Courtesy CIVR

Courtesy CIVR

As a revered Southern California getaway destination for couples, friends, and families, alike, Catalina Island offers that perfect vacation combination of natural beauty, fun activities, divine dining and accommodation options replete with amenities.

Located just 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, a quick boat ride—only 90 minutes via the Catalina Express out of Dana Point—will put you on this island paradise. Once there, Catalina Island offers 76 square miles of pristine beaches as well as forest and mountainous terrain where you can enjoy everything from sunning seaside, to submarine sightseeing and fishing, to seal and porpoise watching to zip-lining, shopping, and exciting Jeep excursions. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just need some long-overdue R&R or together time with loved ones, this island is an optimal destination.

While there are many types of accommodations to choose from on Catalina Island, not everyone wants a standard hotel room—particularly those who are looking for more space and residential-type creature comforts. One company that helps match visitors with the exact type of accommodation they desire is Catalina Island Vacation Rentals Company (CIVR) . They have a robust portfolio of nearly 200 unique rental properties around the island that include tastefully decorated cottages, homes, and condos like the spectacular oceanfront villa rentals in the Hamilton Cove community just outside of Avalon.

Along with the unsurpassed full-frontage ocean views with the surrounding island foliage and mountains beyond, the Hamilton Cove villas provide all the comforts of home. That’s because they are actual condominium residences that private owners rent out through CIVR when not in use. This offers vacationers a great alternative to a hotel room, especially when you have a family or larger group and would benefit from key amenities like a full kitchen to save on the cost of eating out multiple times a day, multiple full-size bathrooms and bedrooms, separate living room (with pull out sofa) and bedrooms for greater privacy, wood-burning fireplace, free Wi-Fi and, in many units, additional personal leisure-time touches like satellite TV, board games and books.

Most of the properties also include laundry facilities to keep that suitcase fresh as well as housekeeping services that can be arranged by request in addition to the initial complimentary start-up service applied before your arrival. All of this is proffered amid expansive ocean and spectacular sunrise views accentuated by the sound of waves crashing on the shore just below the open-air wrap-around balcony. Notably, CIVR also includes a golf cart with every villa rental as this only way to travel around the island.

Because Hamilton Cove is a private community only accessible to those staying at the location, there are additional amenities that are only accessible to guests. These include croquet, tennis, pool, tub, and a private beach.

Booking a private villa or condo on Catalina Island, whether at Hamilton Cover or otherwise, could not be easier. For its part, CIVR is an excellent option for booking these private and spacious accommodations due to its high level of customer service coupled with the company’s easy-to-use Web portal. Among other details, this Web site provides guests with the features and benefits of each villa as well as information regarding points of interest and local sights to see. CIVR also employs a highly trained team of reservation agents that can handle any guest questions either by phone or email. Unlike other vacation rental companies on Catalina, CIVR also accepts most major credit cards.

What’s also interesting is that, to ensure the best service possible, the CIVR team lives on the island and considers themselves “always accessible” to guests whether for property-related matters, island information, or recommendations on tours, dining, and other sightseeing adventures.

“Vacation rentals are a great option for travelers [and are] becoming more and more popular as they provide a great experience for vacationing together,” noted Denny Honsey, General Manager of CIVR.  Indeed, having vacationed at Hamilton Cove myself, I can attest that the villa rental experience does lend itself to enjoying more of a local sensibility whereby guests are better immersed in the native culture. And, in addition to fostering a communal dynamic that elevates interactions with family and friends, the residential ambiance also enhances the state of relaxation for guests whose watches are set to “island time.”


“The Luxe List” Executive Editor Merilee Kern scours the luxury marketplace for exemplary travel experiences, extraordinary events, and notable products and services. Submissions are accepted at . Follow her on Twitter here:  and Facebook here: .

***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s) detailed above were provided at no cost to accommodate this review, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***