SoCal’s family-friendly reputation precedes it, with no shortage of kids’ club-touting resorts strung along the coastline. But newcomer Lido House, now part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and nestled in Newport Beach’s marina, is different. More of an urban boutique hotel, with an exterior reminiscent of Cape Cod, the property manages to feel both fresh and family-friendly at once. That’s in part thanks to five thoughtfully designed three-story cottages onsite, which prove an ideal setup for parents with young children or larger groups.
Within minutes of the beach (all guests receive complimentary flip-flops!), the marina, the historic Balboa Fun Zone amusement park and foodie eats such as Malibu Farm, the Lido House puts families pretty much in the center of it all.
Opened in 2018 on the grounds of the former Newport Beach City Hall, Lido House compromises a main building with 130 rooms decked out with leather headboards, oak furnishings and marble bathrooms, as well as five 1,500-square- foot cottages. Cottages each feature two bedrooms, a living area, a kitchen and a rooftop deck with fireplace.
Each cottage tells its own story and was uniquely decorated by one of five local interior designers chosen to give the spaces a sense of style and place. For example, the Balboa cottage, designed by Grace Blu Design, includes details such as hand-drawn tile flooring, brightly colored textiles and even a yellow clawfoot tub.
Property amenities include a spa with four treatment rooms; complimentary bikes for exploring; and a restaurant called The Mayor’s Table, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. During our recent stay, we enjoyed a breakfast of avocado toast and granola with housemade vanilla yogurt (which our 6-year-old praised as tasting much like ice cream). There’s also a rooftop bar, a prime spot since it’s the only such space in all of Newport Beach.
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Artwork around the hotel pays homage to Newport’s history. Guests are greeted by a scaled model of John Wayne’s boat, the Wild Goose, in the lobby; while a commissioned piece using Schwinn banana bike seats, meant to evoke memories of riding bikes along Newport Beach’s boardwalk, will catch eyes in the elevator bank.
Lido House offers a beach shuttle for guests to head to the sand. The property can also arrange a range of activities, including boat rentals, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, whale watching and more.
Crystal Cove State Park is a regional gem for hiking and exploring. The El Moro Canyon trail is especially beautiful in spring with wildflowers, but does feature some incline. If visiting with littler ones, consider the scenic blufftop trail that hugs the beach instead.
Once the family has worked up an appetite, head to one of several top restaurants in the area. A favorite of ours, Gracias Madre serves delicious Mexican dishes such as chilaquiles, huevos rancheros and enchiladas, all with a plant-based twist. Wash it all down with some cinnamon-laced horchata. Newport Beach’s outpost of Pizzeria Mozza is also a great place for a fancier dinner once everyone’s cleaned up after fun in the sun.
Editor’s Note: Lido House provided a media package in order to facilitate our review. As always, all opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Tanvi Chheda and Lido House.
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