Where To Stay: Catalina Hotel Miami
Hello Jetsetters! So as you saw in my previous post, I discussed what places to see, to eat and what do to in Miami the next time you are thinking about doing a mini vacation! This post is to do a review of our stay at the Catalina Hotel & Beach Club! This was our first time staying here and I actually had not heard of if before. I mentioned in my previous post here that we got to stay at this hotel for free using our American Airlines points after our 3 day Carnival cruise to the Bahamas (read here)! The Catalina Hotel location was perfect just one block from Lincoln Road Mall on Collins Avenue and within a 2 minute walk to the beach.
I always advise people to try not to stay at a hotel on Ocean Drive. I have heard so many people complain due to noise level and appearance. Ocean Drive is historic so they are not allowed to do a whole lot of renovations to those hotels. So they tend to be very old and bit run down despite the outer appearance. Though we love spending more time in places outside of South Beach, we still like to be really close to the beach and the roads to take out outside of South beach which is why I tend to find a hotel in this area -easy access to Downtown Miami, the beach and north Miami beach where we using swim at.
The Catalina Hotel & Beach Club is part of the South Beach Group Hotels – chain of hotels in South Beach. I read the various reviews of this hotel and I loved that fact that it does free Airport Shuttle which is a plus in case you are not renting a car while in Miami. In my previous post, I discuss the my feelings about renting a car in Miami and why I choose to always do it. The parking at Catalina is quite expensive at $40 a night valet. I honestly think if you are okay walking a about 3 blocks or so, you can save half the money and park in one of the garages that provide overnight parking. Our preferred Garage is on 16th and Collins. The price is about half that and some even $16. We do not do a lot of in and out and it was way faster if we had to go back to the hotel to shower and change for the night to park at a nearby meter. It took awhile for valet to bring us our car when we checked out.
At check in, the employees were friendly and I met the manager as well! They couldn’t accommodate early check in but they offered to hold our luggages as we headed to the beach. When we did check in, our room was actually in a different building next to the main building where we checked in. Catalina Hotel is actually 3 separate buildings where the roof top pool is in the building to the left and the right are other rooms. Upon entrance of our room, it was very clean with modern décor. It was quite hot which would have been nice if they had adjusted the AC before our arrival. But I made the AC adjustment and the room quickly cooled off. The room size was a good size for two people. Not super huge but not small either. We did not have much of a view-room 304 I believe. The room included a fridge that was filled will beer, water and other drinks and snacks too at a cost. We did not touch any of it.
The bathroom was small but clean and nice. The shower had a rainfall shower head and complimentary toiletries and towels. The only issue I had during our stay was that our room was not cleaned timely. We left our room at 9am in the morning and we saw the housekeeping cart 3 doors down. At 4pm that afternoon, our room still was not cleaned and the cart was still in the same exact spot. There was another room on our floor that was in the same situation and was sitting on the floor outside their room waiting on their room to be cleaned. It was an inconvenience seeing that we had to shower, rest and get dressed before our dinner appointment that evening. I mentioned it to the front desk and they stated they are working on it but there was not a real sense of urgency or remorse. We waited about 45 minutes for our room to be cleaned.
This hotel does have some nice features! As I mentioned earlier, it is part of the South Beach Hotel group so there are a few other sister hotels in South Beach that you can see in the photo above. Each of these hotels including The Catalina offers FREE HAPPY HOUR where they offer complimentary cocktails for one hour starting at 7pm!! You can’t beat FREE! You can also hotel hop to the sister hotels and enjoy their happy our too! We were not able to try out this feature due to our reservations we had at Juvia and Area 31 on our two nights! But both nights were full of people with music. Some people were in the inside bar area and others were at the outside tables.
In addition to hotel hopping for happy hour, you can also hotel hop for the pools at each of the sister hotels! Catalina has two pool options that I visited. Our building had a ground level Bamboo pool that had a tropical feel with the cabanas but of course my preferred pool was the rooftop! Though there was not much view of anything, it was nice still a pool with a nice feel. They had a bar area which I am sure served drinks later on in the day. We visited in the morning and it was not set up yet. They also have a sundeck/lounge area that is separate from the pool on the rooftop with complimentary towels!
The Beach Club of the Catalina is across the street on 18th Street where you can enjoy two complimentary beach lounge chairs per room per day. They also provide beach towels too for use which is quite nice. Towels are take up room and weight in your luggage especially when they are dirty. They offer also beach umbrellas but at an additional cost. There is not a gym on location but they provide $20 discounted passes at Crunch gym on Washington street.
The properties also have 3 different restaurants/bars onsite such as Maxines! My husband got his espresso from there and he stated it as good. He ordered some food there one night and he did not like it and it was overpriced too. We did not try anything else from there during out stay. Outside at all 3 buildings there are lounge ear with chic sofas where you can order drinks and people watch, This area usually was pretty full each night of our stay.
So despite a couple of hiccups during our stay, I feel this hotel is still a nice option for someone who wants to be near the heart of it all. If you want something more quieter or away from the South Beach scene than I would suggest north Miami or Downtown Miami! Thank you for checking out my post! If you been to Miami, what hotel did you stay at and love? Leave a comment below! I would love to hear!
Stay fresh & FIERCELY you!