Summer is here for our family, and we got to start it off with a bang with a local stay at Marriott Vacation Club in Newport Beach. As I mentioned in a blog about our stay at Marriott Vacation Club in Paris, my parents have Marriott Vacation points and it’s a fun way to do family vacations with them that allow space for everyone. Our villa had two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a large living room/sitting area, dining area, and full kitchen. The washer and dryer are also an awesome amenity to help cut down on packing loads! We also had a large covered balcony with a table for outdoor seating and relaxation. It was bigger than many apartments in the So Cal area 🙂 As So Cal locals it was an easy drive for us to convene at the Newport location, and we were there mainly to enjoy the Resort and its amenities vs other activities in the area.
Covered balcony with ample space
Hotel Main Lobby
Main Pool Area
However, I want to note that this property is very close to Disneyland, within easy reach of San Diego, Los Angeles, and many other So Cal notable sites no matter what your fancy is. Just a free shuttle ride away (that we took advantage of) is Crystal Cove Beach, which is a charming area with a full restaurant/bar, and many cottages rented out by the State Park that book 6 months in advance. The kids love this beach for the little pond area where they had fun catching minnows, and simply the ambience and easy exploration – definitely worth a visit if staying in Newport! I also got to enjoy a morning paddleboarding over on the Peninsula, where it’s very protected from the main ocean area, while the kids and grandparents loved exploring Newport Beach proper across the way. You could easily keep yourself busy here with all the shopping, dining, and restaurants in Newport, Corona del Mar – another great beach to visit with kids, Fashion Island (nearby mall), and Laguna Beach just another short shuttle ride away. Many guests visiting came from the inland states or East Coast to escape summer heat/humidity, and it’s a great spot for families of all generations!
Crystal Cove Beach is a gem!
One of the coolest things Mr. CT and I did was a 12 mile coastal hike, starting over at the Quail Hill trailhead and ending over in Crystal Cove at the beach. The views are amazing, the weather is great, and you even get to see some local wild life! There are lots of hike options at Crystal Cove State Park, many of which are family friendly, that are worth checking out for your outdoorsy side!
Beautiful hike views
The Marriott Resort itself of over 700 villas has lots to offer, including 4 pools spread out across the property, putting greens, chess/checkers, table soccer, shuffle board, beanbag toss, hot tubs, and much more! The main pool area has a bar/grill that is very pricey but has decent food and drinks, giving the Resort feel while still allowing the convenience of a villa/condo stay. The kids made great use of the Sandbox, the kids’ activity center, and their many crafts, games, and other educational opportunities. They would note the schedule each day and decide what they wanted to do. Their favorite was Science with Susie, a half hour long demo of cool chemistry including fireworks, dry ice, bubbles, and more – was super impressive! Feedings in the koi pond outdoors were also a lot of fun, especially the afternoon wine-cheese-koi feeding activity that appeals to kids and parents a like. Everything was clean, safe, and comfortable, definitely a hit for the kiddos. The Fitness Center was ample, with up to date machines/equipment, and easy access. They even have a separate smaller center on the far ends of the property for convenience and ease for those guests, along with the additional pool facilities and games.
When all else fails – a screen
Arts and crafts
They even have a Birds of Prey event! Check out the hawk poolside!
Koi fish feeding!
Science with Susie was AWESOME
The biggest downside to the property location is that you can’t walk to the beach or other nearby locations like shopping, and have to rely on a car or the hotel shuttle to get there. A small market and Starbucks are on site, but the prices are hefty. 🙂
One of the Fitness Centers
When all else fails, relax with a mai tai poolside!
All in all, we would definitely stay here again and I would recommend it as a family base camp option for your Newport Beach/Orange County stay. It also works great for a staycation like we did, with plenty of relaxation time just at the Resort alone. We have stayed at some other great properties as well, including the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel Resort & Spa. Contact me tif you’re interested in planning your stay to the Newport Beach area! 🙂