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Reviewed 12 June 2018 via mobile

First of all, it looks nothing like the photos. The rooftop has no beautiful white tablecloths or lovely decor. It is also only open 10-10, and breakfast is 7-10, so you can’t eat breakfast up there. The view is stunning, however.
The front desk staff was lovely and gave us a partial ocean view room which was nice. However, the housekeeping was atrociously rude. We requested for service before 11 am as we would be back then to change, but a housekeeper was just starting our room at 11:15. We politely asked for 10 minutes to change and she said absolutely not and stalked out, telling us she doesn’t have time for us. She also left her master key in our bedroom door, giving anyone access to our room. When we called and asked for towels, they never came. They need to step up their service game.
They also need security. During the night, a man had a huge screaming fight in the hallway, with horrendous curse words. No one came to remove this man or break it up. It just lasted for 15 minutes and terrified us. Lots of F bombs, threatening to fight someone in another room, and made an infant scream its head off for 30 minutes.
The hotel is quaint. The rooms are the size of a shoebox. Walls are paper thin. However, there’s no old charm - it’s just old. A simple cosmetic update with new carpeting and some new furniture in the rooms would do the trick. Keep in mind there are no elevators.
Because it is in a PRIME location for shopping, dining and activities I guess this hotel can get away with its lower quality decor and staff. I’ve certainly seen worse in Catalina. In a normal town this would be a $50/night motel. I would probably splurge on one of the better looking hotels in town next time, BUT if you do stay here, you’ll have a fantastic location and it won’t be terrible.

Stayed: June 2018, travelled as a couple
5  Thank Fellformel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2018

Our room was quite small, and faced the courtyard, but it was everything we needed for our 2 night stay. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. Each morning there were fresh croissants, muffins, scones, hot coffee, yogurt, fresh strawberries and blueberries (loved the fresh fruit!). Our room did not have an ocean view, but we enjoyed our morning breakfast in the courtyard which faced the beautiful ocean. The sun deck is big, and we enjoyed an evening cocktail up there and loved the people/ocean watching. The location is perfect! The area is very easy to walk and we were always less than 10 minutes walk back to our hotel. In the evening, there are bananas and apples, oranges at reception you can grab and enjoy. The only thing was, the sliding glass doors didn't offer much sound proof. We could hear people walking by, and above us (we were 2nd floor), and we were across from the ice machine. I'm a light sleeper so if you are too, I'd recommend earplugs. Thankfully even though people were noisy walking by, or getting ice, (I never heard the icemaker make ice, it was only noisy when ppl would scoop out ice) it only lasted a few seconds as they walked by. That's my only "complaint." Not the hotel's fault. I can see it's an older building and I'm not sure what they can do to dampen the noises. I was still able to fall asleep. Bed has a memory foam mattress and was comfortable. There is no bathroom fan, but there is a small window that we left open for fresh air during bathroom use. Nice soap amenities, and mini fridge for your convenience. I'd recommend this place for your stay!

Room Tip: Most rooms face the courtyard, so if ocean view is important to you, make sure you get the right room.
  • Stayed: June 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Rosalyn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2018

The Portofino has so much potential to be wonderful, but there were just too many little things that added up to make our stay here fall short.

We stayed in the Capri suite, which by far has one of the best views in Avalon from the balcony. The pros: The room seemed very clean, the marble bathroom is beautiful and the bed very comfortable. Top notch views from our room and sun deck as shown in our pictures and the location is great. Central to all the action from downtown and Descanso Beach. Staff was nice.

The cons: The fireplace in our room had a mind of its own. It would work for about 5 minutes then shut off by itself. I let the front desk know and they said they would send someone to fix it but it did this the entirety of our stay. The wall sockets are very worn out and most things I plugged in would not stay in the socket. Very annoying. WiFi is very slow and movie channels on TV limited. We finally found a movie to watch one night only to have the channel go out in the middle of it and say “poor signal.”

I let the staff know in advance that we were celebrating my birthday and I did ask via email a week before our arrival if any birthday discounts were available. I was written back a short one sentence line referring me to the chamber of commerce. I think when people vacation to celebrate special occasions, the little touches from the hotel acknowledging it, makes such a huge impression. Maybe a complimentary bottle of champagne or even just a card wishing happy birthday would’ve been nice upon checking in. Something, anything that's more personable and makes guests feel special.

The walls in this hotel are paper thin and we could hear our neighbors, who had kids, more often than not. Also did not appreciate that housekeeping was at our door at 8am every morning, and while we had the do not disturb sign out, they would be sweeping at our doorstep and that woke us up every time.

One of the reasons I booked this hotel is because the website said they had a restaurant and I liked the idea of not having to worry about where to eat. Upon checking in, however, I find out the restaurant is closed. They really should update the website to reflect that because it’s very misleading. Also very misleading was the pictures on the website of the sundeck. The pictures show beautiful white tableclothes and burgandy sheets covering the sun bathing chairs. The actual sundeck looked nothing like this. It was very dull and drab with just a few tables and chairs. While the view of the ocean is still awesome, the website makes it look so inviting up there with the decor, which was not the actual case during our stay. I didn't get a picture of the entire sundeck, but you can see what I mean in the picture I did provide from the sundeck.

As for breakfast, it is very basic. Coffee, muffin, yogurt. Nothing special at all. We went out to an actual restaurtant to eat every morning because this was more of a snack than a breakfast.

Again, lots of potential, but too many little annoyances that added up. If I am paying over $500 a night I expect a lot more from a hotel, and this one did not provide it. Sorry Portofino, I wanted to love you so bad, but left dissapointed and sadly I would not stay here again.

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank N R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EatDrinkSleepMgr, Manager at Portofino Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 May 2018

Dear N R -
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this very thorough review. I am happy to hear you enjoyed the location, staff and views.

I am so sorry about the misunderstanding about the restaurant. I don't believe our site makes mention of the restaurant, but I know there are a lot of sources that travelers look at when deciding. We have worked with third parties to remove this information, but we'll certainly take a second look to ensure this doesn't happen again.

I sincerely apologize that your birthday visit was disappointing. We use every review as an opportunity to improve and appreciate the feedback you have provide to us.

Stacy

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2018

Perfect location. Right in the middle between the Casino (Theater) and the town boardwalk. Quaint size with a fun Mediterranean feel. The cleaning staff are excellent and helpful. The temporary front desk representative, Chris, was a nice addition. There is a top deck with a perfect view of the harbor. The place overall needs a little TLC. Outdoor carpet throughout is worn through. Buckets are under each air-conditioning unit (outside). The couch in our room had lost its firmness. BUT, the bed was wonderful! We liked it because it was just off all the pedestrian traffic.

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank cahanna2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EatDrinkSleepMgr, Manager at Portofino Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 30 May 2018

Dear cahanna2018 -
Thank you for reviewing your stay. I am so happy you enjoyed our ocean view location, friendly staff and all new signature mattresses.

The hotel is recently under new ownership and we are investing in the property to ensure the facilities are in tip top shape.

Stacy

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 May 2018

There are some benefits of staying in this hotel.
You can have rent free bikes, beach chairs, and beach towel. The rooms are bit small but the bed is comfortable.
Make sure to ask for room with window. We almost went into a room without the window and it was bit scary.

Stayed: May 2018
Thank DOHUI H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
EatDrinkSleepMgr, Manager at Portofino Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 May 2018

Dear DOHUI H - I am so happy to hear you enjoyed our brand new memory foam beds and bike rental amenities. Thank you for your visit.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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