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“Beautiful Hotel in Avalon”

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Hotel Vista Del Mar
Ranked #1 of 20 Hotels in Avalon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 9, 2007

I have been staying at the Vista Del Mar before it was the Vista and it is more beautiful then ever. Randy has done a beautiful job remodeling with granite counters and a lovely fireplace
in each and every room.Even a live plant which is a nice touch. I stay for ten days and the only two drawbacks are the fridge doesnt keep cold enough to actually keep food. The continental breakfast is beautiful and served in the Atrium overlooking Avalon but after 3-4 days it becomes boring and we had to go out to eat. Sallys, Jacks, Pancake Cottage and Erics on the Pier are great. Nader is a newbie there but what a sweetheart and couldn't be more helpful. When we mentioned the fridge problem Nader said hed be sure to let Randy know and let us use another fridge. Juan is full of smiles and help and when you see these two on the street they are talkative and make you feel like a local. Same is true at Vons the only grocery store they call you by name.

I love October on the Island because it is not packed with tourists. It is a cool evening time of the year so you might need a sweater. My husband and just turned five year old take the Courtyard room and the same one year after year. It is small ( all rooms on the island are) but VERY doable w/double bed and pull out sofa but we are not in the room much as we find so much to do on the island. We checked out a few other hotels but you CANT beat the quiet, location and cleanliness of the Vista Del Mar with the beautiful rooms and not to mention the view and sweet smell of the cookies served at 7:30 with milk that Juan,Nader,Susanna and Crystal brought to our room if we were out hiking around still. Little things that mean alot when you are on vacation. You are only 13 steps to the beach and there is complementary chairs, towels and umbrellas. But remember its off season so things close early. We love to get our scoop of ice cream at Big Olafs right before they close at 7pm and its only a dollar just ask for the kid scoop. Then walk to the Casino or Zane Grey (lots of stairs uphill) for the beautiful views. Tha Channel house with Rosie and smiling Betty has great food and atmosphere. Steves has great food but we had a snooty blond waitress that ruined the atmosphere. I heard the same from others just wished I heard before so I could of asked for someone else. I would not stay any where else but the Vista Del Mar. Crystal is extremly helpful with reservations and accomodating. Carmen and Flor are the sweetest domestic engineers and are there with a smile in an instant. We ran into Donna every where on the island and she is so sweet. Ramone is full of smiles and a kind word. If you are looking for a hotel that is quiet and with a beautiful room, view, location and friendly people that pay attention to detail this is it.

My daughter nevers want to leave so we always have to take the last boat out even after 10 days. She is anxious to see Mr.Nader upon our return to the Vista Del Mar in April again. And we look forward to her having such a great time in such a nice hotel that feels like home to us.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled with family
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10  Thank 007isthename
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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587 - 593 of 609 reviews

Reviewed May 23, 2007

We arrived a week after the fires broke out. We of course were nervous about traveling there and wondered if they'd be open. My husband called the day before we were to arrive and had no problem talking to anyone.

When we arrived we were told that our room was 103...if you've read back some that's a room that others have said not to stay in. I expressed my concern (the breakfast used to be held right outside the room since its so close to the check in area). She told me that they've since started delivering breakfast to each room every morning. We had no problem with noise the entire time and were very pleased by the room.

Since we were so close to the check in desk we became friends with Crystal. She was very very sweet and helped make our stay so much more pleasant. We did talk to her about the fire and I really got a sense of how scared everyone had been. I'm so sorry for the other couple that was showing up the day after. I think the event was traumatic to all involved.

When we were there the weather wasn't that great. It was clouded over (we expected that since the fire) but it was so cold. I wore a jacket the entire time. Some people braved it and actually laid out...not for me.

We did take a look at the Metropole Hotel and I must say the room was nothing compared to the Vista Del Mar room. The bed in our room was so comfy and we slept like rocks.

Upon arriving I did find a hair in the toilet and shower (no biggie really) and our bedspread had a darkish (dirt looking) stain on it. I told Crystal and she changed it herself for us. We were very pleased.

We really liked Ristorante Villa Portofino. The atmosphere was very nice and food was great.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Kris10Pat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2007

I booked a romantic weekend package with the Hotel Vista Del Mar for my boyfriends 40th birthday surprise celebration. I had been in detailed contact with the innkeeper regarding the purpose of our visit, and that as we would be travelling from Northern California was referred to local bakeries to purchase a cake and offered complimentary champagne upon arrival. Based upon this level of care and service I never anticipated what would happen...

Around noon on the Thursday afternoon prior to our Friday to Sunday stay, my boyfriend and I started our 7 hour journey to Southern California to stage for an early morning ferry departure the following morning. Around the same time, wildfires broke out on Catalina Island. As we were en route, we did not receive any news that there was a fire on Catalina. Upon our late night arrival in Southern California, we were informed about the fire by a fried by chance and immediately phoned the Hotel. I got in touch with the night manager who indicated that the Hotel was evacuated, that she had been unable to contact the hotel ownership, but that we should phone first thing in the morning to see whether we should go to the ferry. She also indicated that she anticipated that the fire would be contained and that the Hotel operating as usual by Friday, our scheduled day of check in. So we called first thing in the morning, and left messages, and called and emailed and so on throughout the day and through the remainder of the weekend without having one message returned or one call answered. We were effectively stranded in Southern California through Sunday.

I contacted the Hotel on Monday morning again, and was able to talk to the Manager. She was extremely unapologetic and insisted that 1., she had called me on Saturday, which she hadn't and that 2., the Hotel had refunded my prepaid package, which according to the Credit Card company, wasn't true either. I indicated my unhappiness that this small, 8 room Boutique Hotel, did not make the effort to contact incoming guests to alert them of the situation. Even though the circumstances were highly unfortunate and unexpected, the Hotel evacuated guests on Thursday, the night manager was there as late as 10.30pm and took my name promising I would be contacted with any updates - and yet, there was no communication from the hotel whatsoever. And when speaking with the manager and then later the owner, neither conceded that perhaps this was neglected or they were sorry that we were not contacted. If we were contacted on Thursday at any time and notified of this situation, we would have been able to either return home or make other plans as opposed to being stuck in the Los Angeles area - which was not anywhere near what I had in mind when planning this relaxing getaway.

It was just extremely disappointing to have the Hotel react in such an non service oriented fashion. The manager indicated that she assumed that no one would even try to come out and why would we? However, she never took into account that we were already traveling down to stage for our departure when the fire broke out. The owner was quite rude and abrupt in her comments and not one representative from the property offered us any concession. I am in the dispute process with the charges on my credit card as they still have not been reversed, even though the Hotel has indicated this has been done.

I don't recommend this property to anyone seeking a getaway where any competence in customer service may be necessary.


  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank lilymoira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cdpettijohn, Owner at Hotel Vista Del Mar, responded to this reviewResponded March 14, 2008

I am responding to this guests claim of "horrible customer service". As she stated the Island suffered a devastating fire that required a mandatory evacuation of the entire town of Avalon. Our night manager, MaryLou, decided to stay behind and fielded all calls Thursday night, the night of the fire. They spoke to her Thursday night at 10:30PM and at no time did she indicate the hotel would be open as usual on Friday, the town was on fire at that time. The guest says " If we were contacted on Thursday at any time ...." The fire started around 12PM and reached evacuation status at about 6PM. At that time all guests that called were told everything we knew by the night manager. We also attempted to contact all guests coming Friday. Due to the emergency at hand of evacuating all existing guests and our staff this was difficult. On Friday my wife Kelly and I personally called ALL guests that were coming Friday, Saturday or Sunday. We let them all know that the emergency agents in charge ie. Fire, Sheriff and City of Avalon were not letting any visitors to the island until Monday at the very soonest. At this point Avalon was not in harms way but the fire was only 50% contained and had burned 4000 acres. We told all guests they would receive a 100% refund. I was able to get back to the island on Saturday and our phones were back up and all calls were being answered all day Saturday and Sunday 10AM to 6PM, including responding to any emails. This guest was given a 100% refund on Sunday in the form of a credit to her credit card in full of which we have documented to her. The guest that made the reservations boyfriend called and told us that he expected more then a 100% refund and that he felt he was due compensation from us for his trip to Southern California. Most guests were understanding that this terrible fire was not anything we could control and for the safety of our visitors no one was allowed by the City of Avalon back to the island until Monday. We have apologized profusely to this guest but he feels we are personally responsible for this unfortunate situation. He has contacted the Better Business Bureau who forwarded us his complaint. We have also responded to that letter also and given the guest the name and number of the company that started the fire and their insurance company. We can document all of what is stated above and you can call me personally at 310 510-1452 ext 512 if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Jerry Dunn
Owner - Hotel Vista Del Mar

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2007

We went to the island off-season at the end of March. Since we made our decision go only a week before, the hotels we had previously stayed in were already filled or had gone up in price.

When I called the Hotel Vista Del Mar, the receptionist was extremely pleasant and helpful. The room I was interested in was available ( the least expensive one). I was impressed with their website information and description & pictures and we decided to give it a try. The receptionist said that I should let them know when our boat was to arrive in advance so that they could get our room ready early if possible, so I did.

We arrived on the island around 11:15 a.m. and went straight to the hotel not expecting our room to be ready but hoping to leave our bags. We were pleasantly surprised that our room was ready right then, 11:30 a.m. ! The receptionist was very nice and explained everything thoroughly and escorted us to our room and answered our questions.

Everything about the room was beyond what we had expected, nice decorating, extremely clean, good temperature, comfortable bed. We were told that in the evening there would be available milk & chocolate chip cookies. I went down the hall in the evening to check it out. The cookies (which also included peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, & white chocolate) were warm, homemade, tasted as if they had just come from the oven. Heavenly !! We were also extremely happy with the "continental breakfast" they delivered to our door the next morning. Warm freshly baked cherry nut bread loaf, granola cereal, yoplait yogurt, banana, choice of cold juice & hot beverage. Wow !

The only minor negative that I would mention is the noise of the heater in the room, which is probably the same at any of the other hotels. We turned it off at bedtime and instead used our
fireplace to keep the room warm. There were stairs to climb to get to this hotel so it would not be the best for those in a wheelchair, or have trouble climbing stairs.

I forgot to mention that this hotel is beautiful, very garden like and also right near the pier in the middle of town close to all the shops as it is on the front strip. There is a balcony at the front of the hotel where they have chairs and I sat there in the morning enjoying the ocean view while I read.

We plan to stay there again some time in the near future !

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank tearosemom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 21, 2006

My husband and I stayed at the Vista Del Mar in December for Christmas and March for our anniversary and it was wonderful both times. We had been there in December and stayed in 2 rooms, a courtyard deluxe room the 1st night and an ocean view suite the next. Both rooms were nice, the ocean view suite especially. When we went back for our anniversary we were in the ocean view suite exclusively. The deluxe rooms were comfortable, clean and pleasantly decorated with all the amenities, including a bose stereo alarm clock. The only complaint was the jacuzzi tub was too small to really use the jacuzzi feature. We had family members with us who stayed in another deluxe room and they loved the room as well.

The ocean view suite has a fireplace, balcony, wet bar and 2 person jacuzzi tub that has the option to be closed in for privacy or to slide the bath section doors open so you have a view of the ocean from the tub. The hotel was going through remodeling then, and still remodeling when we went back in March, upgrading to granite countertops and other fixtures, as well as the beds in many rooms. The beds were very comfortable, there were fireplaces in the room and everything worked. We highly recommend the ocean view suite, unless you go during the busy season and are a light sleeper. There is a karaoke bar a few doors down and they can get loud with drunks on the boardwalk through the night. The deluxe rooms off the boardwalk are well insulated and we heard no noise from inside the room at night.

The staff is friendly and went out of their way to make us feel special. I had a few special requests and they did their best to fulfill them. They also include with the room a continental breakfast in the morning and fresh baked cookies and milk/coffee/tea in the evening.

While on the island we went and looked at various rooms in about 6 other hotels for when we wanted to return, and the other hotel we liked was their sister hotel the Snug Harbor Inn, though they did not have balconies available and we did not stay there. The rooms in both hotels were larger than others we saw on the island for a higher price and decorated nicely. We loved the Vista Del Mar and will stay there again when we return to Catalina.

  • Stayed: March 2006, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank pchampion25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2006

Vista Del Mar is a nice hotel for Catalina....most hotels on the island are run-down and not maintained very well (in my opinion) so this hotel is good if you want to be right downtown in the middle of everything. For what we got, I thought it was too expensive. We got: one night stay, bottle of champagne, 2 massages and a boatride over/back and it was $470. I booked this trip for my b-day and I got sick 2 days before we left with strep throat. I called and they were somewhat sympathetic when I begged and pleded to come another weekend. At first it seemed possible that I could re-schedule but then they couldnt sell our room (and make money) so we had the choice of being out $400+ or coming over sick with strep throat. So we came anyway. I was very unhappy to see that they assigned us with a room with 2 double beds when I asked for one King. The room was very noisy and was located next to the front desk (5 steps away!) and the AM breakfast. So we had people lining up for food at 7:30am next to our window. Our massages were also hard to enjoy because of the room was so noisy. We heard everything in the lobby and to top it off, the pantry where they store the breakfast food was adjacent to our room so we heard endless rumbling in the storage room. All in all, I would stay at the Snug Harbor Inn instead. Vista Del Mar was nice for Catalina but not nice when it came to being sympathic to people who have 100 degree fevers!

  • Stayed: March 2006
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14  Thank Bananz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2006

My opinion: Beautiful & convenient. Rest assured you are getting a quality hotel at Vista Del Mar. Perfect for couples. I am quite discriminating & did a lot of research before booking my hotel in Avalon. I didn't want to overpay, but I wanted something worthy of a romantic weekend. This was the place.

If you care to read further, I'll tell you more.

I was looking for a nice place to stay on Catalina, specifically for an anniversary. I was initially interested in the Snug Harbor Inn (owned by the same people as Vista Del Mar) however they were booked. I ended up reserving a courtyard room.

From what I have gathered, many hotels in Catalina aren't maintained exceptionally well and I was afraid of this. I decided to go with the Vista Del Mar, and I have to say, I was very impressed. It is on the third floor of a harbor-front historic building, with a beautiful greenhouse-like atrium hallway leading to all the rooms. Rooms had a fireplace, wet bar, desk area, comfortable beds, very clean facilities and plenting of seating.

The location of the hotel is great too. You are in the middle of everything. If you aren't sure what to do on a saturday night, I'd reccomend having a late dinner at "El Gallileon" restaurant next door & experiencing the Karaoke. It was a 30 something crowd when we went, so there were plenty of obscure hits from the 80's.

I hope you have fun in Catalina.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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19  Thank Xander12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Vista Del Mar

Address: 417 Crescent Ave., Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704
Location: United States > California > Catalina Island > Avalon
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Avalon
#1 Best Value Hotel in Avalon
#2 Family Hotel in Avalon
#4 Romantic Hotel in Avalon
Price Range: $145 - $495 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Vista Del Mar is located on the beach, overlooking Avalon Bay, with rooms featuring: ocean views, jetted tub, continental breakfast, milk and cookies each evening, HDTV, DirecTV, DVD / Blu-Ray Player, complimentary Blu-Ray and DVD library, fireplace, wet bar with refrigerator, complimentary high-speed wireless internet, air conditioning, beach mats and beach chairs. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Vista Del Mar Avalon
Vista Del Mar Hotel
Hotel Vista Del Mar Catalina Island/Avalon, CA

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