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.
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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Catalina Hotel And Beach Club
- Catalina Hotel Miami