The South Coast and Catalina Island Hotels

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Hotel Villa Portofino

At a Glance

    Pros

  • romantic
  • close to beach
  • incredible sun deck

    Cons

  • though quiet in general, ground floor rooms can be noisy
  • some rooms are on small side
  • no elevator

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Hotel Villa Portofino Review

Steps from the beach and the Pleasure Pier, this hotel has a European flair and creates an intimate feel with brick courtyards and walkways and suites named after Italian cities. Some ocean-facing rooms have open balconies, fireplaces, and marble baths. You can sunbathe on the private deck, or ask for beach towels and chairs to take to the cove. The patio out front is an ideal spot to enjoy the continental breakfast that includes fresh-baked pastries. In summer, a two-night minimum stay is required if a Saturday night is booked.

    Hotel Details

  • 35 rooms.
  • Rate includes breakfast.
  • Credit cards accepted.
Updated: 05-20-2013

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
  • Room  
    Décor  
    Service  
    Value  

    Hotel Villa Portofino Review

    This was in a former life a motel called something like "Scarry" -- whatever, Antonio's Pizza has a couple of their old signs. Most of the rooms, especially on the ground floor, are about as basic as you can get -- a small room with a sliding glass door where you wonder just how easy is it for someone to break into this room?! And moving about the room, which is small, is a tight squeeze == so yes, cozy and romantic in that "just married, we have each other" kind of way. Everything about the room itself is kind of basic.

    But what is not basic -- what really can't be bought in this day and age of computers who answer the telephone and tell you to "press 1" for English and "press 2" if you want automated tech support -- are the people who run this place and those surprising "little extras" that are real, and not some computer generated robot.

    The staff here makes this place one of those "I have to go back here" places that you, sadly, don't find much of these days. There are real people sitting behind reception, who really like their customers, and really care if you have a legitimate complaint and really try to fix it if you do. Like our problem with flushing the toilet. Now I know how to fix a toilet, which I do when the chain falls off the hook or something easy, but eventually you get tired of having to take the lid off the back of the toilet and do this, so you talk to reception, And they have this handyman who must work there 24/7 who fixes little stuff like this and is so very nice -- just as nice as the receptionist. And it's this personal service, and this kind of care that elevates this basic motel room onto a whole different level. That changes your opinion of "basic" to "quirky" and everyone likes "quirky", right?

    Also, they have these other little extras that are just so nice -- like beach chairs and beach towels that they let you take, and morning continental breakfast with really good coffee as part of the cost. And ice water in the lobby infused with lemon and cucumber -- what a wickedly delightful combination!

    In short (and having stayed at nearly every hotel in Avalon), its these little things that so endeared me to this little place (and, by the way, it's in a remarkably perfect spot on Crescent St.), that I will give up the grander hotels I've stayed at in Avalon in future for another opportunity to stay here and interact with the truly wonderful people who run this place.

    by Surfergirl, 9/16/11

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