We stayed at the Catamaran for 1 week before Labor Day weekend. We checked in on a Saturday. There were 6 in our party. Dad, Mom, 18, 16, 8 & 4 yr old kids. We drove from Anaheim and showed up in our rental minivan. I kid you not, the bell staff told my husband to "move forward" and never once offered to help us with our bags. I figured by the time I was done checking us in, we would have had everything loaded up on a nice rolling cart and off to our bay front suite. NO, I came back to the van and everyone & the bags were still inside. Finally we ended up self-parking and lugging ALL of our bags ourselves to our rooms. For the price we were paying, I definately expected better or even SOME service. Our room was clean, and decent. Not plush, but it was clean. Nice view of the bay and great location for resort. All of the beds however were extremely uncomfortable. Only our 8 year old got a good nights sleep over the entire 6 nights. That was frustrating. Sunday am we went out to the beach at the bay. It was very clean, and great to get the chairs with umbrellas. They are complimentary for the first 2 but really expensive for any additional chairs if you want them. Also they have a good selection of rentals and we enjoyed renting and using them. They bay is cold, though and not really for swimming. To swim, you should plan to use the pool. Which is terrific. It was big enough with lots of families. We were able to get lounge chairs and even the cabanas with ease. They have the arcade in the same area, so when the kids felt like doing something else they could play there without you having to leave the sun/shade. Pool bar was very convenient for simple lunches. Burgers & dogs as well as pop & mixed drinks. We spent a great deal of time here since it was enjoyable.
Back to the bad...the Restaurant. On Saturday at check in, the restaurant wasn't open until 6pm I think. You can however order from the main bar. Our server was too busy doing something else, or completely incompetent...not sure which. Everything we ordered was wrong and we ordered basic stuff. We just ate what he brought since we were starving. Next morning after hanging out at beach we tried (unsuccessfully) to get into restaurant for breakfast. Sunday is brunch day. Aside from being rude, the hostess told us we needed reservations....although there was only 1 couple sitting inside and ALL the tables were open. It wasn't just us she treated this way...she treated the lady in front of me the same way. When the lady said "but we are guests of the hotel" she just shrugged her shoulders and explained that when she figured out all of her reservation issues she would see if there was anything she could do. By the way no one came in while we were trying to figure out why if they had an empty restaurant they couldn't seat us. Anyway we left the hotel and found good value at the EGGERY which is right across the street and had great breakfasts, smoothies, etc. We ate there every morning and would encourage you to do the same! We only ate at the restaurant one other time for lunch. The food wasn't very good and the same crappy service. Do yourself a favor and only eat at the pool bar (friendly & tasty) or offsite! We also ate at World Famous, The Green Flash and Gringo's. They were all decent, but spendy.
One last note on the restaurant staff...it seems that they were all so busy setting up for group type events that they didn't have time to take care of the regular guests. This I believe is a management issue. They should have a different staff for banquets, etc. And separate staff for main restaurant/guests. Their staff members are jacks of all trades, which is nice for them, but not always best for the guest experience! Also if reservations are required for brunch they should tell you that at check in or at least be prepared to give you a list of places to eat within walking distance if they can't accomodate you onsite.
The bay side was great for relaxing and playing in the sand in a clean environment. Pacific beach was filthy. We walked over a few times, but none of us wanted to stay. It smelled and was dirty. I do not consider our family to be too selective, but it was just gross & nasty. Puke all over the place and garbage strewn every where. I just think a beach should be sand, sun and water not all the other crap. Also, SeaWorld is just a short drive away. We never got to the zoo or wild animal park.
The shining star of the hotel is the spa & fitness area. I used the spa twice and the fitness center 3 times. INCREDIBLE. I was really happy with everything there. The only small complaint I have about the whole spa is that the relaxation room is used as the main passageway for staff, so the doors are always opening and closing while they pass from one side of the spa to the other with their extra towels, or whatever. That was an error in design for the building designer, I think. Since having someone passing through all the time isn't very relaxing. The concept is great, though!!! The spa was serene and beautiful. The staff was friendly and made me feel very comfortable. The services I did...hot tub and steam room with eucaliptis (I think) was nice, spa pedicure and couples massage were beyond terrific. They have an area to try out different spa products that was fun. If you have an opportunity to use the spa do it!!!!! It feels very indulgent and was worth every penny. I wish I could have spent my whole vacation there!
Overall the Catamaran is good for a weekend visit with your kids or if you want to do the spa, but don't eat there unless it's at the pool and if you are staying longer than 2 nights, stay in La Jolla or downtown.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, HotelPower, Orbitz, Hotwire, TripOnline SA, Cancelon, getaroom.com, Evoline ltd, HotelQuickly and HotelsClick so you can book your Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Catamaran Resort & Spa San Diego
- Catamaran Hotel Mission Bay
- Catamaran Resort San Diego
- Catamaran San Diego