01 Feb Spectacular Views at VEA Newport Beach
After graduating from UCLA, JIll traveled the world looking for unique destinations. She’s been writing about her travels for almost 30 years in various publications.
She writes a weekly restaurant review for the Beverly Press and Park LaBrea News. It’s inserted into the Los Angeles Times every Thursday and delivered to subscribers from Hancock Park to Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills to the Wilshire Corridor.
Spectacular Views at VEA Newport Beach
BY Jill Weinlein
Last month I discovered the newly refurbished VEA Newport Beach located across the street from Fashion Island. Owned by the real estate investment group Eagle Four Partners, they upgraded the former Marriott Newport Beach next to the Newport Beach County Club and Golf Course. Debuting in the summer of 2022, VEA Newport Beach is an inviting coastal contemporary resort.
Driving up to the circular drive, I admired a pier looking structure that runs through the hotel and out to the viewing terrace overlooking the 85 foot long heated Edge swimming pool. This pier design is a nod to the nearby Newport Beach pier.
Since the resort overlooks the California Riviera, the front lawn area is aptly named Riviera, providing greenery and a new outdoor event space. Nearby is the ‘Play Chalet’ filled with cruiser and electric bicycles for guests to take out for a spin around Fashion Island, Newport Beach and Balboa Island. Guests stop here pick up beach chairs before taking one of the shuttles down to Corona del Mar State Beach for a day in the sun.
Walking into the upscale and spacious open lobby, there is a sea-inspired reception desk among serene blue and sand colors, Guests gather in the open work area, after ordering from the grab-and-go pastry and coffee cafe.
Throughout the hotel is curated artwork reflecting the beach community. My favorite art piece is a large canvas filled with tiny aluminum and wood squares, titled “Collapse” by artist Irene Mamiye. What looks like the Newport coastline with sailboats, changes to the Newport pier at sunset when one looks at it from another angle.
Meeting Heidi Drinkward, Marketing Manager for VEA Newport Beach in the lobby, she shared that VEA means ‘to see’ in Spanish. “Almost every guest room has a water and golf course view,” she said. “After almost two years of extensive renovation and reimagining, the brand-new building design, swimming pool, guest rooms, food and beverage concepts have been redesigned to focus on the hotel’s location and view.”
I joined her for lunch at the main restaurant and bar named View. It’s open all day offering an indoor and outdoor coastal ambiance. Folding glass NanaWalls lead out to a lovely view lanai. Menu favorites include lobster rolls, a variety of sushi, salads, and grilled proteins.
She shared that one of the most popular spots to watch the sun set along California’s riviera is the Edge Bar at the Edge pool. This gathering place provides sophisticated tranquility on the outdoor deck, and live music during warm months and weekends.
Pointing out the new Pier Tower, she said there are 33 new unique suites. “The first floor offers a patio with golf course views, a fire pit and s’mores for roasting in the evening,” said Drinkward. “The second floor suites are named Cosmopolitan retreats offering two to four king bedrooms with a living room and kitchen.” These sound ideal for multi-generational families, girlfriend weekends and bridal suites. The third floor offers Sanctuary Suites, providing wellness retreats with natural decor, deep bathtubs, spa products and relaxing ocean views.
Staying overnight in one of the luxury 16th floor Sky Suites, this one bedroom suite has a large living area with glass doors leading out to two different view balconies. One had two chairs and a table, and the other had two lounge chairs, There was a king size bed fitted with soft Frette linens, and the large bathroom with a shower and separate bathtub in a spa wet room formation. Two comfortable Frette bathrobes and VEA beach flip flops were discovered in the closet.
During the day, I visited the 14,000-square-foot spa with 14 treatment rooms and a new outdoor saltwater pool. Nearby is a large fitness center complete with a yoga studio and yoga classes in the mornings.
Later I borrowed one of the bicycles for a ride around Fashion Island and over to Roger’s Garden. It’s one of the most spectacular retail garden stores in Southern California. I enjoyed a meal at the popular Farmhouse restaurant, and explored the interior buildings to admire some of the most beautiful theme displays during the holidays.
Back at the hotel before dusk, I ordered a glass of bubbly on the View Lanai and toasted to the magnificent red and gold colors in the sky as the sun set behind a clear view of Catalina Island.
To make a reservation go to https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/laxnb-vea-newport-beach-a-marriott-resort-and-spa/overview or call (866)440-3375. 900 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA.