The view at this hotel is exceptional (king cloud room). The room was fine and the bathroom was spacious enough.
My wife and I loved the location- easy to walk the beachfront, west cliff drive and to the downtown area.
We appreciated the restaurant recommendations from Jen at the front desk and the friendly drink service from Abby (sp?) at the pool bar.
There was also a manager who was very friendly and helpful but I don’t recall his name (mid- 20’s, tall, fair skinned with a short haircut).
DON’T bother with the valet service, just park in the lot across the street. The valet workers are way too cool for school. I’ve no clue why I was left sitting in the car on two separate occasions while the valet workers stood around and chatted. The first time was the most frustrating because we had arrived at SFO 2 hours earlier after waking up at 4 a.m. to fly there from Chicago. We were both tired and eager to get out of the car. After sitting in the driveway for 10 minutes I backed out and parked myself. No one asked if we needed help with luggage after carrying it across the street. Bottom line, the hotel should address this or eliminate the whole valet system (I began to wonder if it would work more smoothly if they weren’t even there…). A lousy valet system such as this is an easy way to leave a poor first impression on an arriving visitor.
I called the front desk to whine about the valet service after we checked-in and was told that she would talk to “the boys” about it. Note- they are not “boys”. They are men in their early 20’s (and up) who appear to have a great time socializing with one another while working. After the negative check-in experience I decided to give “the boys” another chance a day later and the result was the same. The hilarity/absurdity in the second instance was that there was only ONE other car in the driveway and THREE valet workers huddled around their little desk. I then decided than it would be better to park the car myself and avoid the aggravation.
The pool is small and crowded. This is obviously not something the hotel can control. The issue however is that they charge $7 for a draft and $12 for a mixed drink yet appear to let people bring their own drinks out to the pool.
I saw more than a few Styrofoam coolers and people drinking beers that were not offered at the bar (Is this a KOA or a purported 4-star hotel that charges nearly $400 per night?)
The onsite restaurant, Aquarius is something I will politely call interesting. I’m not sure if the restaurant is owned/managed by the Dream Inn or if there are separate entities. They have a great view with decent service. The oddity is the menu, especially the room service and breakfast menu’s.
The room service menu is very sparse with limited options (especially sandwiches). The breakfast menu lacked in many areas as well, especially in regards to offering any fresh fruit or smoothies. It was kind of surprising considering the amount of farms that are in the Monterey Bay area.
While the food tasted decent I would not eat there again (there are many options on the Warf and near the beach that are far more affordable).
In summation, I would not stay here again. The view and location were great but there appear to be better options in the area. Note to management, don’t bother trying to contact me as I’m not really interesting in debating any of the content of my review.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A fun culmination between the beach and the slightly offbeat town of Santa Cruz, the Dream Inn is the ideal destination for a weekend escape, corporate event, family vacation or a romantic getaway. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dream Inn, a Joie De Vivre Hotel Hotel Santa Cruz
- Dream Hotel Santa Cruz
- Coast Santa Cruz Hotel