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“A Visit So Bad It Was Humorous” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Catalina Hotel & Beach Club

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Catalina Hotel & Beach Club
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1732-1756 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #88 of 205 Hotels in Miami Beach
A TripAdvisor Member
“A Visit So Bad It Was Humorous”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2006

I stayed with a large group of friends at the Catalina earlier this month (January, 2006), spread out over many rooms -- so I feel I have a large enough sample to assert that this hotel is terribly managed, with many rooms in poor shape... despite the hip decor attempt. You could have an okay stay here -- but from our collective experience, it's highly unlikely.

Trouble started at check-in, when they kept asking us to come back after another half hour, and then another. Once I got to my room, the chlorine fumes were overpowering -- but they had no other room for me. So they sent someone to wash it down, after which the odor largely vanished. Someone else in my party (easy going, not high maintenance) was actually placed in four different rooms before he found one with a working telephone, without used towels laying all around, etc. Another friend had to fight not to wrongly be charged for every item in the mini-bar (they used nothing from the bar); by the end of our stay, we were all competing to produce the best/funniest story of how bad the hotel is.

I think I won because (a) my shower would only produce scalding hot water on the second morning of my stay, no matter where I turned the dial, and (b) when the front desk staff were utterly unable to get the loud house music being played outside my window at the vacant pool turned down at midnight on a week night (it was way too loud even with all windows closed), I had to eventually confront a bartender to get it done. Did I mention that a buddy found the biggest cockroach he'd ever seen? And the glass shower partitions result in flooded bathrooms, since they only halfway separate the shower area from the rest of the bathroom?

The decor is hip, and I get what they're trying to achieve. But their hoped-for ambience was (in our collective experience) overwhelmed by the incompetence of the management, the seedy way everything was run down, etc. -- bathroom tiles missing, bathroom shelves hanging precariously by a single screw, the screen in the bathroom window repeatedly falling out and hitting me on the head, hip red shag carpeting in the hallways matted down and filthy, etc., etc.

I've stayed at the ultra-hip Hudson in New York, and loved it -- the Catalina's attempted hip-factor is not the problem. At Hudson, form and function work together to provide a great experience, combined with excellent customer service. At the Catalina, form utterly triumphs over function. Half the time here they don't seem to care, and when they do, they seem utterly unable to help. Bottom line: Look elsewhere, unless you enjoy living out a Saturday Night Live skit.

  • Stayed January 2006, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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2,553 reviews from our community

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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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
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A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2006

I just returned home from a long weekend in South Beach where I stayed at the Catalina Hotel. After reading the reviews on here, I was cautiously optimistic. Expecting the worst, I entered my room and was pleasantly surprised. The room was very similar to the pictures on the website. The white floor had definitely seen some wear and tear, but other than that it was clean and very cool. The thermostat worked perfectly and actually, got a bit cold at times. The beds at the Catalina are superb!!! Very comfortable... my only complaint there is that I'm not sure they changed the sheets each day. The bathroom is tiny, but the shower head was impressive. Excellent water pressure and a very large shower head made for many long showers. The bathroom heats up very quickly and makes the entire room humid, so try and limit your shower time or open the windows! Overall the staff was friendly, no problems at check-in or check-out. The continental breakfast is nothing to write home about.. just a few pastries, coffee, and orange juice. I would recommend finding somewhere else to use your calories.

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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2006

We stayed there for two days and our room was lovely. It was a nice size and quiet, even though music was playing downstairs in the evening. The Spy Restaurant and Bar is expensive but the food was very good. The staff was very nice as well. We were pleasantly surprised.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2006

Great location. The 'happy hour' cocktails are terrible. The breakfast is from 7-9 which is not very convenient because this is a 'party' hotel and no one is awake by 9 am. The shuttle to the airport was reliable. The cd player in the room is good. The room like it was done by 'Trading Spaces'. There is neat design but lacking in quality. The shower is tiny and there is no storage space or area to put a laptop. I did not bring my laptop because there is $15 per day charge for internet which is a little steep. Housekeeping would come at 6 pm which was a little odd. You can rent bikes free for the first two hours but it is $20 per hour after that. Nikki beach club was amazing! it was really nice to take a cab there and lay out on the lounge chairs all day. There are some great restaraunts and clubs a short walk away. Take advantage of the hotel's access to passes to clubs. You have to ask for them though.

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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2006

GREAT LOCATION- it's near the best restaurants, hottest bars and lounges, and all the shops on Lincoln Road. Prime location. Also has its own chic lounge called the Spy lounge-awesome bar and great food.

COZY ROOMS-adorable rooms with all the amenities of your own home. Beds are comfortable and bathrooms are spacious. Love the look of the hotel.

FRIENDLY STAFF - all the employees are friendly and alert. Willingness to assist you with reservations and get you into the hottest places.

I had a great time at this hotel and will definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2006

It’s not “The Ritz,” but it gets the job done if you want a true South Beach experience. Set across the street from the Raleigh and in between the Shore Club and Delano Hotels on Collins Avenue, The Catalina's location is perfect for a group of people who want to party hard but are on a budget. For my friend's bachelorette party we stayed in the hotel over Martin Luther King Day weekend. The convenient location really made all the difference--especially at 5 a.m. when we were walking back from bars in high heals.

The lobby oozed glamour, I'd love the fact when we arrived they were doing some sort of photo shoot not to mention the very cute wait staff.

I thought the service was generally good, especially for the price--for each person (four people to a room) paid $225 for three nights.

One person at the front desk said to our bachelorette party to let him know if there was ANYTHING we needed ( he particulary enuciated the word anything) and retrospectively we all pondered what he actually meant by that.

However, despite our good times we did have some complaints.

Service/Amenities issues:

The shower did not have a sliding door and as a result after taking one, the entire bathroom floor was soaking wet.

TOWELS! One thing that did annoy everyone, especially since we had four people to a room, is the lack of clean towels. One day the maids just came in the room and folded our dirty towels without giving us new ones.

Checkout: Upon checkout, we the hotel tried to charge us for pistachios we did not eat and a long-distance phonecall. We got the phonecall taken off the bill but they refused to remove the pistachios. The whole episode was very bizarre since the guy at the front desk refused to credit us. The $3.00 is really nothing to fight over, but the principle of being charged extra at random was our beef. This particular individual at the front-desk was nice to us when we arrived and offered an array of passes to clubs, etc. But when it came to matters of billing, he was quite unprofessional. He called me "sweetie" in an argument we had over the bill, which I felt was inappropriate and intentionally demeaning.

All and all, however, the weekend was great. The problems were really minor. I realize that "we" ( i mean all eight girls in our party) are probably tough customers and none of are demure or afraid to speak our minds.

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A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2006

My friends and I stayed at the Catalina in early November 2005, right after Hurricane Wilma. We found the place on the internet and the pictures were nice. The location was nice, right on Ocean Drive, most things were walking distance or an inexpensive cab ride away.
Our first impression of the hotel was rather blah from the outside, but we were hoping to be dazzled when we walked in. We were not. There was a funny smell in the hotel, couldn't tell what it was, maybe a cleaning fluid or something like it. The carpets were DISGUSTING - dingly, matted down, frayed, and old. I thought the place had been renovated, but again, wrong. They had lost our reservation, but we had a print out of the original reservation we made, so they quickly corrected it. The front desk employee, I think is name was Chris, was great. He hooked us up with tons of passes and put us a bunch of guest lists for clubs for that night.
The elevator was old, cramped and slow.
The room - I was again surprized, not what I expected. No view of anything, the bathroom had a wierd layout, there wasn't a lot of room to put anything. No carpets, just badly painted wood floors. We had to call everyday to get towels even after the maids had been through the room. It drove me crazy!
The free stuff - they give you tickets for free drinks for the night between 7 and 9. We took our tickets to get our drinks and again, not what I exected. You can only get the cheap, bottom shelf liquor (basically, like rum & coke). The bartender was a --- (emphasis). He demanded a tip. He didn't even make a decent drink. We never went back after that first night.
We will NEVER stay there again, we wouldn't recommend it at all. They need to make some huge improvements to this place. The only redeeming feature is it's location.
Next time we are spending the money and staying at the Shore Club.

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Additional Information about Catalina Hotel & Beach Club

Address: 1732-1756 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#48 Business Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Catalina Hotel & Beach Club 3.5*
Number of rooms: 60
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Also Known As:
Catalina Hotel And Beach Club
Catalina Hotel Miami

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