The 135-room Lido House, which opened in April, flips the script of the standard, Southern California beach hotel. Instead of a hacienda-style sprawl of buildings or a glassy modern tower, the property is anchored by a newly constructed Cape Cod style mansion. That makes its fun, funky interior design accents all the more unexpected: graffiti-ish ceilings, art works made with neon tubes of light, chandeliers of wicker and twine. Also unexpected: the hotel happens to be a Marriott, part of the chain’s boutique-inspired Autograph Collection. Instead of cookie-cutter rooms, the developer Robert D. Olson, a Newport Beach native, hired five local interior designers to trick out the hotel in different styles that nod to the history of this boat and boardwalk speckled region — Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall used to vacation here — while pushing it forward as a tourist destination of today.
Fifty miles south of downtown Los Angeles, the hotel sits between Newport Beach and Lido Marina. Walk (or bike — the area’s preferred mode of transportation) half a mile west and you’ll reach a wide, sandy beach studded with umbrellas and volleyball nets. Less than a mile south, the Newport Beach pier juts into the Pacific and offers epic sunset views. The newly revived Lido Marina Village is a quarter mile north of the hotel; it’s rife with restaurants, breweries and independent boutiques. The marina is also a docking point for electric “Duffy” boats that are available for organized or self-guided tours of the picturesque bay and channels.