Balboa Bay Resort – Luxury, Comfort, and Charm in Newport Beach

Balboa Bay Resort
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It’s a new year and what’s better than starting it off with a getaway to a beautiful place! We arrived at Balboa Bay Resort and immediately loved the festive decorations all over. Outside was a magnificent Christmas tree and several snowmen greeting us as we drove up.  The lobby was buoyantly decorated with polar bears and penguins on soft cushions of snow along with some reindeer, snowmen, and tall nutcracker soldiers. Every part of the lovely resort had décor to match the season.

Polar bear sighting at the Balboa Bay Resort lobby! Photo by Michael Melamed.

We were given the key and headed up to our third floor Bay View King room, overlooking moored yachts and sailboats swaying down the waterway.  Our balcony was a joy to sit in and watch the sunset, and the room was large and luxurious.  

The room featured a desk big enough for both of our laptops, facing each other, and a lovely chaise-like chair and ottoman next to the king bed.  I especially appreciated some of the special touches in the room, not often offered in other places.  There was pillow mist in a lavender scent, to spray over the linens for a soothing aromatherapy experience.  There were also lots of pillows, which for me was the best.  I usually have to call and ask for extra pillows, but at Balboa Bay Resort, there were plenty.  I love to sleep with pillows not just under my head, but over it, too!  I also like to sleep with pillows on top of the blanket! Which I also didn’t have to call for – it was in a box on the roomy closet shelf. Seems like the resort thought of everything to make guests truly comfy and happy.

View from our balcony – Photo by Michael Melamed

A large mirror in the entryway was much appreciated since I need to get close to my reflection to put on makeup.  Whoever designed it definitely had women in mind.  In the middle of the mirror was a thin shelf – so I could even put my cosmetic case there while beautifying my eyes, cheeks, and lips.

Diving into luxury – a terrific tub for some “me time” indulgence! Photo, courtesy of Balboa Bay Resort

The bathroom was huge… and splendid.  I had to take a bath since the tub was so inviting!  And there were wonderful amenities like bath salts, facial cleansing scrubs, and super soft towels.  Two bathrobes in the closet were available for lounging before or after the relaxing bath.  And yes, the tub was big enough for two, if you’re so inclined!

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the delicious charcuterie tray and complimentary bottle of Angeline Pinot Noir Wine that was waiting for us in the room.  Like I  said – the perfect way to start the year 2024!

Mmmm, some nice appetizers and vino for happy hour before dinner! Photo by Michael Melamed.

For dinner, we headed down to the A + O Restaurant / Bar off the lobby and were delighted to learn they have music every weeknight from 6 – 9 pm.  What a treat! 

Cool country music for Western night on the A + O Patio! Photo, courtesy of Balboa Bay Resort

We arrived on a Wednesday, which is Western night.  Which means they had a country duo singing and playing, and a nightly special of barbecued ribs. Our waiter told us their usual chef is from Austin, Texas and has a very special sauce for which the eatery is known. However, this particular night the regular chef was out of town, and by the time we arrived at 7:30, all the ribs were gone – which in our case was lucky, because instead we ordered the absolutely most delicious Grilled 8 oz. Beef Tenderloin.  Since we were sharing our meals, they sliced the beef for us. We asked for it medium rare, and it was cooked to perfection, with a pink center and meat so tender, you could almost cut it with a fork. It was simply scrumptious and served with smoked and grilled honey-glazed carrots, cheesy mashed potatoes, and a divine sauce Diane.

Creamy Lobster Bisque, Juicy Beef Tenderloin & a Hearty Club Sandwich – all YUMMY! Photo by Michael Melamed

We had ordered their Classic Lobster Bisque as an appetizer which was smooth and ambrosial. For our second entrée, we ordered a smoked turkey, applewood bacon, and avocado Club Sandwich, which was extra-large with a ton of French fries.  But we were so full, from sharing the beef tenderloin, that we took the sandwich back to the room, where there was a small fridge – and guess what we had for breakfast! 

The A + O Restaurant / Bar – Photo, courtesy of Balboa Bay Resort

In addition to a friendly indoor atmosphere and large, impressive bar area, there is an expansive wrap-around waterfront patio for dining with fire pits and a view of Newport Harbor.  Our first night, it was incredibly windy, so people were inside, but the second night was filled with diners outside enjoying the fires and guitar music. 

The A + O outdoor patio is great day or night! – Photo, courtesy of Balboa Bay Resort

The pool at Balboa Bay Resort is lovely and large. It’s heated to 82 degrees, and you can do laps in it.  There’s also a hot tub which we enjoyed on our second day.  Attractive cabana areas and lounging daybeds are available for hotel guests to rent.

Take your choice – a dip or a lap! Photo by Michael Melamed

The resort also has a well-equipped gym with lots of different fitness devices for your workouts. Treadmills, bicycles, leg machines, and more.  

So, what did we love? The lobby, the staff, the room, the restaurant, the pool, the cabanas and marvelous chairs by the pool, the restaurant, and just about everything else at the resort. 

There are a number of banquet rooms, whether for business conferences or exciting family occasions like weddings, anniversaries, or other celebratory events.  If I ever get married, I’d be thrilled to have my wedding there!

Balboa Bay Resort lawn is the perfect place for a celebratory event! Photo, courtesy of Balboa Bay Resort

Balboa Bay Resort offers various kinds of packages, some of which include the wonderful water sports that you can access from their own private dock. One of their special offers is the Holly Jolly Duffy (I love that name!), where you enjoy a cruise around the harbor in a Duffy boat with a cozy blanket and hot cocoa, and then two complimentary cocktails in front of a fire pit at the A & O waterfront patio.

Duffy Boats are fun & festive for a cruise around Newport Harbor – Photo, courtesy of Balboa Bay Resort

In addition, there are packages including experiences at their wellness spa, and even a Pampered Pooch Package for your beloved pets. Another favorite of mine is where they pamper you – it’s called Stay, Shop, Splurge, and offers an enticing credit at their onsite Bayfront Boutique, which has a wonderful array of chic clothing and gift items.  If you like shopping as part of your getaway, the resort also offers complimentary shuttles to nearby Fashion Island and Lido Island.  

There is a spa onsite with all kinds of services available – sadly, I didn’t have time for a massage – but I did go to their Dry Bar!  Stylist Gigi did my hair – I chose “Southern Comfort” and my hair looked full and fab with gorgeous curls. If only I could do it like that, myself!  I guessed that many local ladies might go there once a week, and Gigi told me some of them even have twice-a-week regular appointments. I’d love that, but living in Los Angeles, it’s a bit too far to go that often.

The author, Marilyn, with curls by Gigi!

Still, I look forward to returning soon to the marvelous Balboa Bay Resort.  No wonder it was recently ranked the #1 Resort in Newport Beach per U.S. News & World Report.   

So, whether you want to take part in sports, sun, and shopping, or relaxation and chilling – Balboa Bay Resort has it all.  And it has it with luxury and style extraordinaire!

Balboa Bay Resort

1221 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, California, United States, 92663



  • Marilyn Anderson

    Marilyn Anderson is an award-winning author, film and television writer. She wrote for Murphy Brown, FAME, Friday the 13th - the Series, and Carol & Company, starring Carol Burnett. Marilyn wrote and produced the family feature film, How to Beat a Bully. She is the author of How to Live Like a MILLIONAIRE When You're a Million Short.

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About Marilyn Anderson 36 Articles
Marilyn Anderson is an award-winning author, film and television writer. She wrote for Murphy Brown, FAME, Friday the 13th - the Series, and Carol & Company, starring Carol Burnett. Marilyn wrote and produced the family feature film, How to Beat a Bully. She is the author of How to Live Like a MILLIONAIRE When You're a Million Short.

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