Hotel Review: Fashion Island Hotel, Newport Beach, California, USA
The tall unmissable building with a grand frontage of the Fashion Island Hotel is found at the end of a well manicured palm-tree lined avenue. It is heralded by a short, but squat, pillar announcing the Fashion Island shopping complex.
When we arrived the valet team were all over the car:greetings all round, opening the doors, luggage out of the boot and taken to reception, car keys in their hands, and soon the car was whisked off to the car park.
It’s an impressive welcome as was the walk under the canopy towards the doors that open up to a huge reception looking plush in shiny bright, creamy colours. It’s an uplifting sort of chic with the odd shout of colour to create contrast.
From the lobby we could just about see the blue of the pool peaking through the lush tropical plants as if to beckon.
Fashion Island Hotel is owned and operated by the Irvine Company (probably the richest real estate developers in America) who have their headquarters in Newport Beach. They took over the management from Four Seasons some years ago and have aligned it with the Fashion Island shopping mall next door. A perk of staying here is that you have access to a personal shopper.
This is a family friendly hotel (though no kids’ club) and pet friendly too. Sophisticats may love the high end shops steps away at Fashion Island mall. I was there with my partner and we loved the romance of its relaxed vibe and seamless service.
There are 295 air conditioned rooms arranged over 20 floors. They come with sunny coastal style decor, original art and floor to ceiling windows letting in lashings of daylight giving off a pleasingly airy and spacious feel. King sized beds are comfy, work tables are handy, large flat screen TVs and a mini bar comprise the mod cons. Step out balconies or patios are a perk.
Tip: Ask about the view: some rooms have magnificent vistas over Newport Harbour and the ocean and some (like mine) take in the parking area of the Fashion Island shopping mall which is less attractive.
The large bathrooms are luxurious in marble and come with toiletries and a hair dryer.
Food and Drink
The hotel restaurant, Oak Grill, (built around a Ficus tree) serves contemporary Californian cuisine in casual chic surroundings either indoors or alfresco on the terrace. When night falls the terrace is romantically lit making for a heady dining experience in the warm Newport Beach evenings to a backdrop of live music. I enjoyed a gorgeously juicy burger (yes, a burger) and can vouch for it. My partner loved the steak. There are also salads and fish and an interesting list of craft beers.
The Aqua lounge’s is where we enjoyed pre-dinner tipples amid decor that is doused in soothing turquoise hues. There are stools around the circular bar as well as sofas and tempting mixologist-made cocktails have made this a popular local hangout. Bar food is available here.
During the day, there’s also a pool-side menu with attentive sun-bed service.
The hotel has a lovely pool surrounded by pretty tropical landscaping with plenty of sunbeds and cabanas. It’s not huge but very appealing. The gym is in good shape and the 4,000-square-foot spa with nine treatment rooms is satisfyingly relaxing especially after a Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage.
There’s also, conveniently, a 24-hour reception desk and room service and the attentive valet parking is a joy but you do need to fork out USD35 per night.
And lastly, Island Club on the 20th floor is available to everyone for $50 per person, per night – and includes the nibbles and bites throughout the day in a comfortable sitting room style environment, upgraded WiFi and many other perks.