We booked this hotel on the advice of a friend. He recommended it as a boutique-ey hotel with a lot of character and atmosphere and a great location. Sounded good. I checked their website and it looked fairly nice, and I figured for a little more money than a typical family style hotel (Saturday nights - $359) we would give it a try. I did see some less than complimentary comments on TripAdvisor, but I chalked them up to fussy, nit-picky people who are impossible to please. Boy, was I wrong. When we drove up to the place, both my wife and daughter said, "This isn't it, is it?" Even at first glance, it was apparent that it was old, and a little beat-up. First impressions aside, we checked in and hoped for the best. We were put in the tower on the 10th floor which was fine with us. The first thing that caught my attention was the tacky decor. The Polynesian theme is fine - we have stayed in some Polynesian themed hotels before that were beautiful. The Maui Prince (In Maui, HI) comes to mind. But this was the 1970's all over again. The dark woodgrain doors and the faux bamboo reminded me of a bad rumpus room. The elevator to the 10th floor was creaky and groany and my wife made the comment that it was scarier than the Tower of Terror ride we were just on at Disneyland. We got to our room and the first thing that struck us was the musty, mildewy smell throughout. The kitchen was scary. The appliances were circa 1979 and falling apart, and the cupboards and sink and fixtures were right out of the Bates Motel. I went to check out the balcony, and after using all my strength to force the door open, it fell of the rails. I fortunately caught it before it fell 10 floors and killed somebody. My daughter immediately commented that the bedspread she was sitting on felt greasy. Then there was the bathroom. What caught my wife's eye immediately was the black hair stuck on the wall. What caught my eye were the shower curtain brackets that were completely rusted out and the black mildew between the tiles around the tub. Those brackets would cost them $1.49 to replace, and a bottle of bathroom tile cleaner about the same. That is what brings me to my point about this place. They seem to fancy themselves as a high-end resort hotel. We got a huge laugh out of the room service menu. They were charging Four Seasons prices - I don't remember them all, but I do remember $10.00 for a pot of coffee, and $75.00 for a bottle of liquor. In the Four Seasons I would pay that kind of money, but not in this place. My suggestion would be that if they want to be a 4 star resort, they completeley renovate, which I suspect would cost millions of dollars, or they instead prescribe to "truth in advertising", and market it like it really is - a great place for surfers or college kids to come on Spring Break, where they can come and crash after partying all night and hang their towels on the balcony (if they can get the door open) and grind sand into the old carpet. But for us, a family that will spend a few extra dollars for modern, clean accomodations - it was a huge disappointment, and we left the next day. By the way, I have seen the oohs and aahs on this site about the beautiful grounds here. We spent 10 days in southern California - there are LOTS of palm trees in this entire area, folks! If you want to see impressive landscaping and immaculately kept grounds, go to the Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- One of the few resorts on Mission Bay to not charge a resort fee! The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa is a paradisiacal destination located on the shores of Mission Bay and mere steps from San Diego’s famous Pacific Beach. With features including lush tropical gardens and private beach, this Polynesian-themed hotel offers an ideal blend of fun and tranquility all year-round. Established in 1958, the Catamaran is a paradise featuring more than 1,000 varieties of exotic plants and animals from around the world. Palm trees, bamboo, waterfalls and koi ponds appeal to the senses, while playful parrots delight and intrigue guests. The Catamaran’s architecture, reminiscent of the traditional Colonial Hawaiian style, boasts accents including totem poles handcrafted in Bali, art pieces such as tapa cloth from Vanuatu and a beautiful front desk constructed of Black Koa wood imported directly from Tahiti. At the Catamaran, guests are checked into one of 310 guest rooms, studios or suites, each with a private balcony or patio that opens to stunning views of Mission Bay, the Pacific Beach neighborhood and coastline, or the hotel’s lush tropical gardens. All guests are provided a full range of amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi and 24-hour room service. On-site dining options include Oceana Coastal Kitchen, rated by Zagat as one of San Diego’s most anticipated restaurants of 2015 and featuring chef-driven surf and turf dishes. Next door to this signature restaurant is Moray’s, where guests can sip on a signature Moray’s Mai Tai, savor a local craft beer and enjoy daily happy hour specials. Both venues feature a blend of indoor and patio spaces, the latter lined with tiki torches, fire pit tables and lush palms. Guests may also choose to grab a bite poolside at the Catamaran’s full bar and grill which serves up barbecue favorites during the spring and summer months. Another standout summer special is the Catamaran’s signature luaus, featuring live performers that guide guests through the cultures of the South Pacific as they enjoy a Hawaiian buffet. Those who prefer to spend their time on the water can opt for a cruise on the Bahia Belle, a replica of an 1860s-era sternwheeler that tours around Mission Bay. Step back in time and enjoy a colorful sunset from the top deck, or kick up your heels as the vessel becomes a vibrant nightlife destination with live entertainment and a full-service bar. The Catamaran Spa—the only beachfront spa in San Diego—offers a South Pacific-inspired menu of treatments including massages, facials, body wraps, hydrotherapy treatments and more—carried out with all-natural marine and botanical elements. Additional wellness amenities include an outdoor pool and hot tub, beach cabanas, an open air fitness center, seasonal outdoor yoga classes and more. Further vacation activities include rental paddleboards, sailboats, kayaks, surfboards, bicycles and Segways. The Catamaran is also located within the beach towns Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, where guests can stroll the boardwalk or the iconic Crystal Pier, play at the beach or experience a variety of cafes and boutiques. The resort is also within 10 miles of major San Diego attractions such as SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Downtown’s Gaslamp District 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