Concierge.com's insider take:
Originally the Scripps family's summer estate, this property was sold and converted into a hotel in 1958. The new owners opted for colonial Hawaiian–style architecture that's still in place today. Mahogany woods and South Pacific–inspired furniture outfit the 315 rooms. Yes, the theme can get a little stilted, especially when it comes to the luau nights, the lei-making table, and the the canoe hanging in the fake waterfall–equipped lobby. But hokey or not, the activities and the relaxed and welcoming vibe keep the Catamaran on the short list for families. The location is great too: a narrow spit of land between the Pacific Ocean and Mission Bay, good for swimming, kayaking, and sailing. The beach and boardwalk are just across the street, and Belmont Park and SeaWorld are also nearby.