More about Pavilion Lodge
Hotel Mac Rae
Price: There was a deal on the website for Sunday night free for a oceanfront room. We took advantage of this over Veteran's Day weekend, when Monday was a holiday anyway. It turned out to cost less than $100/night, great for beach-view Avalon!
Location: Overlooks the beach and close to everything. Easy walk from the ferry and to the casino/dive park.
Amenities: The hotel has air-conditioning, ceiling fans, DVD players with free rentals from the front desk, nice beach towels to borrow, and free wi-fi access (didn't use it).
Noise: I was worried when I walked in and saw earplugs. And a nearby bar has karaoke at night. I am normally a light sleeper, and wore the very comforatble earplugs the first night. I decided I didn't need them the next 2 nights and slept fine.
Size: Room is small, but there was enough room for 2 people, and all of our dive gear (barely!)
Bathroom: Bathroom need to be remodelled, the showers are like caves and ours drained fairly slowly. My friend said the water was only luke-warm during one shower.
Bed: Matress is okay for comfort, but newer would be better.
Continental breakfast is mini-muffins and mini-bagels, plus coffee and OJ.
If I can get that price again, I'd defiantely stay there next time. I have also stayed at the Hotel Vicentes and the Pavilion Lodge on Catalina, and this was the best deal. I wouldn't pay over $150/night for the room, though. Great views from beachfront rooms.
good hotel for the rate of $85 per night
The Pavilion Lodge is a wooden, two-story hotel. It's not tiny but it's not super-big either; probably about 75 rooms or so. It was a very comfortable room; very pleasant. The best thing about the Pavilion Lodge is their sheets -- they have Frette sheets which are Italian import - they were absolutely luxurious - an unexpected luxury but VERY much appreciated by anyone who appreciates high thread count, 100% cotton sheets. The beds had down comforters with duvet covers, which seems to be a trend hotels are going to. We asked them not to change our sheets (to save on water use), so I'm not sure if they wash the duvet covers between guests, but I think hotels who have gone to the down comforter generally do. The rooms were not huge but also not cramped - with two double beds, there was room for a small table and 2 kitchen-like chairs. The bathroom had a tub with a shower; the sink was outside the bathroom. There was a large counter area next to the sink with a small, 4-cup coffee maker; under the counter was a dorm-sized refrigerator, so you could go to the two local tiny grocery stores and buy stuff for the refrigerator. The furniture was nice; 3 (or 4?) drawers for clothes under the TV, and a closet. The wall art was photographs of various nature scenes .. not really my taste but not hideous.
The breakfast they supplied for free was very good: bagels, cream cheese, apples/oranges, muffins, decent coffee (better than the stuff in the room), tea, orange juice. But definitely get there before the cutoff time (I think it was 10:30); they do clean things up fast. There's a nice courtyard in the center of the hotel (which we didn't really get to enjoy as it rained the day we were leaving (the one day we didn't hike). The lobby is extremely small but nicely furnished. I think they had free internet service in all the rooms. They advertise as being 14 steps from the beach, and that they are, literally. You can get off the ferry and walk the equivalent of 1-2 blocks to the hotel (keep in mind that the entire beach front of Avalon is probably no more than 1/2 a mile! long).
One female staff person was extremely helpful and friendly; a male staff person was somewhat less helpful and friendly. The hotel had recently been renovated and they did a lovely job. The curtains completely blocked out the morning light. At the recommendation of other reviews we read here, we requested a room in the middle of the wing (the hotel is U-shaped; the bottom of the U has a street next to it; other reviewers complained about noise from the golf carts and people walking). We didn't have any complaints about noise, although we were in the location least likely to have noise (and the hotel probably wasn't that full). We got a promotional rate for the first night of $99, including ferry ride over, and 2nd night was $85 with a AAA discount. With taxes, it came out to about $235, which included a free "glass bottom boat tour" which they upgraded to a "boat with submerged passenger area with underwater windows" --
this may not be for everyone - it was somewhat claustrophobic, and I got tinges of motion sickness.
Here's some info on the island; I found there wasn't a whole lot of "personal reviews" of the island so thought I'd provide some of the information:
Catalina is a tiny island resort town. There's not a whole lot to do in the town; you can pretty much cover the shops in a day (if you're looking for crafts/souvenir items made by islanders, forget it!). There were various restaurants but we were economizing so we brought or bought all our food at a grocery store.
For hiking, the island is great, but be ready to climb. If you don't walk a lot, it's probably going to be too much. The hikes end up long if you don't want to simply go so far and then turn around; we hiked about 10 miles a day (there are really only 2 10-mile loops from the city). If you're a scuba diver, you'll love the kelp forests; there is also snorkeling. It's quite expensive to get out of Avalon -- golf carts (which can be rented) are not allowed past a certain point, and the companies which provide transportation either to the airport on Catalina (about 15 miles away), or to Two Harbors (about 26 miles away) are quite expensive (you can also get a ferry direct to Two Harbors from some ferry terminals (San Pedro and Long Beach, I believe). Two Harbors is even tinier than Avalon. A serious hiker could walk it (it's really important to check in with the Catalina Conservation people and a) let them know you're out there hiking (officially, you are required to get a free permit) and b) get their excellent advice. Bike permits are quite expensive and you are required to stay on paved roads (which are very steep heading out of Avalon!). You do NOT want to camp in the "Hermit Gulch" camping ground in Avalon, unless you're really broke - you're essentially in a crummy, tiny field on the outskirts of Avalon. The campgrounds down towards Two Harbors are supposed to have some very nice views (according to the conservation people) but you need to be a fairly good hiker to get to them, bring in your own water, and so on.
Just spent a long weekend at the Pavillion Lodge in Avalon and we were very pleased. The rooms are very clean and the bedding was wonderful. The location is also fantastic. We would definetly stay there again.
My wife and I loved this place. On the waterfront/downtown, good price for 3 nights, clean, QUIET rooms/courtyard, cozy/CLEAN, showtime/cable, in room coffee, luggage service after checkout- delivered to boat pier, walk to Catalina Express, rock's throw from everything downtown including cart rental. 5 minute walk to Casino Bldg/Smooth Jazz Fri-Sun. On last day (Columbus Day) we checked our luggage with the hotel & checked out (with money still in our pockets for shopping), went on the Inland Bus Tour (highly recommend if you want to see the Airport/Rancho Escondido), grabbed some fish&chips on the Green Pier after then strolled over to the boat pier to get our luggage and await our boat home :-( If you do NOT want to drop $300 a night for an ocean view- THIS IS THE PLACE!!! Once you step off the quiet property you are literally in the waterfront mix!!! Book early for King bed although two doubles aint' bad at all. Ran into an old friend and his girlfriend at SmoothJazz who had been staying at P.L. too- found that out when I called his cellphone to meet for breakfast- we just met in front and walked about 100 feet to the Breakfast Cottage (crowded, busy and GREAT BREAKFAST in Mom & Pops- ate there twice). Also Steve's Steakhouse has great food/service/view (pricy but worth it). Pavillion Lodge is bang for the buck!
This was our first (but not last) visit to Catalina. I chose to stay at P.L. based on the reviews at this website (totally disregarding the Jun 23 reviewer). In fact- I had already booked a room at the Best Western (who claim to have the only pool on the island... Zane Gray has one too) before seeing the poor reviews here and quickly scrambled to find something better- Pavillion Lodge did not disappoint. Next time I just might drop $300 a night for the balcony ocean view- but if not, I guarantee this is where we'll stay.
THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN!
A very nice room for at a reasonable rate including transportation to and from hotel. Will be back next year for sure! Stay away on Tues and Wed. from island as cruise ships visit those days swamping the small island.
Great choice in Catalina
The Lodge's location is unbeatable -- right in the heart of town and just short walk to/from the ferry. Look into a package deal for your room and ferry tickets. The rooms were very clean and in excellent condition. Though average in size, they did offer a very comfortable bed and upgraded linens. There is a continental breakfast served outside, and a grass courtyard-type area for sitting and sunbathing. Choices can be limited on Catalina, and the Pavilion is a good one.
We had the Best Stay at the Pavilion!
I can't say enough good things about the Pavilion. The rooms were so cute and clean. They were tastfully decorated with relaxing green and blue colors - if you have seen a picture of the rooms on the internet, that is exactly what they look like in person. Another big plus was the down comforters, and in rooms that were being cleaned, I saw the maids taking off the used down comforter covers and replacing them with clean washed covers for the new guests. We purchased the romance package, with this package our round trip boat tickets, champaign and chocolate covered strawberries, room for two nights, and lunch at the country club were all included. When we approached the ticket counter at the dock, our tickets were waiting for us, when we checked in at the hotel we were handed our voucher for our lunch. The only slip up was that the Pavilion never told me I needed to tell them when to deliver the champaign and chocolates to our room, so around 9:00 pm on the first night I finally went down to the desk to ask where they were, and they told me they were waiting for word from me. The chocolates and champaign were promptly delivered to my room after my front desk visit. It was really cool to wake up each morning and have breakfast waiting in the court yard below. Everyone sat at the patio tables eating - cereal, bagels, mini muffins, juice and coffee were available. There is a bag check available if your boat leaves later in the afternoon and you want to walk around without your bags.
As for other things we did/would recommend on Catalina. We had dinner at the Channel House and The Landing, both restaurants had great views and a romantic setting, the food was also good. We brought our own wine to each restaurant, corkage was so cheap it would be silly not to - corkage at Channel House was $7 and corkage at The Landing was $10. The food was very reasonably priced. I actually laughed at how little the bills were each night - $60 at the Landing and $75 at the Channel House.
We did a couple of activities while were were on the Island, a guided kayak tour, parasailing, and ocean rafting with snorkeling. We really enjoyed each activity. Another plus was the people leading the tours are locals and give you info about the Island you wouldn't otherwise hear about. We saw a lot of wild life on each tour. Bald Eagles on our kayak tour; flying fish, herons, bat rays, many other little fish on our ocean rafting/snorkeling tour, and a sun fish when we went parasailing.
We were also impressed at how friendly everyone on the Island was from waiters to tour guides to the front desk staff at the hotel. We were typical tourists with tons of questions and everyone we encountered were happy to answer all of our questions.
I would never stay here!!!
I called the hotel number to get rates and infomation on their packages. The person receiving my call, Christine, was extremely rude, unhelpful, had no information to offer me and hung up the phone on me!! For being in the service business, your frontline personnel should be trained to offer assistance and be curteous! I would never send any of my friends or family to your hotel while you have such persons working there!
What a great place to stay. It is right in the middle of all the action, but very quiet inside. 7 minute walk from Catalina Express, which is very handy when you have to carry luggage. It looks older from the outside, but our room looked like it was recently remodeled - very clean and modern, with one of the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in a hotel. Service is good - I was able to store my luggage there both before checking in, and after checking out, and they also had helpful advice for how to get around, restaurants to eat in, etc. If you buy the romance package, be sure to tell the staff what time you would like your champagne to be delivered, otherwise they will keep waiting for you to call them.