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“Bring ear plugs and patience”

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Catalina Hotel & Beach Club
Ranked #84 of 207 Hotels in Miami Beach
London
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Bring ear plugs and patience”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2007

OK, let's start with the good points.

It's in an A1 location, it's cheap, there is a happy hour (which means free drinks between 7 and 8), the restaurant is fairly good and the decor has a certain Latin chic which one could probably suggest is cool if one were sufficiently qualified to make such statements.

Bad points.

Laughable customer service. The front desk are polite and courteous just don't ask them to do much more than give the odd bit of advice, check you in and check you out. It took about 3 or 4 people to tell us how long the shuttle bus took to get to the airport, (about 20 minutes though we had everything from a shrug of the shoulders to 45 minutes) and when we came back to our room to find it hadn't been cleaned, asked them to have it cleaned only to discover...it hadn't been cleaned. Sometimes they could be bothered to replace the shampoo and body wash but most of the time apparently this was a bit much. Luckily the trolley was always left in the corridor which I was left to raid on our behalf.

Noise. Somebody on another website I think suggested cutting some slack because you don't come to South Beach to relax in peace and quiet. Well, if you're in your 20s and into clubbing, that may be true but you'd better also hope that you have a room facing away from the pool because even if you manage to come back to the hotel after they've turned the music off, (somewhere between 1 and 2) it will almost certainly wake you up when it comes back on the following day at similar deafening volumes around 9 or 10. My girlfriend and I came down to the pool once to relax and despite the fact that I asked if the music could be turned down the volume was merely lowered from ear splitting to aurally frightening: I could hear it still reasonably clearly over my iPod. Who is this for exactly? It certainly didn't seem to be the guests but the staff - when they weren't chatting up the female guests - looked so bored I can only assume if it was for them it had to be kept at that volume to prevent them falling into an actual coma.

Overall, it was ok and since I wasn't actually there that often I wasn't that bothered but I had also brought ear plugs and only needed the front desk once. If you needed them more than that you may end up pulling your hair out.

One other thing: I know that when you come to the States you automatically up the typical tip from 10 to 15% but I resent the fact that both the restaurants expected and added 18% without giving me a chance to discern whether I thought they'd earnt it; at least once I didn't think they had which left a bitter taste in the mouth.

Stayed November 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank mr_notmyrealname
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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New Jersey
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2007

This was our first trip to Miami. We found Catalina on-line & had a great time! The staff was very nice & helpful. The location and price was great. The Lobby and red carpeting in the hallway of the first floor were pretty worn, but the rooms were clean and comfortable. We loved the private pool area and of course enjoyed the free cocktail hour each night. We are planning to return next year with several friends for a long weekend.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — condition of lobby and hall carpeting
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kwhite920
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
oiseau777
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2007

Well, we booked a room at the Dorset International Hotel and did not know that it really did not exist anymore but was part of the Catalina Hotel and Beach Club. Really, it was no problem though. This place is super hip. There is a bar inside and a Bamboo lounge outside. We had a king size bedroom and the room was small, but very "deco" and hip. The lighting is great. The style is cool. The shower kicked butt! The room had enough room for what we needed as we weren't hanging around in it although better to get a room with two beds. The location is great and the staff rocked!

  • Liked — location and hip style
  • Disliked — size of room
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank oiseau777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2007

Well the good things are:
1. Location: Close to the beach. They even provide towels and beach chairs.
2. happy Hour: FREE drinks from 7-8pm!
3. Staff: Friendly
4. Hmmmm....that might be it.

And now the BAD:
1. Price: Way over priced for what I paid. On top of that...when I got my credit card statement, it looks like they charged me extra for things I still can't put my finger on. That's pretty sketchy. I definitely feel like I got ripped off.
2. Room: I paid extra for a king bed. They didn't give me one. I got a queen bed and I still paid the king price.
3. Clenliness: The room felt unclean. Makes me wonder wny I didn't go with one of the larger chains.
4. Construction: It was all over. Hard to relax.

Overall, I would not go back. There are SO many other options. I tried this place, and it didn't live up to what I expected...and I overpaid for it.

  • Liked — Location to the beach.
  • Disliked — Overpriced!
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank tripadeedooda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Miami Beach hotels

Philadelphia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 23, 2007

I don't know how much others paid to stay, but be aware that there are mid-week specials and other deals advertised on the hotel's webiste that beat hotels.com and any other discount site. That's how we got our room for $63/night. If we paid any more, I would've felt scammed.

Reasons to stay:
1. Clean rooms.
2. 1 block from beach with use of hotel beach chairs and towels.
3. In the thick of main drag (across the street from the Shore Club, Delano, Sagamore, etc.)
4. 1.5 blocks from Lincoln Road.
5. Cheapest rate found for location, cleanliness, and safety.
6. Flat-screen, Tempurpedic, and comfy bedding.
7. Complimentary bikes to ride around town.
8. (Didn't take advantage ourselves) Free drinks at certain times.
9. (Didn't take advantage ourselves) Free shuttle to/from Miami airport.

Why it's odd:
1. Amenities are really small, cramped, and sort of falling apart: e.g. bathroom.
2. Not much sunlight in rooms since they all face a bldg, so white walls seem gray and dingy.
3. Maids leave their cleaning carts parked in the hallways (right outside our room) and still forgot to stock our rooms with little things like a trash can or a bathroom mat every time she cleaned. Not major, but ya know...
4. Even though it's a non-smoking bldg, some rooms had guests puffing away and stinking up the hallways and nearby rooms.
5. Room is decorated with cheap and sparse lighting, despite being styled.
6. Overall the hotel seems it was probably beautiful when it first opened, but over time and after much partying, the place looks a bit decrepit.


If you're under 25 (and not rich), you'll probably find this hotel great and very trendy. If you're a financially strapped grad student like me, you may still find it trendy, but a bit "off". If you're settled and been around, you'll probably find the Catalina to be a disgrace.

  • Liked — Comfy sheets, Tempurpedic bed, flat-screen TV.
  • Disliked — Poor lighting fixtures and quality of bathroom.
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dr-Drea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York1
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2007

I HAVE NEVER BOTHERED TO REVIEW ANYTHING ONLINE BEFORE!! So trust me when I say BEWARE.

As someone else mentioned unless you are 20 and on spring break, I recommend avoiding tihs hotel at all costs. I also recommend taking any positive reviews with a very large grain of salt, and consider that maybe they were paid endorsements pretending to be objective reviews by happy guests.

I will make this easy for you:
-staff incredibly stressed and unhappy except for this one chipper junior manager fellow who at least is a good actor
-rooms terribly overpriced for what they are - shoddy furniture, poor lighting, cheap stuff
-reservationists not trust worthy as promised one thing on the phone but hotel delivered horrible messes not like what was promised
-bellmen lost our luggage!
-DJ plays music in the lobby until 2AM, so pray you are not assigned a room near that lobby! Drinking continues until 4AM and all the complaining in the world doesn't fix it.
-guests are quite the party crowd, slamming doors until 7AM
-billing staff will charge you for minibar items you did not consume
-bathroom may or may not have a door!
-billing system may not be up and running when you go to check out in which case they may bill whatever you want, as you signed away rights to your credit card billing upon check in.

I honestly have nothing nice to say about this hotel and I've stayed in some pretty dismal places. Motel 6 with bullet proof glass at reception in Texas was a far more pleasant experience.

Do yourself a favor and upgrade to another hotel or sleep on the beach.

I will say I stayed at the Whitelaw (sister hotel down the street) 6 years ago and had high hopes for this property, but they are nothing alike.

  • Liked — NOTHING.
  • Disliked — EVERYTHING. Staff and poor service.
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank KikiNYC1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2007

All I can say is that we have stayed at the Catalina Hotel TWICE in six months and each time was so much more than a good time- I just can't put it in words! The location is amazing (can you say centralized?) and the staff was extremely professional and they do make a request a reality. FYI - upgrade to the Dorchester Hotel section- it is the new building with the Superior rooms. Definitely worth it if you prefer 2 KING SIZE beds and hard wood floors. Also, an excellent new sushi restaurant is on the first floor and word has it a rooftop pool is in the plans for 2008!!

Overall, we had as much fun staying at the hotel as we did going out; so much so, that our friends congregated in our room before and after hitting the scene each night. To sum it up, don't pass up an opportunity to stay at the Catalina when you go to Miami- it is definitely worth it!

Stayed October 2007
Helpful?
Thank mikester208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catalina Hotel & Beach Club

Property: Catalina Hotel & Beach Club
Address: 1732 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139-2007
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#45 Business Hotel in Miami Beach
#58 Romantic Hotel in Miami Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Catalina Hotel & Beach Club 3.5*
Number of rooms: 190
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Catalina Hotel + Beach Club is all of this and more. With a decidedly European jet-set vibe and a splashy beach club where you can get poolside manicures and pedicures, the Catalina Hotel + Beach Club also offers two restaurants, two pools, four bars, a media library, a rooftop terrace, a Japanese Koi fish pond and a Zen garden. In addition, the hotel boasts a dedicated library, which can serve as a meeting space for small groups. IMPORTANT -- Credit card used for booking must be the same credit card presented for payment at check-in. The name on the credit card must match the name on the reservation and the card holder must be present along with a government-issued photo ID. Holiday and Special Events require a non-refundable prepayment 30 days prior to arrival. No early departures are allowed. Reservations are completely non-refundable within 30 days of arrival. Events include but are not limited to: New Years (12/26 to 1/3), Boat Show (2/12 to 2/16), Winter Music Conference & Ultra (3/15 to 3/31), Memorial Day (5/21 to 5/25) & Art Basel (12/3 to 12/9). A mandatory daily resort fee of $20.00 plus tax ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catalina Hotel And Beach Club
Catalina Hotel Miami

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