So close and yet so far: Newport Beach and surrounding coastal areas are favored spots for surfers, boaters, golfers and those in need of an easy mini-break with lots of luxury on tap.
The Island Hotel
Adjacent to Fashion Island’s 200-plus tony stores, the former Four Seasons is the host hotel for the Newport Beach Film Festival. Major names from the fest are housed here: Views and the spa are part of the draw. The bar hums and is an unofficial lounge during the festival.
Balboa Bay Club & Resort
Set on the yacht-filled Newport Harbor, the resort looks across to Balboa Island. The private club was once the playpen for Hollywood’s elite memorialized in the resort’s bar named for John Wayne (Duke’s Place).
The Resort at Pelican Hill
Pelican Hill’s two golf courses have already seen many in the biz play through. The super-posh resort will open 204 bungalows and 128 villas later this year — some with butler service.
Fairmont Newport Beach
Close to the John Wayne Airport, rooms and suites are quite spacious, many with balconies to catch ocean breezes. The Willow Stream spa and plentiful noshing in the Executive Club are some good reasons to stay here.
And not to be outdone, further south along the coast are the high-end trio of Laguna Beach resorts: the St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach, the Montage Laguna Beach and popular Ritz-Carlton Laguna Beach, left.