For my wife's birthday, we took the Catalina Express passenger ferry from Long Beach to Santa Catalina Island. It was off-season, so there weren't many tourists there, and during our weekend there were no cruise ship arrivals. We stayed just one night on the island, in the Hotel St. Lauren. We chose it because they offered a discount to guests celebrating a birthday (legal proof of birth date required), in conjunction with the free roundtrip offered by the Catalina Express.
The hotel looks like an old Victorian hotel, but it really isn't. It's newer (maybe 20-25 years old?), and is built on a hillside overlooking the town of Avalon. We walked there in about 15 minutes from the passenger boat dock, stopping occasionally to check out some of the shops along the way. It's painted pink, prompting locals to refer to it as the "Pepto Bismol Hotel." Our third-floor room was small with a queen-size bed, an adequate bathroom and all the usual amenities. The only window looked out toward a space between two buildings, but the entire view had been covered over with plastic lattice for privacy, so we couldn't really see anything through the window. A speedy elevator took us up to the sixth floor outdoor deck, which provided tables and chairs with a spectacular view of the tourist zone of the town and Avalon Bay.
The hotel doesn't have an in-house restaurant, but there was free coffee in the lobby in the morning. We went to one of the restaurants recommended by the Hotel St. Lauren for breakfast, and shared a Belgian waffle smothered in fresh strawberries and whipped cream!
The St. Lauren doesn't have a swimming pool, either, and we learned that most hotels on the island do not have pools. It was too cold to swim, anyway, so we did lots of exploring both on foot and in a guided tour by car.
The front desk staff were very courteous and helpful. Upon checkout, we left our luggage in an unsecured storage room under the stairs, and reclaimed it for the return boat trip to Long Beach. If you're looking for quaint and convenient in Avalon, the Hotel St. Lauren is a good choice.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel St. Lauren Catalina Island/Avalon, CA