I thoroughly enjoyed my brief (5-day) visit to Avalon. Having visited Avalon in the past, I knew what hotel(s) to avoid. Traveling solo, I was comfortably quartered in Room 102 at the Villa Portofino in early February 2013, with the intent of scuba diving at the Casino and possibly a boat dive or two with one of Avalon's dive operations. I prefer to visit off-season and midweek because Avalon is predictably uncrowded; however, some of the eateries and businesses are closed at this time, open only on weekends and, in a few cases, only during peak season. If that matters to you, wait until after spring break or April to visit. Avalon's resident population is approximately 3,700 people, so you can expect that the normal assortment of products and services will be available to support residents.
My room was equipped with a shower, not a bathtub, and I prefer that. There was a perceptible staleness that indicated the room had been closed for a period of time, or possibly an indication of water intrusion, but it wasn't sufficiently pronounced to be objectionable, unpleasant or repugnant. I don't consider that a rarity in coastal locations or lodging in damp climates.
The Villa Portofino was an excellent choice. I enjoyed restful nights, close enough to the harbor to hear sea lions barking offshore while chasing the squid migration. Electric golf carts don't intrude on a good night's sleep. The hotel is a short stroll from the Casino and the Green Pier. Check local weather on the internet and pack intelligently. From the Villa Portofino, everything from the ferry terminals to Descanso Beach is within walking distance.
My mornings began with the hotel's Continental breakfast, a fine way to start the day. The room was attentively kept in order by daily visits of the staff. The desk was effectively staffed and there is a night manager available, though I encountered no requirement to contact him. My room was small with a queen-sized bed, but it was entirely adequate for a solo traveler. Larger rooms are available, of course. My interaction with staff and management was consistently pleasant. I was comfortable throughout my stay. I look forward to returning to the Villa Portofino with my wife, and I recommend this well-located hotel to others.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.