“Great Hotel if you can get a good price. Great area”
This is my second time staying at the Catalina. Once was 6 years ago. It is a decent place for the money, pool, happy hour, great rooms, great area. The only thing is the common area decor and carpeting is literally out of the seventies - shag carpeting, eclectic, white leather. Dark hallways. This is pretty much how it was 6 years ago as well. I never felt in danger or anything like that though.
The rooms themselves I would say are ABOVE PAR - and much better than you would expect when first entering the lobby. Tempurpedic mattresses, rainmaker shower heads, finished wood floors, mini-fridge, robes, classy and thought-out decor. I travelled by myself to Miami at the last minute and only stayed at the Catalina one night. I paid under $100 for a budget room and was upgraded immediately to the "Rock" room. Large - 2 double beds, desk. Felt very nice for the price, and I really appreciated the upgrade. Though be aware these ROCK rooms are pretty much attached to the bar which is open to 4am, and the pool area which (which closes at dusk). Even though I am older (42) I still enjoyed and was able to sleep.
They also had bikes available to borrow between 10am and 6pm which was great when I just wanted to cruise the area without having to kill my legs and feet (which I eventually did at night anyway!).
The resort fee of $15 covered the bikes whether you use them or not, as well as happy hour. The prices here were so low I didn't complain about the resort fee. Apparently the resort fee represents a portion of the room you DONT have to pay tax on, so that is their way of getting the value of the room, and you getting to pay less room tax.
The location is truly across Collins Drive to the beach. The hotel lends out towels and chairs but it was so freakin' windy (30 mph) that I just walked the beach quickly.
You are also quite close to Lincoln Rd which is the upscale eating and shopping area. I felt safe walking around both day and night.
Getting to Ocean Drive and the party scene was a decent 10-15 min walk. I've stayed before down 15th St, 10th St and 7th Street and I can say I 17th St is one of the better areas, especially if you are all set with the drunken crowds of twenty-somethings. Catalina is up near Delano and other high-end ocean front resorts so you get a different crowd.
The airport flyer let me off at 18th st - so for $2.40 I got from the airport to my hotel in about 20min. I didn't bother waiting for the hotel shuttle which is free, because it was in a separate part of the airport from the rest of the ground transport, and it doesn't run as frequently as the flyer. Theres no way to know when the next one is coming, and how many hotels it has to stop at before it gets to yours.
I found the hotel service to be decent, though it was a slow day. Concierge was a little slow but someone else immediately stepped in to make sure I was ok. Valet and bell-hops were great.
They have a great little breakfast bar with Starbucks coffee and snacks (which you pay for).
I was thinking of staying another night, and saw a rate of $69 on the Catalina website for the "It's a small world" room. I waited till noon day of to decide, and then it was gone. I did stay another night in the area at the Beach Plaza for $99, and I have to say, Catalina was far superior in every way.
Overall great place for what I spent. I would spend up to $150 for one of the larger rooms if I were sharing, $125 for single. More than that I'd stay at one of the more budget places, and spend more time shopping and on the beach.
young party people will love the rock rooms, everyone else ask for other rooms
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC