More about Marriott's Newport Coast Villas
Great Hub to explore So.Cal.
We stayed at the Newport Coast Villas that overlooked the Pelican Hill Golf Club in a 2-bedroom unit, one bedroom with a king bed, second bedrooms with a queen bed and a livingroom queen sofa bed, full kitchens, dining room & living room. The rooms were spacious and clean and the only fault we could find was the condition of the Kitchen Cabinets. (we didn't cook in so it didn't matter) People considering this place should keep in mind that it is mainly a time-share condos. No full service restaurants, room service is an extra fee (there is a washer & dryer in each unit). Great pools (heated to 85 degrees which was warmer that the air temps). There are new units under construction and the original condos are being renovated & updated. We walked down to the Crystal Cove State Park & beach each morning, be prepared for the steep climb up the cliff on the way back. You are actually in Corona Del Mar which is minutes from Laguna Beach. And if you're traveling to Disneyland it's only 18 miles away.
Experience a big filthy, rich village
(Not a Favorite thing necessarily- just a thing!)
Despite Newport Beach's population in the tens of thousands (about 70,000+) , Nb has a village feel. Like in any village, there are nice places to walk here despite that the city is widespread. A good place to take a stroll is along the coast-of course, as well as at the Lido or on one of the city's hiking trails.
Newport Beach as a city is really made of signifcant, individual parts- there is Balboa Island, Newport Coast, Corona Del Mar (a community strongly linked to NB on the south end), Eastbluff, West Newport , the Lido, Mariner's Village. The subdivisions really go on and on if you consider the exclusive residential neighborhoods.
Newport is a well-established community of exclusivity. It is clear to me that I step into another world when I enter N.B. - from either direction. It's mostly a world of opulent shops and vital business, luxury cars continuously rolling down the streets, carefree people and well, yachts galore. If you are not filthy rich (or at least a little rich) , don't drive a fancy sportscar or SUV, not into yachts or can't afford to shop upscale, well, you would have a hard time to appreciate Newport to its fullest.
In architecture, the village look is seen in the New England style individual homes and condos. Oh how cramped and dear (expensive) they are along the coast and marina areas!
This was our 3 year at Newport (we are owners) and as always, had a great time. There were six in our party....plenty of room in the villas for that number....never felt crowded. We have always done the 'in home' cooking and used the kitchen constantly. There is a Von's (Safeway) up the street, very close to the condo, and also around the corner a Trader Joe's. The day we check in, we do our weeks worth of grocery shopping at those two places. The kitchen is well stocked with utensils, pans, coffeemaker, anything you need...even tupperware. :) If BBQ is your choice, each building has an outdoor area for that--gas grills and usually a round table set for 4. Over the years we have seen more added to the grounds, and they are doing a great job. New this year was the basketball court, putting green (basketballs, golf balls and putters ava. at the site) and little kid play/park area.
The service is excellent. The day we arrived, two light bulbs burned out in the unit--I called down to the desk and within a short time, someone came up and replaced them. Also, on the 2nd to last day we were there, I accidently broke the coffee maker pot. I called down to the front desk, and someone brought a replacement within 10 minutes!
A real plus for us is the washer/dryer in the unit. This was used ALOT. (we have teenagers!) I also washed the towels daily, so we could have fresh ones. YOu can pay for 'maid service' for this, but to me it's not worth it. There is also a carpet sweeper in the utility closet and I would use that every other day to keep things looking tidy.
The Newport Coast Area is FANTATIC! We barely go beyond a 10 mile radius from the Villa (except when we do Catalina! :). I esp. love Corona del Mar (just up the street from the condos). The beach there (take Poppy Rd. to the end) is very nice. Also walking along the beautiful streets and just looking at houses is relaxing. Sherman Gardens and Library is on Hiway 1 in Corona. It's 3 acres of very gorgeous gardens, plants and walkways. Admission is $3.00 and def. worth it. There is also a wonderful gift shop and restauarant onsite.
My other favorite hidaway is Balboa Island. Best bet is to park on the pennisula and ride the ferry over. Again, gorgeous houses, and on Marine Street---best shopping in Newport area, IMHO.
Laguna Beach was our favorite this year...we took the free shuttle down from the Condo. They make 3 runs a day.
For all those wanting a restaurant on site (and yes, I do think it needs one)....we keep hearing when the condos sell out they are turning the "Preview Center" into one. BUT...the construction has several years left, so don't count on that soon. THERE are however many eatting spots, some very close to the condo. I did notice this year, at Promanade Shopping Center (where Trader Joe's is), there were at least 4 cafes.
Just got home yesterday from our vacation. Can't wait for Newport next year. :)
Beautiful resort, but some problems
We returned today from a 2 night stay with our two kids (ages 3 1/2 and 1 1/2). The resort is gorgeous with a beautiful ocean view and italian style buildings and decor. I had requested a villa with an ocean view, but the desk clerk had no record of that. We were given our room keys and were greeted by a constant drilling sound from the floor below. After returning to the lobby to complain, we spoke to 3 staff people (of increase heirarchy) and were told "they are building a restaurant at the floor below your room and will finish at 5 today." We were insulted that the staff thought that we'd be happy with that. After requesting a room change, we learned that the hotel was fully booked. After some more complaining, our first night there was comped. It would not have been if we hadn't made a big deal about it. Bottom line is that they shouldn't put guests in those buildings that are still undergoing construction. We didn't pay to stay there to have a headache from a constant drilliing sound. It seemed that many guests were at the front desk working out some kind of issue. Now the good...
The rooms were great. We had a 2 bedroom/2 bath spacious villa. It did have a view of a mound of dirt, but we didn't mind that. It was nice inside.
The pool area was spacious and there was plenty of room for everyone. My kids loved the large checkerboard/chess set by the pool. The grounds were very pretty with fountains and a koi pond. I also saw a large grassy area and a playground, though we never ventured down those stairs.
The location is great. Fashion island was 15 min away and Crystal Cove beach was 5 min. We parked in a large lot, and walked down a paved ramp. My kids loved running around the beach and having it to themselves.
The resort is gorgeous and once the construction is complete and the kinks are worked out, it may be worth 5 stars. Customer service at the front desk needs to improve as well.
This was our first stay at a Marriott Vacation Club property and we were very impressed. The staff at the front desk was very friendly and really went out of their way to make us feel welcome. We checked in around 2 but our villa wasn't ready. The property is absolutely beautiful. Grant was our main contact person at the front desk and he was extremely accomodating. He knew that it was our anniversary and sent up a bottle of wine along with some Ghiradelli chocolate! What a wonderful surprise. Since it is a time share property they do reserve the ocean view rooms for owner's, so it is next to impossible for anyone else to get an ocean view, but to be honest with you we hardly spent any time in our villa. The pool complex is gorgeous and very relaxing and there is a plethora of activities within a 15 mile radius. We will be back!!
We liked it so much, we bought... and would do so again...
We love the place - and are looking forward to another visit next month.
The rooms are amazing. Large bedrooms, two full baths - the master bath has a two person tub and a large two-person (multiple head) shower. Marble and granite everywhere.
I've stayed in many nice hotel rooms around the world, and while not quite the Shangri-La in Singapore, it was certainly comparable to the Grand Hyatt in Sydney and the Grand Wailea in Maui.
Tastefully decorated rooms with all the nice little perks (in-room washer/dryer, plenty of utinsils). And of course, the views (which will vary greatly it seems....). Several sunsets were enjoyed from the chairs on the balcony.
We have not experienced any outside noise or that from snoring neighbors. We were actually right above the entrance to the main garage and couldn't hear anything unless the sliding door was open.
The rooms are not "lock-offs" (where the second bedroom being in a physically divided room that can optionally be "locked off" with its own enterance) like you find at some timeshares. This makes for a nicer "condo" feeling rather than a "hotel room" feeling.
Service-wise we have never had an issue: we used the concierge for booking dinner reservations and pre-purchasing Catalina Cruise tickets.
Other niceties that we enjoyed: gas BBQs outside most buildings, drinks and light food at the main pool (a really amazing view), the fitness center (not huge - but bigger than most hotel fitness centers), and the Spa (a bit pricey, but good service), and even the ping-pong table by the pool.
Bad things: no in-room internet connection (which, on vacation, isn't really all that bad) - you get to use the internet "machine" in the lobby. The ongoing construction can be an annoyance, but it wasn't for us (maybe just lucky).
For those interested in our story of becoming an owner - and the subsequent experiences:
On our first trip down there, we joked about how we would "just say no". Expecting the worst, especially at the end when you sit down at the sales desk, we were blown away by the low-key sales pitch. Not to say they didn't try hard: they kept adding incentives to sign on the spot - but it didn't come across as "pressure" to my girlfriend and I. After we wandered the grounds talking it over, they seemed surprised when we came back and said yes. I forget all the things they threw in, but it was 100,000 Marriott points, another 100,000 points for $600 (we ended up using the 200,000 points for a week, airfare included, on Hawaii's Big Island at a nice Marriott resort). We bought a "Gold" week (Jan through May) for $21k in 2003. Dunno what they go for now....
They were VERY up-front about all the "hidden costs" (yearly maintenance fees, Interval Internation fees - if you want to exchange, property tax, etc). We were told point-blank: figure on $1000 per year in various fees, taxes. In reality: $663/yr in maintenance fees, $75 for Interval International, and $250 in property tax... so, it is $1000 for a one-week stay in a huge beautiful unit with amazing views. So, $143/night... but at the end of it all, you actually OWN something instead of seeing your money disappear. But, I won't try to convince anyone that the timeshare thing is good or bad. Like lease vs buy for a new car - it works for some, it doesn't work for others.
We went back in May 2004 - our first visit as owners. We actually wanted to buy another week, but during an optional "owners orientation meeting", they didn't even try to sell us anything.... though, that might have been due to the fact that our sales rep had left. I will say, the NCV sales staff does seem to be a bit disorganized and understaffed.
Customer Service for Marriott Vacation Club owners is very good - calls to remind us of our plans, helpful folks who try to sort out the confusing timeshare exchance options, and only the occasional "passive" (email or snail mail) sales pitch for other "opportunities".
So good, we a stayed longer!!
I have to say, we were very impressed with this property. My husband enjoyed it so much, we are considering purchasing another week at this property. We own at Shadow Ridge in Palm Springs.
We stayed at this property for 3 days and ended up extending it one more day because we loved it so much.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom/2bath room, that reminded us of our set-up at Shadow Ridge. This is the perfect size if you have 2 or more kids or family with you. The decor is beautiful and the quality is fantastic. The kitchen is well equipped. Remember this is a condo set-up not a hotel. So there is lots of space. Also, if you are from out of town, you must have a car to get around the general area and be sure to pick up groceries too.
We enjoyed the pool area and my kids enjoyed the video game room.
the grill by the pool is very good and the drinks are great. be sure to ask for the special drink of the day its only $4.50.
We really took advantage of the B-b-q picnic area and the massive lawn area and basketball court. A great place to take kids.
Everyone who works there from the cleaning staff, gardeners to sales reps are top notch friendly people. The time share presentations at Marriot are great and low key no pressure.
There was some contruction going on during our visit but we were not affected in any way.
We would absolutely stay here again, its close to everything. Sightseeing, beaches, shopping . We've been Marriottized!!!!
we stayed at this lovely property for a week we booked from the marriott website. the condos are the best place to stay for a family the condos are top notch and very close to the attractions of all of orange county I do not think I would buy a time share only because we do not believe in them
We loved our stay. The rooms are well kept, extremely clean and huge! The grounds are fantastic. The pools are awesome. The kids had so much fun. At the pool they had two ping pong tables pool table and a ground chess/checkers game. Unfortunately it was cloudy while we were there so we weren't able to enjoy the views, but I know they are lovely. Service was excellant. They don't have an on-site restaurant, but there are a great many restaurants nearby to choose from. We did attend the sales preview. We actually were tempted to buy. We did catch the sales person up on a couple of things that were contradictory, however, had we had the money right there we might have bought. Would definitely go back.
The location was beautiful along with the villas that we stayed in (brand new....one week old). This is a wonderful place for a family. We booked for 2 villas as we brought along another family with us. We couldn't hear them and they were next to us. However, we could hear those above us. If you excange for the location (if you don't have time share ownership), which we did, the ocean view is limited only to the owners. Which was OK with us.
All in all this place was beautiful. The scenery was beautiful......a panoramic view of the ocean from the lobby area over looking the swimming pools. The overall appearance of the resort was taken care of......free of any debris. They really take pride of the resort and the staff is really helpful and kind. What a great mix......on top of that...the locals are very friendly. This place is beautiful.....the resort stay, beaches, Ocean and Newport. We took a tour of LA, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive........Newport blows all of them out of the water.
I highly recommend this place. I didn't want to go home (back to Michigan). ENJOY!