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.

Lido House Hotel
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. Instead, this round of textural minimalism and excellent Cali taste is helping to push against some Real Housewives stereotypes.

While it was undergoing extensive renovations, Lido Marina Village 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.

Jenni Kayne has an outpost, as does bag maven Clare V. DTLA Arts District boutique Alchemy Works runs its Harbor House shop with an adjacent Warby Parker brick-and-mortar location, and upscale fashion emporium Elyse Walker 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 Zinque, the intimate Lido Bottle Works, and fantastic Honor Coffee.

Next up: Chef Helene Henderson's perennially popular Malibu Farm will soon open at Lido Marina Village with a marketplace and boutique. With nearby Lido House Hotel 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. Click here for reservations. Or get in touch with the Fathom Travel Concierge, and we can plan your trip for you.

Checking In

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

Hotel Style
The Cape Cod-influenced, nautical-heavy aesthetic might not have roots in California, but its popularity in parts of Los Angeles and Orange County is now impossible to miss. Lido House is part of Marriott's Autograph Collection, meaning it's a hotel that caters 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, plus 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. The cottages (more on that below) accommodate up to eight and have fully outfitted kitchens and rooftop living rooms, offering a welcome hybrid of a home rental/hotel experience with more privacy for your brood, 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
Boost Spa, 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
Mayor's Table 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. Crew Coffee + Cremerie 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 Bear Flag Fish Co. for a while, too.

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

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

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 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 Nobu surrounded by characters that might remind you of — or actually be — 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 the banana stand (and a frozen banana, double-dipped). True clotheshorses won’t want to miss drop-dead stunning and influential fashion mecca A'Maree's on PCH on the other side of Newport Bay.

Spend More Time in Southern California

Stay in an Airstream, Do as the Locals, and Absorb the Ojai Juju
A Budget-Friendly Dating Adventure in Santa Barbara
A Historical Gem in Laguna Beach

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.