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“Just what I wanted!”
Review of Hotel Catalina

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Hotel Catalina
Ranked #12 of 20 Hotels in Avalon
San Diego, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Just what I wanted!”
Reviewed 17 July 2011

The bad reviews made me tentative. The good ones gave me hope. I just wanted a place to rest my head after playing on the island all day. I wanted clean, safe, inexpensive, easy and comfortable. And that's exactly what I got at Hotel Catalina!

It's a cozy, old-fashioned well-kept hotel and the experience there was entirely positive. The staff was friendly and helpful--even after I'd checked out. When I told them I was checking out early because I was going hiking, the girl at the front desk told me about the lockers I could use (free of charge) so I didn't have to carry everything while hiking. They even had a shower I could use (for $3) after I returned from my hike!

I would go there again. I would tell everybody to go there. This is the first hotel review I've ever written and I'm doing it because it was just what I wanted!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank elisabeth_everafter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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189 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (58)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2011

We commonly stay in five star hotels when we travel. So, as we were aware of all the negative reviews of this hotel, let me tell you about our nice weekend.

We called the night before when all other hotels were full. We were able to get their last room available. The room was clean but it was small as most reviewers iterated. We did not expect a Ritz Carlton or Five star experience. The bathroom was clean and adequate. The bed had a soft top on the mattress so it was really comfortable and we slept well.

The hotel is over one hundred years old so it has historical roots and Catalina charm and ambience. The front desk check-in girl could have been nicer, but the check out person was very sweet.

Overall, this was a decent hotel. The Hamilton Cove condos would be the best place to stay but the prices are triple what we paid.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KEN06_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Ang
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2011

We only stayed a weekend and that was long enough. I understand that the very small rooms and tiny bathrooms are due to the original architecture of the Victorian building, however, I couldn't get over the moldy/mildewy smell throughout the hotel. It was as if some old water damage never got fixed. The shower heads were inexplicably positioned low. I'm pretty short, but I still had to bend down to rinse my hair. Also, get up extra early if you want donuts, which they run out of quickly. I'd advise you to stay somewhere else that actually serves free breakfast and has a decent sized bathroom. It will make your stay in Catalina more enjoyable.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Justfuntraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KrisGLBC, General Manager at Hotel Catalina, responded to this review, 29 January 2013
As of January 2012 we are pleased to announce that the Hotel Catalina is now under New Management. Come visit & experience our New European style Courtyard Garden Wing.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2011

I have never had an issue in a hotel that caused us to be "downgraded". Plumbing went out in our room so they placed us in a tiny little box on the third floor without any compensation or apology. AND we had to move all our own things. The second evening, the lights and cable went out and there were not any staff on site, we had to wait for someone to fix it... once again, without an apology.

The free breakfast consists of good coffee and day old donuts. The jacuzzi was FILTHY. NO VIEW, not even from the third floor. I won't even comment on the lack of sleep due to the paper thin walls. You can hear EVERYTHING from the next room- so be cautious. Did I mention that the toilets barely flush? Mold in the shower? Should I mention that when you sit on the toilet, you can stick your feet in the shower as the bathroom is so tiny.

Of course, this could have all been remedied if the staff had been pleasant or gracious at all.

The restuarants they give discounts on DISGUSTUNG with the exception of Mi Casita.

I never give bad reviews or send in complaints, but I had too. Next time, I'm checking out Hotel Metropole or the Pavilion... everyone on the island RAVED about this place.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank NotYourAvgBlonde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementHC, Front Office Manager at Hotel Catalina, responded to this review, 1 April 2011
We're so sorry that you didn’t have a good experience with us. And we truly apologize for any inconvenient. We would like to let you know that we didn't downgrade you to a small room, but it was upgraded to deluxe mountain room from standard room, and also we opened several rooms to let you choose which one you like best; however, we didn’t know that you weren’t happy with the one that you chose. We wish we could do something more and better for you when you were still here but you didn't let us know when u were still here. Once again, we apologize for all the inconvenient we caused during your stay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange County, CA
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2011

Although the location is good, I would not recommend this hotel. It is old and dirty. Our room was teeny tiny, and the dirty bathroom was even smaller. There was no water pressure and very loud running water all night which made sleeping almost impossible. The room was really stuffy and hot. Bed was uncomfortable. Staff was less than impressive and not accomodating. Pay a little more and enjoy beautiful Catalina.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Travelgirl1121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ManagementHC, Manager at Hotel Catalina, responded to this review, 1 April 2011
Our hotel was established 1892 and the same build and layout as nowadays was rebuild and structured in1912 as a historic Victorian style. Within recent 2 years we have been put a lot of effort and do our best to update our hotel such as changing all the furniture, beds, flat screen TV, repainting rooms, and so on. However, the size of hotel room and bathroom as original 1921 layout wasn’t the project we’re able to redone unless we tear down the building and restructure. We try to keep the historic Victorian style hotel as it was on the Catalina Island and change the part we’re able to update. Also, we try our best to offer a more economic budget hotel for this tough economic time since it’s quite expensive for a couple or a family to visit the Catalina Island nowadays. We apologize any inconvenience and unpleasure experience we caused. We wish we could have done better for you.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sacramento
Level Contributor
20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 November 2010

My husband, nephew and his fiance took the Catalina Flyer from Newport Beach to Catalina Island for the day. Once we arrived there, we decided to stay the night. We stopped to eat at the El Galleon, awesome food and insanely huge beer. We asked our waiter where to stay and he called the Hotel Catalina for us. We walked the few short blocks there, we warnly greeted and quoted a ridiculously reasonable price for the night. We were checked in to Cottage A. The rooms were clean, cute and very comfortable. Front desk staff was wonderful. What a fun place to stay!!!!!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank luvmybullys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
california
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2010

I decided to visit this Hotel in person because I had someone rude answer me in emails. Went there and asked a lot of questions. Saw the Hotel first hand. It is old which they try to pass off as something cool, but really it is just a run down old hotel with a rude staff. Even in person the staff was not into their jobs and did not care if you stayed there or not. They must be all under paid because they are not enjoying their jobs at all. From what I saw and heard the girlfreind and I decided to go somewhere else. Worth paying a little more then to stay here. Do yourself a favor a skip this Hotel no matter how much more you have to spend. I talked to a few guests that were not too happy either. I did find one that seem to like it. It was a family with a bunch of little kids running around up and down the stairs and screeming. The staff did nothing and could not care less. So if you are poor, and can't afford a decent place to stay, and don't get out much so anything looks good, this could be your place. Noisy, dirty, bad customer service.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank coolbassman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KrisGLBC, General Manager at Hotel Catalina, responded to this review, 29 January 2013
As of January 2012 we are pleased to announce that the Hotel Catalina is now under New Management. Come visit & experience our New European style Courtyard Garden Wing.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Catalina

Property: Hotel Catalina
Address: 129 Whittley Avenue, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704
Region: United States > California > Catalina Island > Avalon
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Avalon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Catalina 3*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historic Hotel Catalina is decorated in the Victorian style. Hotel Catalina combines old world elegance and charm, with all the advantages of a modern establishment. Strolling along the balustrade verandas at the front of the establishment, from sunrise to sunset you'll enjoy the refreshing sea air and splendid panorama views of the picturesque harbor. Recently remodeled in Thomasville furnishings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalina Hotel Avalon
Hotel Catalina Catalina Island/Avalon, CA

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