I just stayed there in July...it was great! The hotel is tucked away at the top of a hill and it has great views of Dana Point. It's easy to get to the freeway from there, too. I loved this hotel. It was very clean, gorgeous inside and out, the staff was great...they even upgraded my room to a suite when I checked in! I spent a great deal of time relaxing by the pool, and it was nice because it was relatively quiet - not jam packed with screaming kids - and the staff came around and offered cups of water, which was really nice. I definitely recommend this hotel. I plan to stay there again next time I visit Cali!
We own at the Marriott Newport Coast Villas, so we visit the area often. We usually eat at least one dinner in the restaurant at the Marriott Dana Point/ Laguna Cliffs and have enjoyed every meal. They have always accepted the dinner for 2 certificates, which allows us to indulge in their excellent appetizers and desserts at an affordable price. Service has been exceptional, and a walk around the facility is a scenic way to work off the meal. Enjoy your trip.
I visited Newport Coast about five years ago - It was so good that I am going back later this year - I am sure that it is not joined to the Dana Point Marriott, and I am not too sure about charging to your NC villas. The Newport Beach Marriott is clearly NOT attached to the villas, and on my visit I did shop and dine there on several occasions, and I do know that then you definately could not charge to your NC account. I got around this by setting up a charge-account with the front desk at the Newport Beach Marriott, and I was therefore able to get Reward points for my spend.
The Dana Point Marriott is about a fifteen minute drive South of Newport Coast (depending on traffic which can be very heavy at times). As far as I am aware, they are not linked to the MVC villas in any way. They did accept the dinner for 2, which is well worth it in this restaurant. Our meals would have been well over $150 without the certificate. We love the area. There is nothing better than sitting on the balcony overlooking the coast with a cup of coffee in the morning or glass of wine in the evening. A brisk walk on the beach at neaby State Cove Park is a great way to burn or earn the calories consumed.