Checking In and Checking Out

The SoCal Kids Are Starting to Play and Stay in the OC

by Jessica Ritz
Welcome to Newport Beach. Photos courtesy of Lido House.


Newport Beach, California
Classic, $$$ ($300 - $1,500 for adorable three-story cottages )

Something is happening in the tony oceanside hamlet around Newport Beach, California. It's becoming … cool. Not in the 1970s post-hippie, dropout, artsy surf culture way that defined parts of Orange County like Laguna Beach back in the day, but this round of textural minimalism and excellent Cali taste is helping to push against some Real Housewives stereotypes.

While it was undergoing extensive renovations, had an all-dressed-up-and-nowhere-to-go vibe as the storefronts were refurbished in a more stark, contemporary, graphic color palette. Tenants gradually trickled in. Now the rehabbed shopping and dining cluster is home to some of the buzziest L.A. retail and style tastemakers. 

has an outpost, as does bag maven . DTLA Arts District boutique runs its shop with an adjacent Warby Parker brick-and-mortar location, and upscale fashion emporium took over a former groovy mid-century modern building. Other staples are recognizable from some of the country's (and globe's) chicer neighborhoods — Aesop and Le Labo. New restaurants on the boardwalk, just across from mega party yachts and more subtle forms of water transport coasting along Newport Bay, include an OC outpost of LA faves, like casual wine bar/cafe , the intimate , and fantastic . 

Next up: Chef Helene Henderson's perennially popular is opening a location at Lido Marina Village this fall that will include a marketplace and boutique. With the nearby is in full swing, this pocket of Orange County makes for an easy-breezy SoCal getaway.  

Book It

Rates range from $300 for a room to $1500 for a cottage. . Or get in touch with the , and we can plan your trip for you.

Checking In

Location 
Newport Beach is about an hour drive (traffic depending, of course) from Los Angeles on the 405 South, and easily accessible from San Diego.  

Hotel Style
Cape Cod-influenced, nautical heavy aesthetics might not exactly have roots in California, but its popularity in parts of Los Angeles and Orange County is now impossible to miss. Lido House is an Autograph Collection property, meaning it's catering to a millennial demo that cares about design trends and perhaps more importantly, Insta-ready moments. Wide white and gray board-and-batten buildings and a general un-fussiness mesh well with boho chic comforts and overstuffed linen sofas, along with other details like contrasting handmade textile pillows and lighting, an old-fashioned ship steamer model in the lobby for good measure. Poolside cabanas have a fun, bold mix of colors and stripes.

This Place Is Perfect For
Families and couples looking for a home base well-suited to a car-free vacation.  (more on that below) accommodate up to eight, have fully outfitted kitchens and rooftop living rooms, offering a welcome hybrid of a home rental/hotel experience with more privacy for your brood, and eliminating the need for multiple conjoined rooms.

But Not So Perfect For
A truly beach-centric California getaway. The Pacific Ocean and Newport Beach Pier are a ten-minute stroll away, and Lido House does all it can to encourage its guests to head to the ocean, including offering free bikes and food from Mayor's Table packed to-go for convenient beach picnics. But it’s not a waterfront resort. That said, Lido Isle and Newport Bay are close, so it's impossible to feel landlocked.   

What's On Site
, a cute retail area with souvenirs like sturdy Apolis jute bags embroidered with different locales (bring a Newport Beach, California tote home). Rooftop bars and lounges are more and more a thing these days, and Lido House's Topside is the only one in Newport Beach. There’s also shuffleboard, eye-catching yellow rope Tidelli lounge chairs from Brazil, and fire pits to go with the killer sunset views. The hulking lighthouse-inspired rotunda tower is accessed via the roof lounge and is especially fun for kids to frolic around.   

Food + Drink
is the main restaurant, with a seafood-focused menu and more contemporary coastal and nautical-themed decor. Prices are steep, as you might expect in an upscale hotel restaurant. Folks seem to gravitate to the lounge area of the bar, with its fireplace, dark wood surfaces, and intimate seating. is attached to the property for your coffee, ice cream, and other daytime noshing needs. With Lido Marina Village coming into its own, options are plentiful and walkable. Locals have been grabbing fish tacos and other fresh goods from for a while, too. 

Number of Rooms
130 guest rooms in the main building, and another building containing five attached "cottages." These three-story townhouses have been individually kitted out by interior designers from the area, like  and . 

In-Room Amenities
The thoughtfully designed guest rooms include silky soft organic robes and a compact bathroom with toiletries.  

The cottages are another deal entirely. Each of the five 1,500-square-foot residential spaces showcase a different take on the upscale surf shack home. Some lean towards saturated and exuberant, while others stick to more of-the-moment restrained grays and blues. All five have a fully outfitted working kitchen, two bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, and perhaps, best of all, rooftop lounges with fireplaces, grill setups, and ample comfy seating to make the most of those ocean breezes.

Drawbacks
Again, all the beachy touches might lead one to assume that Lido House is on the well, beach. Instead of an endless shimmering stretch of blue, however, some of the rooms overlook a parking lot and nearby businesses and apartments (not so glamorous), or the hotel pool in the center of the property. 

What to Do Nearby

Shop at Lido Village, sip cocktails at surrounded by characters that might remind you of or actually be some of your favorite Bravo TV personalities. Take one of the hotel’s bikes to residential Lido Isle, or go a little farther afield to Balboa Island and look for the money hidden in (and a frozen banana, double-dipped). True clotheshorses won’t want to miss drop-dead stunning and influential fashion mecca on PCH on the other side of Newport Bay. 

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