We paid nearly $200 for a night at a waterfront "super site" at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. While there was much to like about the sprawling park in Newport Beach, it ultimately didn't live up to the sky-high price.
First, the plus side. As advertised, it's got loads of amenities:
- A lovely pool area, complete with hot tub and ping pong table
- Fire rings on the beach (tip: reserve in advance during busy summer months)
- Back Bay Bistro is a short walk from the park
- Cottages are available on site
- Good WiFi
- Daily activities including water aerobics, hot cocoa social hours, family bingo and adult painting parties
- Laundry facilities, nice restrooms and a gym
- Water sports rentals on the beach include standup paddle boards and kayaks
Some features are only offered in the summer season, including movies on the beach and a game room/video arcade.
When we first parked, the vista from our site was pretty thrilling, especially as a California sunset lit up the scene. But our site fronted a busy walkway, so there was a steady stream of folks strolling past. And above, we were in the flight path for a nearby airport. Then, our peaceful sleep was interrupted by weed whackers and leaf blowers at the crack of 8 a.m. Yes, they were finished in a matter of minutes, but left behind clumps of grass that needed to be stepped around.
These might sound like minor complaints, but when you're paying a premium, it's fair to expect a gold standard, right? There are sites at this resort that are less expensive, but they're not right on the water.
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