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“Run-down” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hermosa Hotel

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Hermosa Hotel
131 Metropole Street, PO Box 646, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 20 hotels in Avalon
Pasadena, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Run-down”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

First, like most reviewers, I would like to say that the staff of the hotel were very kind and out-going. That is the only reason why I didn’t give the Hermosa Hotel a single point rating, because the property itself is run-down. My wife and I were booked into the hotel as we were part of a group. From the reviews that I read, I was coming in with very low expectations of the place. However, I was not expecting the hotel to be THAT run-down.

We didn’t have A/C in the room, not that big of a deal but other hotels around us do have it. Our carpet was stained/dirty and we never took our socks off. Unless we went into the shower; then we went in our flip-flops. They still use comforters for the bed when other places have changed to clean duvets. If the carpets were that dirty, imagine how often the comforters are washed. The sheets were tissue-paper thin and the pillows were almost as thin too.

The bathroom was full of mildew stains, from the corners of the shower, to the shower curtain as well. Its one of those shower curtains that can be easily washed too, which begs the question, how often do they wash the shower curtains? Three of our towels were stained, and one was so old, that it was almost see-through.

I’m writing not to be overly critical or mean, rather to show that with some really big TLC, the hotel can be more tolerable. Considering that I walked by many hotels, and they all seem to really take pride in keeping their properties clean and orderly.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HermosaHotel, Manager at Hermosa Hotel, responded to this review, December 3, 2012
Thank you for taking the time to review our property. We were very concerned about your experience and tasked our Management team to seek out and correct the issues in the room you've described. Of course, we appreciate your positive comments on our staff...we are very proud of their top-notch service. We strive to provide a room that is simple, clean, and comfortable - despite the inherent challenges of refreshing an 116 year-old building. We currently have only one type of room which does not offer air conditioning: our diver-friendly combo-rooms...and we are pleased to mention that we have already started refreshing these rooms.

We always try to be responsive and welcoming to customer feedback, good or bad. Our staff consistently performs above and beyond the call of duty when given the opportunity to address your issues at any time of day or night. To this point, we encourage the reviewer to contact our main office to help us better review their stay.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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199 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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See reviews for
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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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bonsall, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
151 helpful votes 151 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

You’ll either love it or…not. I was hoping our stay at the Hermosa Hotel would reveal the negative reviews were nothing more than mean-spirited griping from uptight snobs with no concept of funky charm, people who sneer at anything that doesn’t have turn-down service and a mint on the pillow.

Nope. The negative reviews of the cottages are, unfortunately, accurate.

This sounds contradictory, but the positive reviews are also generally true; there are some good things about this place. They are diver-friendly and allow you to stow your bag after you check out and even let you come back to take a shower. Relative to the cost of other lodging on Catalina, it’s cheap.

We stayed in cottage “H” for two weekend nights. The cottages are absurdly tiny, but the bed is comfortable and the room is equipped with an excellent heating and cooling unit. The kitchen and bathroom are serviceable, but again, miniscule. A pair of 250-pound adults would not fit comfortably in here. There is a working stove, microwave, and refrigerator. The location in town is perfect; the grocery store is less than two minutes away on foot.

I agonized over this review and ended up with two stars instead of one because the management does try hard to provide outstanding customer service, and because we stayed here as part of a group. We did not choose this accommodation ourselves, and wouldn’t have, so I don’t want to be completely unfair.

The size of the cottage might have been tolerable, maybe even somewhat enjoyable, except for two things:
First, the property infrastructure is horribly maintained. What a shame that the owners of an historic Catalina structure with such potential have allowed it to fall into an atrocious state of disrepair. I know work is currently being done in some areas, but please. Why bother with new floors and climate control systems in each unit but leave broken blinds and flimsy locks?

The owners should take a good look at some of the sparkling and beautiful neighboring properties. None of which, sadly, had vacancies the second night of our stay. The Hermosa seems to have a large following. Instead of trying to keep as many rooms booked as continuously as possible, they would be better off concentrating on upgrading entire whole units at a time, inside and out, instead of doing it piecemeal.

Second, our cottage was dirty. There is a stark difference between seaside funky and downright filthy. It almost felt like it had not been cleaned after the previous guests. The room was so small I had to clamber over my husband to get out of the bed. I couldn’t go around the end of the bed because there wasn’t enough room between the bed and the wall for me to squeeze through. And I’m a whopping 125 pounds. Besides, we had to store one of the bags down on the floor in the space between the foot of the bed and the front wall. Why didn’t we utilize the ample space UNDER the bed, you ask? Well, because I looked under the bed first and found a big, thick island of dirt and hair in the middle, where the mop didn’t reach. That mop obviously never went past a six-inch perimeter around the floor under the bed. That’s the respect your cleaning staff has for your new Pergo floors. The overhead fan hadn’t been cleaned in months, either, and it was missing a bulb.

But the worst thing was a giant clump of long dark hair wrapped around one of the screws in the bathroom door sill. I saw it instantly; the cleaning staff should have, too. Let me be clear: there is no way anyone doing even a cursory bathroom cleaning could possibly have missed this clump of wet creepy hair. They would have had to step over it. Your cleaning staff doesn’t care, or they never set foot in here after the previous guests.

As other reviews have mentioned, for those that subscribe to the “a room is only a place to sleep” theory of travel, good luck getting a restful night here. The street noise and people walking up and down the stairs were awful. You CAN hear everything. And what good is a non-smoking room when people are sitting outside smoking four feet from our door?

The management also needs to pay closer attention to who is in their lobby at night. They don’t staff it twenty-four hours a day. There is a computer in the lobby for guests to use, but when we went to use it, we saw what was apparently a local neighborhood kid taking advantage of it. I say “apparently” because when he was done, he got up, went outside, and rode his skateboard away.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Marcos, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

Very nice staff and clean rooms. No frills--but a decent location, not too far from the beach and shopping. Considering the price of most places in Avalon, this was a bargain with the deals they offer on-line. Room came with a cute functional kitchenette.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

I picked the Hermosa Hotel for a visit to Catalina Island December 2011, and stayed a couple of days with my daughters. Our room was great (basic, but that's the way I like it), the location was good, and most of all the people who manage the Hermosa Hotel were outstanding. I plan to stay there again for my next visit. I give it a 5!

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 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.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

Like other hotels on Catalina Island, Hermosa Hotel is taking advantage of a captive market which allows it to charge a high price for a relatively poor offering. Thus compared to other Catalina hotels it does offer quite good value, but compared to other places you may have stayed for this price it is not great.
My room was a "cottage" (a wooden hut) accessed by a stair off the main street, so effectively accessible by anyone walking past. The door was flimsy with a single temperamental lock and a chain. There were sliding windows with no locks. An 8-year-old could have broken into the room. There didn't seem to be much crime on the island but I didn't feel safe in this room.
During the day the room got VERY hot. There was AC but it could only be on for 2 hours at a time. At night luckily it cooled down and I could imagine the room might actually get pretty cold outside summer. It was also noisy and a lot of light came in through the windows.
The room could have been cleaner too. The important things were clean, like the toilet, but the shower head would have benefited from a good scrub. The floor was gritty, the door handles sticky, and walls and doors stained and cracked.
Good points: friendly, helpful staff; bag storage after checkout; wifi which worked enough to use Skype

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2012 via mobile

I was worried about booking this place to stay because if all the awlful reviews. But this was one of the two hotels that had vacancy within our budget. And well I have to say this was a excellent place to stay!! The staff was very friendly and extremely helpful. The rooms were a bit small but they were clean w excellent working AC. The tv had a great selection of channels (even for my son). The beds and pillows were very comfortable. And the location was perfect. Right within walking distant to everything. And when we spent the day at the beach if we forgot something in our rooms it was right close by. I will stay here every time I go to this island. That is how extremely happy I was w the place. And they had our rooms ready when we got there. And they held our bags for the day after we checked out so we didn't have to carry them around. We also were able to shower before returning to the Catalina flyer to head home. I am very happy with this hotel and not only will b returning but I will also recommend it to any friends or family that are planning on visiting beautiful Catalina island!! Thanks a bunch for making our vacation special!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

Nice place for the money. The staff was great and the only complaint i have is that the air-conditioner is on a timer that only can be set for 2 hours at the most, so when you leave the room to sight see, you come back to a hot room.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hermosa Hotel

Address: 131 Metropole Street, PO Box 646, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704
Location: United States > California > Catalina Island > Avalon
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 20 hotels in Avalon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hermosa is Catalina’s friendly, quaint, economy hotel located in the heart of Avalon half block from the beach and a short, flat walk from the boat landing. The Historic Hermosa Hotel has been serving guests of the island as far back as 1896 and, as was the style then, our rooms are small and simple. No thrills or frills- ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hermosa Hotel Avalon
Hermosa Hotel Catalina Island/Avalon, CA

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