Newport's Lido House hotel builds toward opening — here's an early look

The Lido House hotel is an extension of Bob Olson's house.

Olson, chief executive of hotel builder and owner R.D. Olson Development, said the inn under construction in Newport Beach is modeled after his Balboa Island home, down to the details that welcome people inside.


The guestroom doors are painted the same deep cranberry shade as Olson's front door.

The stonework and siding come from the Olson home too, and Costa Mesa-based custom homebuilder Matt White, who did Olson's house, also tackled the hotel's five deluxe "cottages."


"It's very personal," Olson said Thursday before kicking off a hard-hat tour with project officials. "It's very, incredibly personal to me."

With its Cape Cod architectural style and harborfront setting, the four-story, 130-room boutique hotel, set to open in March on the former Newport Beach City Hall site at 3300 Newport Blvd., is designed to evoke a casual yet sophisticated beach house vibe.

The hotel will offer a spa, a full-service restaurant called The Mayor's Table, a coffee shop and ice creamery and a rooftop lounge. At Crew, the coffee and ice cream house, the beans will be roasted locally and the syrups made in-house. Project officials tout the rooftop lounge, named Topside, as the only rooftop bar in Newport Beach.

Dennis Reyling, vice president of construction and development for R.D. Olson, led his tour group past the walk-in freezers, display kitchen and private dining room of The Mayor's Table toward the keyhole-shaped bar. Even practical storage spaces will be stylish.

"There's a beer keg cooler in there," Reyling said, motioning toward an area off the bar that was not yet walled in. "And the right side that looks really open to you right now is (going to be) all glass, and that's where all the wine racks are, so you'll see all the wine in that room there."

A key exterior feature of The Mayor's Table is its custom black brick facade. Olson wanted the restaurant to stand out from the street and look like an old establishment that had the hotel built around it.

The dark masonry had to be just so, and Olson searched Southern California until he found the right craftspeople in Temecula.

"These black bricks are really cool. I have been driving everybody crazy about these black bricks," he said. "We finally got the brick that we wanted. … Nobody makes these, it turns out, but we got a group inland to agree to make these bricks for us."

In addition to the cottages, Lido House will have several executive suites, an expansive presidential suite with a view of Catalina Island on a clear day, and standard king- and double queen-bed rooms.

The cottages are two-bedroom, two-bath models with full kitchens and living rooms, dedicated parking, washers and dryers, and fireplaces and barbecues on their rooftop decks. Each cottage has a unique floor plan and styling by local interior designers; no two are alike.

Other upscale touches around the grounds include high tea in the parlor off the lobby, valet parking and a saltwater pool with cabanas and Champagne cart service.

The luxurious property will be operated by Marriott as part of its Autograph Collection. R.D. Olson Development has an 85-year lease with the city for the land.

The project first went before the city in 2013 and broke ground last year.

Adam Beer, the hotel's general manager, said he wants Lido House to be a gathering spot for locals in addition to travelers, with a warm residential feel.

"When you walk in, it's a local cottage and house, vs. a hotel," he said.

Twitter: @Daily_PilotHD