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Hotel The Catalina Hotel & Beach Club Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
1736 Collins Avenue Miami, United States of America -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Catalina is a cheap establishment that screams motel rather than hotel. It is not particularly clean or pleasant. It does however have a great location for holidaymakers wanting to be right at the heart of the South Beach action as it sits a 10 minute walk away from the beach on Collins Avenue, the main road running right through Miami. The hotel is an original Art-Deco build that is made up for three separate hotels that sit side by side: the Catalina, the Dorset and Maxine's. Each has its own distinct atmosphere but check-in is done in the central building. The hotel is ideal for guests on a tight budget or who turn up at the last minute without a booking. The hotel is noisy and crowded and is not recommended for children due to some of the guests' behaviour around the pool in the evenings.

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    Location 7.7 /10

    The Catalina is situated on Collin Avenue (parallel to Ocean Drive), in the prime shopping location of trendy South Beach a short walk away from Miami Beach and Ocean Drive's Art Deco hangouts. The airport is a 30 minute drive away. Downtown is a twenty minute drive away (traffic-depending).

    Accommodation 5.70 /10

    The rooms have a different style depending on the building you stay in. We stayed in the right hand side block, where the rooms had a cheap contemporary unclean look. As the hotel was full we could not see what gems the other blocks were hiding. Our rooms had faux wenge stained parquet, high-backed studded faux-leather beds, which we were not particularly comfortable. The room wasn't clean and the curtains were half falling off the rail. There was a mini-bar and coffee-table books (that were too stained to read). The room did however have a small walk-in closet which was very handy for keeping our mess at bay. A couple of the lamps were not working, which made it difficult to write this review up!

    The room looked out onto the outdoor pool, which can get very noisy in the evenings, especially at the weekends, when a mediocre dj is invited to play house music all night. The rooms are however good value if you're not too fussy and are of a fair size.

    The bathrooms have no storage space or hooks to hang towels, so you'll probably end up with your face cream splattered all over the sink, and your clothes half wet from when you struggled to pull on your jeans and fell back into the wet shower, but it's functional. There are packet toiletries, so if you were expecting the latest beauty brand, bring your own.

    Overview 5.70 /10

    The Catalina is made up of three original Art-Deco buildings, the Dorset, the Catalina and the Maxine. Check-in in done in the central building. Here you will find a café serving Starbuck's hot drinks, milkshakes and cakes. There is a small courtyard with tables and chairs surrounded by bamboo, which makes for a pleasant area to have a drink. The rooms are located upstairs. The buildings on either side have their own restaurants and bars. The hotel also has two pools; a rooftop pool in the building on the left hand side and an outdoor pool in the building on the right hand side. Both areas are pleasant although they do get fairly crowded and extremely noisy as parties often take place here. This isn't great if you are planning on getting some shut-eye.

    If you're into your digitally-manipulated photography, high-back faux-leather studded furniture, and uneven floors, then this hotel is right up your street. Each building has its own distinctive style although they make up just the one hotel and each has its own terrace out front. The left hand side building has a sushi restaurant (for which you receive discount vouchers when you check-in) and the right hand side building has a Mediterranean food place. This terrace is actually the most pleasant of the three as a real effort has been made (despite the apparent budgetary cutbacks) to make it a relaxing area to enjoy a drink or a snack.

    There is no spa or gym here and Wi-Fi is available for free on the ground floor of each building.

    Food and drink 5.70 /10

    We couldn' actually try the food here as the restaurants were full from midday to midnight. This area is noisy and crowded during high season, but if you don't want to venture too far and you are on a budget, the restaurants are a good bet. The building to the left of the main building has a sushi restaurant out front and to the right, there is a Mediterranean restaurant. The latter is fairly pleasant and despite the low budget, an effort has been made to make the area into a relaxing place to have a drink or a bit to eat. The restaurants get very lively, especially in the evenings and seeing that they line the main road, you can't bank on The Catalina for a quiet romantic meal.

    The hotel also has a couple of bars with interior seating and pool tables, which is handy for pre and post dinner drinks. A good effort has been made with the interiors here, although the rooms are a little dark in the day time.

    Beach

    Miami Beach is a 10 minute walk away.

    To know

    For guests needing transport to and from the airport, there is a free shuttle bus. The Catalina is part of the South Beach group, which also includes the Whitelaw (see our review), Metropole Suites (see our review), Riviera, Shelley, Chelsea, Chesterfield, Sunbrite (extended-stay apartments), Hollywood boutique hostel and Tradewinds.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      massage, spa

    • Swimming pool

    advantage

    • Location.
    • Cheap rates.
    • Two outdoor pools.
    • Party atmosphere.

    disadvantages

    • Dirty.
    • Low-quality.
    • Noisy.
    • Crowded.

    Traveller Reviews

    • Overall Score nc/10
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