Amber Nasrulla

Correspondent

  • Anaheim Hills, California, USA

Amber Nasrulla is a correspondent who lives in Anaheim Hills and covers Southern California for Forbes Travel Guide. She was born in England, grew up in Canada and now calls the U.S. home. She’s been awed by the Northern Lights in Saskatchewan; wandered through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan and most of Europe (seeking out cities with great chocolate); and recently cuddled a koala on Kangaroo Island. A freelance writer, her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Los Angeles Times, Reader’s Digest Canada, ELLE Canada, Orange Coast Magazine and ParentsCanada magazine, among others.

  • On July 2, 2014
  • On February 13, 2014
    Amber Nasrulla answered the question: Amber Nasrulla

    What restaurants does Balboa Bay Resort have?

    In a hall across from black-and-white vintage photos of famous faces (Ronald Reagan, Gone with the Wind star Olivia de Havilland, former U.S. president George H.W. Bush and John Wayne, to name a few), you’ll find the newly opened Waterline Newport Beach. There, executive chef Vincent Lesage and chef de cuisine Rachel Haggstrom offer a water-to-table experience that ensures you'll have a menu filled with fresh seafood. 

    Barry Design Associates, which specializes in interior architectural design and furnishings (it transformed Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills and One & Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas, among others), led a makeover of the space formerly known as First Cabin. The décor reflects the colors of the coast, with shades of pastels — blues, corals and gold. Of course, windows framing dramatic sunsets and picturesque views of Newport Beach also figure prominently in the design.

    If it’s a good stiff drink you want, head to The Bar, a historic spot formerly known as Duke’s Place (in honor of John Wayne). It’s also scheduled for a massive renovation under the guidance of Irvine-based architects Lee & Sakahara, but at the moment, it looks like an elegant yachtsman’s hangout with a piano, dark wood and barstools. There are also numerous publicity stills of Wayne, a former board member of the next-door Balboa Bay Club who frequented Duke’s and played dominoes and card games there. The Bar will be reconfigured to allow in more natural light, there are plans to build a kitchen and install floor-to-ceiling sliding-glass doors so you can enjoy a panoramic view of the bay (and walk out to the patio). The look will be modern and contemporary, and the color scheme — blues, taupe and cream — is inspired by the coastal location.

    Rounding out your dining choices is Blend coffee shop. Open daily from morning until evening, the Newport Beach hotel café sells espressos, coffee, cappuccinos, lattes, teas, smoothies, gelato, grab-and-go fresh pastries, sandwiches, salads and desserts. You can have a casual breakfast or lunch inside the café or alfresco along the waterfront. If you need something to go, place an order for a picnic on a Duffy boat or an outing around town.
  • On February 13, 2014
    Amber Nasrulla answered the question: Amber Nasrulla

    What are the rooms like at Balboa Bay Resort?

    There are 159 guest rooms and 10 suites arranged over three floors at Balboa Bay Resort. The three types of rooms — bay front, courtyard, standard — are all approximately 500 square feet and have private balconies with outdoor chaise lounges. There are rattan wood lounge chairs inside in the living area, and the décor is tropical in hues of gold, rust and cream. Bay-front and courtyard rooms have two queen beds or a king bed and a fluffy down-filled duvet with oversized pillow shams. The standard accommodations overlook Pacific Coast Highway and come with a king-sized bed, two queens or two doubles. The private balcony is dressed with plantation shutters and tropical patterned drapes.

    The 900-square-foot one-bedroom suites feature a separate sitting area with a fireplace and a bedroom with plantation-style furniture overlooking the water. The Presidential Suite is 3,000 square feet and includes a grand piano, a formal dining space for 12, and a large living area bridged by a dual fireplace, plus king beds in two bedrooms.

    In all accommodations, there is a 42-inch LG high-definition flat-screen TV and a Sony or Magnavox DVD player. Inside the bathrooms, you’ll find dual sinks with granite countertops, marble sunken tubs and flooring and picture-window-sized beveled glass mirrors. Antica Farmacista bath products are provided throughout your stay.
  • On February 13, 2014
    Amber Nasrulla answered the question: Amber Nasrulla

    Where is Balboa Bay Resort located?

    Balboa Bay Resort has water on one side and the Pacific Coast Highway on the other in Southern California’s coastal town of Newport Beach, located halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. Orange County’s John Wayne Airport is a 10-minute drive away. Sharing the same waterfront address is the next-door Balboa Bay Club, a member’s-only facility that was founded in 1948. Over the years, the club has hosted many celebrities, presidents, politicians and actors, including Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey and George H.W. Bush. Former Newport Beach resident John Wayne was even on the club's Board of Governors. Members have access to a private beach, waterfront pools, private restaurants and a 10,000-square-foot state-of-the-art spa and fitness center. While you can apply for a nonresident membership (though a member must sponsor you), Balboa Bay Resort guests do gain entry to the spa, which is closed to the public.

    If you want to explore the area surrounding the Newport Beach hotel, locals congregate at nearby restaurants like Billy’s at the Beach, a casual spot with daily live entertainment that’s renowned for its mai tais, and the Rusty Pelican, a more upscale eatery that serves delicious firepot swordfish seeped in a chili-barbecue marinade and Cajun spices, and topped with a tropical fruit salsa.
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