I brought my Swiss-Miss-Heidi to re-live my childhood memories and have a romantic get-away. Oddly enough, 'romantic' for us means punishing kayaking and grueling hikes punctuated by good cheese and wine... and a lot of sleep. We are both avid travelers, and have been, indeed lived, all over the world, from Europe to Central America to SE Asia. A friend who is a long-term customer of the Hermosa recommended I stay there, as I was on a budget yet eager to hike and kayak like crazy with my Alps raised better half.
If you are not familiar with the Swiss, there are some pronounced stereotypes:
Attracted to Value (not just price)
Concerned about Safety
Very Practical, (although conservative...)
Good Manners are Important
I would say that the Hermosa excelled in every category.
I must say, were very pleased with how kindly the staff treated us. For example, we stayed two nights, then kayaked overnight, followed by another night at the Hermosa. They watched our bags overnight and helped us by giving beta for various activities we planned. They also arranged tickets to the Casino tour, on our last day. Lastly, upon departing they happily offered us the chance to shower off, which allowed us another day of running around.
What we needed was quite nights of sleep after heavy physical activity, as well as some privacy and occasional advise. Because we wanted privacy, we paid for the B+ rooms (I believe) which gave us a mini-fridge, microwave, and bathroom. We much prefer this arrangements, especially her! It was certainly worth extra the money for us. Additional perks were the wi-fi availability and cable TV.
One interesting policy made very clear, was that people would be kicked out if they made too much noise. Personally, this was comforting. Not sure where people would go on such a small island, if they were given the boot, and we did not have this experience to report back on, but it was clear to me that this place is not really a party-place, to say the least. For us, this was an asset, nay comforting. For others, I imagine they would be pissed off! The place just had it's own feel to it, and we loved it.
The shared-bathroom single-rooms (which we did not rent, but looked into) are simple but ample enough, and for any room don't expect Mediterranean vista views from your room - but was not the point for us. These were right out the door! We hiked miles and miles, swam, kayaked, snorkeled, used our camp-stoves out and about, and just had a blast!
In conclusion: Avalon is an expensive, Yacht draped town of great beauty and outdoor opportunity. The Hermosa offers "the rest of us", who either prefer or require simplicity, the opportunity to visit and enjoy this jewel of the California coast.
- Also Known As:
- Hermosa Hotel Avalon
- Hermosa Hotel Catalina Island/Avalon, CA
- 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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