I spent 2 nights at the Avalon Hotel with my girlfriend, as part of a romantic weekend getaway to Catalina. We were both extremely impressed - this is definitely one of the nicest places I've ever stayed, and I've stayed in a lot of hotels that were pricier than this. The building itself and the neighborhood as a whole are absolutely charming, and from the moment you walk inside, you can tell that a great deal of thought has been put into the decor and layout of the hotel. The desk staff were friendly and very helpful. They were also really, really nice about my unintentional late arrival!
The wooden trim and furnishings throughout the hotel were finished in a warm, inviting shade, which was accented by paint colors and detailing subtly evocative of the island's historic glazed tiles. This, along with custom designed lighting sconces featuring an outline of the island's profile, really tied the various spaces of the hotel together, and created a distinctive feel that was purely Catalina.
We stayed in room #103, which was on the ground floor toward the rear (inland) portion of the building. We booked a little too late to get a room facing the ocean - totally our own fault - but the mountain view we had was quite lovely, and the room also featured a private balcony from which the ocean could be seen. The hotel also offers a fabulous roof deck, open to all hotel guests, that offers not-to-be-missed views of the entire town, the ocean, and surroundings. Based on these factors I would not hesitate to book *any* room in the hotel.
The room interior was very well appointed, and though it was a bit on the small side, it more than made up for this with a well-thought-out layout and furnishings which echoed the design themes present in the hotel's common areas. It was also quiet, extremely comfortable, and absolutely spotless. The bed was one of the most comfortable I have slept on in any hotel, and the high thread count sheets and memory foam pillows felt absolutely luxurious. Really, there are not enough adjectives to describe how wonderful the bed was. I also liked that the ceiling fan and overhead (dimmable!) light could be controlled from the bed, via a wall mounted remote. The bathroom also deserves special mention - high-end fixtures, spotless gleaming tiles, and pleasantly-scented towels that were either brand new or just really, really clean.
From a more technical perspective, the room featured a large flat screen HDTV and DVD player. I'm sure they were nice, but we didn't actually wind up having time to test those out, as there was more than enough to see and do when out & about on the island. The hotel also offers free WiFi, which we did use. This worked well for web-browsing and email-checking, but beyond that, the connection was heavily firewalled, presumably to block high-bandwidth apps like streaming video. As I am a bedtime reader, this did cause some issues for me with my Android-based tablet that likes to update itself in the background, and for my Kindle app on the tablet, which could not sync. However, this is really a minor quibble, which certainly should not deter you from staying here. (Incidentally, I also have an iPhone, and using AT&T's 3G service, it worked better and faster on Catalina Island than anywhere I have used it on the mainland.)
The hotel also should get a gold star for having plentiful and intelligently located electrical outlets in the room, including right next to the bed. I'm sure this sounds like a very strange thing to rave about, but as a CPAP user and frequent business traveler it is something I have come to really appreciate. You'd be surprised how many hotels out there DON'T have an outlet within easy reach. In those cases I have generally had to put the machine in some awkward location, and since I'm breathing air through the intake on that machine, I'd really rather be able to put it on the bedside table and not on top of carpet or upholstery. Kudos to the Avalon Hotel on allowing that little bit of extra peace of mind.
Overall - the Avalon Hotel was absolutely wonderful, and I would not hesitate to stay there again, or to recommend it to friends, or to suggest it to even the most discriminating business associates.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Avalon Hotel offers premier boutique hotel accommodations in the heart of beautiful Catalina Island. We invite you to discover an environment of understated elegance, where luxurious bedding, unique artwork and hand-crafted hardwoods and tile combine to create an enchanting experience. Located just off the Southern California coast, Catalina Island offers a resort experience that is very accessible. Most of our Catalina Island hotel rooms have breath-taking ocean views of Avalon harbor and its scenic surroundings. The breathtaking views from our Rooftop Getaway are sure to be a highlight of your stay at The Avalon Hotel. With a 360-degree vista of Avalon and its charming harbor, the Rooftop offers the ideal spot to sightsee and relax. From classic Craftsman styling and modern conveniences, deluxe bedding and upscale bath amenities, to an all-around relaxed atmosphere, The Avalon Hotel offers a unique hotel experience to every one of our welcomed guests. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Hotel Avalon
- The Avalon Hotel Catalina Island, CA