Debbie Lavdas

By Debbie Lavdas

Debbie Lavdas

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The Island Hotel Newport Beach. A great OC stop, or stayover, for locals.

Have you been to the Island Hotel in Newport Beach? Or maybe you’ve still not heard of it? After recently spending some time there, I’d like to share 5 Top Reasons for Orange County locals to swing by this swank stop. . The hotel is located near Fashion Island and formerly was the Four Season’s till 2005. It is a frequent stop for business travelers with its prime Newport Beach location, but you may be surprised at the local happenings scene. The hotel itself is quite posh with a decadent lobby, fine dining, a tropical pool atmosphere and an intimate spa, and the hotel rooms have a spectacular view of Newport. That said, let’s get into the 5 Top Reasons locals should swing by the Island Hotel.

1. The new dining menu at Palm Terrace Restaurant. The restaurant is quite divine, particularly with their all-new menu. Dining there can range from a fancy date night out to a family outing to a casual morning breakfast meetup. The food is California Coastal cuisine and farm-to-table inspired with love for local fresh ingredients. The Chef whipped up various courses from the all-new new menu for my family to try. The presentation and flavor were equally fantastic. The Pear and Blue Cheese Flatbread was a great Small Bite starter and a perfect share for a group. For lunch, try the Grilled Cheese Panini (California white cheddar and organic artisanal rosemary bread) with Tomato Basil Soup, both were rather light and satisfying. The Caprese Salad with Irvine Ranch Tomatoes and local Burrata was delicious. For an entree, the Puttanesca, a pappardelle pasta with capers, tomatoes and peppers had an excellent spicy kick. The kids, of course, favorited the Palm Terrace Mac and Cheese (with new orrecchiette pasta with truffles and taleggio sauce). For dessert, we were sinfully spoiled, as you will be. The Pastry Chef brought out four different desserts, which are an ideal way to go when dining there, as the portions are smaller and it’s great to sample a bit of everything. A must-have is the Blueberry Blood Orange Ginger Ice Cream (magic molded inside a ring of sweet streusel), it’s really out of this world. The Grapefruit Mint Panna Cotta Honey Tuile was refreshingly unique. The Lemon Cheese Tart had just the right zest, and children will undoubtedly enjoying digging into the Eclair Sundae. It really was such a relaxing time, and locals should note the 50% Monday menu pricing (quite a savings). Also, the restaurant will be having a Mother’s Day Brunch  served alfresco at Palm Terrace Restaurant from 11 am-3pm with stations from sushi and saki, omelets and mimosas, quesadillas and margaritas plus live entertainment. (By the way, the pool cuisine was quite good too).

2. A great hotel should you have guests in town. So many are traveling on business these days and bringing their families along for pleasure. The Island Hotel is a great happy medium for both. The family can play at Fashion Island or the beach during the day and meet up at night after work is wrapped. The contemporary rooms at the hotel are quite spacious with multiple balconies, lounge sun chairs and dining tables, as well as wi-fi and flat screens. Rates start from $199.

3. Sunday poolside BBQ fun. The summer Sunday BBQ parties will be kicking into summer swing soon. We visited last year, click to take a video look at the scene. It makes for a great Sunday away for locals for celebrating a birthday, Father’s Day or just a fun day at the pool. Locals are invited without a hotel stay required. Now, do note that there is construction going on currently nearby the hotel (new PIMCO office building), but there’s no construction on Sundays, so the BBQ fun is ideal pool time.

4. The Spa at the Island Hotel. Locals are welcome at the intimate 4,000 sq. ft. Spa, and now is a pefect time with Mother’s Day coming up. My girl and I had a sweet girly day out with manis and a Love Me Pedicure. The special pedicure (normally an off-the-menu spa treatment) blends all kinds of fruits (from mango and strawberry to mandarin and apple) with a Love Me Ice cream foot bath, vanilla sherbet rinse and vanilla icing. My girl beamed with the special time me spent together. To book the 45-minute pedi and also possibly add a mani, call the spa at 949-760-4992.

5. The Palm Terrace Lounge. Finally, the hotel lounge is a great GNO time. Ring up a fellow Mom to catch up over a Lemondrop Martini perhaps. It’s close by, just the right amount of dressy causal and is perfect after a day of nearby shopping.

The Island Hotel Newport Beach, a great OC stop, or stayover, for locals and your out-of-town guests.

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