We only stayed one night at the Avalon but we thought it was a gorgeous cool atmosphere with a great friendly staff. We did stay in the separate tower across from the lobby, but I really didn't have a problem crossing over the "alley" like some of the somewhat negative reviews stated.
Calling it an alley has a negative connotation and its really not a bad set-up, the Avalon is in a mostly residential neighborhood so it looks like they added the second tower after they built the main building, but everything is so tasteful, its not a problem, and we have stayed a many other 4 and 5 star hotels. Also I feel the separate building is quieter....
Our room was a king deluxe, which was nice and roomy and the only real complaint is the air conditioning-- its loud and if you are a light sleeper, it may wake you up in the middle of the night, I don't know if it was only our room but it's worth asking about.
One other not so nice amenity was the patio out side our room- it was just 2 plastic chaise lounges with a small table and a brick planter with no plants, just wood chips -- kinda ugly. We weren't there long enough to want to use our balcony/patio but it was not impressive. The pool area with the lounge chairs and cabanas is much much nicer, beautiful.
I also didn't mind the "communal" bath toiletries, so what if they refill the same containers? It creates less trash and if you are worried that someone else has touched it, well, I have to say you probably should wipe everything down with antibacterial cleaner if you are that concerned about germs in a hotel bathroom.
We had breakfast by the pool and the dining areas inside and out are lovely and waitstaff was great. The food was fine, not spectacular but no complaints...
The parking fee of $35 seems excessive, maybe because this is BH, but not that far off from downtown LA hotels where I believe we paid $27.
Overall, we would stay at the Avalon again, but maybe just asking a few more questions about updates on the a/c and checking for specials or deals .
Also, one last thought: I notice that some people just don't like contemporary decor/style, which they may think is cold and minimalist. If you want warm, homey like decor, Avalon is probably not for you.