Can’t-miss luxury hotels in Newport Beach

Published Date: May 23, 2023

Pelican Hills Golf Course in Newport Coast, California
There’s a lot to love about Newport Beach. A classic Southern California coastal town, Newport Beach is simply bursting with postcard-worthy scenes. Dramatic cliffs, golden-sand beaches, surf-worthy waves, a bustling marina and beautiful Balboa Island are just some of this city’s many charms. Luxury travelers and second home owners flock to Newport Beach for its year-round sunshine, waterfront lifestyle, family-friendly activities, and local events including the Newport Beach Jazz Festival, Balboa Island Parade, Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival and the Christmas Boat Parade. Can’t wait to discover everything Newport Beach has to offer? Check out our list of the very best Newport Beach luxury hotels, with insider tips to make the most of your trip. Or are you ready to live like a local? Check out Pacaso second home listings in Newport Beach and throughout Orange County. 

1. The Resort at Pelican Hill

The Resort at Pelican Hill is a true luxury escape, offering residential-style accommodations that boast sweeping ocean views from almost every room. Set on a hillside a few miles inland, this 504-acre retreat is less than 10 miles from Newport Beach’s central core. Settle into your own spacious bungalow guest room featuring almost 850 square feet of space, a limestone fireplace, marble bathroom and a furnished terrace. Or upgrade to a 1,639-square-foot bungalow suite with a separate living area. If you’re in search of even more space and more privacy, stay in one of the two-, three-, or four-bedroom villas with gourmet kitchens, exclusive clubhouse access, private garages and concierge services. The Resort at Pelican Hill takes design inspiration from the grand villas of the Venetian countryside and 16th century architect Andrea Palladio. No detail has been overlooked — the stunning Coliseum Pool is lined with 1.1 million hand-cut glass mosaic tiles. Buildings on the property are surrounded by groves of olive trees, towering cypresses and fig trees. You might just feel like you’re in Italy! While you might want to explore Newport Beach, you may never want to leave the resort. After all, you’ll find 36 holes of Tom Fazio-design championship golf, an incredible spa and on-site dining experiences at two distinct restaurants, all just steps from your bungalow, suite or villaInsider info: Just a 20-minute walk from the resort is Crystal Cove State Park, a pristine, 3.5-mile-long stretch of Pacific coastline that appeals to surfers, sun worshippers and tidepool explorers. 

2. Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas

Situated on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas put you in the heart of everything the Newport Beach area has to offer. It’s just steps from the beach and minutes from area attractions like Balboa Island, Fashion Island and Knott’s Berry Farm. Since this property is part of the Marriott Vacation Club, the accommodations aren’t simply hotel rooms. Instead, they’re spacious, family-friendly two-bedroom villas. Each one features a full kitchen, welcoming living area and fully furnished outdoor space. Newport Coast Villas has tennis courts, basketball courts, putting greens, a fitness center and three separate outdoor swimming pools. If relaxation is on the menu, the Spa by the Sea features a wide range of spa treatments, including massages, facials, body wraps, manicures and more. Insider info: If you’re traveling with the whole family and can’t convince the kids to leave the pool, enjoy lunch at La Vista Pool Bar & Grill. With plenty of outdoor dining space within splashing distance from the pool, everyone will be happy. Grab a fresh fruit smoothie for the kids and a specialty margarita for the adults, and then sit back and soak up the sun. 

3. VEA Newport Beach

Also a Marriott property, VEA Newport Beach is a chic high-rise property located adjacent to the can’t miss Fashion Island shopping destination. Those who love to see and be seen won’t want to miss the opportunity to stay at this sophisticated hotel, just steps from world-class shopping, dining and entertainment. Many rooms and suites feature territorial and Pacific Ocean views, but with so much to do, you may not spend much time in your room. On-site amenities include a 5,000-square-foot fitness center with outdoor yoga lawn, serene spa with saltwater pool and a massive pool framed by luxury cabanas. VEA’s Play Chalet rentals connect travelers with everything they need for SoCal outdoor fun, including beach cruisers, boogie boards and lounge chairs. When you’re ready to explore beyond the grounds of the hotel, just contact one of the hotel’s emcees. These local experts can snag you a table at the hottest restaurant, plan unforgettable experiences and get you into can’t-miss nightlife venues. Insider info: Book a dinner at the on-site VIEW Restaurant & Lounge for the perfect combination of outdoor dining, sunset views and live music.

4. Lido House 

While many of the accommodations in Newport Beach and greater Orange County can be defined as sprawling resort estates, Lido House stands apart as a refreshing boutique property that feels more like a welcoming beach house than a hotel.  On the site of the former city hall, Lido House has an enviable location in the heart of Newport Beach near both Balboa Island and Lido Isle. Serious coastal vibes await, wrapped in classic Cape Cod architecture with plenty of nautical flair. Designed for fun and relaxation, amenities at this charming retreat include a saltwater pool, a soothing spa, outdoor lawn with family games, and Newport Beach’s only rooftop bar (yes, really!). The on-site Mayor’s Table Pacific Pub & Kitchen is another big draw. On any given evening, you’ll find a combination of locals and hotel guests gathered around the communal bar. Indulge in local seafood, raw bar items and flavorful cocktails. Accommodations at Lido House include 130 coastal-chic guest rooms, plus five exclusive, tri-level private cottages. Each cottage was designed by a local design firm, so no two stays are the same. Insider info: In the late afternoon, head up to the rooftop Topside bar and stake out your spot for the perfect happy hour. Choose from an incredible range of cocktails and zero proof drinks, plus inventive seafood dishes like Hawaiian tuna tostadas, ceviche with grilled pineapple juice and plenty of oysters. 

5. Balboa Bay Resort

Life is better on the water. Balboa Bay Resort is situated on 15 unmatched acres right on Balboa Bay, giving guests unprecedented access to Newport Beach’s aquatic-inspired lifestyle. A mainstay on lists of the best waterfront resorts in the country, Balboa Bay Resort tempts with incredible water views and jaw-dropping sunsets. Even though it is fronted by multi-million-dollar yachts in the marina, Balboa Bay Resort has an understated elegance. Guest rooms and suites feature contemporary furnishings and an ocean-inspired color palette, with plenty of space to relax and enjoy the view from your private balcony. When it’s time to get out and about, be sure to stop by the dedicated recreation concierge desk. They can pair you with the perfect outdoor activity, whether it’s a boating day onboard a private Duffy boat, a kayak paddle through the dynamic waterways of Newport Harbor or a bicycle excursion along the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway. Insider info: After a day spent on the water, your hair might need a little TLC before an evening out. Luckily, there’s an on-site Drybar in the resort. Pop by for a blowout, which always comes with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. 

A private luxury getaway 

When Newport Beach is calling, a luxury hotel isn’t your only option. Savvy travelers are turning to Pacaso to enjoy a true home away from home in Orange County. Instead of hotel hopping with every visit, you can own a luxury home for just 1/8 the cost. As a co-owner of a Pacaso second home in Newport Beach, you’ll get the best of both worlds: You’ll enjoy a professionally designed vacation home without the hassle of maintaining it. Learn more about how Pacaso works, then find your dream second home in Newport Beach.

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Jen Lyons

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