this trip was for business. I was there six nights. maybe if you are the stereotypical SoBe party poodle it'd be a good place, but it's really not for business travellers.
the rooms look good on the website, but mine was tiny and lacked any sort of desk and chair. I ended up sitting on what looked like a footstool to work, and this killed my back. the wireless is a rip-off at $15/day, but for whatever reason I only paid once and it worked for the whole trip. not well, mind you, but it did the job.
the bed is a TempurPedic mattress and is absolutely the best bed I've ever experienced. unfortunately nothing else about the place is even average. the AC/heat barely worked. calls to the front about this were met with indifference and no response from maintenance. one morning, running late, it took 20 minutes of running the shower to get hot water. the bathroom always floods because there's just a half-panel of glass separating the shower from the rest of it. the shower handle and tp holder both simply fell off. cleaning staff broke a lamp while I was out and it was never replaced. dirty carpet prevails throughout the entire hotel. the Italian dude at the "SPY" bar/restaurant makes a great caipirinha though.
I read other reports (which I should have obviously done before choosing this place) and the complaints about towels, but I didn't have this problem. the room was clean when I got back every day, and there were no apparent bugs, though one morning I woke up with bite marks on my legs (bedbugs? yeeeugh!). this only happened once. luckily the weather was mild so the lack of heat/AC wasn't a big deal; it really only bothered me one day when it got warm and humid. I can't imagine staying there in the summer, not with that weak AC system.
it is EXTREMELY noisy on weekends when drunk losers herd into the pool area trying to pick each other up. this continues late late late.
I did not have a car, but the airport shuttle was on-time and appreciated.
overall, I guess I am not the hipster demographic this hotel obviously seeks. there were plenty of those trying to check in when I was in the lobby waiting for the shuttle, and my check-in/out experiences were both brief and smooth.
long story short: if you are a 20-ish party kid, you'll have a good time. if you are a 44-ish business traveller with a low tolerance for annoyance, you'll hate it. do not come here with kids. there is nothing for them.
I chose it because it looked intriguing (face it, 100 night a year in hideous polyester chain hotel rooms will drive you to seek out the unusual) and it was only two blocks from the convention center where I was working. there are some decent restaurants in the area, and the ratty-looking Cuban place a block south has a great churrasco. there's a CVS on Lincoln for cheap water and wine; I avoided the free happy hour because I only drink wine and all they had was some awful $2/bottle stuff. pretty much the same with the 'free' breakfast, if your idea of breakfast is a stale croissant and other nutrition-free junk, which mine isn't.
however this middle-aged salaryman appreciated the pretty party kids and the weather :) none of the staff stood out as good or bad; mostly they did the minimum to get by.
- 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 $18.00 ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Catalina Hotel And Beach Club
- Catalina Hotel Miami