Authentically Rare and Beautiful
The San Diego hotel and its surrounding area was originally the summer estate of the Scripps family which they called Braemar. Mrs. Scripps, matriarch of the family, envisioned a simple yet elegant home, a place where the family could enjoy wonderful ocean breezes and comfortable starry nights. The family eventually abandoned their summer estate in late 1955, and it was sold. In 1958, Mr. William D. Evans acquired the property and began construction of what would become the Catamaran Resort Hotel. Initially the resort was a modest 82-room Inn. The pier has not changed much since the property was first purchased. The original décor was modelled off of a Spanish motif. However, the Spanish décor did not create the ambient feeling the Evans hoped to effect. He wanted the buildings to act as a frame around a picturesque landscape. After much deliberation, it was decided that the main constant motif of the ever-changing inn would be drawn from tropical themes and influences.
When looking at the main buildings, you will notice that the architecture is heavy on the bottom and light on the top. This is typical of colonial Hawaiian architecture. All of the window frames and doors you see in the hotel are carved out of Mahogany that was cut 25 years ago in Honduras. Expert craftsmen were hired to design and build the exotic waterfall and pond in our lobby. The waterfall itself is comprised of several distinct six-foot by eight-foot tall segments. The tile in the lobby is made up of handcrafted Cantera stone imported from deep in the heart of Mexico.
Throughout the decades, the Evans family has gone to great lengths to import traditional Pacific Island art. All of the ethnic art including spears, personal jewelry, hand-woven rugs, and warrior shields are from New Guinea and were made prior to World War II. As you face the front desk, look above and you will see a very large Tapa cloth made of Mulberry bark. It is from the New Hebrides Islands located off the coast of New Guinea. When this piece was commissioned, it was the largest one done since 1920 and took many different island families over a year to make. The wood that makes up the front desk is called Black Koa wood, which is native to the Tahitian Islands. The totem poles throughout the property were handcrafted in Bali specifically for the Catamaran. As you approach the stairs on the way to the Atoll restaurant, look to your left and you will see large carving encased in glass that looks like a stool. This piece of art is known as the “speaking stool,” the second largest known in existence. It was found by Michael Rockefeller in a headhunter village in 1961.