We encountered multiple issues with this place when we stayed here for one night., after making reservations a few months prior. Most lodging is this area is very expensive. This place was not cheap but seemed like it had the potential to provide a charming stay.
We were off to a bad start when there was no one to check us in when we arrived in the late afternoon. There is no office for checking in guests -- a front waiting room that could serve this purpose had a prominent "Keep Out -- Employees Only" sign, probably because a peek in the window showed that it was very cluttered with junk, papers, half-eaten bags of junk food, and the like.
A worker at the bar attempted to help us locate the innkeeper Christine, who was not responding to the phone. This worker made two trips upstairs to try to look for her. After a 25-min wait, during which another couple also wandered aimlessly around looking for information about staying there, the innkeeper came downstairs. She didn't apologize for keeping us waiting and was not friendly at all.
After we checked in, we were shown to a room where the innkeeper, Christine, immediately apologized about some damaged, mildewy curtains that she said were damaged by water when the previous occupants had left the window open. She said she had ordered new curtains. I found this story suspicious since in this area it doesn't rain in the summer, and here we were after three months without rain. Why still she put us in that room I don't know -- my husband groused later that you would think she could have put us in a different room if she was having a problem with this one. They had plenty of vacancies when we stayed.
The room we stayed in was quiet enough, though we could hear some noise from the bar. The room was kind of dusty and not exceptionally clean, but passable. The decor was charming and was one of the best aspects of this place. The bed was kind of lumpy but gave us a comfortable night's sleep.
The bathroom was tiny, postage-stamp sized, with a small basin. There was just barely enough room for me to maneuver with any comfort, even though I am a small person.
The soap and shampoo dispensers in the shower were broken, so this made it very difficult to get any. They looked like they'd been broken for a long time because the tops of the dispensers were damaged from other people banging on them trying to get them to dispense anything.
When you showered, you needed to be alert to a sudden ten degree increase in water temperature whenever someone flushed a toilet or used the cold water somewhere else in the building. This happened twice to me while I was in the shower, and also to my husband.
This was not what we were expecting for $200/night.
When we checked in, I asked about breakfast. The innkeeper explained to me that we got breakfast up to a value of $8 and that we had to pay for anything beyond that. That would buy us pancakes and coffee -- anything fancier than that required some extra payment. In some writeups this place is listed as a "Bed & Breakfast" but it isn't really. The attached bar and restaurant are run by separate management.
Furthermore, we were attending early event the next morning, but breakfast would not be prepared by 7:30 AM when we needed it -- and they could not make accommodations for even serving us juice or cold cereal before their standard breakfast time of 8:30 AM.
She told us a number to call the chef in the morning to see if it might be possible for us to get breakfast earlier, and also wrote down our menu selections which she said she would try to pass on to the chef to help her get a head start on preparing our food.
We ended up calling and waking up a very sleepy person at 7:20 AM the next morning. The chef apparently was a tenant in the hotel, and Christine had not communicated with her. We gave up on breakfast and picked up some items at Safeway to make it to our event.
Overall, we had a terrible experience and cannot recommend this place to others. While this place has charm, there are too many strikes against it. It was a real downer and stressful for our mini-vacation to pay so much and yet encounter such inhospitality and problems with the facilities.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The oldest hotel in Santa Cruz County built in 1870. Between the ocean and the mountains in Aptos, Ca. Well known for its friendly spirits. Beautiful garden area hosts a variety of activities such as fire dancing and movie nights. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bayview Hotel Aptos