The concierge (Dorothy) made reservations, left orange mousse dessert in our room the first day, and had chocolate covered strawberries and champagne delivered the next. She got us the best tables at The Cannery and 21 Ocean where they gave us free desserts each night. The staff were very attentive for everything from drinks at the pool, a newspaper at breakfast, johny-on-the-spot valet service, etc. The rates were very competitve as well. It didn't hurt that they had free breakfast each day for fathers' day too (thanks Brayton)! We are definitely going back!!
Another Very Satisfied Customer
Like all of the othr reviewers I loved my stay here. Beautifully decorated rooms which have been receently renovated, overly helpful staff and great location just down the street from The Orange County Airport as well as UC Irvine. My only issues might be to mention that though the bathroom is very lovely, having been redone in marble, it is still very small, like the old hotel bathrooms used to all be. The restuarant and bar prices were also very high - though the room I found on the hotel web site was only $139. ( the same price as dinner for two! ) I will definately be back to the Fairmont again.
Best Service, Great Honeymoon
For the best rate call the hotel directly, we got the unadvertised "fashion and passion" weekend for $119/nite with a $50 breakfast credit. If you join the "president's club" for free, to get complimentary internet access.
Have been here many times on business, and each time had such a great service, we decided to come here for a short weekend honeymoon getaway after eloping. This isn't the most posh hotel nor does it have the best location, but each time I have stayed here the staff has done something to add that personal memorable touch.
We received complimentary champagne and strawberries decorated as a "bride and groom" with white/dark chocolate for our wedding weekend with a free room upgrade. Another time, at the bar I ordered a glass of wine but the bartender was out. Later, he sent me a complimentary glass to my room when he found it was in stock again.
Their sunday breakfast brunch is amazing, at $50/person you get all the usual breakfast fair plus seafoods (including pre-cracked crab claws, yum!), crepes, and specialties like quail or smoked halibut. We received a discount on our meals, charged only $30/person, but I am not sure if this applies to all guests or if it was a part of our weekend package.
The beddings are very soft and don't have that starchy "hotel" feel. The rooms reflect the casual OC lifestyle, which I find quite relaxing compared to other first class hotels that often come across as stuffy. Honestly, the rooms are so comfortable I could live here and kind of want to decorate my own master bedroom with the same style.
On friday or sat nights you don't have to valet, just park in Koll Center lot across the street (the gates stay up all weekend and this is where the valet will park your car anyway). But dont get stuck there on monday morning when the gates come down. I did have one minor problem wiht the valet guy touching my radio system, but when I contacted the manager about this they were apologetic and immediately reprimanded the valet on staff and offered us a suite upgrade for our next stay. We will be back for sure!
Nice rooms, but understand the fundamentals
Originally, the Fairmont agreed to match an Expedia weekend rate of $134/night when I called the hotel directly. Thanks to a Trip Advisor tip, I called back and was able to instead book the "Fashion & Passion" package for $119/night with the $50 food and beverage credit.
The good news is that you are about 4-5 miles from Fashion Island, PCH, the beaches, Newport and Corona del Mar. The bad news is that the hotel is in an office park, across from the John Wayne Airport. You will have views of Staples, Jamba Juice, office buildings and rooftops. Do not bother paying more for the 'better view' - the better view is of the tennis courts!
Nice. New. Spacious. Tasteful. The bedding and bed is very nice. There is a comfortable seating area, flat-screen TV with DVD player and desk. The bathroom is not a luxury bathroom - it is small, has a traditional shower/tub combo with a curved shower bar, and only one sink. But the fixtures and countertops are elegant and clean.
The building itself is oddly-shaped, and there are not really 'grounds.' It very much blends in with the other office buildings. However, we thought the decor, the furnishings, the artwork were truly beautiful. The hotel lacks a dramatic entrance, but there was much to appreciate in the details. There is a pool and a hot tub on the third floor roof deck, with plentiful lounge chairs and cabanas.
Some really spectacular people - well-trained, courteous, total can-do attitude. There were minor problems at check-in and check-out, and major issues with the restaurant, but all matters were resolved swiftly and satisfactorily. Housekeeping staff was friendly and responsive. You have to call and arrange for turn-down service yourself if you require it.
The parking situation here is really silly. The Fairmont should simply offer self-parking as an option on the weekends and quit trying to hide the fact that valet parking is $22/day, and the valets are going to park your car 10 feet away from the hotel entrance. Again, thanks to an earlier post, we followed a tip and parked our car at the Koll Center (the gates are up, and despite the scary sign that threatens towing for hotel guests, this was not an issue on the weekend). Despite parking our own car, our bill showed up with an automatic valet parking charge for both days. They gladly removed it from our bill - but they did inquire as to our parking arrangements.
Just okay. Fine on cardio equipment - a handful of new ellipticals, treadmills and bikes, most with TV monitors. There is a good set of free weights, but the facility is severely lacking in strength equipment (there are about two machines of questionable usefulness). The room was crowded at 7 a.m. on a Saturday, but had cleared out by 8 a.m. This could be from the large number of airline employees staying at the hotel.
Oh, bambu. I really want to like you. I do. The atrium is lovely. The staff was bending over backwards. The music was romantic. But the food - truly terrible. The packages with the food and beverage credits...it is starting to make sense...they need the practice and the people! Oysters and soup were flavorless. And we sent back a steak that was too tough to cut, served with stone cold potatoes. They invited us to try the brunch - if you have a food credit, I would recommend using it for breakfast or brunch. It was better. The brunch was extensive - in fact, far too much so for the number of diners. From a pure operations perspective, the waste...and it meant that the dishes kept in warming trays (waffles, Eggs Benedict) were stale. Stick with made-to-order stations (crepes, omelets). And save room for the chocolate fountain and the fresh fruit! That was really great! I hope, in time, they will either attract a larger clientele, or scale down the production. They need to get a hold of the basics first.
If you get a good rate, and understand the caveats, you will have a great time. A very comfortable and elegant place. I missed the ocean view and breezes you get if you stay closer to the ocean (like the Marriott Newport Beach), but for the price and quality, we would return. Stop by Ruby's diner for the turkey cranberry sandwiches, and hit up Roy's for dinner. Walk the beaches and neighborhoods. Tour a few open houses. It is a great getaway.
Not the Fairmont I Remember
I used to stay at the Fairmont SF and the Fairmont San Jose regularly. I was expecting the Newport Beach version to be similar. It isn't the Fairmont I remember. Average room, good enough service. Noisy air conditioner. TV didn't work correctly (though I could watch the NCAA games so I can't complain too much). Small fitness center. On the up side I couldn't hear the planes taking off from the Orange County airport, which is 2 blocks away. And it was the most reasonably priced buffet breakfast I've had in a long time. I suspect I'll stay there again because the location is ideal to the business meetings i have in the area.
Fairmont Hotel's Sunday Brunch Buffet is awful!
Although the hotel is beautiful, the food is mediocre and the price is extremely high for the quality and selections that were available. We were extremely disappointed. How did the management of the Fairmont Hotel can go so wrong in managing this hotel, specifically the restaurant portion of the hotel. We think this is a giant step backward from the previously beloved Sutton Place's Sunday brunch buffet. Although the staff at our table were courteous and attentive, the staff at the food stations were not attentive and allowing guests to feel welcome. We certainly didn't feel welcome to come to the stations to get foods, even though we were paying for it. The carved beef and lamb were very tough. The seafood was not really fresh. The waffles were stale and the strawberry sauce was really terrible. The hot entrees were at the cheap side, so were the deserts! Lots of cheap mouse cakes and half way decent cookies were available in a very un-appetizing display. We had a chance to let the manager know that this is not satisfactory to us. We were impressed on his willingness to accept our constructive criticism. We sincerely hope that the managers and the staff of the Fairmont Hotel will see these comments and improve the Sunday buffet. We really like to be able to come back and enjoy the beautiful hotel as well as the food.
Nice property but no parking
Nice rooms and truly excellent service. We enjoyed our stay with one exception...... no self parking. They offer valet only at $22 per day. Like other reviews have said, we used the parking at the adjacent Koll Center all weekend without any problems. The 20 minute parking works fine on weekends. The gates are also open all weekend.
Updated review (previous on July 7 2006)
Update to my previous review on July 7 2006, to which I gave rave accolades to the Fairmont 4-star property.
We arrived at 3pm and dealt with very promptly. Room keys in wallet said $74.00, which upon inquiry was told was the room rate. The rate I reserved at was $199.00 (included gold room access and room on the gold floor), and was ecstatic. We were booked for 4 nights over July 4, and sad to say this oversight was corrected by our 3rd day.
Response to available self-park, was told "we are 100% valet parking" ($22.00/day). This must be reinforced in staff training, as received the same response from multiple individuals. In our previous stay, was told there were a number of open parking spots, those same spots now say "20 minute visitor parking only". All I can say is watch where they valet the cars too, as there are a number of open lots in the area, that are available during the weekend at no charge. Needless to say we did not take the valet option and never parked more than 200yards from the entrance.
Service and room were excellent as in previous stay. Nice to be referred to by name, and not "guest in Room 1035". Hotel was much busier this year, the word must be out.
Since our previous stay Fairmont have opened a 10,000SF spa. My wife spent two hours there ($140.00 per treatment), and thoroughly enjoyed it, said was comparable to other hot stone massages she has received.
Food in the gold room was adequate, though not quite to the same standard as on our previous stay. I dont see this service widely used and never more than two other tables occupied when we visited ($50.00 premium for gold floor).
Be warned broadband internet is $13.95, (complementary with the gold room - why do hotels charge extra for this standard service). Using the room phones to reach an 800 number will incur a $1.00 fee for the first 15 minutes and per minute fees thereafter.
Complementary water bottles in the bedroom, and my wife loves the soaps and lotions standard in the bathroom. Our cleaning staff was excellent, always finished before 11am each day, my kids liked the mints left with the turndown service in the evening.
We will be going back again. Location is excellent, (beaches, restaurants, shopping, freeways, and Disneyland all within easy access). We ate at Pomodori in Laguna Beach on one evening, it was excellent.
If staying in the area and looking at alternatives consider Extended Stay America adjacent to Fairmont, much more basic, includes a kitchen, free-parking, local calls, and internet access. My associates say is clean and well managed.
My girlfriend and I stayed here for our anniversary last year because we wanted to be visit the beach. We knew the closer you get to the beach the more hotels prices go up and their quality goes down unless you're willing to pay close to a thousand dollars a night. The Fairmont was very nicely located. It didn't take us long at all to get to the beach. Ten to fifteen minutes average. There are also plenty of places to eat close by. I mention that because we made the mistake of ordering room service. Now I'm not saying the food was bad, it was pretty decent. However we ended up paying over $40 for chicken fingers, a salad, and two cokes. I'm talking about 6 HALF-DECENT chicken fingers, an ALMOST FRESH salad, and two CANS of coke that I could get from a vending machine for 25 cents each (they ended costing us $2 a pop!). Save yourself some money and eat somewhere else. In my opinion that's the better choice anyway. If you're on vacation GET OUT OF YOUR ROOM more often. On the second day of our stay we ate at California Pizza Kitchen which is only 5 miles from the hotel.
Our room was just a regular single-king bed room. Right when you walk in there's a marble entry way and a light. It just all looks very nice. Our first night was nice minus the room service being extremely high. The next morning my girlfriend went to take a shower and the faucet for the tub shot off and water was spraying everywhere. So I took the faucet to the front desk and in a humorous manner told them, "Uh, our faucet shot off." I asked if it was possible for it to get fixed or if we could get a different room because we needed to shower before we went out for the day. We were a little gross from the long drive there the day before. So she thought it was pretty funny and said she'd find us another room right away on that same floor. I kept a good sense of humor about it (as well as her) and she ended up moving us to a Junior Suite. The room was bigger, had a balcony (it over looked a parking lot but still, it was a cool idea even though we only went out there to inspect it), it had a glass stand-up shower AND a nice big oval shaped tub. The bathroom alone was probably about half the size of the WHOLE room we were previously in. It was great! So we showered and went out. By the way, ALL the rooms have really nice flat screen TV's. I don't know about the most expensive rooms but we had the same kind of tv in our first room as the Junior Suite.
Overall the staff was extremely friendly and the whole hotel just had a very comfortable atmosphere.... and that's a lot coming from me. I'm the kind of person who is always uncomfortable when I'm in an unfamiliar place and around a lot of people I don't know. Even all the maids we passed by in the halls were friendly enough to smile and say, "Good morning!" and sound like they mean it. I will admit I was worried about staying here because of some of the reviews I read. Everyone has their opinions and I'm sure not %100 of their guests are completely satisfied. Every place will have their goofs, their "off-days" or bad days and people will always blow those WAY out of proportion. All I can say is at least give the place a try. It's a big pricey for my budget but my girlfriend and I are going back for our anniversary this year. We're hoping to just go ahead and get the Junior Suite again if it's not going to be TOO much by then, but we'd settle for their regular rooms. They're still very nice.
I hope this helped anyone considering staying there. I'll be reviewing it again after our stay next month!