Catalina Island Company Unveils New 95-Room Hotel Atwater Following Extensive Transformation of Historic Property

USA, Avalon, California. September 05, 2019

The Catalina Island Company announces the reopening of the historic Hotel Atwater following a total transformation, bringing an exciting new guest experience to the beautiful seaside town of Avalon, just off the Southern California coast on Catalina Island. On the cusp of its 100th anniversary, the completely revitalized property, which originally opened in 1920, offers modern amenities and a revamped design while preserving its roots as part of the Wrigley family legacy.

"Hotel Atwater was the first major project undertaken by chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. after he purchased the Catalina Island Company in 1919, and its reopening is truly a significant event in the island's history," said Randall Herrel, president and chief executive officer of Catalina Island Company. "Through thoughtful renovation, we're excited to be able to offer an enhanced guest experience that stays true to Hotel Atwater's historic beginnings, celebrates the centennial of Wrigley falling in love with the destination, and gives guests another compelling reason to visit Catalina Island."

Hotel Atwater was named in honor of Helen Atwater Wrigley, wife of Wrigley's son Philip Knight Wrigley. This family legacy is reflected in nostalgic elements throughout the hotel, from bud vases filled with fragrant carnations to complimentary splits of sparkling wine in every room, tributes to Helen's love of flowers and glass of bubbly she enjoyed every evening before bed.

The new Hotel Atwater boasts island-inspired décor and updated amenities, all less than a block from the beach. The 95 guestrooms are bright and airy, with pops of bright coral and pale teal. The suites offer king beds, one and a half baths, a separate living space with a sleeper sofa, bar and desk, and views of the ocean, town of Avalon or mountains. Standard rooms offer king or queen beds. All rooms include high-tech modern comforts including digital concierge tablets, high-speed Wi-Fi and smart televisions.

A nod to Helen Atwater's legendary hospitality, the hotel's inviting lobby features welcoming seating areas to encourage conversation and draw guests in from the moment they arrive. Decorative elements including the original Wrigley family safe, books of family history and an accordion and harp to reflect Helen's love of music. New fully-equipped meeting and event space allows for gatherings of up to 65 people.

With rates starting at $199/night, Hotel Atwater offers guests a suite of amenities and access to Catalina Island Company experiences. Included in the $30 destination fee, guests will receive a $40 food and beverage credit per night to be used at Avalon Grille, Mt. Ada, Descanso Beach Club and Descanso Fresh; access to Island Spa Catalina's Wellness Studio; beach towels and access to Descanso Beach Club; complimentary tickets for the Discover the Casino Tour and Glass Bottom Boat Voyage; use of bicycles to get around Avalon, and luggage service to and from the ferry terminal.

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Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.