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“Little Hotel Has It All”

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Catalina Boat House
Ranked #20 of 20 Hotels in Avalon
Reviewed May 11, 2009

This was the perfect small hotel one block up the hill from the town of Avalon, with a sunbathing deck andan ocean view, tables, and chairs, even a barbecue on the first level. The staff was super-friendly and quick to respond, and the rooms were clean and comfy, including a kitchenette. I would definitely stay again with friends, my boyfriend, or even my mom, and will recommend it to others.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank Sparrow M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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105 - 111 of 151 reviews

Reviewed April 9, 2009

We stayed here for one night during our 3-day trip to Catalina and found it a fine place to stay for the price. We made our reservation over the phone a week prior, and according to one of the reception reps, the hotel had recently had some renovations done. We paid $84 for the night, which was among the cheapest rates being offered in Avalon for that time.

First of all, I don't get what some past reviewers have been saying about the "steep" hill. The hill wasn't very steep at all, and although the hotel was not beachside property, it literally only took 5-8 minutes to walk from the main drag to the hotel, and my fiance and I are NOT athletes. I can understand that this would be a problem if you're lugging several suitcases with you, (in this case, you would take a taxi regardless of where the hotel is located) but if you have only one rolling suitcase or a travel backpack, walking here from the dock is not impossible.

The hotel didn't look new, but it wasn't shabby either - it definitely has that "beach motel" kind of vibe - but not in a bad way. In fact, I found the place rather charming. The guy at the front desk was very friendly. The courtyard that a reviewer claimed to smell of cat urine? No cat urine smell on our end.

Yes, the room was a bit cramped, but not horribly so. If you're vacationing in Catalina, I would figure that you wouldn't spend much time in a hotel room anyway, so the room suited our needs. We found it just fine. The queen sized bed was very comfortable, (I slept like a log) and the sheets, although looking a teeny bit worn, were clean and smelled fresh.

The walls did seem thin, and we could hear the conversations of anyone in the courtyard as if they were in the room with us. However, even with people staying in adjacent rooms, we didn't hear any noise or talking at all. Either these were really quiet, considerate people, or the walls dampened just enough noise for us to not notice it.

We didn't really make use of the kitchenette, but out of curiosity looked in all the pantries and found clean plates, mugs and silverware. There's a minifridge, a stove and a sink, all in working order.

The bathroom was pretty clean, we had a jacuzzi bathtub, and my only complaint about that was that it was a little hard for 5'2" me to step in and out of it, it was so deep.

The morning of check out, the receptionist on duty allowed us to leave our belongings in the lobby while we walked down the hill to have breakfast. She was a nice gal, although she wasn't much help when we asked her about transportation pickup/dropoff locations. We got a feeling that she didn't know as much about the island for visitors as she should.

All in all, not the best place I've ever stayed in, but definitely not the worst. Solidly in the middle, which is all well and good for a one-night stay.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank giveitagonow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2009

My husband and I stayed there for a weekend getaway. We choose this hotel because the room was VERY cheap. I now know why. We were on the late boat over so there was no one at the hotel. We had to wait 10 min before someone came to get us our keys. It was very small, which is fine but SMALL. The beds felt like they were going to give out at any time and the bathroom was bad. I dropped my water and it fell under the bed and i saw an old shoe under there and a wrapper that was used (i wont be specific). It was very dirty and we just felt dirty staying there. I would not recommend this to ANYONE!!!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bandb123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2008

No where near the ferry dock, though the walk is not bad. No one was in the office, so we called, waited 20 minutes for staff to arrive, and then found the muggy, mildewed, dingy, dirty room under the stairs was to be our "room with a courtyard view."

The room was no more than a hallway with the bed shoved up against one damp wall. The bathroom was at the end of the bed, and had scum & mold in the crevices of the floor, shower, and shower door. The bedding was well-worn out and mis-matched.
The "kitchenette" consisted of a tiny dorm refrigerator with an even smaller microwave on top. All this for $140. /night!!

My husband's mold allergies were immediately set off, and though we planned on spending little time in the room, 5 minutes was enough to feel encaged and claustrophobic! When I complained to the management, requesting another room, we were reluctantly given a "suite," with a little more room--just enough to cram in a twin bed next to the window with bent mini blinds and a view of a ragged patio with it's one table and worn out chairs. The carpet was stained, the kitchenette was a closet on the inner wall, and the noise of the screaming child next door reverberated through the walls and patio.

On the other side was a shop, where the grounds keeper used loud hand tools and smoked--which we could smell in our room. There were cigarette butts in the room's doorway, despite the fact that we had to sign an agreement to pay a hefty fine if caught smoking in the room. The place was such a rat trap, with a maze of rooms in an enclosed dark hallway above us, that I worried it might burn down from staff smoking!

The office staff was only around for an hour or so in the morning, and not the least bit helpful when asked about local sites and activities. They were disinterested and annoyed at best, absent most of the time.

I have stayed at much better, cleaner places in third world countries for $10/night, where the staff showed at least a minimum of interest in guest comfort! This was absolutely the second to the worst place I have ever stayed, and it caused us to leave a day early! I wouldn't recommend that a dog be kept in one of the rooms!

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank 365sunny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 8, 2008

We just got back from Property that Diane, the former owner of that other dump the Beach House owned . We Paid $200 night, a rip off because of the fourth of July holiday. I t was so filthy, and had not been cleaned in at least 10 years, we were greated by dog poop on the steps, which I had to remove myself, the caropet was burgundy and fithy dirty SO OLD. , toilet seat not adhered to toilet, cob webs all over bathroom lights, and the bathroom floor was completely torn up. I dont think the blinds were ever cleaned, obviously houskeeping is not Diane's forte, Charged complete amount of room plus tax up front, I can see why, because no body in their right mind would stay there. It was horrible. Sheets were so filthly I dont think they were even changed from the last guests. Oh and the bed, was lopsided , every morning we woke up with broken backs. I , will probably never go to Catalina again because of this dump. Was told it was a block from beach, it was 6 blocks uphill. Which we could barely walk. Stay away from Marilla street aparments. Filthy, filthy, filthy. Stay away forever.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank marylasvegas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2008

I have no idea what the other reveiws say about this place, but the walk up the hill was not bad at all. (AND I SMOKE).
Let me begin this reveiw with the hospitatliy my wife and 2 year old son had received as soon as we got their. IT WAS AMAZING :)
The front desk did not treat us like a dollar sign if you know what I mean. The rooms were elegant and up to date in comparision to the others (and we stayed at most of the hotels on the island). The prices were totally affordable, but were not true to what we encountared, meaning if you were to book a vacation, you better book it here fast before they realize that this is not just an avarege hotel, but a 5 star hotel, and they increase the price....

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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Thank tazzi86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2008

We booked last minute for Presidents Day weekend and got the last room on the island. The location is on a hilly road close to the casino which is nice. It's about a 5 minute walk to the center of town. If you're lazy and don't like walking up hills then this is not the hotel for you....lol

There is a small kitchen with a 2 burner stove and fridge and all the utensils. That was cute. But the room seemed kinda of dirty and the maid didn't show up until like 7 pm, so we just asked for new towels and no cleaning.

The blankets and pillows had a lot of stains, so that was kind of gross. Also the wall were really thin so you could here all of you neighbors conversation/TV programs, that wasn't so nice.

The staff was nice, but I don't think I'd come back.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank heathersspam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catalina Boat House

Address: 200 Marilla Avenue, Mailing: PO Box 646, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704 (Formerly Catalina Beach House)
Location: United States > California > Catalina Island > Avalon
Amenities:
Beach Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Avalon
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This charming property is located one block uphill from the beach in a quiet residential area still walking distance to the shops and restaurants. Modern kitchenettes and our sunny patios set the scene for relaxing barbecues with family and friends. Store your bikes in our lush courtyards or enjoy lounging on one of our public or semi-private decks with sweeping harbor views. We have some pet friendly rooms. This is the perfect setting for intimate weddings and small events and celebrations. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Catalina Beach House Hotel Avalon
Catalina Beach Hotel
Catalina Beach Avalon
Catalina Boat House Catalina Island/Avalon, CA

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