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Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa CA (Marriott Tribute Portfolio Hotel)

February 6, 2024
Osman Dadi
Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa is one of the best hotels available in Orange County. Part of the Marriott Tribute Portfolio, it's located close to John Wayne SNA Airport. The unique Art-themed hotel has won numerous accolades, including as a wedding venue.

Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa Hotel is not your average hotel in Southern California by any means!

Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa California
Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa California

This boutique hotel is eclectic & creative. The hotel inspires visitors in its luxe, glamorous style of Orange County. It is notably one of the best hotels near Santa Ana’s John Wayne Orange County airport.

Location:
Avenue of the Arts Costa Mesa, California
Dates:
October 2023
Managed By:
Marriott Tribute Portfolio
Accessible To:
Last Updated:
Website:
Marriot Tribute Portfolio

The hotel has won numerous accolades, including the Best of Weddings Hall of Fame in The Knot, and the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Hall of Fame since 2015. It’s also an AAA Diamond Hotel.

Introduction

I stayed at the Avenue of the Arts while attending a wedding for three days in Orange County.

I flew in on BLADE and JetBlue’s Mint A321LR to LAX, then rented a car with Hertz at LAX before making my way to Avenue of the Arts. After staying here, I took Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner to San Diego, and flew back on Delta’s A321neo in Domestic First Class.

I had never stayed in a Marriott Tribute Portfolio collection, itself an eclectic collection of independent boutique quality hotels.

Tracking a stay at this hotel for many weeks, I took advantage of a last minute pricing deal plus the location’s close proximity to the wedding I was attending on a Saturday evening.

The wedding venue was right next to John Wayne Orange County airport, but on the east side. The Avenue of the Arts is within proximity on the west side of the airport, a short five minute ride away.

Booking

At the time of booking, Marriott was running a Bonvoy points promotion – earning an additional 1,500 points for each independent brand stayed in during the promotion, plus an additional 3,000 points after staying in three different brands!

I hoped to take advantage of this during my trip, along with seeing the Avenue of the Arts itself. Prices were tracking over $350 a night for weeks. I booked a cheap AirBnb for the first two days (it was a bad experience), and left my booking totally open for the final Saturday night hoping for the best.

On that morning, I noticed a last minute deal for Avenue of the Arts – rooms were only $221 a night! This was surprisingly even less than other nearby hotel brands of lower quality. It goes to show you that sometimes it’s worth waiting last minute to make bookings.

I had never stayed in a Tribute Portfolio Hotel before, and this was quite a steal-deal from how awesome it looked! I booked a King sized room right away, hoping to get one with a balcony and chairs to sit in.

The booking process using the app was easy. I ended up earning 3,689 Bonvoy points for my stay (1,990 Base, 199 Silver Elite 10% bonus, and 1,500 Extra) with the promo bonus.

Check-In & Arrival

Booking was so easy using the Bonvoy app, and it was just as convenient to use the app to Check In by Mobile. Since I booked same day around 12:40pm, I went to check into the hotel immediately after booking.

Mobile Check-In

The App shows the current stay, plus awesome options for service requests and to chat with the front desk. How convenient! I put in my approximate 3:15pm arrival time.

The steps were so easy – however, I decided not to choose Mobile Key, so I could potentially score a better room in person by taking to the team at the front desk.

In just the four screenshots you see here, I was checked into my stay quickly and efficiently!

Getting To The Avenue Of The Arts

The hotel is in an ideal location in the Theater and Arts District close to fashion-hub South Coast Plaza, and also very close to John Wayne Orange County airport.

I started my stay returning a Hertz rental car at Santa Ana John Wayne Orange County Airport. Since I was taking Amtrak the following day, I would not need a rental car from this point on.

I waited for a quick $12 Uber ride to the Avenue of the Arts. The ride was only ten minutes, but the property is on the other side of the airport and not walking distance.

The entry is located between some office parks among trees, and the hotel is tucked away behind the scenes. Thus, it feels quite secluded and private.

The entry is distinctly marked with a purple draped awning for a circular driveway and a grandiose double-door silver framed entrance.

This includes Valet Parking under the awning, and a self-park garage to the left side.

From the moment you arrive, this has Orange County California written all over it!

Hotel Check-In

As I previously mentioned, I declined a mobile key for hopes of getting a room with a nice balcony at the front desk. I arrived to find three staff waiting to greet me at the entrance.

Getting a key took minutes. The staff here was so friendly, and taking note of my Silver status and request for a room with balcony and chairs I got upgraded here to a Deluxe King room with a balcony!

We’ll cover more on this room type later.

Avenue Of The Arts Character

The Avenue of the Arts is as eclectic as it gets for Orange County. The entrance has large windows with sharp Art Deco features, beautiful lighting and sharp detail.

The Art Deco character shines thru with a combination of modern California finishes.

At the entry lobby is a comfortable waiting and working area, with a few , with comfortable velvet sofas and a fireplace.

At the reception lobby there’s a special concierge desk off to the side. The hotel is frequently booked for conferences and weddings.

The Reception area features fresh strawberry flavored cold water. I love special touches like this.

There’s another large, circular seating area with purple velvet seats. This was often crowded, the lobby center of attention.

A glass paneled corridor takes you to the main building with the elevators and rooms.

This feels like it crosses over a river as it curves around.

Even though it’s completely artificial, it’s very beautiful, classy and unique.

Some rooms even look out into this riverfront area.

This is Orange County, California after all!

This brings you into the main elevator lobby, where the Artsy bronze-gold theme continues.

The hallway is also lined with a forest like series of plants.

I found the elevator was also elegantly decorated in the same finishes.

The elevators bring you up into equally elegant lobbies on each floor, with beautiful bronze decor.

The hallways are quite dark but elegant.

The purple theme continues with carpet and signage details.

Including a few visitors I had, everyone was wowed with the classy and upscale appearance.

I was assigned room 302, near the end of the building.

Deluxe King Room

The King Balcony Room is a larger room type that features a living room space, a bed which faces out into the balcony, and a balcony with a pair of lounge chairs.

Upon entry, the restroom is on the left, as well as the storage and coat closet.

I came into an unexpectedtly beautiful room, which was exciting!

Each room is personalized, with guest name popping up on the TV screen.

Two bottles of water were included complimentary in the room, plus WiFi instructions. The WiFi and internet was blazingly fast here!

The room is elegantly furnished in black, silver and white tones, including the sofa, carpet and wall art.

The theme continues into the bed area. The frame and parts are integrated into the wall.

A Keurig coffee pod machine is provided with the room.

I found the desk to be sufficiently sized for work, and the seat was excellent for working correctly as well. Between this desk and the sofa, and the balcony, this is an awesome working hotel.

The sides of the bed also have an affixed, elegant brass lamp.

The bed also has individual reading lights, which are adjustable. I always appreciate this attention to detail.

Power outlets are integrated into the bedframe on both sides.

One of my favorite features in the hotel room – cell phone charging cables came with the phone in the room! There were four different types available, and it made charging a breeze.

Here’s a closer view at the bed fittings.

The closet comes with a safe, iron, ironing board, and a small hanging section.

Below you’ll find luggage storage and more hanging space.

The balcony in the room was spacious and had enough room to lounge in.

There are two outdoor lounge chairs also included.

My room had an awesome view out to the artificial lake at the hotel, one of the highlight features of this property.

Thru the evening you’ll see many photographers shooting weddings along the lake, and more.

There’s a separate poolside area for hotel guests as well.

Restrooms

It’s only in the restrooms that you could tell the hotel is dated in 2024 – these bathrooms look straight out of the 90s!

The hotel provides Olive Farmacia bathroom amenities, fully stocked. There’s a magnified mirror available for make up and facial use.

Water pressure was awesome at the shower.

The attention to detail in this hotel was remarkable. For example, the curtains at the shower are inset into the grab bar, elegantly presented.

The spare toilet paper came wrapped in purple silk with a ribbon to open the pouch!

Amenities

Along with it’s beautiful rooms, this hotel is full of useful amenities.

Office & Printing Stations, ATM

The hotel comes with an office workstation zone fully equipped with three computers. There’s also an ATM machine here.

One desk on the end is vacant, and includes power ports and a data outlet.

This desk can easily be set up for productive laptop use. Another area on the corner was missing a printer.

Finally, there’s a printer set up in the center bay.

Gym

Next to the office zone is the entry into the gym. I found this full of activity on a Sunday morning.

The gym comes with many treadmills and ellipticals, weight machines and a dumbbell free weight rack. Overall the gym is well stocked, and was also pretty crowded on Sunday morning.

Pond

There’s a large artificial pond behind the hotel that’s one of it’s unique qualities. Remember – this is Orange County, people!

The pool is accessible off the building door to the pond area.

I noticed that this pond was used widely for wedding photography given its elegant background, and there were the usual walkers and joggers circling the pond.

Silver Trumpet Restaurant & Bar

The Silver Trumpet Restaurant & Bar is the onsite hotel restaurant.

Silver Trumpet Restaurant & Bar
Silver Trumpet Restaurant & Bar

The glamorous cocktail lounge features a back-lit street façade and a glowing onyx bar inside.

Silver Trumpet Restaurant & Bar
Silver Trumpet Restaurant & Bar

The outdoor patio is set against a water feature to give the appearance of a floating platform.

Silver Trumpet Restaurant & Bar
Silver Trumpet Restaurant & Bar

I didn’t step in but wish I had during my stay, this Art Deco themed bar is one of the hotel’s coolest features!

Wedding Venue

The Avenue of the Arts is commonly used as a wedding venue.

For this service, the hotel has won several awards.

I saw one wedding in preparation during my Saturday Check-In, but didn’t take any photographs.

Weddings can be hosted in an area facing the pond, or in one of the interior courtyards like above.

Final Thoughts

This hotel is phenomenal, and I’m so glad I stayed here. The boutique hotel is eclectic & creative – inspired by the luxe, the glamour, and the style of Orange County.

It is notably one of the best hotels near Santa Ana’s John Wayne Orange County airport, and I think it’s one of the best in Orange County.

I was lucky to get this as a last minute steal for $221, on top of an excellent room upgrade for being a Silver Bonvoy member.

I think it’s worth it to try and get the King Deluxe Room with the large balcony at minimum, although this hotel also has a host of other beautiful room types.

Pros

  • Rooms come with a balcony, or at very least a ledge.
  • Excellent, classy art deco decor; and beautiful finishes throughout.
  • Excellent wedding and conference venue.
  • The location is gorgeous, and especially the pond and rivers make a unique touch.
  • Fast WiFi and excellent amenities.
  • Rooms were very spacious and well furnished, with exquisite attention to detail.
  • Loved all the little personal classy touches, like spare toilet paper coming in purple silk.

Cons

  • The hotel is an older property and some parts (like bathrooms) feel a bit dated in 2024.
  • Prices were much steeper than other nearby hotels until the day-of my stay (and booking).
  • The hotel is on the opposite side of Orange County Airport and not walking distance.
  • The hotel doesn’t have too much around it that’s also walkable, but that’s the nature of the OC!

Verdict: 9/10