Five gingerbread designs celebrate the island’s culture and history

Catalina Island Company celebrates the holidays with its debut of the “Gingerbread Collection,” five unique gingerbread designs that are currently on display in five locations in Avalon and Two Harbors. These structures were baked and assembled by Island Company culinary staff, whose goal was to pay tribute to the history and culture of Catalina Island.

“To commemorate our 125th anniversary and Wrigley Centennial year this holiday season, our team came up with some great designs that depict island life, both past and present,” said Randall L. Herrel, president and chief executive officer, Catalina Island Company.

One of this year’s designs is a replica of Hotel St. Catherine, which was considered to be one of the finest hotels on the West Coast when it opened on June 8, 1918. The gingerbread version of this historic hotel is decorated with eight lbs of assorted candies and made with 120 lbs of flour, 200 lbs of sugar, 23 dozen eggs, and a pound each of ginger and cinnamon. It’s currently on display in the lobby of the newly-renovated Hotel Atwater in Avalon.

Other creations in the “Gingerbread Collection” include:

  • “Magnificent Mt Ada,” a replica of the former home of the Wrigley family, who purchased Catalina Island in 1919. It’s on display at the real Mt Ada, now a 6-room hotel and Avalon’s only Forbes Travel Guide 4-star accommodations.
  • “Villa Park Bungalette,” which depicts an early 20th-century Avalon guest cottage. Made up of more than 1,200 8’ x 10’ wooden and canvas bungalettes, Villa Park was referred to as “the world’s largest one-floor hotel.” The “Villa Park Bungalette” is on display at Pavilion Hotel.
  • “Santa’s Sweet Sailboat,” which pays tribute to all the seafarers who have visited Catalina Island over the centuries, from the ancient Pimu Indians to 16th-century Spanish explorers to present day mariners from the mainland. It’s on display at Avalon Grille.
  • “South Seas Palapa,” which gives a nod to all the South Seas-themed movies that were filmed in and around Two Harbors in the 1930s, like Mutiny on the Bounty, which won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1932. It’s on display at Harbor Reef Restaurant in Two Harbors on Catalina’s west end.

Gingerbread designs have become a tradition at Catalina Island Company. Since 2016, its culinary team has constructed one gingerbread creation per season. This is the first year the team has embarked on five creations concurrently. Previous designs include “Santa’s Sweet Sailing Ship,” a 10-foot row boat and a life-size replica of Santa Claus; “Kris Kringle and His Cookie-Covered Casino,” modeled after the iconic Catalina Casino; and a replica of the Catalina Chimes Tower, the historic hillside tower that is currently being restored by the Catalina Chimes Tower Foundation.

If you would like to see the Gingerbread Collection, which will be on display through the end of December 2019, the Catalina Island Company offers a Best of Fall & Winter midweek special that includes round trip boat transportation and accommodations at the newly-renovated Hotel Atwater. More information is available at


About the Catalina Island Company

As the premier resort operator on Catalina Island, Catalina Island Company provides exceptional guest experiences with dining establishments, hotels, a beach club, spa, entertainment venues, and more than 20 land and sea activities. Notable additions made by the Catalina Island Company include the opening of Catherine's Terrace, an oceanfront meeting and event space; Island Spa Catalina, the island's only experiential spa; and a revitalization of Descanso, current location of Descanso Beach Club, Zip Line Eco Tour, Catalina Aerial Adventure and the seasonal Catalina Falconry Experience. The Catalina Island Company debuted the newly-renovated Hotel Atwater in August 2019, adding to its other Avalon accommodations at Mt Ada and Pavilion Hotel. Additionally, the Catalina Island Company oversees the entire village of Two Harbors on the island's west end, including Harbor Sands, the Banning House Lodge & Villas, Harbor Reef Restaurant, several campgrounds, and more. For additional information, go to