28th Jun2010

Marriott or Marriott, so many choices.

by Jeff McNeil
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa

Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa

This afternoon/evening I went on a little tour of Marriott’s Newport Beach hotels.  My first stop was at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa.  I parked off-site because they have a $4 an hour parking fee, ouch!  I then saw 3 rooms, a executive king, ocean view king and ocean view double/double.  None of which impressed me in size or amenities.  I was looking for a hotel room with enough sinks and mirrors to have 4 girls getting ready for a wedding.  Including hair and makeup girls.  I then toured the ground with Luis who was a delight to talk to, and a bit of a speed walker.  He showed me all the pretty places on the ground with the ever present gray June gloom overhead.  The property was nice, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t what I was looking for.

Newport Coast Marriott

Newport Coast Marriott

I then went to the Newport Coast Marriott Villas.  This is a community of timeshare owners affiliated with Marriott.  They looked amazing as I drove in.  I then parked and asked to see a room, much like I did at the other location.  The desk clerk told me that the sales office had closed…. no no no. I am not here for sales, I just want to see a unit to see if I want to reserve a room for a few nights in October I explained.  She told me she would have a bell boy come around and show me at 6pm, in 30 minutes.  I came back at 6pm, spoke to her and she said he was helping with bags and would be 5-10 minutes. At 6:15 it was the same story, as well as at 6:30.  I asked her to find him and let him know I was waiting.  Finally at 6:45 I had enough and demanded to see the front desk manager.  I didn’t care if it took a deposit of $259 (room rate for the night) to see it then a refund or if I had to leave my wallet and keys as collateral. I wanted to see this room before I left because I didn’t want to drive back down there in traffic.  Finally the manager came out and offered to take me herself. WHERE WAS SHE IN THE FIRST PLACE!?!?!? It took all of 5 minutes to walk me to the room, answer a few simple questions about the property and other rooms and then say adios!  I was there for 90 minutes and only needed 5 minutes.  Ooooh I was mad.  I thanked the manager and took down the front desk clerks name to send a strongly worded letter (thanks Kevin and Bean).

The Villas at Newport Coast Marriott 1

The Villas at Newport Coast Marriott 1

In the end I loved the villas better.  It was much larger and for significantly less price.  It has 2 bedrooms, one King, one queen both with full bathroom.  A total of 3 sinks, which totally matters, and plenty of mirrors and area for girls to sprawl out and get comfy for a bachelorette party.  I am excited about getting a room there for Jenn and her girls.  It is also closer to the reception location by about 5 minutes and has very similar if not better features for photos during the morning and afternoon.  All in all, I am very happy I stayed and very happy that someone finally showed me a fricking room!

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    4 Responses to “Marriott or Marriott, so many choices.”

    • You’re getting married in Dana Point, have you checked out the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa? It’s in Dana Point, with a view.

    • I did look into the Laguna Cliffs, however the room rate was around double what the Newport Beach one was and still has 1/2 the space as the Newport villas. Do you know of good sunday brunch locations around Newport/Laguna?

    • The St. Regis has a pretty renowned Sunday Champagne Buffet Brunch, but then…you know…it’s the St Regis so it’s probably not the most inexpensive meal in the world. But you could look into it if it’s a smaller group of people?

    • The group of people will be quite large, 20+. All of Jenn’s family lives up in San Jose so they will be considered out of towners. I have a few people as well who will be traveling far for the weekend. So it could be quite large of a group. My first thought was Sarducci’s at the San Juan Capistrano Amtrak depot. However it would be a bit of a drive from Irvine down there just for brunch. I say Irvine because I am suggesting her family stay near or South Coast Plaza. That way they will be near John Wayne for the flights, and a freeway which allows Jenn and I to visit in 15 minutes. The Queen Mary also has a spectacular brunch, but also high in price and far from where everyone will probably be. So the search continues.

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