montage view 2

View from The Loft at the Montage Laguna Beach

That the morning began at the Montage Laguna Beach with the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop and included The Loft’s signature Parma Eggs — a memorable combination of fried eggs, truffled brioche, crispy prosciutto and grilled heirloom tomatoes that may well be among my new breakfast favorites — set the tone for a day of revelation in the OC.

With Day 4 of my LivingWells California road trip now come and gone, the highlight of the visit was an all too brief stay at the Newport Beach Hotel, which is  a little oceanfront oasis along the Newport Beach Walk bordering the sand. I call it a ‘highlight’ of my stay because when I set out on this trip, I pledged to discover hidden gems – places that might not immediately register on the radar of even the most astute travelers for whatever reason – and the new Sailor Suites at The Newport Beach Hotel are undoubtedly among them.

Tucked between local boites and eateries, all bearing that familiarly casual, laidback vibe that life at the beach naturally engenders, The Newport Beach Hotel blends in unassumingly with the surrounding surfer-filled bars, alleys and strip malls, while simultaneously keeping its bounty a secret. Why I was surprised by this revelation is, in and of itself,  a wonder, given that the hotel is one of the fifteen luxuriously boutique Four Sisters properties, which include the Green Gables Inn in Monterey, Gaige House in Glen Ellen and the Healdsburg Inn in Sonoma.

Perhaps the quality of the Sailor Suites at the Newport Beach Hotel that is most notable is that they offer the kind of privacy required of any real escape. Put more plainly, there are quite simply those times when the epitome of “luxury” is being in a place that has everything you need and none of the things you don’t. Sometimes you just want to make a soft-boiled egg for yourself in the morning, take an a late night walk without ever running into a member of the housekeeping staff to acknowledge your every move or just take a turn as a beach bum far away from the world you know. The Sailor Suites at the Newport Beach Hotel offer that opportunity in spades.

Spacious, casually well-appointed and complete with full kitchens the new Sailor Suites are the home away from home in Newport Beach that I had hoped to discover.

To find out more about the Sailor Suites or the Newport Beach Hotel in general, visit www.newportbeachwalkhotel.com.

(Additional photography by Rob Musick)