With primo views of the harbor, the presidential suite at Balboa Bay Resort is a hot commodity during the annual Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade. More than 100 boats cruise the harbor each night of the five-day event. This year, the 109th event runs Dec. 13-17. Nearly 1 million viewers catch the action.
1.) Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa. The city doesn’t have a convention center, so the Marriott (picture above) serves as the dedicated convention hotel, with 532 rooms and 25,000 square feet of meeting space. But its culinary program is far from big-box. Chefs emphasize sustainable seafood at the on-site Hook & Spear restaurant, where the menu changes often. One must-serve item? The rolls, in rotating flavors to match the season. For fall, pumpkin rolls served piping hot from a cast-iron skillet and topped with chunky sea salt are pure heaven.
2.) Fashion Island Hotel. Executive Chef David Man and Pastry Chef Andy De La Cruz make up the dream team at Fashion Island Hotel. For groups of about 12, arrange for a cooking demo in the private dining room at the signature restaurant Oak Grill. Guests will be entertained by Man’s dynamic cooking style and personality. They’ll also leave stuffed following De La Cruz’s epic twists on classic desserts.
3.) Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. Flying under the radar, Director of Events Shelley Callahan has put together an imaginative interactive dinner experience that planners will soon be clamoring to book. Callahan’s multisensory concept is enhanced with different décor, music and lighting for each of the five themed courses. The most fun part? It’s all a secret until you get there.
Opening in spring 2018, Lido House will become Newport Beach’s newest, most stylish boutique hotel. Part of the Marriott Autograph Collection, the 130-room property will have 4,000 square feet of meeting space. Amenities will include a spa, a full-service restaurant and the city’s only rooftop bar.