Hyatt Regency Newport Beach
1107 Jamboree Rd.
Newport Beach, CA 92660
The Oasis pool contains Newport Beach's only waterslide
I am certainly convinced that Newport Beach is a magical place. My family stayed at the Balboa Bay Resort on the Newport Bay and thought we had seen it all, until a few weeks later when we had the pleasure of visiting the Hyatt Regency Newport. Situated on 26 beautiful acres on the upper Newport Bay, with a full $15 million dollar renovation completed in May, 2013, this bustling resort had an amazing kind of active Southern California energy with a huge variety of activities for family visitors within the resort and the immediate surrounding area.
Built in the 1960’s, this resort has been a hub of the Newport community for decades. Segments of the property are brick-lined with an old-fashioned charm, while the resort maintains a modern and updated overall feel. Within five to ten miles outside of the property, even more exciting activities abound. This is a superb destination resort that beckons to anyone craving an upscale SoCal experience. The Newport Hyatt is situated very near the Newport coast and Crystal Cove, the Balboa peninsula and Cannery Village, and Corona Del Mar. Best of all, it is within walking distance of Balboa Island, a special village with unique shops, restaurants, and home of the first frozen banana stand. Balboa Island also has a ferry that leads to Balboa peninsula. Also the spectacular Fashion Island mall and kid-friendly Balboa Fun Zone are a short drive away. The upper Newport Bay itself, over which the resort sits, opens up all kinds of sports options, such as paddle-boarding, hiking, kayaking, and bike-riding for visitors.
All of the resort personnel were of the utmost consideration and politeness. I felt right at home in the beach-themed three-room suite that perfectly accommodated my family with four kids. The adjoining rooms were separated by a living room complete with a large screen TV, spacious desk, couch, and beach photos. My kids liked the fact that on-demand movies and a DVD player for videos were both available. The beds were very comfortable and I really appreciated the in-room coffee pots. All three rooms had balconies surrounded by trees, creating a private and woodsy feeling. Many of the resort buildings have beautiful views of the bay, particularly the Catalina and Lido buildings. There are four villas available for individual parties to reserve, each containing three bedrooms and private pools.
Peaceful pathways create a serene family setting
I especially loved the resort’s restaurant, the Shor, a special dining experience exclusive to only certain Hyatts. Their motto is “thoughtfully sourced, carefully served.” All of the foods are sourced locally and very fresh. The Skuna Bay Salmon has always been caught and served within 24 hours, and a prominent chalkboard in the center of the restaurant indicates the local ship from which the Fish of the Day was caught. The restaurant is open for three meals a day with a daily breakfast buffet every day in the summer, and on weekends throughout the rest of the year. I had the Cioppino, a dish that we fish aficionados know is not available everywhere, let alone made to perfection, as it was here. This was a memorable culinary treat. My husband had a chicken Caesar salad and my kids found a kid-menu with traditional favorites such as chicken nuggets, pastas, and sandwiches, so there was something for everyone. The service was very pleasant and friendly.
Another fascinating feature of this resort is the bar that transforms itself into an energetic café in the morning. When I arrived with my family on Friday night, the bar area was bustling with adults mingling and enjoying the Newport nightlife. This was quite the adult scene with cocktails and appetizers abounding. In the morning, this same area was transformed into something that resembled a Starbucks--a breakfast nook with muffins and coffee. It was quite amazing to observe this transformation. Right next to this bar/coffee shop is a relaxing study area for quiet reading or relaxing.
The gift shop was especially family-friendly, stocked with affordable memorabilia, not the ultra pricey items that regular families would never consider buying, often found in upscale resorts. I found cute t-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and even gadgets for my iphone at reasonable prices. I especially enjoyed the 75% off sale!
We loved the ten-mile bike path around upper Newport Bay, adjacent to the resort
While the Hyatt Newport Beach is set in the heart of the aforementioned desirable destinations, the resort itself offers so many amenities that a family would not need to leave the premises to find entertainment. For starters, the resort contains three pools, each with its own distinctive personality. The Indulge pool is a relaxing adult pool that sometimes hosts live reggae and other musical artists. During the summer months, movies are played in the Serenity pool for guests. The Oasis pool is the standout pool for kids, offering a big water slide, a putting green area, a ping pong table, cabanas for rent, and an interactive water play area. This pool is very active in the summer season, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with movies and hula hoop contests. All of the pools have Jacuzzis, but the Oasis pool has a jumbo, family-sized one.
For parents as well as Jr. golfers, a 9-hole golf course is available for a reasonable fee of $12.00 during the week and $18.00 on the weekend. For the other activities at the resort, the anticipated resort fee is not charged for the tennis courts, volleyball, bocci ball, ping pong, shuffleboard or even the giant chess set. My four kids had a great time with the shuffle board on the first morning of our stay.
The resort is perched right on upper Newport Beach bay which has a paved bike path that wraps around the approximately 10-mile perimeter of the bay. My family rode our bikes around this peaceful bay, and this picture remains as a sweet memory of the stay. Bikes and helmets are available at the resort and a staff member even came out to make sure that the helmets fit right before we left. This bay is also very popular for paddle-boarding, canoeing and boating, and these items are available to rent at the bay.
Another standout feature of this resort is the lovely amphitheater which creates a perfect ambiance for weddings. It is also the location of the resort’s Summer Concert Series which generally runs June through October on Friday evenings. While this Friday night series used to involve only jazz musicians, now a wider group of artists play in this venue, including Michael McDonald, Wilson-Phillips, and the Commodores.
Some other pleasant perks of this resort include free internet for up to 15 minutes a day, and daily high-speed internet for a modest fee, as well as free use of the printer. A shuttle is also available to transport guests from the John Wayne airport to the resort as well as to some local destinations such as Fashion Island or Balboa Island. The resort now also staffs a VIP manager available to provide extra help to visitors who need it. For instance, a mom traveling alone or a person needing amenities to be arranged for a special event can contact this VIP manager and she will make all the arrangements so that the guest can relax and fully enjoy the resort.
This peaceful yet active resort will not disappoint. It sits at the heart of many wonderful Southern California locations and is even within a half hour drive of the major theme parks, Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland. Southern California never gets too cold, so this is a lovely destination any time of the year. The Hyatt Newport Beach is tasteful and classy, and just keep in mind that Newport Beach has a magical ambiance that is hard to ever forget.
Come and make your own magical memories at Newport Beach...