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“Could use a makover, but very kid friendly”

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Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa
Ranked #15 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
Reviewed June 1, 2008

Searched high and low for a hotel in San Diego and decided on the Catamaran, due to it's location and the reviews on Trip Advisor. We were promptly and courteously checked in and given a room in the Tower on the 12th floor. The room was right next to the elevator, which I thought would be a problem, but as long as we kept the closet door and bathroom door closed, the noise was minimal. Beware though that the room next to the elevator tends to shake a bit. The room was a bit shabby. We had just come from The Resort At Squaw Creek, where the rooms are pretty amazing, so to walk in to this room, which was large for sure, was a bit disappointing. We were given a room with a small kitchen, which was a nice bonus, but the cupboards were pretty beat up and the utensil supply was minimal. The coffee makers are very small, as are the coffee cups.
The room was decorated with a pseudo Polynesian theme. The view was pretty darn amazing, and we were afforded two good size balconies with this room. I have to agree with a previous reviewers thoughts on the bed covers, as they were abnormally heavy. A huge walk in closet was nice. If they spent some dough redoing these rooms, they would be pretty amazing. We went down to visit some friends staying at Lowes Coronado and were very impressed with the conditions of the rooms down there.
The resort was a great place for our two kids, ages 7 and 11. The arcade room, where all the games are free (much to dad's delight) was a great place for them to go hang out in. The pool was nice, very well maintained. I think if we ever stayed there again, which is unlikely, we would book a room on the ground floor, maybe one that butts up to the bay. Those rooms, with their easy access to grassy areas and the bay, look to be a bit more kid friendly.
The staff was always cheerful. We did not eat at the restaurant, seemed a bit stuffy. Never had a problem parking. All in all, an ok place for our first trip to San Diego. After driving around the city and exploring new neighborhoods, we think we may try Coronado next time. Mission Beach is a bit too young for us old fogies.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank Azabu2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,680 - 3,686 of 4,021 reviews

Reviewed May 27, 2008

The Catamaran is definitely "kid friendly" and since we were there with a kid, the several days we spent there were OK.
It must be a challange to keep a "resort" hotel in satifactory functioning condition when 2 year olds amuse themselves by opening and closing the screen door to the balcony as our grandson did. The staff does seems to stay on top of this effort. The pool and hot tub area was well-maintained, as were the grounds and the beach generally. There are "amusements" for the kids - parrots, swans and ducks. There's a paved walkway along the beach for strollers and joggers. The restaurant welcomed small kids with their Cheerios and the staff was friendly, very courteous and prompt in service. I give them high marks.
Our rooms, however, were somewhat worn and dark. The bed cover was very physically heavy, ponderously so. This is not a luxury establishment, a bit shabby not chic.
I thought it was rather expensive for the value but since I didn't make the reservation, I didn't compare rates. It was quite satisfactory to be sure.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank Shi Hu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2008

After reading many reviews, we decided to go with the Catamaran Hotel and we were very pleased with our choice. The hotel staff that we interacted with was extremely nice and helpful. When we asked where something was or located, they just did not tell you where it was, they actually took the time to physically show you. Very impressed!

We had a Bay Front Suite\Balcony room. We had requested if a patio suite was available but they were all full. Our room was just the right size for the three of us. The really nice part about the room was that it overlooked the Bay and at night we could see the fireworks from Sea world. The only complaint that we had was that the air conditioner did not seem to be working. We called the front desk and within a few minutes, maintenance had fixed the problem. It was nice to have a room close to the Bay and the Ocean.

Moray’s Lounge had a nice aquarium behind the bar and the food was very good. We suggest the Catamaran Burger, the Buffalo Chicken Pizza and the Quesadillas. We also suggest the Sunday Buffet at the Atoll Restaurant. There were many selections to choose from.

We took in the beautiful grounds and the birds. In the afternoon when we tried to take in a short nap, sometimes the birds did get to be, a bit noisy. We enjoyed the pool. However, we would suggest building another pool for the smaller children.

The three of us decided that we would not rent a car for this trip. It was nice that the Hotel had a car service and would take you to and from anywhere in San Diego. They would drive you to Sea World for a $15.00 charge. When you where ready to go home, they would asked that you call them about 20 to 30 minutes prior and they would be waiting for you where they had dropped you off earlier and take you back to the Catamaran for the same amount. This saved us a lot of money from renting a car.

Walking distance from the hotel where several nice eating restaurants. We would recommend Tony Roma’s and the World Famous.

We really enjoyed our stay at the Catamaran and would like to come back for another trip in the near future.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with friends
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1  Thank VIC57262
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 21, 2008

Not much to say except beware of the beds!!! They were horrible. My poor husband had the worst nights sleep for the 3 nights we stayed. I discovered early on that the sofa was so much more comfortable that I didn't have any trouble sleeping and waking up refreshed. Hubby was miserable for the first 3 hours each morning and that's not a good way to start off a get-a-way trip. He's already complained profusely to the hotel about the low standard in furnishings "BEDS". Also BEWARE of very very thin walls. Let's just say I thought rats were trying to eat through the walls only to discover it was our neighbors. The hotel itself is beautiful and has a tropical theme that is lovely. We enjoyed the large swimming pool and huge 12+ person jacuzzi. However, for what we paid we didn't get the whole package we expected from a proclaimed "Resort". If you have a strong back and are hard of hearing then you should be fine. Cheers.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank ShoreFire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2008

For booking through hotwire I was pleasantly surprised to be staying there and have it live up to its star rating. Some reviews didn't sound promising and I was a bit concerned.

When I checked in, desk clerk assigned me a room and based on the map (no balcony, major walkway) I wasn't too pleased. I asked if there was anything else and he offered me a room in the 200 building that had a shaded garden view of the pool. I was a little concerned with the pool noise (kids really use this pool during the day) but it wasn't too bad. Staff was attentive and offered to relocate me the following day if I didn't like the room.

The first night I discovered that the air conditioning didn't work and it was sweltering. I could open the sliding doors to let in air but the screen door didn't lock so there was some trepidation about security. Staff quickly attended to it the following day and the A/C was fine (although its fan is rather loud).

Only criticisms other than this was there seemed to be a bit of an ant problem (but nothing that really concerned me), and the bed was a bit hard for my liking. Also paying for parking is a drag but seems to be common place nowadays.

Perks: no significant neighbor noise; HDTV; free wireless internet; iHome clock that let me play and charge my iPod (I loved it so much I bought one later); water pressure was excellent; vanity was convenient and a nice touch; ROOM SERVICE was awesome and food came from Atoll restaurant which was good; on-site spa; and lush grounds with bay beach just steps away.

TIPS:
1) If you are booking with hotwire, know that your room is going to be a standard garden room and that you may need to check it out to see if it meets your standards.
2) The bayview front rooms seem awesome as their porches step right onto the baywalk. If you can swing it, it seems worth the extra $.
3) Book spa treatments well in advance as they seem to book up.
4) Many attractions within 15 minutes' drive: zoo, Sea World, Balboa park, Old Town.
5) If you want to save a little $ on food, some nearby restaurants are good - I enjoyed Piccolo Mondo (within walking distance).

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank greencrvgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2008

Some mixed reviews had left me a wee bit nervous especially as this was the location we were staying longest at on our honeymoon. HOWEVER from the minute we arrived we were treated to excellent service and enjoyed every minute of our stay. Very helpful staff and a fantastic location, 1 min from the beach, shops, bars and restaurants AND 1 minute in the other direction to the bay side beach! Totally spolit for choice when comes to local restaurants. Amazing, just amazing to see so many wild birds wandering / flying around! The Catamaran is brilliant, just brilliant.

  • Stayed: April 2008
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1  Thank GordyNic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 8, 2008

I booked our reservation at the hotel website in advance. The site said we would receive a free upgrade to a garden view studio room @ $143.00. I arrived late at night and went to my room and noticed my garden view was in fact the many storied parking garage, no garden in sight. I went back to the front desk to tell them I did not like the room and did not want to look directly into a garage that was well lit and had traffic all night long. The front desk clerk actually snickered and replied.. "Don't you like the garage view?" He suggested that I could upgrade for an additional $35.00 a night and be on a higher floor and have a bay view. I went for it because I was tired and just wanted to get it done but I felt totally set-up. The room was nothing great. It was small, very outdated and dreary. The air-conditioning was very loud but we had to use it because the sliding glass doors did not have screen door. We did have a small kitchen but there was nothing in it,. not even a toaster. The room was never serviced until very late in the afternoon and then when I tried to communicate to the maid that I just wanted towels, she did not speak a word of English.
When I checked out, I again brought up the "garden view" issue and told them that I thought it was a set-up.. kind of a bait and switch. They then agreed to refund me half of the upgrade charge. I would never consider staying here again. It is way, way overpriced!

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CindyHawaii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

Address: 3999 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109-6959
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in San Diego
#4 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#6 Luxury Hotel in San Diego
#55 Family Hotel in San Diego
#70 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#94 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range: $156 - $390 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 310
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa is a paradisiacal destinationon the shores of Mission Bay and mere steps from San Diego’s famous Pacific Beach. Featuring lush tropical gardens and a private beach, this Polynesian-themed hotel offers 310 guest rooms, studios or suites, each with a private balcony or patio. On-site amenities include signature restaurant Oceana Coastal Kitchen, featuring a surf and turf menu and a patio lined with tiki torches, fire pit tables and lush palms, and the Catamaran Spa, the only beachfront spa in San Diego. Additional activities include bicycle and water-sport rentals and the beach towns of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, featuring a beachside boardwalk,Crystal Pier and a variety of cafés and boutiques. The Catamaran is conveniently located within 10 miles of major attractions including SeaWorld,the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego International Airport. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Catamaran Resort & Spa San Diego
Catamaran Hotel Mission Bay
Catamaran Resort San Diego
Catamaran San Diego

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