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Catalina Hotel & Beach Club
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Reviews (5,003)
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A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, Illinois
1
Reviewed January 16, 2006

It’s not “The Ritz,” but it gets the job done if you want a true South Beach experience. Set across the street from the Raleigh and in between the Shore Club and Delano Hotels on Collins Avenue, The Catalina's location is perfect for a group of people who want to party hard but are on a budget. For my friend's bachelorette party we stayed in the hotel over Martin Luther King Day weekend. The convenient location really made all the difference--especially at 5 a.m. when we were walking back from bars in high heals.

The lobby oozed glamour, I'd love the fact when we arrived they were doing some sort of photo shoot not to mention the very cute wait staff.

I thought the service was generally good, especially for the price--for each person (four people to a room) paid $225 for three nights.

One person at the front desk said to our bachelorette party to let him know if there was ANYTHING we needed ( he particulary enuciated the word anything) and retrospectively we all pondered what he actually meant by that.

However, despite our good times we did have some complaints.

Service/Amenities issues:

The shower did not have a sliding door and as a result after taking one, the entire bathroom floor was soaking wet.

TOWELS! One thing that did annoy everyone, especially since we had four people to a room, is the lack of clean towels. One day the maids just came in the room and folded our dirty towels without giving us new ones.

Checkout: Upon checkout, we the hotel tried to charge us for pistachios we did not eat and a long-distance phonecall. We got the phonecall taken off the bill but they refused to remove the pistachios. The whole episode was very bizarre since the guy at the front desk refused to credit us. The $3.00 is really nothing to fight over, but the principle of being charged extra at random was our beef. This particular individual at the front-desk was nice to us when we arrived and offered an array of passes to clubs, etc. But when it came to matters of billing, he was quite unprofessional. He called me "sweetie" in an argument we had over the bill, which I felt was inappropriate and intentionally demeaning.

All and all, however, the weekend was great. The problems were really minor. I realize that "we" ( i mean all eight girls in our party) are probably tough customers and none of are demure or afraid to speak our minds.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Philadelphia
1
Reviewed January 10, 2006

My friends and I stayed at the Catalina in early November 2005, right after Hurricane Wilma. We found the place on the internet and the pictures were nice. The location was nice, right on Ocean Drive, most things were walking distance or an inexpensive cab ride away.
Our first impression of the hotel was rather blah from the outside, but we were hoping to be dazzled when we walked in. We were not. There was a funny smell in the hotel, couldn't tell what it was, maybe a cleaning fluid or something like it. The carpets were DISGUSTING - dingly, matted down, frayed, and old. I thought the place had been renovated, but again, wrong. They had lost our reservation, but we had a print out of the original reservation we made, so they quickly corrected it. The front desk employee, I think is name was Chris, was great. He hooked us up with tons of passes and put us a bunch of guest lists for clubs for that night.
The elevator was old, cramped and slow.
The room - I was again surprized, not what I expected. No view of anything, the bathroom had a wierd layout, there wasn't a lot of room to put anything. No carpets, just badly painted wood floors. We had to call everyday to get towels even after the maids had been through the room. It drove me crazy!
The free stuff - they give you tickets for free drinks for the night between 7 and 9. We took our tickets to get our drinks and again, not what I exected. You can only get the cheap, bottom shelf liquor (basically, like rum & coke). The bartender was a --- (emphasis). He demanded a tip. He didn't even make a decent drink. We never went back after that first night.
We will NEVER stay there again, we wouldn't recommend it at all. They need to make some huge improvements to this place. The only redeeming feature is it's location.
Next time we are spending the money and staying at the Shore Club.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2006

While the list below will show far more negatives than positives, the bottom line is that I had a pleasant stay at the Catalina (Christmas break, 2005) and would gladly return - which I can't say about some other Miami Beach hotels I've stayed at. Guess I'm just being a bit hard on the hotel because it has potential to be so much better.

Pros
VERY comfortable beds
Nice stark interior in rooms
Pretty lobby and pool areas
Great location - across street from Delano, National, etc.
Good restaurant meals (though the lamb was very seasoned - bad breath for 24 hours!)
Personable staff (but see below)
Free happy hour (again, see below)
Basic continental breakfast (coffee, bread, yogurt)
Towels and beach chairs at beach

Cons
Housekeeping - the room was quite clean, but a couple lights were burnt out when we checked in; each day fewer towels were left in the bathroom (on the final day housekeeping left no washcloths, hand towels or bath mat); once removed the soap from the sink and shower without providing replacement soaps; etc.
Staff (waitresses, bartender, check-in) - while quite friendly, all seemed as if they had just been hired the day before. None of them were able to answer a question without first asking a supervisor.
Happy hour - while free, consisted of one "house" vodka or rum and a mixer of soda or juice per person. Beer, wine and mixed drinks not included.
Hi-speed internet access - a WHOPPING fifteen dollars per day. I can justify this rate over the length of one's stay but per day is ridiculous.
Parking at $22/day - understand parking is limited in SoBe but this seemed kind of high, especially when it took over 30 minutes for them to bring around my car. Instead, park yourself in the public lot on Collins and 8th(?) for $8 a day - a bit of a walk but you'll be at your car in half the time it takes the Catalina to bring it to you, for far less money.
Resort fee - $5 non-negotiable charge per day. This is just a form of gouging as far as I'm concerned. If there are inherant costs in "free" happy hours, continental breakfasts, etc., either add them into the quoted room costs or don't offer them - don't suprise guests with a "resort fee" at time of arrival.

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank MZR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
24
Reviewed December 26, 2005

We stayed at the Catalina Hotel and Beach Club and have to say that the Manager has no clue on how to run this hotel. She is very unfriendly and rude to her staff which explains why the staff is so rude to its guests.
Our room was very small and the floors are disgustingly dirty. We had ants everywhere and had some CD;s and a few other items stolen from our room.
We were here for 3 nights and I would never stay here again. There are so many other hotels in the vicinity that are so much nicer.

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
San Diego, CA
11
Reviewed December 25, 2005

We were in Miami for five nights and stayed in three different hotels. After the third hotel, I had to admit that the Catalina was actually, not that bad. But our first night there, at the airport, was very indicative of the poor customer service we received from the hotel (and not to mention South Beach overall). The airport shuttle broke down about 100 yards away from the pick-up point and it was made very clearly, that the hotel was not responsible for providing this service (it is complimentary) and cab fare would not be reimbursed. On top of that, the shuttle driver drove away after many of us walked away to get a cab!
Like the other reviews state, the beds were great, linens were nice, and overall, the rooms were pretty clean and stylish (although not the most practical - no shelves in the shower to place soap). We had towels and bath products, the TV worked fine, no bug problems and it wasn't loud at all (but we were on the opposite side of the very loud lobby/bar area). Walls are kinda thin though, could hear the neighboring room blowing their nose (but I think that's pretty much all of Florida construction).
Anyhow, if you're looking for a decent deal, the Catalina didn't seem like a bad option. We weren't expecting the resort fee but since all the hotels charge it there, at least their fee is only $5. And supposedly, the shuttle is included in the resort fee (which makes it a better deal than the other hotels that charge $10 without a shuttle service even though we weren't able to use it). So still can't get over the poor customer service. The fact that they weren't even willing to accommodate us with the shuttle situation or reimburse us for the fairly expensive cab fare ($32 not including tip) was just unreasonable.

  • Stayed: December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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