I  LOVE California, it is literally my most favourite place to vacation! We’ve chosen California as our holiday destination for over a decade because there is just so much to see and do in this beautiful state! Southern California has quickly become one of our favourite places to vacation because of the world class shopping, beaches, Disneyland and more all within close proximity. John Wayne Airport makes it so easy to fly directly into the region and is located next to great hotels like the Irvine Marriott.

My husband and I had the opportunity to slip away, just the two of us and were so excited to have a week to ourselves in California. Don’t get me wrong, we love our kids but every husband and wife need to spend some alone time together too!

Because California has so much to see and do, and is just a quick flight away, we jumped at the opportunity to get there this Fall. September is a great time for my husband and I to travel, our children have settled back into school and routines and we were able to sneak away while leaving Grandma and Grandpa in charge!

From Vancouver BC, there are several direct flights available to John Wayne Airport which is in close proximity to Irvine Marriott. We found a great seat sale with Westjet and started planning our getaway together!

Irvine Marriott Rooms
Irvine Marriott

The John Wayne Airport is quickly becoming my favourite airport in the US to fly into. Not only is the location really close to so many places, it has everything you need under one roof! They have all of our favourites when we travel to the US including Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and California Pizza Kitchen which we always grab before our flight home to Canada!

The airport was also only a 6 minute drive to the Irvine Marriott making it a quick and easy drive for us to get to the hotel once we arrived. This is ideal for business travellers and families who are visiting the region to be this close to a major airport! Save yourself the headache and traffic of LAX, this airport is the one to fly into when visiting Disneyland or Southern California.

The location of the Irvine Marriott is ideal if you are planning to visit Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Disneyland, Newport Beach or any sporting events in the Anaheim region. There is also a TON of SHOPPING all around the area which I could dedicate a whole blog post to!

Irvine Marriott Pool

Not only is the Irvine Marriott in an ideal location, it also offers SO MANY amenities right under one roof!

Let me start with the gorgeous pool area which is the best pool set up I have seen at at all the hotels I’ve stayed at! They really have thought of everyone in terms of seating by offering swinging chairs, couches, lounge chairs and shaded cabanas so you can enjoy your time soaking up that California sun. It’s a dreamy location for snapping all those Instagram photos of you on vacation! The pool area is HUGE with plenty of seating, and a fire pit which we spent our time at every night!

They have a variety of outdoor games set up as well which was a welcome edition for entertainment while you enjoy your time in the great outdoors. We loved all the options available including ping pong and Connect 4.

Irvine Marriott Pool
Irvine Marriott Pool
Irvine Marriott Pool
Irvine Marriott Pool
Irvine Marriott Firepit

The Irvine Marriott has a large fitness facility located right beside the pool which is fully equipped with treadmills, bikes, free weights and machines. They also have an outdoor workout area to enjoy which we had never seen before at a hotel! There’s nothing doing some yoga in that warm California sun.

We are big Peloton users at our house so it’s nice to be able to keep up with our regular exercise routine while travelling. They have multiple Peloton bikes available to utilize during your stay right in the gym!

Irvine Marriott Gym

The M Club is an exclusive offering for higher tiered Marriott Bonvoy members located right beside the restaurant in this hotel. The M Club was an amazing perk to staying at the Irvine Marriott. They offered a full hot breakfast buffet every morning which included fresh fruit options as well as snacks throughout the day and appetizers during the evening to enjoy.

Years ago my husband and I did a lot of research about loyalty programs with hotels. We decided it was best to stay loyal to one hotel brand to be able to collect the status and points. With all the options under the Marriott umbrella including Delta Hotels and Westin Hotels, we’ve been able to rack up the points to be able to enjoy the added perks like the M Club when travelling. It was such a treat to be able to have fresh coffee and a hot breakfast every morning before we started our California adventures!

M Club Irvine Marriott
M Club Irvine Marriott
The Butchershop Experience at Irvine Marriott

We had the opportunity to take in 3 experiences that are available for guests to reserve at the Irvine Marriott during your stay. With so many unique offerings of things to see and do, we had a hard time narrowing it down to just 3!

We headed out for an intimate date night with the Chef’s Table in the Butchershop which is a hidden private dining room in the kitchen of the hotel. The Butchershop blends the art of education with an over the top 6 course dining experience which includes beverage pairings to tantalize your tastebuds. Executive chef Martin Alcala elevated our experience with a personalized menu and light hearted conversation during every course. Our own personalized bartender was an added touch as we watched our cocktails curated right before our eyes. We absolutely loved this date night experience and the alone time together in this hip yet intimate space.

The Butchershop Experience Irvine Marriott
The Butchershop Experience Irvine Marriott
The Butchershop Experience Irvine Marriott
The Butchershop Experience Irvine Marriott

Our second experience was a YNK Mixology Class at the Irvine Marriott. Denny and I are always looking for unique date night ideas and had never tried anything like this before! Y.N.K. (short for You Never Know) is an art deco Speakeasy located just off the restaurant at Irvine Marriott.

We had the opportunity to mix 2 very different cocktails, learn about their history and sip our cocktails with a unique food pairing for each! Our bartender walked us through all of the ingredients at each step and provided the tools needed to get mixing. We were able to take home our recipe cards as well as a shaker as a souvenir.

Y.N.K. Irvine Marriott
Y.N.K. Irvine Marriott

There are so many unique experiences offered by the Irvine Marriott, you might have a hard time choosing what to do when you visit! From bike riding to Topgolf virtual reality golf, they really do have something for everyone when you stay at this hotel in Irvine California.

Denny was really excited to try the Topgolf Swing Suite and found out when we arrived that they offer more than just golf! Denny also had fun playing hockey, football and carnival games that were available during this 1 hour experience. It was another unique date night for us to enjoy together.

Irvine Marriott also offers cruiser bikes and e-bikes available for guests to rent during their stay. You can get more details on this experience here.

Topgolf Swing Suite Irvine Marriott
Irvine Marriott Bikes

We absolutely LOVED our week long stay at the Irvine Marriott where we took the opportunity to rest, relax, and reconnect together. After a very busy 2022, we both appreciated having some one on one time together to enjoy each other’s company. After a great night sleep in the Irvine Marriott beds, we started every morning with a hot breakfast at M Club and then grabbed a coffee at the Starbucks in the lobby to enjoy by the pool while we read a book and soaked up the sun. I’m already missing this morning routine, we both loved it so much!

Everyday was an adventure for us, with so much to see and do in Southern California!

Some highlights included:

  • A day trip to Los Angeles which was only 1 hour away by car from the Irvine Marriott
  • So much shopping including Irvine Spectrum which is 12 minutes away from the hotel
  • Laguna beach, only a 15 minute drive from the hotel
  • So many Target stores, we were able to hit 8, most of which were within a 15 minute drive from Irvine Marriott
  • Outlet shopping galore
  • Huntington Beach, only a 20 minute drive from the hotel
  • Newport Beach, only a 15 minute drive from the hotel
  • Lots of down time resting and relaxing at the Irvine Marriott Pool

The Irvine Marriott checked off all of the boxes we look for in a hotel when we travel. From an amazing pool, a large gym, and so many amenities, they were well thought out in terms of what guests would want or need. The staff was incredible at every turn, always friendly and willing to go over an above for us everywhere we went!

Thank you to the Irvine Marriott for hosting our little getaway. We can’t wait to come back to this hotel in Irvine again, and maybe next time we’ll bring the kids!

Laguna Beach California
Newport Beach
Newport Beach California
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This blog post was written in partnership with Irvine Marriott. Views expressed are my own after a hosted stay at the property.