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“Relaxing, Comfortable, and Clean! A Triathletes Treat!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Portofino Hotel

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Portofino Hotel
Ranked #6 of 20 Hotels in Avalon
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Relaxing, Comfortable, and Clean! A Triathletes Treat!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2005

My husband and I went there for the Catalina Triathlon...our first time. You have to fork out the extra dollars and get a suite. You should not stay if you want one of the cheaper rooms. The suites are worth the extra $50. We actually tried 3 in four days! The staff was friendly even when we were picky. We sat on the sun deck and outside our room and read while soaking up the rays, the ocean breeze, and glistening ocean. We are going back this year!

  • Stayed November 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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475 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (121)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
San Diego
Level Contributor
264 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 273 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2005

Cons: We should have listened to the poor reviews. We would not stay here again. Was first given Room 107 for one night - after much complaining, was transferred to Room 111. Not great, but sufficient. Room 107 had a horrible smell that pervaded the room. Tried opening the small windows, door, a/c, etc - no good. Staff gave us air freshener, still didn't work. Felt management was not responsive enough - though they did move us to a room on the other side of the courtyard the next day after we complained at least 4 times. Room 107 is also right on the side street and VERY noisy - ever vehicle sounded like it was coming through the wall. For $200 plus a night - this is not worth it. Agree with previous reviewers Room 107 and Room 111 had no way to really let light into the room - very dark and "cave light". Room 111 was very quiet and no smell, plus the bathroom was much larger than Room 107 - which you could not fit 2 people into at the same time.
Pros: the sundeck is very nice - great views. Should open earlier than 10am. Continental breakfast was nice. The location of the hotel is great - right across from the beach. The restaurant next door was very nice - great atmosphere and good food. The maintenance staff was attentive.
We did speak with a guest who stays there frequently and they always book a suite. Appears the higher end rooms are much nicer. Avoid the "cheaper" rooms if you can. Very disappointing stay overall.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank SDSpartan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riverside, CA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2005

Villa Portofino is on the far end of the main drag in Avalon, using the port as the point of reference. It is across the street from a beachy area and a couple blocks from beach that meshes with the ocean. VP provides package deals (which have minimal savings) that include transportation. Given that they are farther from the port than most hotels, I think they should just provide the transportation from the port for free as an incentive -- but they don't. They also charged for a crib (the crib was fine), which most hotels provide for free.

While many reviews and even the hotel themselves describe the rooms as being small, we were pleasantly surprised to find that this was not an issue even for our basic room. Only the bathrooms are undersized to a degree that plus-sized people would find them uncomfortable. The beds are very firm with a slight pillowtop, which will appeal to some and not appeal to others. I found them "ok". My wife raved about the abiance and decor of the hotel, she really appreciated it.

The hotel provides a sundeck without any service. I saw no point in it but others used it either for its privacy or to avoid the crowds in the compact beach areas. They also have a restaurant but with a dozen great restaurants within a block, there is no particular need to indulge in the restaurant of the hotel. (The Blue Parrot and Busy Bee are great!) You have no private balcony but there are tables outside for your use.

We did get stuck with a room known to have an odor issue. Although they diligiantly worked on the problem twice with limited success, the issue was never fully resolved and I felt a bit cheated to be stuck with this room even though I had had my reservation for MONTHS and -- being a holiday weekend -- really had no recourse to stay elsewhere on an island that was fully booked throughout. We received no compensation for our troubles and this issue will likely keep me from returning to the VP in the future. It wasn't that bad to deal with but certainly wasn't what you expect for a top-end price and hotel.

All in all, we had a fantastic time at Avalon, but really the room served to us as nothing more than a decent place to sleep with a location on the strip and added little to our overall enjoyment. I think the hotel was average for Avalon (which isn't to say that its bad) and will most appeal to those looking for an italian flair to their stay.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank BrentCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 26, 2005

Our room was decorated nicely, but this hotel fell far short after that. We stayed in one of the suites which was also unfortunately along the street. Garbage pick up and restaurant deliveries start at 9 AM, even on weekends. Golf carts are loud as they go up hill and room is not quiet. Bring earplugs and prepare to sleep in a rock hard bed with pillows and sheets nowhere near what they should be in this price range. Other rooms are smaller and "motel-ish" so probably no better.

When I mentioned how noisy the room was, the front desk just laughed it off!!! Ritz Carlton prices with quality decor, lousy linens, no robes, no service, and LOUD!!!

  • Stayed June 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2005

My husband and I just returned from Catalina this past weekend 6/10/05-6/13/05. What I wanted to mention, was that the Hotel Villa Portofino was our choice of hotel when we made our first trip to Catalina back in the fall of 1999. We still feel that we made the best choice, even back then. We travel frequently, both internationally and within the US. We decided to walk through the property and found it to be as lovely now as it was then. We would recommend this property if you want a hotel style stay. We would recommend Hamilton Cove if you want a condo (where we stayed this past weekend). Let me add, that the Ristorante Villa Portofino is excellent and is one of our favorite stops. Enjoy!

  • Stayed October 1999
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2005

I just came back from visiting the catalina Islands. My lady and I stayed at the Hotel Villa portofino. Yes the rooms are small. But they are clean and romantic. This hotel will make you feel like you have your very own place to stay on the island. They actually give you keys to your room and the rooms have outside and patio access no walking thru a lobby beautiful.If you go to catalina stay at the villa portofino.

Stayed June 2005
Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2005

This was our first trip to Avalon, and we chose Villa Portofino over several other options based mainly on price. We were only staying for a night, so we figured we could put up with anything. The hotel is located on the far side from the ferry landing, but it's only a 10 minute walk. The location is awesome because it's not in the middle of everything, but your still on the main strip. The view from the Sun Deck was fabulous. Our room was small and we weren't crazy about the sliding glass door as the room door since there was only one other small window, so unless you wanted to let anyone who was walking by look in, you needed to have the blind closed that made the room dark. The shower was also somewhat small and as I am 6' 2", the shower head was quite short. That being said, we were very happy overall ,and if you are looking for a basic room just to sleep in and plan on spending most of your time out and about, this is a great place. My wife appreciated the cleanliness and the friendly staff.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
21 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Portofino Hotel

Property: Portofino Hotel
Address: 111 Crescent Avenue, PO Box 127, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Catalina Island > Avalon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#4 Family Hotel in Avalon
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Avalon
#7 Romantic Hotel in Avalon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Portofino Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Footsteps from the water, the best of Catalina is just outside our door. Enjoy your island getaway in an ocean view suite or beautifully appointed guest room. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Portofino Hotel Avalon
Portofino Hotel Catalina Island/Avalon, CA

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