We decided just a week in advance to go to Catalina for a special scuba diving March 16. Web searches showed little availability in Avalon and only at very high prices at a few hotels. We tried calling the Atwater reservation number, and I was delighted to find that they had some availability for the Saturday night we wanted (note: this number reaches an international call center, not the hotel). The rack rate I was quoted was very high, but the AAA rate was quite reasonable. We had stayed at Atwater last September, and it was just right for us. Cute, comfortable, clean, centrally located (most things are-- Avalon is tiny), and with helpful staff and good coffee in the morning. They have a big room for storing luggage and dive gear, and will let you use showers if you dive after you need to check out (we did not need this access, but the desk told me about it when we stayed in September). That could be very helpful, because it's challenging to plan your trip activities around ferry and checkout schedules.
Some other helpful hints for Avalon:
If you walk at all, the botanical garden is a great morning walk up the hill. Things we read had suggested that you need a bus or golf car to get there, but it's an easy hike. There's good birdwatching along the way. The Sand Trap is a great place to have Mexican Breakfast on your way up the hill. If you get tired of paying a lot of money for drinks at the bars and restaurants, check out the wine selection at the two Von's stores in Avalon. You can pick up a bottle of pretty good wine at a low price and be creative about when and where to drink it (hint: opaque water bottle). I like the fried zucchini and fried scallops at the seafood place at the end of the pier. Overall, Avalon and the Atwater make a really good, easy, mini-vacation. Would be a bit boring for a long stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Just 1/2 a block from the beach, the historic Hotel Atwater was built in the 1920's and offers a wide variety of room types from Economy Rooms, Standard Rooms to Suites. This hotel fits any budget and is perfect for active couples, families, scuba divers and large groups. Offerings include: Complimentary baggage service from the ferry, Suites and Standard Rooms feature air conditioning / heating, iron and ironing boards, Suites and Standard Rooms feature hair dryers, basic-cable TV - free HBO and Showtime, senior, military and group discounts, complimentary storage room for dive gear, mountain bikes and luggage. Outdoor rinse-off showers for divers. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Atwater Hotel Avalon
- Hotel Atwater Catalina Island/Avalon, CA