Last Updated on March 21, 2021 by hotelslash

Photo credit: Hotel Metropole

Though it’s only an hour-long ferry ride from Southern California towns, Catalina Island feels like its own little world. There are beaches, hiking trails, and the charming town of Avalon. You won’t find brand-name chains or resorts here, but plenty of solid independent inns and hotels that walk the line between elegant and relaxed. In a destination where you can’t take a car (you can rent a golf cart though), most hotels offer easy access to the beach, a nature conservancy, and museums. Here are five hotels on Catalina Island that will give you the flavor of this unique place.

Hotel Metropole (205 Crescent Ave.; 800-300-8528) Avalon

Just a short walk to the beach, this 52-room hotel offers rooms, suites and even a two-bedroom house. “Hotel Metropole has all the poshness of an island retreat without too much snobbery,” says TimeOut. “The location, above a quaint shopping plaza, is discreet and the rooms are spacious and luxurious.” One Yelp reviewer says not to miss a trip to the roof. “The rooftop hot tub is perfect and the views are unbeatable for the price.”

Pavilion Hotel (513 Crescent Ave.; 877-778-8322) Avalon

Talk about easy access: This popular hotel is steps from the Avalon ferry and the beach. “There’s no pool here, but lounge chairs and umbrellas surround an expansive patch of green grass that’s almost as good (and the ocean is right across the street,” says TimeOut. Kudos for the perks of complimentary wine and cheese, nice bed linens and helpful concierges. “I’ve stayed at 3 or 4 other hotels in Avalon over the years and this one is the nicest by far,” says a Yelp reviewer. The ground-floor rooms come with private patios. “Plus you can’t beat the location.”

The Avalon Hotel (124 Whittley Ave.; 310-510-7070) Avalon

This 15-room boutique hotel, with a Craftsman aesthetic and local art dotting the wall, has “a B&B vibe,” according to TimeOut, but is “elegant, comfortable … close to the beach and far from pretentious.” Perks include free breakfast, loaner binoculars and a rooftop patio with views of the harbor. “Rooms are very clean and cozy,” says a Yelp reviewer, and the hotel is small enough that you can pick your specific room on the web site. “We had an ocean view room, which I loved. Woke up in the morning with my coffee and sat on the balcony, and in the evening they have a nice fountain outside and fire pit.”

Mt. Ada (398 Wrigley Rd.; 877-778-8322) Avalon

This six-room inn has grand history and a literal above-it-all ambience: This was the mansion of chewing gum mogul William Wrigley Jr, and his wife Ada, who used to own most of Catalina Island. Today, the hotel is “luxe to the max and has a view to make you swoon,” says Frommers. Wrigley’s former billiards room is now a lounge with bar, fireplace and big views. One Google reviewer says it’s a “must-see historic location,” even if you don’t stay the night, “At least try and make lunch reservations,” they write. “The view and relaxing atmosphere cannot be beat, while eating a delicious meal.”

Hotel Atwater (125 Sumner St.; 877-778-8322) Avalon

Named after a member of the Wrigley family, this 91-room hotel first opened in 1920, and still feels traditionally elegant, but not stuffy. That’s hanks in part to a 2019 makeover that includes in-room tablets for controlling the TV or making tour reservations. “Restoration brought back much of the familial character Wrigley imbued it with in 1920,” says Condé Nast Traveler. “Sweet rooms have beds in corals and teal and cozy comforters, while the lobby holds the Wrigley family’s albums and heirlooms.” The centrally located hotel also offers lots of convenience. “Everything is walking distance—restaurants, the piers, casino, museum , tour, golf cart rentals—you name it,” says one Google reviewer.

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