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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Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.