The Newport Beach Hotel was built in 1904, just a year before the Pacific Electric Railway connected Newport Beach to the city of Los Angeles. This was fortuitous timing; when the seaside railroad terminus was completed in 1905, the new hotel facing the ocean stood ready to welcome city dwellers anxious to escape the inland heat.
Though records are unclear, at some point the hotel was purchased and transformed into a private residence, and remained one for many years. During the 1960s and 1970s, the upstairs rooms were remodeled into studio condominiums, and the downstairs was used as commercial space. The area that is the front lobby today was once a surf shop, appropriate use of a storefront so close to the waves.
The building was purchased in the mid 1980s by an Italian gentleman, who once again turned it into a lodging establishment. Extensive remodeling included a retrofit of the garage and back suites, adding fireplaces, and creating a restaurant (Re Nato) downstairs. The new owner called his establishment the Portofino Hotel, after the seaside resort on the Italian Riviera, and furnished it with antiques reminiscent of Old Italy.
📸The Newport Beach Hotel