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Lodging on Catalina Island – The Inn on Mt. Ada

My family and I were the guests of the Island Company on our recent trip to Catalina Island and stayed at the most wonderful hotel we could have ever imagined: the Inn on Mt. Ada, now known as the Mt. Ada Bed and Breakfast. This post was first published in 2015.

entryway to the inn at Mt Ada on Catalina Island

Built by William and Ada Wrigley as their home and then converted, the Inn on Mt. Ada is the definition of comfort – with a view. All guests are treated like royalty: picked up at the dock by a courteous staff member and whisked up the hill on Wrigley drive to this lovely B & B.

Although to be fair, it should really be called a B, CB, B, L, GC, and HH, since besides the lovely and comfortable Bed each guest gets for the price there is also Continental Breakfast, a full Breakfast cooked to order, Lunch of your choice, a Golf Cart to use tooling around the Island, and a Happy Hour feast set out each evening around 5 pm, complete with beer, wine, champagne, soft drinks, and hot & cold appetizers.

Inn on Mt. Ada Collage Catalina Island

And should that not prove to be enough during the course of the day, there is a refrigerator stocked with soft drinks, beer and wine, a freezer full of ice cream and all the toppings, microwave popcorn, as well as a coffee and tea service — plus cookies — all available the guests anytime of the day or night. And all are included in the price of the room.

Related: Dining on Catalina Island

Collage Inn on Mt. Ada Catalina Island

A Welcoming Place

We were made to feel welcome and at home from the moment we arrived. The staff is attentive and yet unobtrusive. Experts on the Island and the Inn’s history, they filled us in on all the many famous guests who’d stayed there over the years, as well as information about the Island and all the options for fun and dining. It’s possible we had stepped onto the set of Downton Abbey, except that instead of a stuffy Mr. Carson, everyone on the staff was warm and down-to-earth.

view of avalon harbor from the Mt Ada bed and breakfast

One almost feels they never need to leave the place, and with good reason, since it was built to take full advantage of its location and the breathtaking views it allows of Avalon Harbor. There’s a dining room, two living rooms, a gazing room (I liked to call it), and an enormous split-level patio, all perfectly designed to allow each guest to sit and gaze in comfort.

One afternoon a deer sat on the grounds not far from us as we enjoyed a glass of wine on the patio at Happy Hour, and we gazed as a bald eagle soared overhead one morning. It’s nestled in Nature and feels like a haven.

Related: Tips for a Budget Family Vacation in Hawaii

panorama of the view at daybreak from the inn at Mt ada

Had we not been with our active children, my husband and I could have spent the days reading and relaxing and had the time of our lives. In fact, we have promised ourselves we’ll do just that — on the occasion of our youngest son heading off to college. Mt. Ada, get ready for that in a couple of years!

There are many options for lodging on Catalina Island, from B&Bs to hotels to vacation rental homes, and since we know we’ll be going back again, we figure we’ll get a chance to try out others. But we’ll never forget the Inn on Mt. Ada for the views and for how comfortable we felt there.

Travel to Catalina

Obviously, since Catalina is an island, you need to travel across the Pacific somehow. You could fly in a helicopter, or you can get there by boat. We were treated to a trip on the Catalina Express, which is a smooth high-speed ferry ride over, taking just about an hour. The perfect amount of time to read a book, play some cards, or take a nap, which is what I did.

Catalina Express ferry boats leave from Long Beach, San Pedro, and Dana Point, and, with year-round service and up to 30 trips per day, can even take you there and back in one day if you choose not to stay over.

Other Places to Stay on Catalina Island

If you’re planning a trip to Catalina Island and The Inn is full, or you’d prefer to stay elsewhere, here are a couple of other options:

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Sarah Auerswald is the co-Founder of She and her family were guests of The Island Company for their stay on Catalina Island. Their lodging was provided in order to write this review. All opinions are her own.

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Saturday 3rd of April 2021

The free round trip boat ride on your birthday has been discontinued per Catalina Express..

Sarah Auerswald

Saturday 3rd of April 2021

Thank you for letting me know! I've updated the article.

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