I spend a lot of time in airports. You can usually find me sitting in a wine bar working and waiting for my flight. Last week I was in Vino Vollo at John Wayne Airport doing just that when sweet older man sat near me. We bonded over truffle popcorn and work travel and chatted about what frequent flyers typically chat about – status, points and travel tips. He’s a member of the Million Miler Club. That’s an impressive amount of travel, but no thanks!! I’m good at Gold. I actually enjoy being home.
I sharing how unimpressed I had been that week with my stay at Avenue of the Arts – A Tribute Portfolio Hotel in Costa Mesa. My truffle popcorn friend recommended his favorite Orange County Hotel: The Renaissance Club Sport Hotel, a Marriott resort and sports club. When you stay at the Marriott you have full access to the sports club and fitness classes. The restaurant offers “trainer approved” options, and you are greeted with a set of dumbbells as you walk into your room. My little fitness loving heart went pitter pat.
I love trying new fitness classes, and the Renaissance Group Fitness schedule was on point. I had 4 6am classes to choose from Wednesday alone. You can take a peek at their extensive group fitness schedule here. I took FitFusion and assumed it would be like any other weight training group class, but I was surprised to find we would be using Terra Core Balance Trainers. I had never seen one before and love the added stability training it brings to the workout. The Terra Core Balance Trainer gave me a few ideas I immediately put into practice at the gym with a Bosu Ball, but I might have to get one for home.
Overall rating: Excellent
The hotel is clean and prestige. Ascetically pleasing throughout.
My room was spacious and cozy, although I did long for a tub instead of just a shower. I love taking a relaxing bubble baths when I travel, especially after a long travel day, but that’s just a personal preference. I also thought the tv was awkwardly small for the space. Granted, we are talking about a hotel in sunny California so a tv isn’t high on the priority list, but if I’m working from my room or wanting to unwind at night I’d like to be able to see the television from the bed without binoculars.
Alisio Viejo a located in San Joaquin Hills of southern Orange County. I like that Alisio Viejo is outside of Orange County proper, and only about 8 miles from Laguna Beach, however, this is not the ideal location for me if I’m in Orange County for work. It’s 25-30 minutes from John Wayne Airport, not conveniently located near my parter’s offices, and too far from my favorite OC restaurants. However, if you are looking for quiet, more remote hotel then this is for you.
I dropped my luggage in my room and went immediately to the hotel restaurant/bar. I was seriously hangry. I sat there waiting for a long time. It’s definitely a place to socialize and the space was busy, but it took 10 minutes to even be acknowledged. When I was greeted it that was by a manager who sent a waiter over.
Still, the staff overall was pleasant and welcoming so I’m not going to knock them too badly on restaurant service.
I love when restaurants offer healthy choices. I especially loved the “trainer approved” menu options. They also offer smoothies in the morning. Kudos on the food!
I didn’t get the opportunity to spend any time at the pool, but I can tell you they have a beautiful lap pool. Again, a fun differentiator from any other hotel I’ve ever stayed at.
At $250/night (in August), I thought this hotel provided a tremendous value for the price. The access to the sports club alone is a special perk, but if that’s not your thing I do think you will find the hotel comfortable, lively, and a good value.
I give the Renaissance ClubSport Aliso Viejo Laguna Beach Hotel a 4/5 stars.
What are your favorite SoCal Hotels?