Published on May 24th, 2008 | by gareth0
Fairmont Hotel Newport Beach
Located just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, one mile away from the John airport, and a complimentary ride away from Balboa Island, Fairmont’s Newport Beach hotel is an amazing place to stay, offering luxury accommodations and first class service that will please even the most jaded travelers.
After a 22 million dollar update, the hotel sparkles from the rich marble flooring of the lobby, to the airy comfort of a richly-appointed guest room. This hotel was the highlight of our stay in California. The guest room we enjoyed for two days and two nights featured a very comfortable king-size bed with high thread count Egyptian cotton linens, ample pillows to drown in, a 32-inch high-definition LCD flat panel television and DVD player as well as a Bose CD player complete a Fairmont CD of soulful jazz, which my wife immediately played upon our arrival, making the room an even more relaxing haven.
Business travelers will enjoy the convenience of a work desk and well stocked mini bar. Internet access is also available for a daily fee or if you are a member of Fairmont’s President’s club, it is provided free.
One very nice touch was the inclusion of magazines by the cozy reading chair and ottoman, that offered a variety of travel and dining suggestions for guests as well as histories of some of the areas more popular attractions.
The beautiful marble entry of the guest room leads to a generous marble bathroom that was a joy to behold as not only did it have a full tub, it had a very large shower, a separate toilet room and to my wife’s great delight a makeup table, and a basket of her favorite line of bath products from Basin. While the assorted collection bath bombs and salts weren’t complimentary, their ready availability for purchase is a tempting option for the travel-weary, given the inviting tub a few steps away. But travelers will still appreciate the munificent sizes of the European amenities from Miller Harris which are complimentary.
The almost pyramid like architecture allows for most guest rooms to have a two walls of windows. One wall was actually the sliding door to the balcony. The other allowed for a view of the heated sky pool and deck which came complete with covered cabanas so guests could take a break from the sun should they desire to. The renovation included a new fitness center that features state of the art Techno Gym equipment featuring built-in LCD monitors. Opening April of this year, Fairmont Newport Beach will complete the luxury hotel experience with Willow Stream Spa which will feature eight decadent spa treatment rooms offering the finest in spa services and using only the finest in products and techniques.
Because of our whirlwind schedule, the Fairmont was like an oasis and leaving the room to play tourist was actually a hardship. Our room had a balcony with a table and chair for two which allowed us to dine al fresco and view the planes taking off as well as the skyline of the community. While the hotel hosts classy restaurant and lounge, Bambu, with its enticing menu of fresh California cuisine, we opted to savor the tranquility of our room and take advantage of the hotel’s room service menu. We were not disappointed as the in-room dining service was completely satisfying from the clothed table that was wheeled in then carefully set for two, to the plentiful food portions. An order of chips and salsa arrived in a very large bowl accompanied by three large bowls of savory salsa, sour cream, and zesty guacamole. I note this as usually with two people, there are never enough chips or dips to last but this serving was so large, we could not finish it.
The hotel offers only valet parking, and the staff was very prompt whenever we needed the car, even when we left at 3:00 AM in order to beat traffic when we were checking out. Complimentary transportation to Fashion Island (Newport Center), Balboa Island and South Coast Plaza allows guests to forget to even bother with their car.
Usually in places such as this, staff can be snooty or aloof, but that was not the case here, as everyone from the maids, room service, to front desk and valets were top notch. One of my favorite moments from our stay came when we were checking out. I was handled by the valet supervisor who asked if we were taking John Wayne or LAX, on our way back to Seattle. When I mentioned we were driving home, he smiled and said he was jealous as that is what he plans to do when he retires. While to some it may seem just to be a casual conversation, it drove home that the Fairmont Newport Beach is a special hotel in large part to the fantastic people they have working for them, who take the time to connect with their guests and make their stay memorable.