I found myself with the need for a one night stay in the area and decided to try a new hotel. Typically I have stayed at the Hilton Irvine/OC Airport or Hilton Costa Mesa.
Pre-Arrival - Whenever I have a stay at a property that has an club lounge or shuttle I will often contact them to verify the lounge hours and shuttle access process. I love the Marriott app chat feature that saves me the trouble of calling. I have had situation where it did not work but this hotel responded reasonably quickly and thoroughly.
Arrival - Armed with the shuttle information....I decided to walk. Typically I am ready to stretch my legs by the time I arrive and the weather in SoCal is usually nice enough that I enjoy the walk. This hotel is a bit further than my usual haunt (Hilton) and took about 20 minutes from exiting the airport to the hotel front door. If you are inclined to take the shuttle it shows up at :15 and :45 on the hour and you just follow the signs to the ground transportation center which is in the middle of the airport. If you choose to walk, it cant be a little difficult to find your way to MacArthur Blvd as street access is actually tucked away at the back of one of the parking garages (pretty sure it is B2), if memory serves me correctly you just use the walkway between the number 8 and 9 pillars and at the back there will be a door marked MacArthur Blvd access and from there just use Google Maps etc.
Check-In - Very friendly and chatty agent checked me in and was a great way to start out a stay. Explained about the hotel and M Club access etc. Also verified my Plat late check out time for the following day. I took the $10 F&B credit versus the points at Plat Amenity.
Room - Had a room on the 9th floor next to the elevator and no Plat upgrade of any kind. I cant fault them for that though as I am pretty sure the hotel was pretty full and being next to the elevator bank isn't really a problem here as I heard no elevator noises, I also booked quite late. I did however hear noises from the room next door so maybe the walls are a little thin or just a loud mouth next door. The room itself was modern renovated styling which I like a lot more than the classic Marriott design. I did find the room really cozy and also had a double bed room as that is all that was available when I booked, those really are double beds and not two queens so beware if that matters to you. There was a tiny step out balcony if you want to step out and get a good view of the office buildings next door.
M-Club Lounge - The club is located at the back of the restaurant, so just walk to the restaurant and look to the wall on the right side and you can enter there. I arrived too late for evening appetizers but did make dessert time and there was a few sweets out, it was not the best offering I have seen for sure, maybe even the worst. There was a couple of attendants in the room and they of course were also tending the bar. I asked for the cheapest small pour of red wine they had and it was $14. That is where the Hilton Cost Mesa Exec Lounge is much better. I did find the attendants to be very helpful and friendly though. You can also order off the restaurant menu in the lounge. I also made it down for Breakfast and it was your typical lounge offering if not on the limited side as well but perfectly acceptable. The space itself is nice and modern and pretty comfortable. It does the jobs I guess.
Grounds - They have a restaurant and bar on site which stays open fairly late which is nice. There is a Starbucks on site as well. The pool and fitness area was pretty nice with some decent looking equipment fitness wise and the pool outdoor area looked very nice for relaxing. I found those offerings pretty nice for what I consider to be pretty much a business and airport oriented hotel.
Location - The hotel is situated in and area of large office buildings and parking that is $29 per day. You might find parking cheaper via your favorite parking app. There is not a lot that is an easy walk away from the hotel. So, if you get a car you are stuck with high parking charges and with no car you are not close to much on foot. I assume they are counting on business covering the parking for employees and people just wanting a airport stay will just take the shuttle and park elsewhere. I much prefer the Costa Mesa location on the other side of the airport I think.
Summary - I am not going to say I would never stay here again and I certainly was not unhappy with my stay but it was just a bit too isolated for me. I like to walk but I also like being able to pop across the street to eat or grab sundries etc. relatively quickly and this location just doesn't do that. It was fine for a one night stay but more than that it would not be ideal location for me.