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“Easily the most frustrating customer service experience I've ever had”
Review of Balboa Inn

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Balboa Inn
Ranked #17 of 18 Hotels in Newport Beach
Reviewed 12 September 2017

Sometimes, when things have gone wrong, all you (as a service provider) need to say is, "I'm sorry this happened, I'm not sure why it did, but let us do everything we can to make this better."

If you are looking for anything close to this level of treatment, spend your money elsewhere. I hoped my anger would fade away over time at this place, but almost five months later I'm just as upset.

My cousin was getting married in late April of 2017, and he asked me to Officiate the wedding. The family chose the Balboa Inn and set aside a block of rooms there. I called the hotel about 6 weeks before the ceremony, spoke to a clerk there, and requested an upgraded room. I gave a credit card number and received a PDF confirmation to my email address. I thought everything was good to go.

Fast forward to the night of the rehearsal dinner, and I figured I would try my luck to get an early check in. The front desk person said we couldn't check in early because "everyone is going to request that for the wedding" and her advice was to "call in the morning and see if anything is available."

She wasn't overly helpful, but I get it, I'm not entitled to an early check in. So I made other arrangements and traveled to the hotel to check in so I wouldn't be late to the wedding. When I got there, they said they didn't have my reservation. They then accused me of having checked in already (my Gramps has my same name, but he didn't book his own room), and then demanded to see the PDF.

We showed it, we waited, we watched as multiple phone calls were made and new and different hotel people came and looked at my PDF...long story short I no longer have a room.

Accidents happen, people can make mistakes, but the treatment we received at the hands of these people who staff this hotel was abhorrent. The best they could do was a room at a different hotel about a mile away. I was left with the prospect of getting my car to that hotel, getting checked in, and then returning to the wedding which was about to start.

I ended up missing parts of the reception to clear everything up. For our troubles, we were offered a discount on our return trip to the hotel, as though I would willingly subject myself to their nonsense again.

There are plenty of hotels that are just as expensive and offer similar price points. You would do well to patronize literally any other one.

I did see the inside of my Aunt's room so I could iron my shirt. It was very small but I guess that's what this place is about.

Room Tip: Honestly, demand they confirm the reservation in blood
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  • Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank thatsnotfunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 8 of 267 reviews

Reviewed 10 September 2017 via mobile

We stayed at the Balboa and because of its close proximity to the Catalina Flyer so that we could go to Catalina for the day for that purpose this hotel is perfect you can get a two day parking pass for $24 at Balboa beach. And it's an easy walk to both Balboa inn and the Catalina Flyer. The inn at best is 2 Star the mattress was old and saggy the room look like it'd been painted by children the bathroom although spacious had no counter space and poor lighting at the sink. the staff was very friendly don't even bother with the free breakfast but the rooms were quiet and we got a good nights rest before our trip.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Fred B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2017

We have stayed here a couple of times. It's all about the location! They will park your car and you are within a short walk to beach, fun zone and the Balboa Island ferry. Restaurants are close too. The pier is right in front of the hotel too. The rooms are just ok but the staff make up for it. A continental breakfast is also included. No pool, 2 very small jacuzzis. Take your bicycle with you, the hotel is also on the bike path!

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Janmaweber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2017 via mobile

For my wife's birthday she wanted to escape SLC and get to the beach. The Balboa Inn was perfect for us. Located right in front of the pier, it was only a minute from the beach and water. The staff here was VERY friendly and helpful. The timing may have played into our favor, but the hotel was very quiet and private. We enjoyed our stay very much.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank Jeff J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2017 via mobile

This hotel was so close to the beach, 3 star for the amazing staff, especially in housekeeping, very honest. Left my Iphone by the jacuzzi and staff turned it in.

I would recommend this hotel only if you want a get away to the beach, a few steps away to bars, restaurants, shops pier and to the balboa pavilion.

Room too small, too pricey but i guess we paid for being right in the beach. We didn't like the half wall shower coz floor gets so wet with water after shower.

Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
Thank gladys v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2017

This hotel is overpriced & rundown. With the valet parking and Resort fee, it cost us $525 per night. The exterior of the hotel looks nice, however, the rooms are old, rundown, and in dire need of repair. The air conditioning in our room did not work, the thermostat was broken, the bathroom was extremely dark, the main room was extremely dark, the walls were nicked and scraped, the baseboards were coming apart, the carpet and furniture was stained, excetera. I have done extensive traveling and I have never been in a hotel that was this expensive yet this dumpy. To make matters worse, the hotel is on Main Street, which is across from several bars, and there is a lot of noise at night coming from the bars and from people on the street. I would absolutely NOT recommend staying at this hotel for anyone looking for a hotel in Newport Beach. Moreover, although they call it a "resort", there is nothing resort-like about this hotel. It is more like a motel near the beac,h but it is not a resort in the sense of the word that you would imagine, such as Aulani in Hawaii.

  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Marlene H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2017 via mobile

Poor management. Lack of a real nice room design. Leaky faucets. Wouldn't be so bad if they didn't charge an arm and a leg to stay there, but the "resort fee" was pretty much the last straw. Trust the other reviews, definitely better places in NB for cheaper

Stayed: August 2017
Thank clay_shep1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Balboa Inn

Address: 105 Main St, Newport Beach, CA 92661-1397
Region: United States > California > Orange County > Newport Beach
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Newport Beach
#8 Spa Hotel in Newport Beach
Price Range: $248 - $404 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Balboa Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The newly remodeled Balboa Inn, in Newport Beach, Orange County, is a place where casual beachside ambiance and classic Old World charm combine in a historic landmark that’s lured Southern California's rich and famous for decades. Set on the colorful boardwalk at the foot of the Balboa Pier, this oceanfront establishment’s relaxed air may have you kicking off your high heels before you stroll down the aisle. Built in 1929, this upscale Orange County inn has entertained such notables as Howard Hughes, Barry Goldwater and a host of other politicians, entertainers and honeymooners. Once owned by the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kareem Abdul Jabbar, its nine-foot ceilings still bear a telltale sign of the basketball star. A recent $6-million addition features two oceanview terraces, a new oceanview Italian tile sundeck with hot tub, 34 upgraded rooms, 11 top-of-the-line suites and convenient subterranean valet parking. Guests enter the Inn through the Mediterranean-style courtyard, a natural space for pre-ceremony mingling. With its original tile, adobe walls, potted palms, bar and the soothing sound of surf crashing in the background, the space is a comfortable area for people to come together. Meanwhile, you, your groom and all your attendants have full use of an oceanview honeymoon suite with a Jacuzzi and fireplace. For the wedding ceremony itself, options include the hotel’s magnificent second-floor Siena Terrace overlooking the ocean, as well as the nearby gazebo at Peninsula Park and the adjacent rugby field fronting the ocean, where a decorated arch can provide a focal point. After you’ve said your “I do’s,” the Pacific Ocean provides fabulous scenery for photos taken on the pier, the sand or the grassy field next to the beach. When you’re ready to receive your guests, return to the upstairs terrace with its panoramic views from Catalina Island to Dana Point. Or, hold your wedding reception in the Siena Grand Dining Room and adjoining courtyard, where antique streetlights and colorful murals of gondolas on canals capture the romance of Venice. Along with five-star Italian cuisine by the restaurant’s gifted executive chef, you’ll enjoy a dreamy indoor-outdoor setting cleansed by refreshing sea spray. Far removed from the straight-laced formality of more corporate properties, the Balboa Inn is just steps from Newport’s famed Fun Zone. Here, you can pose for some playful photos on the historic carousel and Ferris wheel, or take a stress-busting ferry ride across Newport Bay. After you’ve returned to your guests to dance the night away, there’s one more thing you’ll probably want to do before heading for your honeymoon suite: go for a moonlit stroll along the sand. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Balboa Hotel Newport Beach
Balboa Newport Beach

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