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“Homey Hotel with the Best View in Avalon!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel

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Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel
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199 Chimes Tower Road, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #15 of 20 Hotels in Avalon
Victoria BC
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“Homey Hotel with the Best View in Avalon!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2011

I would definitely stay here again. Catalina Island is great (we were there in the off-season; I wouldn't plan to go in the busy season as the tiny town of Avalon would be overrun with tourists and therefore less charming)... The Zane Grey Pueblo hotel has no TVs, phones or clocks in the rooms, which I quite like, though there is a TV in the common living room. My Mom & I had rooms next door to each other with an adjoining mountain-view balcony. Each room had a queen bed, bathroom (shower only), plus a sitting area with table & chairs and/or daybeds. There's a fantastic common patio area with great views of the harbour.

This is not a modern, luxury hotel -- it is old and quaint, with friendly, helpful staff. There's an unheated pool, a pay phone, and breakfast (of a sort) is provided -- coffee, tea, fruit, jam, and baggies of bread you can toast yourself. It's at the top of a hill, but it's only about a 10-minute walk to town, and there are scheduled free taxis to and from the hotel if you don't feel like walking. Lots of stairs here, so not suitable for folks with mobility challenges (wheelchair, walker, etc.). My Mom & I spent two nights here just relaxing and exploring the town, and it was perfect!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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109 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (26)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Thousand Oaks, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

My husband and I took advantage of the amazing mid-week winter rates and stayed in the Desert Wheat room. The view was incredible. I awoke each morning to the most beautiful sunrises. (I kept the curtains open for this, but if you're not an early riser, just close them.) We watched a pod of dolphins swim across the bay and enjoyed resting and gazing at the harbor below. I loved that the hotel is set back from the town but it's only a quick walk away. We love walking and didn't have any problems. If mobility is an issue, then you'll want to rent a golf cart and be aware that the pueblo has stairs. There is a beautiful walking/running loop if you continue up the hill via the roadway. If you're open to a unique hotel and don't require luxury bathrooms or amenities, then you will love this place! If we could afford it, we would buy this place ourselves!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Westwood Los Angeles County, California
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2010

The hotel is Pueblo Style. The rooms are named after novels of Zane Gray books. We stayed in the Black Mesa room. Each room is simply designed with no television, radio or phone to give you the feel of how the home was in the 1920's. The view of the moutains was really nice. I enjoyed listening to the sounds of the clock tower.

The rooms are simple and clean. The shower a little too small. No fridge in the room. The bed was a little on the firm side and my husband had trouble sleeping on it because he prefers a soft mattress. He ended up sleeping on the day bed. The continental breakfast is laughable because it consists of bread for toast , some frut, tea and coffee. The rooms cosat around $170.00 and up a night so they should be able to provide a better continental breakfast.

The hotel is situated on a hill so it is relatively quiet. The only down side is you have to walk to Avalon downhill and no one wants to walk back up that hill to get to the hotel. We ended up spending money on taxies to get back up on the hill.

I reccomend they spring for a better continental breakfast and try getting some softer beds. The place would be more interesting if they bothered to sell copies of Zane Gray's books and gave you more history inforamation about the hotel. The hotel is for sale, so I hope someone buys the hotel and fixes if up a bit because it is quite a gem. i still recommend you stay at the hotel due to its beauty and historical value.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Oregon
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2010

The best thing about this hotel is the location. It is perched just up the hill from downtown Avalon, which makes for fabulous views over the bay and is very restful. The courtesy taxi is completely unnecessary unless you have mobility problems, and it is a nice short walk up the hill from downtown. It's also nice to be slightly set back from the hustle and bustle of the city center.

There is, however, a downside. The room we had, a "superior" room with mountain view, was dark and dingy and basically looked like a cheap motel room. The shower and toilet were absolutely tiny (like, you could barely turn round in the shower room). It was clean, but I feel like if the best thing you can say about a room is that it's clean, you should at least have the comfort of knowing you didn't pay much. Au contraire, we paid $175 per night. I know that it is Catalina Island, and that everywhere is really expensive, but the room was really disappointing. They need to rip out the carpets, ditch the heavy wood and chintzy bedspreads, and re-think the ornaments. This place is DYING for a face lift.

That being said, this is one of the cheaper options I think and it has some great things going for it. If you are looking to whisk your loved one away for a romantic weekend, do not book this hotel. Pay the extra bucks and stay elsewhere. However, if you just need a base from which to explore the island with friends or whatnot, this would probably be a great choice.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Palm Desert, CA
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2010

Finished in 1926, this place was actually author Zane Grey's House. So many reviewers seem to be expecting today's modern conveniences of AC, TV, phone, internet, hair dryer, iron, etc. Put things in context. Window AC units weren't prevalent until the 1940's. The hotel is what it is. It's a big house that was converted into a hotel. Plus, the weather in Avalon is mainly gorgeous compared to the Palm Desert, CA area. In summer Avalon may get in the low 80's F vs. 110 to 115 here. Stay in the shade and cool off with a fan. Weather.com's 10 day forecast for July 24th-Aug. 1, 2010 lists the highs for Avalon from 68 to 74. Not bad.
The lookout area has a great view of the beach and harbor area. The taxi driver on the way up (free pickup to hotel) told me the Zane Grey is the highest hotel in Avalon. I stayed in a mountain side view room (right under the Zane Grey letters) called Thunder Mountain. It's the room next to the Hotel Manager's office. Manager' was a nice guy named Michael. You can get decent prices if you book a room on the off season excluding holidays: November 1 - May 31: The rooms are $75, except Tonto Rim. That rate is reasonable considering rooms are usually around $140 a night or so there in Avalon.
Getting around in Avalon is pretty easy. Most interesting sites are within walking distance. You can walk to the beach from the hotel. The dock is a great place to kick back at night on the bench and enjoy the cool breeze of the water. The walk up the hill is a little more tiring. There are a few golf cart rental places, but they are pricey.
Overall, the Zane Grey experience was good. There's a nice pool there if you get too hot. You can take some great photos or videos. I recommend this place.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Francisco, California
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2010

My boyfriend and I went to Catalina to celebrate our 3-year anniversary and decided to stay at the Zane Grey for several reasons:
1. the price. It can't be beat! We stayed in a mountain-view room (which actually had great views of the bay) and stayed mid-week, so we paid a mere $80 or so a night!
2. the fact that it was atop a hill. This hotel has spectacular views! After taking a dip in the pool, we could dry out on the balcony with unparalleled views of the bay below. Or at night, we'd sit up on the balcony with our wine and enjoy the blissful quiet with avalon lit up below us. And being right next to Chimes Tower just added to the experience. I looked forward to hearing it go off.
3. the solitude. We found it a nice challenge and a pleasant change of pace, not having a tv or the like; we read books, played cards, and talked. The whole feel of the hotel was that of a romantic getaway, a quiet place where we could relax and maintain a calm, peaceful evening.
So there were a couple of downsides, but even these were hardly turn-offs.
1. the walk UP to the hotel. It's not bad at all if you're just lugging a beach towl and a purse. But if you're trying to hike up there with your luggage or a cooler full of ice and drinks, then it's a chore. Granted, they have a complimentary taxi that will take you from the dock to the hotel door once you arrive, but we opted to walk. Next time, I think we'll be taking advantage of the taxi service.
2. condition of the property. It wasn't BAD, it just wasn't great. I felt the carpets were in need of a change, and the landings between the staircases on the backside of the hotel were a little rickety, but truely the pros outweighed the cons on the one. Yes, the "continental breakfast" is hillarious, but we weren;t there to be picky about things or expecting anything different. The pool area is great, the room itself was satisfactory. The towels were soft, the bathrooms and linnens clean, and the staff was on top of cleaning it every day.
Overall, our stay here was romantic, peaceful, quaint, enjoyable, and pleasurable. I would deffinately come to stay again, and I would reccomend it to any couple looking for a laid-back place to stay. Plus, I loved that the hotel had a great history and connection with the island. While we were here, we were visited by a large buck/deer... he just walked right through the property, merely 15 ft. or so from us. It was amazing!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dallas
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2010

I have read several reviews to see what all the complaints were. I see their points....however.... knowing what I was going to get, I must say this is well worth the trip.
Having stayed in Hollywood the previous week, this is the preferred vacation I was counting on. I loved this charming hotel atop of "the hill"
. The Hotel= beautifully perched rustically on "the hill"
. Views= fantastic all the way around the facility.
. The Bell= Charming and not loud at all.
. Price= compared to LA/Hollywood...thumbs up!
. Hospitality= Michael was as charming as the hotel.
. The Hill= more exercise than I've had all year.
If you want something to take you away from "the norm" I highly recommend this hotel overlooking Avalon.
By the way... if you are use to warmer parts of the country, I highly suggest bringing warm clothing for the cool breeze.
I will try and get pics up soon!!!!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel

Address: 199 Chimes Tower Road, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704
Location: United States > California > Catalina Island > Avalon
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 20 Hotels in Avalon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel offers ocean view and mountain view rooms as well as sunning decks and balconies where guests can take in the spectacular views. The Pueblo Hotel also features an arrowhead shaped fresh water swimming pool surrounded by graceful gardens. The Pueblo's character is still evocative of the author's perceptions. The decor, ambiance, balconies and gardens lend themselves to a peaceful and quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown Avalon. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Zane Grey Pueblo Avalon
Hotel Zane Grey Pueblo
Zane Grey Hotel
Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel Catalina Island/Avalon, CA

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