The Best Hotels to Book in Avalon, California

Enjoy a picturesque harbor view from your suite at the Glenmore Plaza Hotel in Avalon
Enjoy a picturesque harbor view from your suite at the Glenmore Plaza Hotel in Avalon | Courtesy of Glenmore Plaza Hotel / Expedia
Photo of Nick Dauk
2 December 2021

Close to the California shoreline yet with a different vibe to the culture on the coast, Avalon is where Cali’s busybodies go when they need a resort vacation that doesn’t require a trip to LAX. Avalon is the only incorporated city on Santa Catalina Island, and a little birdie says that you might run into a few celebs during your stay. Whether it’s a quick weekend getaway or the Catalina Wine Mixer that brings you to the island, you’ll find the relaxation you need at the best hotels in Avalon – bookable with Culture Trip.

Bellanca Hotel, for foxy frolicking

Independent Hotel
Outdoor seating area with view of harbor across the street at the Bellanca Hotel
Courtesy of Bellanca Hotel / Expedia

If you’re here to play, Bellanca Hotel is here to indulge. The Naughty Fox will keep you in a playful mood morning, noon and night with a beverage list full of Catalina Iced Teas, Foxy Ladies and Ilegal Tonics. The dessert menu is the real tease: the cookie sampler will make you ask, “Why the fox shouldn’t I have cookies for dinner?” Of course, the level of silliness that is staged in your ocean view suite is entirely up to you.

The Pavilion Hotel, for making strides

A fire pit surrounded by comfy rattan chairs with blue cushions at the Pavilion Hotel
Courtesy of the Pavilion Hotel / Expedia

The Pavilion Hotel says it’s only 14 steps from the beach, but we say extend your stride and you could make it in 10 or less, not including the stroll from your room to the door. You might stop in your tracks when you see the bottles of wine lined up across the bar or the sun-kissed lounge area on the lawn, complete with a fire pit for cool California nights – both of which may add a couple of detours to your journey.

Hotel Atwater, for celebrity service

Luxury living room space in cream and aqua blue hues with view toward ocean at Hotel Atwater
Courtesy of Hotel Atwater / Expedia

For a hotel that’s refreshingly unpretentious, the Atwater really knows how to make you feel like a members-only guest. It starts with luggage service from the ferry, followed by two splits of sparkling wine right when you arrive. Add in a $20 (£15) credit at local restaurants and exclusive discounts to island activities, and you’d think you were a VIP. Grab a beach towel from the front desk and head off to the shore if the first-rate treatment gets a little too comfortable.

Glenmore Plaza Hotel, for fabulous food

Outdoor patio with a harbor view at the Glenmore Plaza Hotel
Enjoy a picturesque harbor view from your suite at the Glenmore Plaza Hotel in Avalon | Courtesy of Glenmore Plaza Hotel / Expedia

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the complimentary breakfast at Glenmore Plaza Hotel except that it’s the only thing standing between your stunning harbor view suite and the beach. The hotel is also surrounded by some of the best restaurants on the island, meaning that if you overdo it on the waffles, you won’t have room for what’s on offer for lunch. That said, a dip in the glittering ocean should help you burn off the necessary calories just in time.

Hotel Metropole, for PTO posing

Upscale lobby area with cozy seating area in tan and olive green tones at Hotel Metropole
Courtesy of Hotel Metropole / Expedia

Picture it: you’re sipping champagne on Hotel Metropole’s rooftop jacuzzi, when you suddenly realize that the rest of your coworkers are settling in for a nine-to-five with absolutely no alcohol in sight. Such a delicious thought is commonplace at this luxury hotel. Keep sending your cubicle-mates photos of your oceanfront mini suite’s fireplace, jacuzzi bathtub and private balcony with panoramic ocean views. Then do as any wise employee on PTO would and activate your “out of office” message.

Hotel St. Lauren, for a luxury lookout

Outdoor deck with plush lounge chairs overlooking water at Hotel St. Lauren
Courtesy of Hotel St. Lauren / Expedia

Hotel St. Lauren may be set back from some of the other best hotels in Avalon, but that doesn’t mean you’re forgoing a view. On the contrary, a suite with its own ocean-view rooftop patio will make the single-block walk to the beach seem even shorter. These hilltop views will give you an opportunity to see the rain clouds coming, a welcome sight on chilly days that are better spent in your suite’s jacuzzi tub.

Seacrest Inn, for a cute boutique

Victorian exterior of two-story Seacrest Inn
Courtesy of Seacrest Inn / Expedia

A lovely Victorian guesthouse set only a block away from the water, the Seacrest Inn is just the place for a couple or solo traveler searching for supreme relaxation. Adorably named guest rooms like the Dolphin and the Mermaid are charming and just a tad quirky. We love the Seacrest’s outdoor deck; it’s the best place to eat breakfast prepared in the full kitchen. We won’t blame you, though, if your partner prefers the jetted tub in the Captain’s Quarters.

Hotel Mac Rae, for five-star savings

Cozy room with direct harbor views at Hotel Mac Rae
Courtesy of Hotel Mac Rae / Expedia

Looking to pinch pennies with your search for hotels in Avalon? Hotel Mac Rae has a cheat code for you. Not only will you be right on the beach in a fourth-generation family hotel, but you’ll still feel like you’re on a luxury vacation in even the smallest room here. The modest patio room has courtyard views and a single bed essentially everything a sun worshiper needs during the dawn and dusk hours. You didn’t venture over to the island to stay inside, after all.

These recommendations were updated on December 2, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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