More about Catalina Canyon Resort & Spa Avalon
Catalina Canyon Resort and Spa Will Make You Want to Go Home
There is a saying that goes "beauty is only skin deep", which seems to apply to the Catalina Canyon Resort and Spa. We felt sorry for a family that was sharing a cab from the heliport because their accomodations in downtown Avalon appeared less than desireable. We pulled up to the Catalina Canyon Resort and Spa and thought - "Wow! This place looks amazing!". We continued this line of thought into the lobby where we completed the check-in process. Once we got to our room however, the honeymoon ended.
First off, we scheduled a king size bed and were given two queens. When we went to the front desk with our reservations the clerk said that it was Expedia's fault because they were not supposed to guarantee King size beds.
Next, the room smelled like it had been smoked in after which a feeble attempt was made to clean or cover up the smell.
Finally. my wife could not sleep due to the paper thin walls and ceilings. The honeymoon definately was not over for the couple staying upstairs. We could hear their re-consumation both nights as if we were staying in the same room.
Not everything was bad. The onsite restuarant was excellent. The friendly staffed always greeted us happily and seated us promptly. The chef would also mill about at times to see how the guests liked the cooking. The portions were more than generous. Our last night there we had Prime Rib at $12.95 each. It was enourmous! We both couldn't finish it - our taste buds were willing but our stomachs were full. If I ever stay in Catalina again I will make the trip to this resturant even if I don't ever stay at the Canyon Resort and Spa.
Catalina Canyon is o.k. but needs work
My husband and I just returned from a 3 night stay at the Catalina Canyon Resort and Spa. In general we had a great time at Avalon having never been there before. Very low key place and gorgeous natural surroundings. I was somewhat disappointed in our hotel stay however.
We encountered a few problems, that I think future guests should be aware of when booking. First, the original room they gave to us was horribly smelly and was masked by a pungent cleaner. We couldn't tell if the smell was to overcome smoke or something else. So, the front office clerk, who was amiable, gave us another room that didn't reek. The room was o.k., small but did not smell as bad.
The bathroom had issues. The tub/shower unit was cracked in many places and squeaked a lot when standing on it. Also, we were practically scalded when taking a shower since suddenly the water turned super hot! This happened every time we showered, so we had to make sure we didn't have the shower head aimed at our bodies so we could get out of the way quickly.
The housekeeping service needs to be improved for these reasons that we observed. Upon arrival, there were loose coins on the floor from the previous guests, they did not supply enough towels for two people, we had to ask to toilet paper (when it was obvious we were low) and they didn't bring us wash clothes. The bedspreads were grimy and I imagine hadn't been washed for a while. Kinda gross. The rooms need updating and there needs to be more information in the rooms about the hotel facilities, like the shuttle service, times, etc. Our room was small. The pillows were quite mis-shapen and the bed was too soft.
The restaurant for breakfast was really bad. No low fat or non fat milk. The place is so dingy and outdated, it seemed like an old diner in the back country.
The positives of this place are the location and grounds. They advertise the pool as heated but it was freezing cold. Also, the hot tub is very old looking and barely warm and it wasn't as clean as it should have been.
Beautiful landscaping and nice and quiet up on the hill. 99% of the staff we encountered were very nice and professional - friendly. We appreciated the shuttle service and the friendliness of the drivers except for one guy.
On Sunday night, we tried to go into town and we were told in not a friendly tone, that the shuttle stops at 8:45pm. The previous nights we were able to use the service till 10:45pm. When we being told this, the driver kept saying, "I told everybody this today!", but he didn't tell us and mind you it was 8:50 pm. We were only 5 minutes late. Anyway, we understand about policies, but I think he could have been a little nicer about it. Everyone of the other drivers were super friendly and sweet.
I think this place could be a great resort with some TLC. Will we stay here when we return, I doubt it.
Our first time in Avalon
We went to Catalina Island this last weekend. What a charming city, we really loved it! In Hawaii you'd say the locals have the "aloha spirit"...well the locals here have the "spirit" as well!!
I originally chose the Catalina Canyon Resort because our 16 year old son was coming along. Well, last week he decided the trip would be too "boring" and could he stay at a friends house. No problem!
So, I called to get our 2 doubles switched to a King Room. No such luck. Oh well, still looking forward to our trip.
I have to add to the list of folks who write about how wonderful the shuttle service is at the Resort. Just excellent, and the guys are so friendly and helpful. We'd be walking downtown going up the road and JC would stop to see if we wanted a ride back to the hotel.
The staff at the hotel were also very friendly. But, I do agree with some reviewers who say this is not a "resort". Yes, they have a pool and advertise for couples massages. It's AAA rated 3 Diamonds and I think that is accurate.
My husband and I discussed what would make this place just better, simple things that wouldn't cost management lots of $$$.
Here's our suggestions:
Have the property manager sit on the beds, umm..sit on the toilet, open and close the bathroom door. Really look at the room from a guests pov. Our bathroom door (room 420) would stick to the ground every time you opened or closed it. Hence, the plywood is coming off the door for a good 12".
Use fabric softener on the towels, very coarse to the touch. Add more toiletry ammenities. Three little lonely items on a tray does not scream "resort".
In rooms that are for sure booked...a little vase of fresh flowers, a hand written welcome to the guests, A silly extra, but why not fold a towel into a cute little animal and place on the bed. And, please make sure the bed is crisply made. Our 2 doubles looked like someone might have used it and then threw on the bedspread.
Saturday evening we headed down to the jacuzzi. The bar was open, but no snacks were offered. Sunday morning why not have a pot of coffee/ tea in the reception/front desk area. Yes, there was a coffee pot in the room. But, again, a resort would offer a variety of options.
I suppose the response to our suggestion might be...well, we do THAT during Summer season. Well, your guests during "off" season would like to have the amenties that are provided all the time. Plus, really it is the little things that make you feel good, isn't it?
No Problems, OK place
I always try to use the reviews on Trip Advisor before staying at a place. I have found the reviews to be very helpful and usually right on. I received a free stay here after going to a time share pesentation. Of course I was very concerned after reading some of the more recent reviews even after seeing that AAA rated the property a 3 star. We had a nice roome on the 4th floor which in that part of the hotel was on the top floor. The room had a vaulted ceiling which made it feel more spacious. Room was fine, everything clean and in reasonably good working order. It was a Sunday night and after 10PM or so everything was quiet and we got a good nights rest even leaving the balcony door open. Location was OK with an easy downhill walk to town and even a doable walk back up the fairly steep hill. Hotel's shuttle service was very good and we never waited more than 5 minutes for a ride. We arrived a little before 3PM, checked in quickly and efficiently and was in our room before 3. Checkout was also smooth and quick and we found the staff we encountered both nice and friendly. All in all, I really didn't see the "bad" things others recently wrote about this hotel. While I gave it an above average I really wanted to give it between an average and above average rating but couldn't do that. In any case, I would concur with the 3 star rating given by AAA.
The management that took over this hotel from Best Western has fixed all of the service problems noted previously. The rooms appear almost new and the gounds are well kept. Staff was very friendly and accomodating. Restaurant was above average and reasonably priced. One prior critique that can't be fixed is the soundproofing between rooms - its comparable to adjoining bedrooms in your own home - as this is a vacation spot you won't have people getting up at 5am to hit the road, but they will probably watch tv until late so if you can't sleep unless its perfectly quite, you'll be disappointed. Get a top floor end room to minimize noise - with topnotch soundproofing they could charge $200+ per room with an "excellent" rating.
Reading all the other reviews I expected a holiday inn type hotel. I was so pleasantly surprised when we arrived. We usually stay at Marriotts and I thought this property was comparable to them. It was so relaxing and enjoyable that I was tempted to stay another day but already nonrefundable tickets going home. The staff is wonderful, especially the drivers...the shuttle service was such a great amenity. I plan on staying here the next time we are in Avalon.
Okay place in Avalon
Not a bad place to stay by any stretch. The people working there were friendly, the hotel seemed clean, and the free shuttle service into town was a big plus. The only thing I can say is that the "resort & spa" in the name would lead most people to think the accomodations are much more plush than they actually are. Actually, the brochure to the place does the same thing. The place is about on par with most nicer motel chains as far as decor and rooms are concerned. That was not a problem for us, but it might be to someone else. The walls are a bit on the thin side also, my husband couldn't get to sleep because the people in the room next to us were arguing late at night (I sleep like a rock so it didn't affect me). To balance that out though, another plus for this hotel is the pool area is very nice. Overall it was a decent stay.
Excellent Resort 10min walk from the beach, 80/night
My wife and I visited Catalina for the first time, and wanted something nice and quiet a little away from the busy area. Canyon is perfect, nestled in the hill with a great view of the town.
I will preface this with a note about us. We aren't picky people, and don't expect Four Seasons type hotels, and don't want to pay for them. We expect clean, friendly, safe and fun. On to the review.
I had read in several of the reviews that the staff won't let you check in early, and was a tad concerned. We arrived on the boat around 11:15, and were greeted by the hotel shuttle in a nice new van. In less than 5 min, including a brief tour, we were at the hotel. We were given our room immediately, dropped our bags and were on our way.
Very pleased with the room. 5th floor balcony, had a slight ocean view through the trees. Great king bed, clean, excellent channel selection on the tv, no concerns whatsoever with the room. Heat worked great, shower/bath was clean, hot and great pressure, no complaints whatsover. The walls were slightly thin as some have mentioned, could hear the neighbours tv, but no concern to us.
I haven't seen one person yet that isn't smiling, check in staff was great, drivers were all great, maint, again smiling and friendly. Arranged with one of the drivers to rent a private golf cart for less than half the rate downtown, and private cars are able to go to places you cannot take a rental. contact me for more details if you're interested.
The hotel is about a half mile out of the main area. The shuttle runs non-stop to the beach and they will pretty much take you whenever you want. My wife, who is 6 months pregnant, and I had dinner down at the beach one night, and decided we would walk home as the shuttle stops at 7pm weeknights, 10pm weekends. It is a lovely, safe, brief walk back to the hotel. The hill is a little bit of a climb, but my wife had no problems so I guess I can't complain. The view of the stars along the way was amazing.
The pool is fantastic. Lots of chairs and towels, idyllic setting, lovely hottub, great place to unwind. We were sitting on our balcony around 5 pm before going to dinner, and couldn't believe how peaceful everything was. The only sound was a battling frog and cricket amongst the birdsongs from the trees. Maint staff keep the grounds spotless, I can't say enough how pleased we are with this resort.
We didn't try the restaurant, although it looked nice and had a great patio. Only open for breakfast while we are were there, very slow this time of year.
We got a great deal, 80/night. When you book on their website, we found a cheaper rate by using the "book a package" option than we could get using the standard reservation. For some reason, the normal reservation tool was 90/night, while the package with no options other than room was 80/night. It is off season, so you may pay a little more depending on season, but this has to be one of the nicest 80 dollar rooms and resorts I've ever been in.
I would highly recommend this resort to anyone I know, as long as they aren't froofy. Again if you're used to the four seasons, book a 400 dollar room and maybe you'll be happy. If you appreciate a great place, friendly people and don't mind a 10 min walk, this place is a hidden gem.
Nice Try but no Cigar
Just got back from a weekend trip. . .and it was enough to cause me to actually join and write a review. If you're like me, you expect and enjoy a good shower when you travel, especially in a "resort" -- well, do not have that expectation if you stay here. My shower went from the right temperature, to scalding, to cold water, faster than I could jump out of the way. . .three times!!! Other guests complained they had no hot water at all !!! In addition, toilet seat broken, no batteries for channel changer. However, if you can get by the shower, it was quiet, out of the main-stream of Avalon, and the grounds are well-maintained. But, the shower situation would cause me not to go back. The restaurant on the grounds serves a nice breakfast; the Catalina Country Club is located a short walk down the hill and is open to the public and serves good lunches and dinners.
Love Catalina, Hate this Hotel
The room was nice even though there was no view whatsoever of the island. The hotel did not have the room I wanted so they gave me what was left. I should have left then! The TV system was backwards! You had to go to the menu everytime you wanted to change the channel. The outdoor pool was NOT heated as advertised and it was scummy. Never saw anyone clean it. The hot tub needed repair! Look to carry your own luggage up a hill that will give you a workout if not a heart attack! The restaurant was over priced and open only for breakfast. The "courtesy shuttle" only picked up from town if you called the front desk. If you were lucky enough not to get an answering machine for the front desk, you'd get a shuttle 15 mins later in which case you could walk halfway back to the hotel. The front desk staff just didn't want to be there. The entire staff was not nice and not customer service oriented! This hotel was very over- rated and over priced and not worth your money! Stay on the main drag and forget about this place!