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Exploring the Balboa Bay Resort

Situated on 15 acres in Newport Beach, Balboa Bay Resort is a 160-room resort hotel boasting numerous amenities. Among these is a marina capable of accommodating 150 boats, waterfront pools, a private beach, a spa and fitness center and a private restaurant.

The History of Balboa Bay Resort

Originally known as Balboa Bay Club, Balboa Beach Resort was opened in 1960. The property was owned by Jack Wrather from this time until 1971, at which time he sold the property to William Ray. Ray was inducted into the International Hall of Fame in 1988 for his conservation efforts with the property. Three years later, he passed away and ownership of the property transferred to his widow, Beverly Ray Parkhurst. She opened the hotel to the public on May 14, 2003 before selling it to a Chinese businessman by the name of Winston Chung in 2011.

After Chung experienced difficulty with transferring funds out of China to pay for the purchase, the property fell into escrow. The property was then sold to Richard H. Pickup and his family in June 2012. A year later, it was renamed the Balboa Bay Club and Resort as two separate entities, with the renovated Balboa Bay Resort being open to the public. The club, which continues to be open to members only, has hosted numerous notable people including Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Robert Wagner, John Travolta, Jim Carrey, Natalie Wood, Jerry Seinfeld, Barry Goldwater and Russell Simmons. The club also has a public board of directors with many Newport Beach residents serving on the board.

Balboa Bay Resort Amenities

Featuring a hotel as well as short- and long-term apartments on the oceanfront, the Balboa Bay Resort offers a number of amenities. Among these are a restaurant called “The First Cabin” and a bar called “Duke’s Place,” both of which are located on the property. The property also boasts a library/lounge named “Waterline” and “A&O Kitchen + Bar”. The club has three pools, with the original pool being a central fixture of the club since its construction. A members-only pool can also be found near the main beach, while the apartments have a pool located in the complex.

Other features of the property include 14 meeting and board rooms and a 17,000-square-foot spa and fitness center located in the members’ clubhouse. The property did have tennis courts located onsite as well as an off-site tennis club located at the nearby Newport Center. As such, numerous tournaments have been held at the resort since 1958. Today, residents can enjoy playing tennis at The Tennis Club located at the Newport Beach Country Club.

The waterfront marina is another of the resort’s amenities. Over the years, the club has hosted a number of well-known vessels, including Frank Muller’s “Primadonna” and “The Mojo” as well as Reed and Rita Sprinkle’s “Sirius II” and “Viking Princess”. The marina was also visited by the Americas Cup J class racing yacht Endeavour in 1996. The marina is also known for being a prime viewing location for the annual Newport Beach Christmas boat parade and the Beer Can Races that take place every week throughout the summer.

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