Catalina Island Vacation Rental FAQs
Q: I have never rented a vacation home before. How does the experience differ from renting a hotel or motel room?
A: Privately owned Catalina Island homes and condos are more spacious and more private than hotel or motel rooms. You will have the entire home, including a fully equipped kitchen and often more than one bath, at your disposal. You will not have room service. In comparing the costs, you will likely find that the cost per bedroom to rent a vacation home on Catalina Island is significantly less than the same number of hotel or motel rooms.
Q: What do I need to bring with me?
A: You need only arrive with your clothes and any specialty food and beverage items that may not be found in the small, local Vons store. All of our vacation homes are supplied with bed and bath linens, however please bring your own beach towels for use at the pool (condo complexes) or at the beach. We also provide a “start-up” supply of products such as toilet paper, paper towels, dishwasher detergent, and dish detergent, however you may need to purchase additional amounts during longer stays. Each bathroom is supplied with soap and conditioning shampoo.
Q: How far in advance can I make a Catalina Island reservation?
A: Reservations may be placed up to one year in advance. After your first stay with us, you may reserve the same property for the next year within seven (7) days of your departure. If we do not hear from you within those seven days, the property will become available for someone else to rent. If you do reserve any one of our island homes and that property later becomes unavailable due to circumstances beyond our control, we will immediately notify you and attempt to make an alternative reservation. Because these are privately owned Catalina homes, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to stay in the reserved property, however we will do everything possible to honor your request!
Q: Can I make a reservation at the last minute?
A: YES! Although it may be difficult during the summer season, it never hurts to call at the last minute, as there may still be some available properties due to recent cancellations, the addition of new rental properties, etc.
Q: What are your vacation rental cancellation policies?
CANCELLATION POLICY: If the reservation is booked more than 120 days prior to arrival, the guest can cancel within 90 days from the day they booked for the standard $75 cancellation fee. If the reservation is made less than 120 days prior to arrival, the guest can cancel up to 30 days before their arrival date for the standard $75 cancellation fee. If guest wants to cancel outside of this window, they are still liable for the balance. We can attempt to re‐book and if the property is re‐rented for the cancelled nights, they will receive a refund for those nights minus a 10% admin fee, as well as the $75 cancellation fee.
Q: Does Catalina Island Vacation Rentals take credit cards?
A: For your convenience and ease of booking, we do accept VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. Our preferred method of payment is by check or money order.
Q: Do you charge for additional persons?
A: We do not charge for additional persons as long as the total number of guests falls within the “maximum occupancy” that has been established for each rental property (includes adults and all children). Since maximum occupancies are based on Avalon city ordinance guidelines, overcrowding of units with unreported guests may result in a fine charged against your security deposit and/or the immediate termination of occupancy without refund.
Q: Do you allow pets?
A: We do not allow pets. Pets can cause allergic reactions to subsequent guests in the property regardless of how well it is cleaned. Also, the homeowners associations with whom we work do not allow rental guests to bring pets.
Q: Do you have any NON-SMOKING properties on Catalina Island?
A: Yes! ALL of our homes are NON-SMOKING properties. If you are a smoker, we ask that you please restrict your smoking to outside areas only and properly dispose of cigarette butts (ash trays, etc.).
Q: Are all utilities on in the vacation home when I arrive?
A: Vacation homes have the utilities on when you arrive. Most of our homes have heat, however due to our temperate climate, none of our properties have air conditioning. Telephones are provided in all units, and local calls are free. You will need a credit card to activate the use of the phone and to make long-distance calls. Most vacation homes have standard cable service for the area.
Q: Am I expected to clean the vacation home before I depart?
A: Housekeepers will clean the home after departure and prepare it for the next guest, including laundering the linens and towels. A cleaning fee for this service is included in your reservation costs. You are, however, expected to leave the home “broom clean,” which means bagging the trash and placing it in the outside receptacle, cleaning the dishes, and leaving no major messes for the housekeepers to clean up. If you would like additional housekeeping service during your stay, arrangements can be made through our office for an additional fee.
Q: What do I do if there is a maintenance problem in my vacation home, or I have an emergency?
A: If you have a maintenance problem, please call our office if it’s during office hours or call the emergency number listed on your registration materials if it’s after office hours. Please state your name, the property location, and the nature of the problem. If you experience a serious medical or other dangerous emergency, please call 9-1-1.
Q: What are the check-in and checkout times?
A: Check-in begins at 3:00 PM. Please do not ask to check-in early during the busy summer months, as our housekeepers are busily trying to clean and prepare the vacation home for you. If you arrive on the island before 3:00, there are several places where you can check or store your belongings so that you can stroll around town, grab a bite to eat, etc. Just ask our reservation agent for that information. At other times of year, you are welcome to ask about early check-in. If the property is ready, we’ll gladly let you check in; if the property is not clean, please understand that we cannot give you early check-in.
Checkout is 10:00 AM. Please do not ask for a late checkout, as our housekeepers need to get into the unit to clean and prepare it for the next guest. Again, if you are leaving the island later in the day, there are several places where you can check or store your belongings so that you can stroll around town, grab a bite to eat, etc. Just ask the reservation agent for that information.
Q: What are your office hours?
A: We are open seven days a week from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. If you plan to arrive on the island after our office closes, please call ahead to make arrangements and get directions.
Q: What dates are in-season?
A: In-season dates run from Memorial Day weekend through the end of October. In-season rates also apply to most holidays. Our reservation agents will be happy to give you specific information.
Q: How do I get to Catalina Island?
A: There are many options by sea and by air. Travel by sea: Catalina Explorer offers year round service from Dana Point; Catalina Express offers year round service from Long Beach, San Pedro, Dana Point; Catalina Passenger Service offers service from Newport Beach. Sea Planes offers year round service from Marina Del Rey. Travel by air: Island Express Helicopter Service offers year round flights from the Long Beach and San Pedro boat terminals. Click on our “Getting to Avalon” link on the home page for specific information and links to these services.
Additionally, private and charter planes can land at the island’s Airport in the Sky, which is an approximately 30-minute drive from Avalon (call 310.510.0143 for specific information).
FYI: some of the mainland parking facilities do not accept credit cards to pay fees for parking your vehicle while you’re on the island, so also be prepared to pay by check or with cash.
Q: Do you provide transportation from the boat?
A: Unfortunately, we do not provide transportation. If you are renting any of our Catalina island vacation homes located in Avalon and are traveling lightly, you may be able to walk to our office to pick up your keys and then to the property, as everything is within a few blocks. If you choose not to walk, taxis are available at the boat terminal. Just tell the driver that you are renting from Catalina Island Vacation Rentals, and s/he will stop by the office, wait while you check in at our office, and then drive you to your vacation home.
If you are renting a villa at Hamilton Cove, we recommend that you get a taxi at the boat terminal. Just tell the driver that you are renting from Catalina Island Vacation Rentals, and s/he will stop by the office, wait while you check in at our office, and then drive you to your vacation home.
Q: Do we get the use of a golf cart with our vacation home?
A: It depends. A few of our properties in Avalon come with the complimentary use of a golf cart, but most do not. Ask the reservation agent when you call, or check the specific property on our website. All rentals at Hamilton Cove come with the complimentary use of a golf cart. Some things to remember: 1) the maximum number of passengers allowed on a golf cart is four (4) unless it’s the one property that has a two-person golf cart or the one property that has a six-passenger golf cart. If there are more than four guests staying in the unit, you will either need to make more than one trip to transport all guests or take a taxi or water taxi (at your expense). 2) Golf carts are subject to the same laws and regulations as automobiles. 3) Should the cart break down during your stay, we will make every attempt to get it repaired; however, we will not be responsible for alternate transportation. Remember: the use of the golf cart is complimentary.
Q: Can we get an additional golf cart with our rental property?
A: No. Since all properties, including the golf carts, are privately owned, due to insurance and city autoette licensing requirements we cannot and will not switch carts between units.
Q: Do you provide car seats for infants or children?
A: No. Please bring your own car seats for use on golf carts, in taxis, etc.
Q: What is there to do on the island?
A: Lots! From kicking back and reading a book on the beach or getting a massage to touring the interior of the island, there is something for everyone: golfing, miniature golfing, fishing, scuba diving, sunbathing, biking, swimming, hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, parasailing, horseback riding, tennis, dancing, shopping, arts and crafts classes, going to a movie, spa treatments; rentals including motorboats, pedal boats, jet skis, golf carts; tours including Jeep® eco-tours, undersea and glass bottom boats, the Casino (not gambling!), which includes the art deco Avalon Theatre and the world famous Casino ballroom, botanical garden, Avalon scenic tour, inland motor tour, evening flying fish trip, just to name a few! There are also numerous fun events scheduled throughout the year, including Jazztrax, blues festivals, fishing tournaments, marathons and other races, art festivals and exhibits; just click on our calendar of events link on the home page for specific events and dates!
Q: Do you offer travel insurance?
A: Yes! We offer Guest Cancellation Insurance at the time you make your reservation. Coverages include Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption, Trip Delay, and Medical Emergency Medical Transportation. Please go to the Rental Info menu bar and click on the “Travel Insurance” sub-menu bar for more information.