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“Catalina was not bad....”

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Catalina Hotel & Beach Club
Ranked #89 of 212 Hotels in Miami Beach
Reviewed July 4, 2007

We booked this hotel using the rates given on travelzoo.com which ended up being 129 the first night 89 the second night and 49 for the third/fourth nights.

I would pay NO more than that for this hotel. The room was clean and quite large - I requested a Deluxe King room. We were in 275 and had a view of the wall of the vacant building next door - which was horrible. I did see the stray hairs in the bathroom others complained about - that is from the maid NOT using a clean mop when she cleans the room. Stray hair doesn't skeeve me out - so I just wiped them up with a tissue. No big deal.

The hotel is actually three hotels - the Dorset - the Catalina and the Maxine. We stayed in the Maxine. The carpets are red shag (as other's have stated) they ARE ratty and the hallways are very VERY dark..I do believe that is to hide the dirty carpets. BUT - I wasn't in South Beach for the red shag carpet and goodness knows I wasn't walking around the hotel barefoot.

The room was bright white and the bathroom was VERY small. two people can NOT fit in the bathroom at the same time. The shower was cute the first day then it became a pain after that - there was ALWAYS a ton of water on the floor after a shower due to the European shower door. My fiance has never used that type of shower door - hence water everywhere. The rainshower head was nice and we never ran out of hot water. The sink took some getting used too - if you turned it on too quickly it would splash everywhere. Just small things to get used to.

The odd thing - they don't provide washcloths. The first night/day we arrived I called and requested 2. It took them 30 minutes to bring them to me. The 2nd night I left a note for the maid and she left them. The 3rd night I left another note - the housekeeper left none and I had to call down again - it only took a few minutes this time. Again the next day I left a note - no washcloths AGAIN - over a thirty minute wait.

Now - let's talk about the pool. I did not use it but it was a good size to splash around it. The first day we were there the fella that hands out the towels/chair receipts for the beach was VERY nice. Then on Monday/Tuesday we had a young snotty pool boy.

The food. We ate there once - overpriced like everything else in South Beach. We ended up finding breakfast for $3.25 on Washington between 15th and 16th - eggs/bacon/cuban bread/french fries/coffee for $3.25! Yup. If you eat anywhere else - you're crazy! We also found a supermarket that sells hot Latin food for $5.75! Ribs/chicken or fish with two sides. The market is around 15th and Washington too - alas...we found these places Monday night and we were leaving on Wednesday.

The front desk staff. There was a rude young front desk boy - very nasty - like I was working for him. He gave out wrong information with an attitude. I had asked them for the nearest H&M store. I was promised they would google it and call me back. No call. I called again - with a promise from another person they would call right back. No call. I went down to the front desk and the RUDE boy said they are only located in Chicago and New York - very snotty too. WHAT??!! HUH??!! Uh no...they are NOT only located in those places. He would have been best to reply - there are none located in Floriday ma'm. Instead of being snotty about it and giving out wrong information.

I called the front desk once to ask the time fo the sunrise in the morning - I'm not sure if it was the same boy (I say boy because he wasn't older than 20 - still a baby in my eyes) - the response I received - I don't know 6 or 630. HUH?? You don't know? Google it then stupid!!! 6 or 630??!! What kind of answer is THAT?

The mini-bar in the room is very convenient. Just remember to replace whatever you take - I think they charged $3.00 for a soda. There is a CVS/Walgreens two blocks away and the supermarket on 15th and Washington. There is also a liquor store 1 block away - the fridge in the room keeps everything nice and cold.

We didn't have a "flat screen" tv in our room but someone we met at the hotel - they had one in their room - no big deal to me - but a HUGE deal to my fiance (men and their tv's)

We never had a problem with noise in our room - I couldn't hear the music of the club/bar from where we were located.

The beach is a block away and the beach chairs are complimentary - but the umbrellas are $15.00 a day.

Would I stay here again? Nope. There are better hotels right across the street on the beach side :) and the three rude staff members left a bad taste in my mouth. Would I recommend this hotel? Absolutely - as long as you understand NOT to ask the front desk any questions and expect a professional answer.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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1  Thank BlasianGrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,826 - 3,832 of 4,786 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2007

Not being a 20 something (or even a 30 something for that matter) I had some reservations about staying at the Catalina. I’m happy to say those reservations were unwarranted. My husband and I had a fantastic time and would not hesitate to stay there again. Our only regret is that we had such a short stay. Next time we’re definitely going for a longer stay. We had a room in the Maxine building, where the Spy Lounge and pool are located. The room was terrific, a really cool blend of modern and 1950s kitch, clean, spacious, and complete with plasma TV and moody lighting.

The positives:

•Reception was very friendly even though they were under siege by a multitude of people trying to check in. Andres who checked us in was not only funny and adorable, but extremely helpful with information. No, they did not have our room ready at 1:30 when we arrived, but then we knew that check-in is at 3. No biggie, we just went out for lunch and it was all ready when we returned.
•Terrific happy hour with free drinks from 7 – 8. Maybe I’m not as fussy as some who have complained about them not serving top-shelf liquor but I did not get a headache from all the gin and tonics :) Besides, it’s FREE… what do you expect? Bombay Sapphire?
•Fantastic patio overlooking Collins… great for people watching.
•Unlike some reviewers, we loved the Spy Lounge and loved the music! If you are looking for peace and quiet, what exactly are you doing in South Beach??
•The pool, lounges, pool-side service, all terrific. Vouchers for beach lounges were a big plus.
•Location, location, location. Walking distance to everything, including a beautiful beach.
•I liked the dim red lighting in the hallways. Yes, it was dark, but to me, it added to the off-beat atmosphere.
•Well-stocked minibar and “mini tray.” Yes, of course you pay for those items. Did you really think they would be free? Besides, the price list is there right on top of it. I don’t understand how some people actually complained that they were not told ahead of time that they would be charged for items used.

The only negative I can think of is, yes, the red shag carpeting on the stairs and hallways could use a good cleaning. Or better yet, get replaced completely. But then again, perhaps those dark hallways were dark for a reason? ;)

Overall I would recommend this hotel to anyone; even older travelers who don’t mind being reminded how much fun it was when they were younger.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank travelerNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2007

What can I say about this hotel? Where to start? Sigh…I think if I go there it will be pages long. Bottom-line: We upgrade our room to a suite from the website (from their promotional offer) for $25 more per night! (I have stayed at different hotels before in both small, large and suite rooms.) What we got was NOT a suite at the Catalina Hotel! At first we thought well maybe they made a mistake because they were busy and were having problems checking in other guests as well. So we went and spoke with the manger, she said that an upgrade for them means a larger room. Not sure if this is how it is in Miami but for us in California a suite is definitely not the same as a larger room. Later we found out from their reception staffs that they actually do not have any suites in the hotel. (The joke was on us!) OK, fine we are easy going and this is just a slight set back. However, when we checked in they asked us four for our IDs to confirm with our online reservation. So what’s up with only two bath towels? Then to top this off, everyday we had to repeat the same ordeal over and over again that we need towels for four people. (The person on the phone was rude, not helpful and questions why we need more towels.) Our “suite” basically consist of two queen beds, an empty mini bar, a IKEA looking dresser (fit for two), a IKEA looking table with 2 chairs and a night stand in the middle of the two beds. The saddest part is the shower room! It had a cheap plastic curtain, which serve as door, no water pressure and not enough water. The only savior from all of this is that at least the toilet is separated from the shower room. My recommendation, don’t bothered upgrading to a “suite”…in fact you are more than likely better off just not staying there all together.

Stayed: June 2007
2  Thank hauntedkat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2007

I went away to this hotel with a friend of mine for a weekend in June and it has been the WORST experience I had in Miami so far - ever. The man at the reception was rude and unprofessional (his name was Jacob), we were actually placed in a building next door, which was run down and looked nothing like Catalina hotel - we were told that it was hotel Dorset which is now a part of Catalina hotel and beach club properties. Our bed had dirty sheets, bathroom had mildew and the concierge was not around at night so strange characters were hanging out in the lobby - it was dirty, unpleasant and dangerous place to stay. Our agent managed to get us out of that place but I wouldnt wish this experience on anyone. by the way, free drinks is just cheap liquor that gives you headache next day - dont fall for that - and the beach club is basically discount on chairs you get - urgh - so NOT WORTH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
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1  Thank bostoney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2007

OK I just got back from Miami and unfortunately I cannot say I enjoyed my first vacation at this much admired holiday destination solely because of my experience with Catalina hotel. Where do I start? Maybe from our reservation on the website claiming all the promising features and even an offer to upgrade to a suit of merely $25 per night~! We are four people so we think wow nice, a suit and we all expect a spaceous room with a sette area. What a bummer when we arrived. The reception area was very busy; not a problem. The couple in front of us will not leave so we cannot check in. Why? The hotel don't have their reservation! Opps... we looked at each other and feel sorry for them. Then we checked in, every thing went smoothly until we got into the "suit". It was a room with 2 queen size bed. An empty mini bar ( instead of fully stocked in the website; reception staff seemed surprised when I report this to them. Well, I had to tell them in case they thought we drank all the alcohol or whatever it should have been in there), an Ikea style wardrobe which is not enough for 4 people. A bedside cabinet with a large drawer. There are 2 barthrobes and 2 sets of towels. Not enough toiletteries but it's ok I got my own shampoo/conditioner/shower gel etc. When we checked in we are four and they know. OH well, we contact housekeeping for extra towels. This action has to be repeated throughout our stay and each time we received some rude response from the other person on the line. We stayed from Saturday 6/9 until the next Thur 6/14 and wish we were somewhere else everytime we entered the room seeing there is not enough towels. The shower is pathetic. No water pressure and not enough water! Maybe water is expensive in Miami beach area? I also try to turn a blind eye on the paint work on the foot of the walls which are starting to peel... and oh my god, the shower has no door, it's only a flimsy curtain between the shower area and the wash basin. We are people who loves travelling and travels a lot and been staying in large rooms, small rooms, smaller rooms with an extra bed and of course a suit. We all know what it looks like and be happy because we know that's what we paid for. Somehow Catalina simply doesn't add up. We were puzzled about the "suite" since they are busy they might put us in the wrong room you know. So, we went to speak to the manager who told us oh yeah the upgrade is simply for a larger room. WHY DIDN'T IT SAY SO ON THE WEBSITE? WE WOULD APPRECIATE IT IF THEY JUST BE HONEST ON THE WEBSITE. We thought we are going to stay in a suit only to find ourselves in an ordinary room. Not a satifying and joyous experience when that happens. The funniest part was that we were told by the reception staff, "we have no suit in our hotel" HAHAHA!! If there is a way I'd like to get our refund for the 5 nights of $25/night. Those money could contribute to a nice dinner instead.

I don't mind booking at a YMCA if I know the price I am paying is for staying in a YMCA. Catalina beach house gave me the impression of one. They didn't deliver what they promised at the website. I felt conned.

One last thing, I have no complaint of the staff in the reception, or the ones who help with our questions and lugguages. They are busy and we understand that. If you have to stay in Catalina, just DON'T UPGRADE TO A SUIT and don't expect too much.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Tina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2007

This hotel is the worse I've stayed at. I had booked it through their website and were pretty much sold upon looking at the pictures. When we got to the hotel, I felt utterly deceived. We paid $25 extra a night for a suite but the room that was given to us did not look like the pictures on the site. The paint on the walls were cracking, there was no shower door (only a curtain), the fixtures in the bathrooms kept falling off. To say the least I was extremely disappointed.

To add to my disappointment, their staff lacked any kind of customer service skills. I had to call 3 times to get fresh towels. Housekeeping was very rude when I called them the second time to request for towels.At one point I had to walk over to the lobby to request it because the button on the phone that said front desk connected to nowhere and kept giving me a busy signal. In addition, front desk is understaffed and I constantly had to wait in order to talk to someone.

I'd also like to mention that the lobby is nothing at all like the pictures. The furniture and the carpets are dirty. The lobby has a strange odor.

I definitely recommend anyone to stay elsewhere!!

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank MimiEeeee0001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2007

The Catalina is a combination of the reviews I read. My husband & I booked here after we got a deal through Travel Zoo for $50 /night. For the money we paid, we were very happy, but I'd probably stay somewhere else if I visit Miami again. A good location if you want to be in the middle of things, and just want somewhere to sleep at night. Service was average... front desk guy was nice, but pool guy & housekeeping staff were kinda rude.

The GOOD:

1. GREAT LOCATION in South Beach. Literally across the street from the beach (1.5 blocks walk). South Beach is beautiful! Long stretch of white sand, and warm turquoise waters. Very similar feeling to Cancun. Also just a few blocks to Lincoln Ave, a fun place to walk around for fancy shopping and dining.

2. COMFORTABLE MATTRESSES. Before, I really didn't see why people raved about the tempurpedic mattreses... but wow, they really were comfortable. As I morning person, I usually don't even sleep in --but here, I did.

THE BAD:

1. Well, not necessarily bad, but you get what you pay for. The place is decorated hip and trendy... but that's in the dark, with focal lighting. It truly is a bit run down, noticeable in full daylight. The hallways are scary dark with red carpets. The rooms (bright white) and bathrooms were clean, but a bit run down and old.

Think of your college dorm, but with a flat screen TV, dreamy mattresses, and a cool red lamp. Bathroom was weird --entire place was tiled, with an area for the shower, but not walled off. Worked fine though.

**FOODIE TIPS** (our choices from Frommer's)
1 - do you like sushi? you must try Nobu, located in the Shore Club hotel, at 19th & Collins (just 2 blocks away). we were going to just order sushi, but the waiter convinced us to try their various house specialties... the one you MUST try is yellowtail with jalepeno. i generally am not a sashimi person, but it comes in an amazing ponzu sauce, with an incredible delicious taste i really hadn't experienced before! (yes, our dinner cost about as much as our hotel stay, but it was worth it!)
2- for a great cheap lunch, go to any of the Pizza Rustica locations. you get a big square of pizza for just under $5, with great combinations of toppings that are incredibly fresh.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank i-like-vacations
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
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: $130 - $400 (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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