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“Think carefully before booking”

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Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa
Ranked #11 of 278 Hotels in San Diego
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Think carefully before booking”
Reviewed October 25, 2005

My husband and myself booked into this room for the final 3 nights and were very disappointed. We had booked a room in the 'Tower' and it was not very clean, smelt damp and had a balcony overlooking a multi storey car park. The room was also very small and had very little facilities.

We compleained about the room and were told that all they had available was rooms on one of the higher floors for an additional USD50-75 per night. After consideration we decided to upgrade but to be told that they had a mistake and there were no other rooms available in the complex - somewhat difficult to believe. They suggested we stay in our room whilst they continue to search and when we advised that we wanted to go out and could they ring on our mobile phone they basically said no.

Staff were unhelpful, food unimpressive and you had to pay for so many extras - car parking, beach beds.....

We will not return

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank Tolly1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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West Lafayette IN
Level 6 Contributor
326 reviews
126 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 403 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2005

I stayed here October, 2005.
Positives: Convenient location with lots of restaurants (seafood, Thai, Sushi, fast food, Mexican) all within easy walking distance. We had a roomy suite with a nice view of the Bay on the 5th floor of the Tower Building. The room was very quiet. Bathroom shower had good pressure and water temperature. The fitness center was free and the equipment was new and in good working order. Nice walking path around the Bay. Lots of parking (self-park was $9 per day). The staff was helpful with giving driving directions and restaurant recommendations. The grounds are pretty and well maintained.

Negative: The beds were not firm at all. The spa was expensive. A 50-minute massage was $110 and some of the other procedures cost as much as $185.

As for the neighborhood...yes, we did see some homeless people, but in my experience that is not uncommon in Southern California. We felt safe walking to and from restaurants in the dark for dinner.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4 Thank azogal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
73 reviews
55 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 138 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2005

My family and I were looking forward to a relaxing break in San Diego after the fast pace of Las Vegas.

I had reserved the rooms in June, two garden view rooms on a high floor at $189 per night for 4 nights, one room for me and my husband and the other for my Mum and Dad.

When we checked in my husband and I was given a room on the fifth floor of the tower, apparently this was a garden room. As soon as I walked into the room I could smell that damp foist smell that comes from somewhere or something getting wet and then being allowed to dry... it was nasty! Then to make matters worse the 'garden view' was really the view of the concrete multi level car park of the hotel... doesn't mention that on the website!

My parents room was exactly the same, still the fifth floor of the tower but their room came with less of a smell, it did still smell, but not as bad as the first and it also came with that lovely view of the car park.

So it was back to reception and two more room keys were issued, this time in the two storey buildings next to the reception.

The first room was fine (room 100 - literally next to reception) - clean, tidy and a nice little veranda with two seats and a table, and on the ground floor... and facing the gardens and the ducks! This was perfect for my Mum and Dad, so they were happy to settle with that room.

My husband and me then went around to the next room (221 I think). It was supposed to be a non-smoking room and if this was non-smoking I am the Queen of Sheba! If we had stayed there our clothes would stink within an hour of hanging them in the wardrobe!

So back to the receptionist! They had nothing else to offer us apparently unless we 'upgraded' to a suite for another $35 per night. So with Mum and Dad settled in their room we opted to pay the extra.

The suite was on the 3rd floor of the tower facing the gardens and not the car park thankfully. Apparently all of the suites are the room right next door to the lifts, which was a worry at first but we didn't really hear it.

The rooms were all dated but they were clean enough - but they needed to have some serious tender loving care. The air con unit was so loud we didn't dare turn it on for fear of waking the neighbours! The bathroom was small but clean and plenty of towels.

We all thought that things were all settled and we could enjoy the rest of our time in San Diego.....WE WERE SO WRONG!!!

Mum and Dad were sat watching TV on the second night and heard a gurgling noise and thought that it was just the pipes from the room upstairs. They had heard them before and gave it no second thought, then Dad went to make a coffee, which was next to the bathroom, only to discover that it was the pipes all right, but the water from the shower upstairs was pumping out of my Mum and Dad's bathroom sink, and the second hand water mixed with dirt and old hair was now all over the floor in the bathroom as well as the dressing table area... and my God did it smell bad!

Reception didn't react very fast considering they were right next door and sent the TV repair man at first...Then the plumber, who recommended to Dad that he contact house keeping to clean the mess up.... they really did expect my Mum and Dad to stay there with soaking carpets, broken sink, no drainage and the most disgusting smell!

So it was back to reception... they offered another smelly room at first and then decided to give them a large room in the tower, just along from my husband and me.

The hotel did make amends by giving us all a free dinner at the Atoll restaurant (drinks not included) and waving the extra cost for the suite that my husband and me were paying... We noticed that someone else was in room 100 the next night - poor people... hope that had no sense of smell!

By the way – the bar next to reception has a pianist – he is good if you like modern jazz or pretty tuneless tinkling – but he is very LOUD… in fact he spoiled a quiet drink. Think about going somewhere else if you want to be able to talk to people without the need for shouting!

The last few days at the hotel went fine - except the evening we returned from Sea World (this place is brilliant!) to find that there were no parking spaces at the hotel as they were all being used by attendees for a convention! They were turning away paying guests from using their own car park that they were charged $9 a night to use and allowing convention guests to park! UNBELIEVABLE!

We checked out very early on our last day… in all honesty we couldn’t wait to leave. The Catamaran had been a disaster for us and we will not return, they seemed to care more for their convention guests than the room guests. I have no dispute that the gardens were lovely and the pool was great, but that does not make up for poor service and awful rooms that cost a packet… I wish we had stayed in Las Vegas!

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12 Thank Kaygee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2005

My husband and i have just returned from the catamaran,and i must say that i was abit dissapointed when we first arrived,as it looked abit dark as we were going to our room.But what a surprise in the day light.Its a beautiful resort set in lovely surroundings.The beach at the back of the hotel was a lovely setting for many weddings that took place while we were there.The pool area was great,plenty of sunbeds,towels,lovely and clean,and never crowded,which was lovely for relaxing.The hot tub was great if you could stand the heat of the water 103 degrees.We visited seaworld,the gaslamp quarter,and the shopping malls,and also went over the border to mexico.The hotel staff were very helpful with maps and bus times etc.Also with confirming onward flights which thet did for us.There are some lovely seafood restaurants nearby,one which we liked was Nicks.I would advise anyone not to go onto the bay over the main road at night as there are a few beggars about which i found to be a bit scary,but my husband wasn`t abit bothered.We would definetly stay there again.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank Ttrainerboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2005

Our stay at the Catamaran was awful. We paid for a one bedroom bay front suite and it was like a room out of "Three's Company". The desk could give a rat's --- if you like it or not. I even wrote to the owner to complain about out room and stay and they never even answered. The A/C is non existant in Room 521. After 3 days of the A/C on HIGH we were starting to get the room below 80 degrees and the maid turned off the A/C while we were at Sea World. I tried to call the desk to complain and the phone cord fell out of the phone. The toilet leaked and we had asked someone to come fix it. They came up and looked at it and agreed..it leaked and left. WE paid a lot of money for a 4 night stay there and the owners/desk/maids..EVERYBODY..could care less what you have to endure. I am serious..do not stay here. The rooms are old....the furniture is old.....the carpet is old.....and thier attitude is really old. The Atoll restaurant is way over priced and the food is average. I am still mad..even after a month has passed..can ya tell? Go somewher else and stay. BTW...don't stay at the Bahia either. IT IS OWNED BY THE SAME PEOPLE.
We even called the desk to speak to management. They said management would return our calls they were busy at the moment. They never did call us back. Sad..Sad Sad..
Tacoma Washington.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8 Thank Boog48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, AZ
Level 4 Contributor
14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2005

Stayed at the Catamaran Oct 9-12th, drove in from AZ. Arrived about 3pm, checking quick. First impression - Older hotel, darker wood, open air lobby with koi pond. Was ok, nothing special.

We stayed in the tower, floor 3. There was some 'construction' or at least I hoped so, as there were holes in the walls of the building entry way. The door to the building was never shut, and it seemed anyone could walk in off the street, so not as secure as I would have expected (would have expected keyed entry, since there is no reception area staffed in this building) We had 2 double beds and a sofa. Was very roomy. The bathroom was Tiny, only 1 sink. There was a mini-kitchen, we did not use.

The beds seemed to be made out of all large springs and no stuffing. Were not very comfortable. The furnishings otherwise ok.

Parking $9/day in garage.

Area surrounding hotel somewhat scary for little ones. The pacific beach and Mission beach area full of homeless, and most folks drinking alcohol. We walked along the beach a few times, twice AM, twice PM. The boardwalk was clean of trash, but there were homeless folks sleeeping, drinking, etc. My kids were scared and did not want to go back out.

The pool was heated, and towels plentiful. We did get room service, the food was reasonably priced and tasted fine.

Sea World was an easy 5-10 min drive, legoland less than 30 minutes.

Next time I would consider staying at Coronado or La Jolla.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3 Thank Cathy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 7, 2005

We were hesitant to come here after reading the wide range of reviews, but thought we'd give it a try. They booked us in one of the Section 400 rooms. We had a spacious room, comfortable king-sized bed, two sinks, shower/bath, frig, coffee-maker, couch, desk, free Internet connection for our laptop, and, on top of all that, a deck directly adjacent to a large koi pond with palm trees, swans, and ducks! We just opened out sliding glass door and enjoyed the tropical nature right outside! The facility has over 100 different kinds of palms, several macaw and parrots that are fun to watch, and Mission Bay is right outside the gate. If the ocean is your preference, Pacific Beach is only a two-minute walk away. The staff was friendly and courteous, the bed was comfortable, the price online was $99 a night (plus $9 per day for parking). We called, and they said the price was $189, but then I told them the Internet rate, and they said they would match it. Yes, there were some cracks in the bathroom counter, but everything was clean and comfortable. The Pacific Beach area is not an upper-class neighborhood, but is more older middle class-type. It is about 2 miles from the freeway, so it takes a little time to get to downtown San Diego, but only about 15 minutes. This was a real bargain, and we wished we could have stayed longer. If you like nature, the tropical plants, birds, and fish add a wonderful attraction to your stay here. We definitely plan to go again.

  • Stayed October 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 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 Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

Property: Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa
Address: 3999 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109-6959
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
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 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#4 On the Beach Hotel in San Diego
#5 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 315
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

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