Ranking lists local hotel among best

Courtesy photo In addition to the Yelp award, The Avalon was also voted in the Top 10 in the US for two years in a row and then top 20 another two years in a row by TripAdvisor.

The Avalon Hotel is Yelp’s No. 13 among nations favorites

In a recent yelp.com posting, the review site published an article ranking the top 100 hotels at which to stay in the United States. The article used reviews and rating data to determine what the top hotels were from 2022. Coming in at No. 13 was The Avalon Hotel, which got strong reviews for its views, relaxing patio and koi pond, as well as top-notch service, among other things.

Since its opening, 20 years ago, The Avalon Hotel has consistently gotten good reviews and feedback. On Yelp, it currently boasts a 4.5 star rating, yet owner and developer Carl Lambert admitted that because of its small size, there was some surprise at ranking No. 13 across the country.

“It’s a testament to the staff, who are islanders, and the island itself,” Lambert said.

In 2002, Lambert teamed up with Rock and Kathleen Gosslen to develop the property. The building, at the time, was an aged boarding house that didn’t even have a bathroom in every room. The team basically took the building down to the studs and rebuilt it from bottom to top. One of the aspects that was decscribed in the Yelp article was the rooftop deck that was noted as a place to “catch the ocean breeze and a 360-degree view of the charming town of Avalon.”

But the rooftop is not the only place with great views. The developers wanted to get as much as they could out of the scenery the island offers. Fifteen of the new rooms were configured with balconies and ocean views. The project wanted to take as much advantage of the bay and ocean views as possible, but also wanted to give its guests a peaceful atmosphere. The patio garden and koi pond were developed to offer a tranquil place for a cup of coffee or glass of wine.

“We wanted our secret garden to be a relaxing place to contemplate the day while sitting next to our Koi pond while watching our covey of hummingbirds buzz about,” Kathleen said.

Keeping its ties to the island was also important in the development of the property. The group specifically had 1,500 Catalina tiles produced to use on the property. The tiles were hand pressed and fired on the island and were used as insets on the steps leading up from the street to the entrance of the hotel.

They also had custom hall lighting made in Pasadena that used mica and copper and had the logos of the island and Avalon etched into them. And Kathleen also insisted on Catalina pottery for décor in the rooms and use for breakfast in the patio. The quaint throwback design is mixed with modern amenities, such as flat screen TVs and memory foam mattresses.

A Cerritos woman said in her Yelp review that she and her husband had come to Catalina for their honeymoon in October of 2022. Their stay at the Avalon Hotel made a strong first impression.

“This was our first visit to Catalina and now will be our yearly anniversary visit to the Avalon Hotel,” she wrote.

The top 100 list included a variety of hotels that all made the cut based on reviews. But they were rated high not just for luxury, but also for uniqueness. Mt Ada Inn also made the list, ranked at No. 94.

“I think it bodes well for the island,” Lambert said.

For the complete article visit yelp.com/article/yelps-top-100-us-hotels. For more on The Avalon Hotel, visit theavalonhotel.com.