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“Viist in winter: perfect weather, uncrowded, very accommodating hotel staff”

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Catalina Boat House
Ranked #20 of 20 Hotels in Avalon
Reviewed 6 January 2016

Worth going two blocks uphill to have the place almost to ourselves, plus a lovely view of the harbor. Not only did we get upgraded to the nicest room, but also we were welcomed with complimentary tickets to the botanic gardens and glass bottom boat ride. The young men who helped us were as sweet and friendly as could be, even offering to bring us (no charge) to the botanic gardens in their golf cart. I suggest going in off season as the weather is still perfect; Avalon was less crowded; the hotel was quiet, with attentive service. Especially nice was having the kitchenette so we could make a few meals in our room, store cold water, and keep expenses down. As well, with the hotel having the partnership with the Hermosa Hotel meant we had somewhere to store our luggage after check out plus have a base to come to before catching the Catalina Express back to the mainland.

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Kymberly W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HermosaHotel, Manager at Catalina Boat House, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2016

Hi Kymberly,

It pleases us to hear about your satisfactory stay with us! We're glad we were able to go above and beyond your expectations. Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review and share your experience with others!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 151 reviews

Reviewed 19 December 2015

I selected this hotel for our party of four for the New Year's Eve holiday 2014/2015, and was amazed to find how unkempt it was, considering that it (and the Hermosa) were offered as a package by the Chamber of Commerce for the New Year's Eve gala at The Casino ballroom. The bed was comfortable and the linens seemed clean. We could see a sliver of the sunrise over the neighbors backyard junk from our room. So, unless all you need is a place to plop your fishing gear for the weekend, there ends what good there is to say. The walk up the hill can be strenuous; the stairway down to your room, treacherous. We could not find the beautiful outdoor patio. What we did find was a material storage patio for unfinished projects. Inside the room, the bathroom was small and grungy and not at all conducive to dressing for a formal occasion. I had a problem jump-starting the shower and called for help that never came. As one other reviewer put it...the staff is disconnected. Literally. There is no "staff" on the premises for a lot of the time, and I can't imagine one's chances for survival if there was an emergency. Bottom line, unless you are on a strictly sporting holiday and do not require aesthetic comforts and intangibles, there are better places to stay.

Room Tip: No good rooms here
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  • Stayed: January 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Linda P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HermosaHotel, Manager at Catalina Boat House, responded to this reviewResponded 1 January 2016

Hello Edward,

It saddens us to hear about your unsatisfying stay with us. The Catalina Boat House Hotel went through a large remodel in 2014 and took advantage of the slower time during the winter to get some more remodeling out of the way before our peak season came around again. We apologize at how this effected your stay with us. We are still constantly renovating our property, but the major remodeling has been completed and we are proud to serve our guests with a more clean and welcoming property! Although we are unable to control our neighbor's backyards, we gladly have a community patio with an ocean view to help take you away from these minor distractions.

It is odd that our staff failed to help you with your issue. We often tell our guests to go out and enjoy the island while we take care of any maintenance needs, so our guests sometimes will not physically see someone fixing things such as showers. Guests will come back and have their problems solved without any further inconveniences or waiting around for someone to show up! We apologize if that wasn't what happened in regards to your shower issues.

We hope that with this knowledge, you give us another chance in the future to see what improvements have been made!

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Reviewed 23 November 2015

Wow I've stayed in hotels fitting adjectives ranging from Bad to Awesome. Well, sad to report our room at the boathouse was Awful.

My poor hubby had to stay there for 10 days while I arrived at the tail end of his stay.

We had to walk downstairs a couple flights then turn left at the junkyard. The only maintained part of the exterior was the "lobby" aka front porch. The room was as small as small gets which wouldn't have been so bad if it were at least renovated -- per their claims. The room's flooring was only partially wood and it wasn't finished wood either. In fact the floor wasnt even level. The door opens immediately into a smurf size kitchen area which holds a fridge and a two burner stove. The two beds' comforters were dusty. The microwave was oddly in the middle of the room with a box of kleenex on top that was literally had been pulled out and re-stuffed.

The bathroom was dingy and tiny, with a permanent yellow tinge in the toilet which definitely wasn't pee. The hot side of the faucet pushed out rusty orange water which resembled burnt Tang. And the shower was so tight, even I had trouble not bumping into things.

The a/c was temperamental. The window drapes didn't close fully and we had to tape em shut with e-tape.

They had a handwritten sign saying basically that WiFi sucks so don't call the front desk about it, instead you can hang out in the lobby 24/7. You are SOL my friend.

Yes it was a place to shower and sleep but wow, this was easily on my list of worst hotel rooms ever. I know that sounds very elementary but I can't articulate it any other way.

  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled on business
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Rho K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HermosaHotel, Manager at Catalina Boat House, responded to this reviewResponded 28 November 2015

Hello Rho,

We apologize that your husband's stay (covered by business) was so unsatisfactory that you have decided to repost this review months later. As explained in a previous response, there were some things that made you uncomfortable that could have been brought to the front desk staff's attention. We would have solved your issues as best to our ability and you and your husband would have had a more comfortable work trip. Thank you for taking the time to leave another review!

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Reviewed 14 October 2015

Friendly staff! But not truthful. They wouldn’t even pick us up from Catalina Express however their shuttle was sitting in-front of the Hermosa hotel, at time of booking they said they would pick us up. They did take us back to the ship today, I have to give them that! Disappointed with amenities and room. NOT enough staff to run it. Actually there is no one on the premises, someone drove up from another hotel to issue us a key. They handle their business from their sister hotel the Hermona. the rooms and floor were dirty, bathroom was the worst dirty, rusted, dated and ugly . Hotel is up for sale. Air conditioning unit on timer, it would shut off every hour. It was horrible!!! Weather was extremely hot, we hardly slept turning AC every hour. There was a drunk couple fighting in the room next to us. No security, I almost called 911. Stayed Oct 10-12 it was a waste of my money., The catalina boat house website did a good job hiding all the flaws. I will be posting photos hoping that no one else gets taken like I did. Wish I could get some if not all off my money back. Shame on you Catalina Boat House for running a ghost hotel and taking hard earning peoples money.

Room Tip: Book a room somewhere else until staff, and amenities improve.
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  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
5  Thank frances h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HermosaHotel, Manager at Catalina Boat House, responded to this reviewResponded 15 October 2015

Hi Frances,

As explained to you upon booking and at time of arrival, the shuttle is based upon availability and is never guaranteed. We did not have the available staff to run our shuttle on your arrival date, so we apologize for the inconveniences your party encountered.

We are still in the process of remodeling and the room you stayed in is one of the last couple of rooms that is being worked on. We understand that you are upset with the quality of the room, but it is one of the next to be given our new Boat House look. We hope that you come back in the future to see what improvements have been made!

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Reviewed 31 August 2015

Disappointing!, I planned a month in advance to take my son on a father son trip.
get to the Long beach boat shuttle go to get or tickets an the Confirmation number I was sent from hotel is wrong and they cant find tickest?get to the island
I can handle the swap out from Hermosa hotel to this place , The hill sucks if you are lugging luggage. Go to the room #14 all the way up hill then down stairs at the bottom smelt musty and moldy. windows where open closed them turned on AC and took a shower to clean up after the sweat of the walk from boat landing. get out of the shower no towels ??? ok I did not see a memo where we to bring our own towels. Lousy wifi at the basement of this room .
I yelled to my son to unpack beach towels . Sunday morning our last day to sleep in and go have a nice breakfast I am awoken at 5:30 am to loud stomping, dragging of chairs kids banging something and water running non stop until 8 am seriously sounded like construction on a Sunday morning?
I paid $250 a night for this? When I finally got a live person after leaving messages . so pissed and no longer wanting to even stay in the room I paid the early ticket for express and left the island canceled plans we had for that Sunday drove back tired and disappointed.
This was one of many stays on the island in the last 17 years and the worst , Drag because this was a important time to spend with my son and the family problems that he was dealing with SO with that !.....No consideration from the hotel, as to call me back or at least say sorry or compensate me for the last crappy night stay. ADVICE stay at the pavilion or one of the main stream hotels this hotel does not give crap .

Room Tip: Stay away from room 14 at the bottom of the hotel especially if you want to rest & have quiet at...
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  • Stayed: August 2015, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Mhphotoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Catalina Boat House

Address: 200 Marilla Avenue, Mailing: PO Box 646, Avalon, Catalina Island, CA 90704 (Formerly Catalina Beach House)
Region: United States > California > Catalina Island > Avalon
Amenities:
Beach Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Avalon
Number of rooms: 19
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This charming property is located one block uphill from the beach in a quiet residential area still walking distance to the shops and restaurants. Modern kitchenettes and our sunny patios set the scene for relaxing barbecues with family and friends. Store your bikes in our lush courtyards or enjoy lounging on one of our public or semi-private decks with sweeping harbor views. We have some pet friendly rooms. This is the perfect setting for intimate weddings and small events and celebrations. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Catalina Beach House Hotel Avalon
Catalina Beach Hotel
Catalina Beach Avalon
Catalina Boat House Catalina Island/Avalon, CA

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