It's a boat, not a beach! The Catalina Beach House Hotel was once a houseboat! To reconnect with its exciting history we are thrilled to announce that the hotel will soon be known as the Catalina Boat House Hotel! You're going to see a lot of fun changes in the next couple of months!
The Catalina Beach House Hotel Story
Once a houseboat, the Catalina Beach House has been updated and remodeled into one of Catalina Island’s most charming and delightful places to stay.
Modern kitchenettes, AC/heat, spa tubs, cable TV and sunny patios for relaxing barbecues with family and friends are awaiting your vacation pleasure. This charming property is located one block uphill from the beach in a quiet residential area still walking distance to the shops and restaurants.
Store your bikes in our lush courtyards or enjoy lounging on one of our public or semi-private decks with sweeping harbor views. This is the perfect setting for intimate weddings and small events and celebrations.
In 1912 Captain Joseph McAfee sailed his flat bottom houseboat from Venice Beach to Santa Catalina Island with the intention of making Avalon his home. Captain McAfee purchased a parcel of land with a wonderful view of the bay located on what is now called Marilla Avenue.
Maintaining a strong attachment to his houseboat, as well as the desire to have a home overlooking the bay, Captain McAfee devised an ingenious plan to haul his houseboat up the hillside to his newly acquired property. Using only horses, logs, rope and sheer determination, the Captain and a group of friends hoisted the boat inch by inch up the dusty road to its new location. Captain McAfee’s houseboat was now referred to by one and all as “the Captain’s Beach House.”
Captain McAfee, a lover of the sea, capitalized on an idea that would enhance his income while sharing with others the unusual spectre of flying fish leaping gracefully above the ocean’s surface. He built the island’s first Flying Fish boat, the Catalina Flyer, and began taking out passengers on nighttime excursions just off the coast of Catalina Island. The boat was equipped with a powerful searchlight that would attract and capture in its hypnotic beam the beauty of these unique flying fish.
As the years went by, the enterprising Captain McAfee built additional rooms to take advantage of the booming island tourist trade. These rooms were attached to the original houseboat and tiered down the hillside. The houseboat hotel became known as the Driftwood Inn, and in the early 1960s it was renamed the Catalina Beach House Hotel. The remaining houseboat wall can be seen in the lobby when you check-in for your stay at the Catalina Beach House Hotel.
Catalina Beach House Hotel
Toll-Free: 800-97-HOTEL (46835)
200 Marilla Avenue, Avalon CA 90704
Mailing Address: PO Box 646, Avalon CA 90704
Don't be fooled by sites like Travelocity, Expedia, etc. We aren't associated with them, yet they show our hotel in their system. ANY date you submit comes up as SOLD OUT, which isn't true. To make a reservation with us, simply call us directly or submit an online request from the Reservations Request. We're sorry if they've caused you any confusion and aren't sure why they operate this way!
“We were greeted with the friendliest employees & felt very welcomed. The hotel is a great value & our room was very clean.”
“This was the perfect small hotel one block uphill, with a sunbathing deck and an ocean view, tables and chairs, even a barbecue on the first level. The staff was super-friendly and quick to respond, and the rooms were clean and comfy, including a kitchenette. I would definitely stay again and will recommend it to others.”
Subscribe to our newsletter for subscriber-only discounts:
Read our pet policy
Visit the Hermosa Hotel