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“Loved the Catalina”

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Catalina Hotel & Beach Club
Ranked #91 of 210 Hotels in Miami Beach
Reviewed February 12, 2006

My boyfriend and I visited the Catalina we had such an amazing time. The hotel was in a perfect location, and we loved the atmosphere. The service was excellent. We waited a while for this vacation and staying at The Catalina was perfect. We can't wait to go back again.

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,828 - 3,834 of 4,684 reviews

Reviewed February 11, 2006

Perhaps it was the desk clerk with the large stain on his shirt who greeted us that should have been our first indication that this hotel stinks -- literally and figuratively. Never, and I do mean never, have we stayed at such a dump. As they check in, guests are required to provide photo i.d. which is photocopied (what does that say about the clientele?). This hotel is trying desperately to be SoBe cool but fails miserably. Do not be taken in by the Expedia rating of 3.5 stars. The lobby and halls were covered in stained shag carpeting, and our room overlooked a dark inner courtyard (no view/no natural light/no advance warning) featuring couches and chairs for the patrons so we had the pleasure of being kept up all night by sounds of laughter and loud music bouncing off the walls of the courtyard. We were welcomed to our room by small, black bugs in the bathroom, light switches and outlets with exposed wiring (no plates), and the pounding sound of bass guitar from the lobby filtered through paper thin walls. Oh, I could go on but you get the idea. I felt like I was staying in someone's basement -- all for $ 285 U.S. per night! Our hotel room was two doors down from a public washroom that reeked of urine -- I'm not kidding! Do NOT stay here ... there are much better hotels available (ie. the Winterhaven) for less money. For that matter, stay at the local hostel (The Clay Hotel)for a better experience. Stay anywhere but here.

7  Thank TorontoReviewer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
new york, ny
Reviewed February 6, 2006

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.

  • Stayed: February 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2006

We absolutely loved the Catalina! It's only a block from the beach, an easy walk to the Lincoln Road shopping area, and just a few blocks more to the South Beach nightlife scene. A very mixed crowd comes here - young singles on the weekends, and young families with strollers during the week. Also, some who always have their laptops (wireless available there for $15 a day) glued to their hip. The service was just wonderful - the staff was always there to hold the door at breakfast so you could take your morning coffee (free) outside. A free Happy Hour drink was also offered to guests at the hip and edgy Spy Bar next door. I loved the lobby, the pool area, the front porch, the decor, the free airport shuttle, and have nothing to complain about. Well, OK, one thing. The drink prices in the Spy Bar were high - we almost fell over the first night when 2 drinks cost $22! But across the street at the Delano and National, they were even more. That's South Beach...

Thank lasanto2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2006

This "boutique" hotel has some positive aspects, but suffers from lack of professional management. It was not very clean and most of the amenities I expect from a hotel room were missing. The elevators, halls, and rooms are old and definitely showed it despite an effort at stylish decorating. We did not see a manager or supervisor during our entire four day stay.

-great location across from the beach in the heart of the Art Deco district
-beach privileges are convenient and in a nice area of the beach
-nice lobby with stylish furnishings and art
-quiet, peaceful pool garden with comfortable lounges
-nice on site restaurant
-not a very family oriented hotel, but the staff were all accomdating and kind to our two young children
-"Breakfast" coffee and pastries in the lobby were adequate.
-Mattresses were very comfortable, although see comments below on cleanliness.

-parking service is expensive and slow (although attendants are very nice.) Our car pickup request was "lost" twice in four days.
-red shag carpet in elevator, hallways, and rooms is very dirty
-rooms lacked the following: information folder, map, phone book, pen/paper, ice bucket. Had a makeshift mini-bar with no price list.
-only half a glass door on the shower by design; leaked all over the bathroom floor
-no fan in the bathroom
-old and cracked/dirty grout in the shower and bathroom
-"housekeeping" consisted of replacing towels, running a dirty string mop over tile, straightening sheets and pillows, and a spritz of air freshener. Over a four day stay, the housekeepers did not change the sheets, replace or wash the used glasses, refill the soap/shampoo, or vacuum the shag area rug.
-Walls between rooms were incredibly thin; we heard all of our neighbors' TV viewing and phone conversations clearly.

Overall, I liked the people at the Catalina, but I can't recommend it because of the management issues. We booked through Hotwire, where it is listed as a 3.5 star hotel. It should be reclassified as a 2 star hotel. The style and air of the place is nice, but until the rooms are renovated and the cleanliness issue is addressed, it doesn't matter.

3  Thank Ramblin_Family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 1, 2006

I stayed here with a group of girls for a bachelorette party. The Catalina completely took care of us. Their staff was great in helping us to plan the party and make it a success. The rooms are fun and the hotel reasonably priced. Overall, I would recommend this boutique hotel to anyone (except maybe those with small children?)

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
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Thank LKDallas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Washington, DC
Reviewed January 31, 2006

I stayed with a large group of friends at the Catalina earlier this month (January, 2006), spread out over many rooms -- so I feel I have a large enough sample to assert that this hotel is terribly managed, with many rooms in poor shape... despite the hip decor attempt. You could have an okay stay here -- but from our collective experience, it's highly unlikely.

Trouble started at check-in, when they kept asking us to come back after another half hour, and then another. Once I got to my room, the chlorine fumes were overpowering -- but they had no other room for me. So they sent someone to wash it down, after which the odor largely vanished. Someone else in my party (easy going, not high maintenance) was actually placed in four different rooms before he found one with a working telephone, without used towels laying all around, etc. Another friend had to fight not to wrongly be charged for every item in the mini-bar (they used nothing from the bar); by the end of our stay, we were all competing to produce the best/funniest story of how bad the hotel is.

I think I won because (a) my shower would only produce scalding hot water on the second morning of my stay, no matter where I turned the dial, and (b) when the front desk staff were utterly unable to get the loud house music being played outside my window at the vacant pool turned down at midnight on a week night (it was way too loud even with all windows closed), I had to eventually confront a bartender to get it done. Did I mention that a buddy found the biggest cockroach he'd ever seen? And the glass shower partitions result in flooded bathrooms, since they only halfway separate the shower area from the rest of the bathroom?

The decor is hip, and I get what they're trying to achieve. But their hoped-for ambience was (in our collective experience) overwhelmed by the incompetence of the management, the seedy way everything was run down, etc. -- bathroom tiles missing, bathroom shelves hanging precariously by a single screw, the screen in the bathroom window repeatedly falling out and hitting me on the head, hip red shag carpeting in the hallways matted down and filthy, etc., etc.

I've stayed at the ultra-hip Hudson in New York, and loved it -- the Catalina's attempted hip-factor is not the problem. At Hudson, form and function work together to provide a great experience, combined with excellent customer service. At the Catalina, form utterly triumphs over function. Half the time here they don't seem to care, and when they do, they seem utterly unable to help. Bottom line: Look elsewhere, unless you enjoy living out a Saturday Night Live skit.

  • Stayed: January 2006, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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

Address: 1732 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139-2007
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Florida > Miami Beach
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: $100 - $320 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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