Fashionable, fresh and friendly, Newport Beach, Calif., has been
affectionately nicknamed “Little Hollywood” for many years. Famous
residents, like John Wayne and Kobe Bryant, and the popular
television series “The OC” have perpetuated the image of Newport as
a retreat for the wealthy and glamorous. To keep up with its glitzy
image, Newport Beach’s accommodations and activities are getting a
makeover as part of the city’s centennial year.
One of the most recent and fitting additions to the city’s
calendar is the Newport Beach Film Festival. Having just wrapped up
its seventh year, the festival has presented acclaimed films,
including Oscar-winner “Crash,” “Layer Cake” and “Spellbound” among
others. The festival also boasts a Youth Showcase night featuring
creative shorts by filmmakers under the age of 18.
Be sure to set clients up with tickets to at least one of the
after-show galas, where they can rub elbows with the writers,
producers, directors and actors featured in the festival’s films.
These ritzy events also give guests a chance to sample dishes from
Newport’s choicest restaurants and enjoy an open bar. (Tickets to
all events and showings can be found on
To accommodate the influx of film buffs and stargazers, Newport
offers a polished collection of accommodations many of which have
undergone major renovations in an effort to keep Newport on the
forefront of luxury.
The Island Hotel, formerly The Four Seasons, is the only hotel
with a AAA Five-Diamond rating in Newport Beach. The 295 guestrooms
include 63 Executive Suites and 19 Luxury Suites. The hotel
recently completed a $21 million renovation that included rooms,
corridors, the lobby and the addition of a new spa. Amenities
include 24-hour concierge and room service, twice-daily
housekeeping services, thick terry bathrobes, high-speed Internet
access and marble bathrooms with lighted makeup mirrors and
Other area hotels include the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel &
Spa, which has recently undergone a $70 million renovation to
enhance the 532-room property, adding a contemporary restaurant and
20 luxury suites, including five new penthouse suites.
The Fairmont Newport Beach with a projected price tag of $27
million and the Irvine Company’s Pelican Hill at Newport Coast are
also undergoing refurbishments. Pelican Hill’s multi-million-dollar
renovations will also update the famed golf course of the same
name. The inn is scheduled to reopen in 2008.
With these extensive renovations come improvements to Newport’s
spa scene as well.
Opened in 2005, The Island Hotel Spa offers nine rooms for
treatments, such as the Newport Beach Body Buff and O.C. Facial
Drench. Guests can lounge in the relaxation room before and after
treatments, and for added relaxation, advise clients to request the
hotel’s gourmet chocolate truffles.
Other local spas include Pure Blu at the Marriott Newport Beach
Hotel & Spa, Gaylee Signature Spa at Hyatt Regency Newport
Beach and an 8,000-square-foot boutique spa at the Fairmont Newport
Beach, set to open January 2007.
However, not everything in Newport is new: Old favorites have
yet to go out of style even in the city’s 100th year. The OC Golf
Trail car offers rounds on six famed courses at reduced rates.
Golfers can also book their tee times online, and “Stay and Play”
packages are available at area hotels.
Other activities include renting from the popular Duffy Electric
Boat Company in Newport Harbor. For $95 per hour, clients can
navigate their own charter to see the extravagant homes of
Mariner’s Mile, pass the Balboa Island ferry and maybe catch a
glimpse of a local seal dozing on a pier.
Duffy Electric Boat Company
Fairmont Newport Beach
Hyatt Regency Newport Beach
The Island Hotel
Newport Beach Film Festival
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa
The OC Golf Trail
Pelican Hill at Newport Coast