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“The Hotel Atwater far exceeded my expectations!”
Review of Hotel Atwater

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Hotel Atwater
Ranked #7 of 20 Hotels in Avalon
Certificate of Excellence
Carlsbad, CA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“The Hotel Atwater far exceeded my expectations!”
Reviewed April 19, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Hotel Atwater for 2 nights over the Easter holiday. We booked the hotel as a part of a package through visitcatalinaisland.com, which is associated with Discovery Tours. Our package included round-trip tix on the Catalina Express from Dana Point, the Hotel Atwater, and a Glass-bottom Boat Tour. We payed next to nothing for this package, and chose the most basic type of room. Their rooms range from basic through suites, with prices ranging from $40-$320 per night (as seen in the catalouge in the room). Because we paid so little, we were expecting this place to essentially be a hostel...we were sooo pleasantly surprised upon arrival to find that it was most certainly not a hostel.

Location: The hotel's location is excellent. It is located about 1.5 blocks from the beach on Sumner St. Sumner St. is right in the middle of Avalon, so it is within very easy walking distance to anywhere you would like to go. We were able to walk to the Descanso beach club in about 6 minutes, and to the main pier in about the same time. The hotel is also right across the street from Antonio's Pizzeria and just a couple of doors down from the Chi Chi club.

Inside the Hotel: The hotel looks like it is straight from 1920, and I love it. There is no lift, as the building is really old, but lugging your bags up the stairs will be worth it- I promise you! Our room was on the second floor, and was within the most basic category. The view was of the building nextdoor. The room was small, but did not feel overcrowded. We had a King-sized bed, armoire with tv, two night stands, a desk, and a table with two chairs. There was also a coffee maker (with coffee making supplies), a closet with hangers, and a full sized iron and ironing board!! The bathroom was small, and the shower was the smallest I have ever been in (even counting all those tiny things I've used in Europe). The size of the shower made it very difficult to properly rinse- so it took a little more time than usual. The bed was very comfortable, and there were 6 count them 6...down pillows...absolutely no need to request more! There were nice planet-friendly toiletries provided as well.

Service: The staff at the Hotel Atwater were all wonderful. We had one small issue with the shower (water would not come out of the shower head), and it was fixed in a reasonable amount of time. The maid service was very good. They wet mopped the bathroom floor daily, which I appreciated very much after a sandy day at the beach. The room was absolutely immaculate, which is very surprising, as the hotel is very very old.

Overall, I was very impressed with the Hotel Atwater, especially when given the price that we paid. When we return to Catalina we will definitely patron the Hotel Atwater again! Next time we will probably pay a little more for one of the upgraded rooms. We peeked inside one of them and they had more updated furniture, and the bathroom looked larger. The linens looked really nice, and they had dark wood sleigh beds. I highly recommend this hotel!!!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jpcheer25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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488 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (156)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Orange, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 6, 2008

Went on a weekend getaway by myself. My room was located on the top floor / third floor. The room is very clean and very cozy. very comfortable. There are no Elevators so pack lite. Good service. Although there is no complimentary continental Breakfast like most hotels to help you start your day. The Hotel Atwater is in the Heart of Avalon walking distance to everything. Original Joes is my favorite eatery there. And I pretty much snorkel and kayak when I was there and did the site seeing tour, that was fun. All that walking I did there I actually lost weight and I felt really harmonize and at peace within myself. The locals are very friendly. I would definetly go back in a heart beat. I went when summer was about to end, like early September so it was almost dying out. It wasn't crowded that is the best time to go.

  • Liked — Close to everyting.
  • Disliked — No elevators No continental breakfast
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Daytripper1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Valencia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 26, 2008

The location was great and in the center of town. We stayed in a remodeled suite with a king bed in one room and a sofa bed in another room. The bathroom was spacious and well-appointed. But, once the sun went down, the noise started. All night we heard people laughing and talking loudly.
There were daily trash trucks and truck deliveries. Even with the windows closed and fans running, we could hear the noise. We had to take sleeping pills in order to sleep. I would recommed NOT staying here or if this is your only option, request to stay in a room that isn't facing the street. The service was great and all the workers were very nice to us, don't get me wrong. They were very polite.

  • Liked — room
  • Disliked — noise from street
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank ccn52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2008

Keeping in mind that if this hotel were in any other city, the rating would be even lower, but the hotel situation as a whole in Catalina is very unique. Most hotels and establishments there are older and not equipped with air conditioning, due to the natural climate, but with weather heating up year after year, it gets difficult depending on the time during the summer you go.

My main complaint with the Atwater was the level of service...very inconsistent at best. We really didn't receive any friendly service per se...more or less just polite and less polite, depending on the attendent who was working. From the booking, through the checkout process, the attendants were not very knowledgeable about the area, and were very abrupt when answering our questions. Keep in mind, I never look to have my ego stroked, but do like friendly and personable service. My travels have taken me to alot of other smaller hotels where the service has been at par with or better than four - five star places, so hotel class is not necessarily an excuse.

As far as the structure itself, there are no elevators (which in all fairness, is stated on their website), but the rooms, decor, carpets, etc...are all outdated. I'm all for classic charm and all, but there needs to be better upkeep. Also a factor is the noise, as there is a Vons across the street and garbage trucks working in the early AM.

If you are looking for a nice place for a family vacation, I'd try another hotel in Avalon. The Atwater is reminiscent of a place you would go to if you were backpacking, straight out of high school or college. I would not return to this hotel.

  • Liked — Location to activities
  • Disliked — Service
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank mytibt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
1 review
Reviewed June 8, 2008

This hotel is great for the price. It's located right in the heart of town. It has all the basic amenities one is looking for - a bed, TV, bathroom, etc. It's definitely not too classy, just comfortable enough. We had a queen bed on the third floor overlooking the bay. It was small, but for not spending too much time in the room, it was perfect. I would recommend this place, hands down.

  • Liked — Cheap price
  • Disliked — No internet access
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank iristwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oceanside,California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2007

My husband and I just returned from a fabulous three days in Avalon. We got a great deal through the internet coming over on the Catalina Flyer and stayed at the Atwater hotel. To say this is a budget hotel is pretty accurate. Room was extremely small, with no view at all but location was great and the hotel was overall very clean. Probably would not stay there again but as I said the deal was to good to pass up. The Avalon scenic tour was informative and fun but I would have to say the highlight was Descanso Beach. I am not aware of anywhere in California where you can get served alcohol on the beach and they have an awesome beach bar that is lots of fun just to hang out and kick back with great drinks and good appetizer style food. The water is so clear and fun for snorkeling.

Helpful?
6 Thank Djays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silve spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
27 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2007

I booked this hotel based on other good reviews it received on this site. I was shocked by the condition of the hotel.

The location couldn't be better. But....the rooms are sparse and abused. There is nothing "quaint." Furniture is trashed 80s motel furniture. Drawers were broken. Could feel springs through beds. Couple a lousy bed with unbelievable street noise and you are in for a complete lack of rest if you stay here.

There also are no phones in the rooms which was a real probelm when we discovered we had no remote control or when we blew a fuse, which happened twice!!! Light bulbs were burned out.

Linens feel worn out and old....our sink was this tiny miniature thing with no space to set items down.

There is no restaurant in the hotel. Go someplace else!

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — room condition/cleanliness
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank MDTraveler1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Atwater

Property: Hotel Atwater
Address: 125 Sumner Street, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Catalina Island > Avalon
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Suites
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Avalon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Atwater 3*
Number of rooms: 92
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 
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Also Known As:
Atwater Hotel Avalon
Hotel Atwater Catalina Island/Avalon, CA

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