I came to San Diego often as a child, and we always stayed on the ocean side of either Pacific or Mission beach. My parents had some friends who stayed on the bay side and as a kid, I couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to stay on the bay side. I was familiar with the Catamaran, as it was across the street and a block away from where I often stayed on the ocean side. So I decided it was time to visit the Catamaran and find out more about it and the bay side appeal.
As an adult, I can better appreciate the peace, tranquility and quiet slower pace of the bay side now, and yet, the Catamaran is not just for those who want to lay by the pool or on the beach next to the bay. Yes, the resort offers that lush hidden feeling of being in a secluded jungle and yet it has it’s own restaurants, exercise room, spa, numerous water sport offerings and even a steam boat to board to listen to music, grab a drink and dance!, And, since it is located right on Mission Blvd. it is just across the street from the ocean, walking distance to stores, and numerous restaurants and night clubs. These are a bay side photo of the resort and another photo of the entrance.
The hotel and surrounding property were originally the summer estate of the Scripps family. and in 1958 William D. Evans bought it. He has remodeled it and added to it using Colonial Hawaiian architecture, materials from around the world, and art pieces especially from the South Pacific. There are more than 1000 species of plants and flowers, 100 varieties of palm trees, a Koi pond, 30 types of hibiscus flowers and exotic birds. The resort is even green certified!
There are 312 rooms, suites and deluxe studios, some with ocean and bay views, some with garden views. 151 of these are standard rooms, 110 are studios, and 51 are suites with full kitchens. These range in size from 329 sq ft to 604 sq. ft. The studios are 430 sq. ft and have kitchens, too. Prices range from $143.65 to $245.65 a night. Unlike most resorts there is no resort fee for internet, use of the pool, fitness center, etc. Plus there is a complementary passage on the Bahia Belle historic river boat, with live music, cocktails and dancing, and a tour of the bay. The Bahia Belle runs every night in the summer months and on Fri. , Sat. and Sunday during the fall and winter months. Here is a photo of the lobby and a bay view room.
Like I mentioned earlier, there are many activities available at the resort. There is a business center, fitness center, outdoor whirlpool tub, heated pool, video arcade and gift shop. During the summer there is a kids camp, live music, bird shows, and a Polynesian luau with music, food and entertainment. Other activities offered are sailing, surfing lessons, biking, skating, water skiing, wake surfing, kayaks, paddle boards, boogie boards, power boats, ski boats, segways, all available to rent right on the property. My favorite is the fun cats, which look like big lounge chairs but they are powered and you can just lounge and cruise the bay! Chairs and umbrellas are also available for lounging on the beach. You can also access the bay sidewalk and walk for miles. Photos are of the lounge chairs next to the whirlpool which is next to the spa. You can see the water sport rentals in the background. Also, photos of the pool, pier and beach chairs.
As a long time holistic therapist I always enjoy seeing the spa, and the one at the Catamaran did not disappoint! I loved the beautiful tiled floors, lovely cabinets, steam and dry sauna rooms, tranquility room, beautiful locker rooms and all the wonderful spa treatment offerings. The spa was built in 2005 and is 9300 sq. ft. It has 10 individual treatment rooms, a ritual room for combination treatments, a Vichy shower room and a couples treatment room. The treatments all have marine and botanical elements. There are skin and body treatments offered, along with a hair and nail spa. There are hydro therapies, scrubs, wraps, water therapies, and they all have a South Pacific or Asian influence. There are monthly specials and locals are encouraged to come and partake in the spa, too. Along with a spa treatment, locals can enjoy the use of the pool and beach chairs, making a day of it.
During the summer, the pool bar and grill is open. The Atoll restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a Sunday Champagne brunch. Morays lounge has live music and offers a bar and food as well. This is a photo of the fire pit in the outside seating area of Moray’s lounge.
The Catamaran is a lovely place for business meetings, weddings and other gatherings. There are 14 function rooms available; 20,000 sq. ft. of contiguous space; and room for 30-450 guests. In addition to the beach area and function rooms, you can even book one of the two 19th century 100 ft. Sternwheeler boats and host up to 575 guests on it!
I am so glad that I took the time and had the opportunity to widen my views of the delights of staying on the bay. You can find out more about the Catamaran on their website http://www.catamaranresort.com/san-diego-resorts/.
Come and explore it for yourself!.
Photos are all courtesy of the Catamaran Media relations manager.