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Linda-Marie Singer is The Live Wire

Linda-Marie Singer - Click to Enlarge

Bi-Coastal Bookings: Why The Sutton Place Hotel in Newport Beach and the Hilton Woodbridge in New Jersey Command Attention

Click to Enlarge By Linda-Marie Singer

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One of the reasons my father liked living on Sutton Place in New York City was the prestigious name. Judging from that example, I can only imagine what he would say after staying at The Sutton Place Hotel in exclusive Newport Beach, California. 

Mediterranean-style and only four miles from the Pacific Ocean, the hotel is home to high-end corporate globetrotters and international clientele. With staff members from France and Switzerland, guests need only hang around the lobby to hear a lilting French accent from across the room.

Located within easy reach of John Wayne/Orange County Airport, don't mistake this as just another airport hotel. Winning the 2001 Gold Key Award from Meetings & Conventions Magazine and this year's Connoisseur's Choice from Resorts & Great Hotels Magazine, The Sutton Place Hotel is an amenity-prone establishment rather than a resort property. 

Featuring 435 spacious rooms with prices from $200-$975, one of the main enticements is the business center with secretarial services and cell phone rentals, ISDN Internet connections, laser printers, adjoining conference facilities, and of course gala banquet halls.

But corporate types also need to relax, and fortunately there are many comforts -- a heated pool and spa, sauna and fitness center, lighted tennis courts and bicycle rental. Serious shoppers also can work out hopping the complimentary hotel shuttle to nearby Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza.

But now as you stand on your veranda and watch the airplanes twinkle among the sunbursts, walk back inside and you won't hear a sound unless it's your 24-hour room service. Stroll around the premises and don't be surprised to hear something about Santa Catalina Island being only twenty-six miles away. And yet for those attending business meetings and conferences, The Sutton Place Hotel in Newport Beach is an island unto itself. 

You can say the same for The Hilton Woodbridge in Iselin, New Jersey where business people and vacationers find comfort in this widespread venue located close to Newark International Airport and only thirty minutes from New York City and Broadway. Another plus --Amtrak is a few minutes walk from the property. woodbridge hilton 2.jpg (53583 bytes)

For those staying primarily at the hotel, there's plenty to do from working out at the health club to taking a dip in the heated indoor pool. Unlike other big chains that may be on busy main roads, the Hilton Woodbridge overlooks a quiet office park that offers a subdued rather than hectic atmosphere, making it a place to wind down after an active day of meetings or negotiations. 

With 200 newly refurbished guestrooms, each one is suited for the business traveler with voice mail, data ports, two phone lines, plus an oversized executive desk and ergonomic chair. If needed, the comprehensive business center provides personal computers, photo copying, fax, express mail, and secretarial services. 

My greatest joy, however, was ordering room service that never wavered in its palatable dishes of salmon, chicken francaise, and prime rib. 

Call the hotel directly for prices 732-494-6200), or telephone 800-HILTONS. Reservations staff can quote the price for the day of arrival, but don't forget to ask for the special Bounce Back Rates. Yet no matter the season, the Hilton Woodbridge seems to be busy, so it's not unusual to see a wedding party parading around the lobby or a proud family celebrating their son's bar mitzvah. That reminds me. I had the chance to peek inside one of the banquet rooms and noticed an extravagant ice sculpture that took its place among the catered delicacies. The price tag was $225, causing one guest to imply that was no chopped liver.

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For More Information:

The Sutton Place Hotel
4500 MacArthur Blvd
Newport Beach
California 92660

Phone: 800-243-4141

Woodbridge Hilton
120 Wood Avenue
South Iselin, NJ 08830

Phone: 732-494-6200 or 800-HILTONS

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Linda-Marie Singer "The LIVEWIRE" for Travel Watch. Former President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association, and created the national writers conference, "The Days of Wine & Proses." She is a travel and entertainment reporter living in the San Francisco Bay Area. (More about this writer.)

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