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“I love it!!!!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Atwater

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Hotel Atwater
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   125 Sumner Street, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Midweek Escape Package
Ranked #13 of 20 Hotels in Avalon
Los Angeles
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“I love it!!!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2009

I love the Hotel Atwater. Now, I may be biased because I have been spending 2 weeks in Avalon during the summer for over 50 years and probably 1/2 of those years were spent in this hotel. It's 70-80 years old, so you have to take that into consideration when staying here. As listed on the website, they have economy rooms and the ones I have always stayed in probably fit into this category. They are small, but clean. They have been renovated since I first started going there, but are still one of my favorite places to stay. My husband and I stayed there on our vacations for years before we were married, and even now we spend a weekend there while on the Island for our 2 week vacation with our family. We like to be reminded of those days so long ago! I, personally, like the sound of the people talking, the bottles hitting the trash bins and the trash trucks rambling up and down...but that's just me!!! When I am home, and I hear similar sounds, I feel like I'm back at the Atwater enjoying those carefree, warm summer days. I always recommend the hotel to people who want a good, cheap place to stay with no frills. Just enjoy the island itself !!! It doesn't compare to the Monte Carlo or other hotels probably within the same price range for ammenities, but to be in the center of town, with the view of the harbor, casino and pier...not to mention the spectacular sunrises....well, I'd give up the frills for that anyday!

Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
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311 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (102)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, CA
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2009

My teenage daughter and I stayed at the Atwater, our first time in Catalina, and booked this room on a summer weekend with about 3 days notice. As with most buildings in Catalina, this hotel is very "vintage" We got an economy room with a queen bed, and small bathroom, tiny shower. We were forewarned the room had no A/C - it got warm afternoon sun, but with the door open a crack, a nice breeze cooled the room off no problem. A fan was provided. No mini fridge. We brought a small softsided cooler which came in handy. Ice machine up the hall. The decor was "80s" soft pastel mauves. Gray berber carpet. The bed was a bit firm, but was comfy after our busy days out and about. The best part about the hotel was the location - close to all - about a 3 minute walk to everything- Vons grocery 1 block in either direction, coffee shops, restaurants, beach. The complimentary baggage service was handy, they held our bags before and after check in/out times so we could spend more time at the beach. They shipped our bags to and from the boat dock baggage service for free.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Long Beach, California
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2009

After reading many of the negative reviews here, I find it hard to believe I stayed at the same Hotel. Fortunately, I was lucky enough to get a renovated room. The bed was very comfortable ( I sleep on a waterbed at home).. There was a soft mattres pad to keep the bed from feeling hard. The linens smelled fresh and were nice and soft. The pillows were nice and fluffy. The sheets must have been a high thread count, There were patchwork quilts on the beds. The bathroom was a good size. A previous review said they were tiny. Mine wasn't. I arived in Avalon on the 11:00AM boat and was very surprised they were able to check me in right away. They gave me a 3rd floor room overlooking the hills behind the city of Avalon. The view was stunning. There is only one small flight of stairs more than the second floor, but the view from your window is worth being higher up. The size of the room was adequate. I loved the location of this hotel. This hotel is alot better than a Motel 6. It has character without breaking the piggy bank. I would advise not staying here if you have alot of luggage due the lack of an elevator. For short stays of 1 or 2 nights the Hotel Atwater is ideal. Just travel light. I saw the Portifino, I even looked in some of the rooms and they were alot smaller than my room at the Hotel Atwater. If you get a renovated room the Atwater is nicer than the Portifino and easier on the pocketbook.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2009

The hotel itself is lovely, the staff is wonderful, helpful, professional and accomodating. The room was just lovely. The only thing that was not acceptable, which caused me to never want to come to the island again were the trash collectors. It is ridiculous that in a tourist vacation town, the trash trucks come barreling doen the street no later than 6:30 am. banging, slamming, slamming and dumping trash bins full of bottles this early. Unfortunately, I was not the only guest who heard this and who couldn't sleep in the hotel. it's not the hotels fault but you would think that the town would love the tourist money and need it. Apparantly not. Next summer, i will spend my dollars somewhere that is actually quiet.

Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Las Vegas, NV
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2009

Really steep sets of stairs and No Elevator - pack light! We were on the 3rd floor.
Rock Hard Bed - my 10 year old said it was like sleeping on soft rocks! My husband and I said that we could feel the coils digging into our backs by 2 AM! (yes, coils, no pillowtop here!)
The shower..... Horrible Shower! It took my daughter 10 minutes just to wet her thick hair and another 10 mins to get the shampoo out! The water pressure was a joke!
Small Room
Helpful and friendly front desk.
They do store your luggage after check out for you if you are leaving on a later boat and will even deliver it to the dock, just ask!
The kids wanted to play in the water, but there was a danger/no swimming sign due to the high toxic levels in the water. BUT, there were people swimming?? So if you want beach play time, make sure the water is Ok!
Submarine tour- saw a whole lot of kelp, some brown/grey colored fish and some orange fish, thats it! Finding Nemo Tour at Disneyland was way more entertaining!
Kind of a bland overnight stay on a horrible bed with a horrible shower!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlsbad, CA
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Atwater for 2 nights over the Easter holiday. We booked the hotel as a part of a package through visitcatalinaisland.com, which is associated with Discovery Tours. Our package included round-trip tix on the Catalina Express from Dana Point, the Hotel Atwater, and a Glass-bottom Boat Tour. We payed next to nothing for this package, and chose the most basic type of room. Their rooms range from basic through suites, with prices ranging from $40-$320 per night (as seen in the catalouge in the room). Because we paid so little, we were expecting this place to essentially be a hostel...we were sooo pleasantly surprised upon arrival to find that it was most certainly not a hostel.

Location: The hotel's location is excellent. It is located about 1.5 blocks from the beach on Sumner St. Sumner St. is right in the middle of Avalon, so it is within very easy walking distance to anywhere you would like to go. We were able to walk to the Descanso beach club in about 6 minutes, and to the main pier in about the same time. The hotel is also right across the street from Antonio's Pizzeria and just a couple of doors down from the Chi Chi club.

Inside the Hotel: The hotel looks like it is straight from 1920, and I love it. There is no lift, as the building is really old, but lugging your bags up the stairs will be worth it- I promise you! Our room was on the second floor, and was within the most basic category. The view was of the building nextdoor. The room was small, but did not feel overcrowded. We had a King-sized bed, armoire with tv, two night stands, a desk, and a table with two chairs. There was also a coffee maker (with coffee making supplies), a closet with hangers, and a full sized iron and ironing board!! The bathroom was small, and the shower was the smallest I have ever been in (even counting all those tiny things I've used in Europe). The size of the shower made it very difficult to properly rinse- so it took a little more time than usual. The bed was very comfortable, and there were 6 count them 6...down pillows...absolutely no need to request more! There were nice planet-friendly toiletries provided as well.

Service: The staff at the Hotel Atwater were all wonderful. We had one small issue with the shower (water would not come out of the shower head), and it was fixed in a reasonable amount of time. The maid service was very good. They wet mopped the bathroom floor daily, which I appreciated very much after a sandy day at the beach. The room was absolutely immaculate, which is very surprising, as the hotel is very very old.

Overall, I was very impressed with the Hotel Atwater, especially when given the price that we paid. When we return to Catalina we will definitely patron the Hotel Atwater again! Next time we will probably pay a little more for one of the upgraded rooms. We peeked inside one of them and they had more updated furniture, and the bathroom looked larger. The linens looked really nice, and they had dark wood sleigh beds. I highly recommend this hotel!!!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2008

Went on a weekend getaway by myself. My room was located on the top floor / third floor. The room is very clean and very cozy. very comfortable. There are no Elevators so pack lite. Good service. Although there is no complimentary continental Breakfast like most hotels to help you start your day. The Hotel Atwater is in the Heart of Avalon walking distance to everything. Original Joes is my favorite eatery there. And I pretty much snorkel and kayak when I was there and did the site seeing tour, that was fun. All that walking I did there I actually lost weight and I felt really harmonize and at peace within myself. The locals are very friendly. I would definetly go back in a heart beat. I went when summer was about to end, like early September so it was almost dying out. It wasn't crowded that is the best time to go.

  • Liked — Close to everyting.
  • Disliked — No elevators No continental breakfast
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Atwater

Address: 125 Sumner Street, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Catalina Island > Avalon
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Avalon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Atwater 2*
Number of rooms: 92
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Just 1/2 a block from the beach, the historic Hotel Atwater was built in the 1920's and offers a wide variety of room types from Economy Rooms, Standard Rooms to Suites. This hotel fits any budget and is perfect for active couples, families, scuba divers and large groups. Offerings include: Complimentary baggage service from the ferry, Suites and Standard Rooms feature air conditioning / heating, iron and ironing boards, Suites and Standard Rooms feature hair dryers, basic-cable TV - free HBO and Showtime, senior, military and group discounts, complimentary storage room for dive gear, mountain bikes and luggage. Outdoor rinse-off showers for divers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Atwater Hotel Avalon
Hotel Atwater Catalina Island/Avalon, CA

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