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“Grandmaish”
Review of Hotel St. Lauren

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Hotel St. Lauren
Ranked #16 of 20 Hotels in Avalon
Reviewed 30 November 2010

We checked in 10 minutes before 3 amazingly after all the reviews, there was no problem. 6th floor patio was overemphasized, "nice patio, nice patio." Really outdated wallpaper and comforter. Yucky dark pink floral which wasn't my taste. I had a room on the street side and as soon as the sun came up, the room heated up pretty warm in November and with the blinds/curtains closed, it didn't matter. Closet was pretty deep, but there wasn't a light in it. Bathroom was decent sized, almost as big as the room. Was glad to be away from the elevator and at the very end of the hall. Still had to wear earplugs from the early morning scooters and golf carts.

  • Stayed: November 2010
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Thank Linnea P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 November 2010

I stayed here while in Avalon running a marathon. The reviews I read weren't all that great, but the price was OK, so I took it.

This place was really OK! The room was cozy but very well laid out, the bathroom was very clean w/ no shower problems (which seem to happen at sooo many places), plenty of hot water and good water pressure. The room was clean and the lighting was good. TV and alarm clock. Not sure what else you would really need?

The only negatives I can think of were that the TV was smallish (I didn't watch it anyway) and that the air was incredibly dry in the room. Not sure what they could do about that, though.

One thing that may be an issue with the Hotel St Lauren: they insist on charging your credit card immediately when you book the room. Having booked it a couple months out and seeing the charge immediately, I called them about this: the guy I talked to was insistent about their policy, implying that they have too many no-shows; he said that since they don't over-book, they lose the revenue when this happens. I told him that this isn't conventional and that I wasn't happy about it, but in the end I went with it. He said if you cancel within a week you get a full refund. He was sort of abrasive about it on the phone, so this drops my customer service rating.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled solo
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2  Thank GBGB1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2010

In mid-October, my work friend and I went on my first visit to Catalina Island. We departed for Avalon via the Dana Point ferry. The boat ride over was a little more than an hour long. We arrived in Avalon at approximately 11am and headed off to find the Hotel St. Lauren.

The St. Lauren is a pretty, pink Victorian building that is about two healthy blocks UPHILL from the beach. While I, personally, do not mind a healthy hike… but I thought I would make that clear in case any other visitors had mobility issues.

When we got to the registration desk we were told we could not check in until 3pm… (no exceptions!) and yet the people on the same ferry as us seemed to be able to check into their rooms. We were directed to come back in a few hours. When we asked about what we were supposed to DO with our luggage during that time period… we were THEN told about the unlocked closet under the steps where we could stow our luggage. My friend and I took a deep breath and decided to trust the situation and then we went off to explore Avalon.

Back down at the beach, we found out that a lot of people waiting around the main drag (tiredly dragging their suitcases behind them) were waiting for their ferries to take them home after a spending their weekend at the Jazz Festival… The entertainment they described was top notch and I was sorry to have been ignorant of this festival!

Back to the hotel, when we were allowed to check in, we had a room on the 4th floor, street side. Our room had a nice view of the ocean. The room was of a good size and clean. The furniture and the decor were nice. The TV was a good size and the cable channel selections were good. Our room had an air conditioner, but we did not need it. Note, my bed’s mattress had a plastic liner covering it… do they have a problem with people peeing the bed? The plastic liner made you sweat! So I slept outside the covers most of the night.
* The bathroom was also a good size with good water pressure and water temperature. The hotel provided shampoo and soap and a good amount of towels.
* The sixth floor patio had a great view… the hotel serves coffee and tea every morning from 8 to 10am.
* There is a small Vons grocery store directly downhill from the hotel for you to pick up anything you may need.
* The staff was the staff. I wouldn’t say they were rude, but the were not friendly either… we were basically ignored as we came and went. The one disconcerting thing was one evening the front desk was not manned (just a sign with a phone number to call in case of an emergency) and the front door was unlocked, anyone off the street could have come into the unsecured building.
* The hotel was in a quiet location… you do hear the lawn-mower engine sound of the constant stream of golf carts buzzing by you on the street, but you get immune to that specific noise very quickly. The walls are on the thin side, but the only problem we had with noise from fellow guests was the guy next door having a midnight argument on his cell phone with some guy in Italy… a several good raps on the wall signaled his wife to calm him down… and that was that.

I guess my issue isn’t with the hotel as much as with that I didn’t realize Catalina is SO SMALL… small as in you keep seeing the same people over and over again EVERYWHERE you go! Upon my return I found out that Catalina (especially on non-summer months) is a place to honeymoon and go on a second honeymoon… not hang out with a work buddy. I am not a cheap person… but because this is an island, everything costs more! And everything you CAN do has a price on it!

Sooo, know this and come… Catalina Island is pretty and Avalon is a sweet, little village. I imagine the St. Lauren is a romantic get-away! Bring buck$$ and you will have a bla$t!
Here are some things to do… most of them look like a lot of fun! Caveat... prices are from my memory and approximate... please do your own pricing research!
* Nautilus Tour… a 45-minute underwater tour from aboard the semi-submersible. You can feed the fish yourself from your seat inside the vessel via a fish food feeding system … it costs about $40 per person.
* Glass Bottom Boat Tour… another 45 minute boat tour… they feed the fish so you can see them through the glass bottom of the boat. They have both daytime and nighttime tours… about $20 per person.
* Seasonal Seal ($20) and the nighttime Flying Fish ($25) Boat Tours.
* Inside the Casino Tour… This one’s draw eludes, me… the sign on the door said $40 p/p and the woman in the ticket booth said the tour was about an hour long and they tell you about the history of the casino and let you see the inside… the highlight is a pipe organ.
* Catalina Zip Line Eco Tour for about $100 you can ride the zip line that drops from 500 feet to 60 feet above sea level with one run that is 1,100 lineal feet long. People who took it LOVED it; they said you needed reservations far in advance.
* There are two kinds of scuba experiences where you don’t have to be certified, I believe they are seasonal, but you get to experience the kelp forests and garibaldi fish and other local sea life. I believe it was about $75 per hour or 90 minutes.
* There are the driving tours that get you beyond Avalon and into the interior of Santa Catalina Island. They price ranges from $45 for 2 hours, $112 for a 4-hour tour. You'll travel to the Airport-in-the-Sky and have the opportunity to look for bald eagles, bison, and mule deer on these scenic drives. The longer the tour, the farther you go and the more you see. We went on the shorter tour, due to bad weather and I found the tour interesting and informational. We also saw bison!
* The Ghost Tour is a walking tour of Avalon. The cost is $15 for this new tour. Compared to other ghost tours I have been on, this is a promising idea… but the staff needs to do research and go on other city’s ghost tours to improve their “performance”. My friend and I like the campy history imparted on these tours and our leader just needed a little practice to ‘hone’ her skills.

Would I visit the Hotel St. Lauren again? Yes, with my husband… I think it was a good deal for the area. The hotel was clean, the room comfortable and the view was good.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with friends
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3  Thank NJoisygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2010

I just got back from my first visit to Catalina Island and had an amazing time. While I am used to staying in higher quality hotels with my family, this was a trip with my boyfriend, and we are broke college students so finding a hotel in Avalon for $114 was a dream come true! We arrived at 10 and although check in wasn't until 3 they let us leave our bags so we could go and explore! We got back to the hotel that afternoon, exhausted from our hike and took a nice hot shower. The hotel did provide shampoo and soap but no lotion or conditioner. Also no qtips or cotton balls. We went out to dinner and came back and watched a movie. During it, we noticed we could hear the water running in other rooms and some muffled conversations. Luckily I'm a deep sleeper so this didn't bother me but definitely a heads up if this is a concern. The bed was pretty comfortable and check out was a breeze. Overall, good experience, if you are looking for an affordable option this is the best choice!

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank zbosherow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2010

We stayed here from Thursday-Sunday during the jazz festival and thoroughly enjoyed our room. When we first arrived, we couldn't get the remote control to work on the TV, so I went downstairs and Marlene, who is super nice and works at the front desk, gave me another one. It didn't work either and I was wondering if I should go complain again, when she called on the phone to check. I told her and she immediately sent a man, who arrived in less than a minute and fixed the problem. She then called to make sure it was fixed. Such great service! The rest of our stay was very nice too, room was cleaned very well every day, it was quiet and the beds were comfortable. We also enjoyed the excellent free coffee every morning and the balcony on the 6th floor with its wonderful view. All in all, we would definitely recommend this nice hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Tw0Fr0mSanDieg0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 October 2010

Great location - 2 blocks back from beach - away from noisy areas. Close to all that Avalon offers. Great balcony on 6th floor. Room was spacious. Staff extremely helpful.

Should have breafast pastry available with coffee in the morning.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank sordday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2010

Wonderful location. Six floors, we were on the 6th which had the most wonderful patio for all to enjoy. Each night we sat around a table had cheese, crackers, fruit and wine while enjoying the views of Avalon. It's on a hill so the views were spectacular. It was quaint, charming, clean and the people were very hospitable. Marlene at the front desk was friendly and always helpful. Catalina does not have 'new' buildings so don't expect that. But, if you like Catalina charm, this is the place.
We loved eating at the locals favorite; The Sandtrap. You could get breakfast for $4.99 and they had authentic mexican food. Happy hour was 2pm-7pm and $1 tacos! It's right across from the golf course. We had the most wonderful clam chowder at Armstrongs and I'm a chowder snob.
My friends went on the zip line and loved it. All 4 of us went on the Cape Tour that went into the island and we saw about 8 bison which was a thrill. Dave was the tour guide and had a great sense of humor. It's in a jeep of sorts that holds 12 comfortably, open air type. Truly educational, too.
Once when we were walking down the hall, a bed was literally apart in every way, frame and all. We asked if they were doing construction. They said they totally take every bed apart when someone leaves to do their best to ensure they never have bed bugs. I was completely impressed by their precautions.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank NancyT48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel St. Lauren

Address: 231 Beacon St., P.O. Box 2166, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704
Region: United States > California > Catalina Island > Avalon
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Avalon
Price Range: £86 - £152 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel St. Lauren 2.5*
Number of rooms: 42
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel St. Lauren L.L.C., in Avalon, California, is one of Catalina Islands' finest romantic hotels. The hotel features 42 luxurious guest rooms overlooking Avalon Bay, CA. Some accommodations include a private balcony or a Whirlpool tub and all rooms are decorated elegantly with rosewood furniture. The hotel serves complimentary coffee each morning.This Catalina Island hotel is close to swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, fishing and kayaking. Rent your own boat and explore Avalon bay or rent a rod and reel for ocean fishing right off the Green Pier. Our Avalon vacation packages feature lodging combined with boating, helicopter rides, or tours of Santa Catalina Island. Our specials page offers some great value discounts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel St. Lauren Catalina Island/Avalon, CA

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