Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel
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Historical Traveler Reviews Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel Avalon
Love the history
I first visited the Zane Grey Hotel in 1969 with my parents. We returned in 1970 and 1971. My sister and her husband have stayed there over the years. It's full of history and it's a fabulous location to get away from the hustle of Avalon itself. The staff is so friendly and courteous. The quiet of the Zane Grey is really welcome. You can relax on the patio overlooking the harbor, play cards in the "living room" or watch t.v. We just returned from 4 days there with my sons (12 and 8). They loved it there and it was fun to share my "old" memories of the hotel. It's historical and serene, and you can't beat that!
Best historical place to stay in Avalon away from the crowds
My husband & I, plus several friends stay @ the Zane Grey Pueblo every year for the Jazz Festival - it is quaint, relaxing and rich with history. This hotel has the best view on the island unless you can afford to stay @ the Inn @ Mt. Ada (which we cannot) - we love the getaway from the phones, TV, etc...it is less than 5 minutes away from the chaos in town & much quieter than most hotels. We look forward to our trip there every year - we consider it our "home away from home" - knowing that Zane Grey not only built this place but it was his home in Avalon makes it even more interesting.
Relaxing and Stress Free
I just got back from a weekend at the Zane Grey. It was wonderful. I had read the comments on this site and was a little nervous. When I got there, I was pleasantly surprised.
I couldn't find the complimentary taxi at the dock so we decided to walk up. It was tough, but doable. The hill is steep. But it's very close, only about 4 city blocks from main area of Avalon to the hotel.
The hotel is clean. The manager was nice. The room is average size, like a Best Western. The bathroom was a little small but not a problem.
Shower was great (not large enough for more than one). No TV, radio or phone in the rooms, but that made the weekend that much more relaxing.
I heard that there is a TV in the common area, but I never went there.
Zane Grey is great for a young couple. I spoke with some of the other guests and they agreed that it's a great place to stay.
I had considered staying at the Pavilion Lodge but I am glad we didn't.
Zane Grey was 40% of what Pavilion was asking. Also, Pavilion is right in the middle of the main part of town, so I can't imagine how anyone can get any rest.
Since Catalina is a quiet place with not much to do during the evening, I won't be going back anytime soon. But if I was going to go back, I was definitely stay at Zane Grey again.
Things to consider on Catalina Island
While visiting friends in Orange County, we took a 2 day side trip to Catalina. There are 2 ways to get to Catalina, boat or helicopter. If you've never ridden in a helicopter, I'd highly recommend it! The view coming into Avalon is beautiful and it took all of 14 minutes. A bit more expensive than the boat, however, 14 minutes versus an hour plus, it's worth the money. Contact Island Express at 1-800-2-AVALON or visit their website at: www.islandexpress.com.It's definitely worth your time to rent a golf cart and take a ride around the island. The whole trip with obligatory stops for pictures, etc. will take you no more than and hour and a half. There's really no need to rent one other than that. Avalon's not a huge city, you can walk just about everywhere. If you do rent a golf cart, visit the Botanical Garden. We chose to walk to the garden and it's a slow incline up, we wished we'd taken the time to visit the garden when we had the golf cart!!If you want to see the "real" Catalina, stop by the Conversancy to get a hiking permit. It's free. And the hiking is great. It'll get you away from all the tourists, the views are incredible when you get up in the hills, and it's incredibly peaceful. We hiked for about 7 hours and saw absolutely no one!! It was heaven.If you're looking for good food, try Villa Portofino. The food was incredible!! We also tried Armstrong's for fish and were less than impressed! Sally's Waffles for breakfast was pretty good too!If you like architecture do yourself a favor and take the tour of the Casino. The guide's have an great sense of humor and the ballroom has to be seen to be believed. It's magnificent. Tours can be arranged through Discovery Tours which is located right on the main drag. Discovery Tours has alot of trips to choose from. We didn't take the inland bus ride but were told by several tourists that did take it that it was a nice trip.I'm not sure how often the cruise ships dock at Catalina, however, on the Tuesday that we were there a Carnival Cruise ship docked and the city became flooded with tourists very quickly. That's a good time to get away from downtown Avalon!As far as lodging goes, we stayed at the Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel. I submitted a separate review on the hotel. Suffice it to say that there are only 3 hotels that are located outside of downtown Avalon, the Zane Grey, the Inn at Mt. Ida and the Best Western. The Inn is incredibly expensive. Consider the Zane Grey if you're on a budget. It has great views and is a quiet refuge from downtown.One thing to note, the skies were overcast everyday but it completely burned off by noon.All in all, our Catalina experience was worthwhile. Can't imagine spending more than 2-3 days though. If we go back we'll certainly explore the island via hiking.Have a great time and don't forget your sunscreen.
An oasis above the chaos.
At first we were a little sad not to be in the middle of all the action in downtown Avalon, but the view is breathtaking, and the aura of the place is serene. Lovely decks around a nice pool. The common fridge is a nice touch - (you supply your own refreshments). A large living room area at another part of the hotel with a fireplace, TV, books, games a piano and another scenic deck. It's true it is not a luxury hotel in the normal sense, but the place stands on its own without all those type of frills. One tip- in summer I would recommend requesting a room on the oceanside, they get a nice breeze, while the garden(hill)side rooms didn't seem to be getting the same type of wind-flow. The hotel is better suited for adults as they seem to be trying to create a peaceful atmosphere.
Marginal at best
As soon as we arrived a member of our party had his camera bag stolen.
This theft occured at the Zane Grey check in area. As for the rooms, well if you prefer no television and bathrooms that are too small to turn around in, your in for a treat at the Zane Grey. Single ply tiolet paper, a construction site that ran compressors all day long and a Frech hotel manager who was just an ass. Expensive with a nice view, we won't return.
Great, but don't bring kids
I've stayed here three times, once when I was pregnant and twice with my now eight year old daughter. They just barely tolerate having a child there, and I'm sure would have been "booked" if I had more than one. The rooms vary wildly from horribly claustrophic to breathtaking in a better way, i.e. a stupendous view, but accomodations are about as basic as you get. This year's room actually had water pressure in the shower so it's possible they fixed the water heater since our last visit. (Last year's shower was more like a steady drip.) There's a woman at the front desk who doesn't like people, or maybe just guests; don't get on her bad side. There's also a very friendly older man but he wasn't there this time. After the view, the pool is what keeps us coming back, Avalon hotels just don't have them.
Reminded me of the Italian Riviera
I have visited Catalina Island many times over the years and have stayed at several different hotels in Avalon. If you want to stay in a relaxing, quiet place with a nice pool and spectacular views of the harbor below then stay at the Zane Grey. The rooms are nothing fancy, but they are comfortable and clean and give you a sense of what staying on the island must have been like before it became so busy and popular. Yes, it is a bit of a climb uphill (if you miss the free shuttle), but it is good exercise and there is much to look at along the way and when you get back to the hotel you can relax by the pool. When I am there, I am reminded of places I have stayed along the Italian Riviera. There is that same feeling of serenity and well-being looking down at the casino and the boats and the bay far below. It was interesting to me that this was the home of the great American author of western fiction Zane Grey. There used to be a library at the hotel with a few of his books. No doubt they are still there, and it is fun to read one while lounging by the pool. One of my favorite places to stay anywhere; highly recommended!
Grows on you...
Was a bit taken back at the sparce furnishings, and very basic rooms. For $150.00 US per night, I had expected something different. No working fan or light in the shower, curtains did not close completely, shower water pressure lacking, room OK. It took me a day or so to "adjust" to the lack of any luxury items at all. Very simple (cheap?) decor. The heated pool was lovely with the sun deck. Towels supplied and comfortable sun chairs. Once we went shoppping and filled up the common fridge with beer and drinks, snacks etc, it felt better. It is a steep walk back from the town area at night (if you missed the free shuttle times), but once I made it..I appreciated the quietness of the place. Spectacular views!
Pros & Cons of the Pueblo
My daughter and I stayed at the Zane Grey Pueblo during our first trip to Avalon. It has one of the most spectacular views of any lodging there. Up on the hill and out of the bustle of the tourist district, it's an easy walk down the hill into town. Hotel provides free taxi from ferry and also to and from the town square at specified times each day.We loved the hotel, though if you're hoping for luxury and the finest in decor and amenities, this place is NOT for you. It's rustic; it's funky; no phones or TVs or large bathrooms. By some standards, it doesn't have enough electrical outlooks, but if you're looking to get away, hang out, read books, sun by the pool, play cards, be quiet and relax, it's fabulous.If you want a luxury lodging experience, look at the Metropole or for the ultimate, the Wrigley Mansion.If you want an island experience and to see what it might have been like in the olden days, try the Zane Grey. I will stay there again.
TripAdvisor Reviews Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel Avalon
Travel Blogs from Avalon
#33 3-16oz Rum Runner Packs - $8 Ebay new: These are only useful if going into an event or cruise. You can put these in your bag with any alcohol and can get through a scanner without being detected. I have tested this many times on cruises. This can save you an arm and a leg in drinking expenses.
#34 Homemade Health Kit: One thing that will be different for everyone is their medical supplies. I definitely suggest bringing the normal bandaids, triple ...
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... I was sort of comforted by the fact that she stuck an anti-seasickness patch behind her ear – I relied on my trusty Sea Legs tablets! Used to helping Jeremy get the boat ready -”NO, the BLUE one!!!” it was refreshing to be with Marilyn who said we “girls” could have an iced tea in the yacht club whilst “the boys” did the “boy” stuff. It was our job to be “Deck Candy....” Works for ...
... Catalina's Bird Park is built and becomes the largest aviary in the world.
Still standing in all it's glory (though sadly not used at this time) is the former Casino and Dance Hall. Apparently they do open it for special occasions, but generally the only way to see it is by tour or they still operate a Museum on the basement level and movies on the first.
So, now you can decide if this is the get-a-way for you!!
... definitely want to join for the day! There is no membership fee but you can rent a cabana or lounge chairs. I recommend the lounge chairs as the cabanas are too far from the actual sand and water. The lounge chairs are $80 for two but it does include some nice little treats and makes it a true luxury experience. We went the cheap route and used beach chairs supplied by the condo (note: not all condos provide chairs) We purchased sand toys ...