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“The good, the bad and the rather sad…”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Dream Inn

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Dream Inn
Ranked #3 of 54 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“The good, the bad and the rather sad…”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 September 2011

Good-
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).

Bad-
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?)

Sad-
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.

Room Tip: Upper floors have the best views (duh)
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dbk51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rld9, Front Office Manager at Dream Inn, responded to this review, 7 September 2011
As this guest has explicity asked not to be contacted by our management team, we are unfortunately unable to make any necessary amends for the issues encountered over their stay. We would hope to impress upon a future stay of course given the opportunity.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,267 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (418)
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English first
Esher, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2011

Fantastic hotel which ticked all the boxes - great location right on the beach, wonderful staff who couldn't have been more helpful, and beautifully appointed clean room.
Would highly recommend.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank hjse2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
College Park, Maryland
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2011

I didn't see any extravagant lodging options during my time in Santa Cruz. Me, my wife and 3 kids under 5yrs were quite comfortable in the tower suite. Smashing views of the beach/ pier/ and boardwalk from the balcony were a highlight. Great retro decor and cleanliness was a first and lasting impression.

We had a couple issues with the toilet clogging, but maintenance was quick and took care of it without any hassle. The maintenance man did say that the hotel has an ongoing problem with the toilets.

The pool area gets a bit crowded, but there are ample chairs/ seating. Very easy to walk to the boardwalk and pier.

I think this is as good as it gets for santa cruz. There are a couple of cute B&B's in the area, but not with the full pool/ view/ proximity package.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tjbecraf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pleasant Hill, California, USA
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2011

My boyfriend and I stayed for one night in August and wished we could have been there a week. We opened the door to our room and were hit with the most beautiful view. It was a gorgeous, sunny afternoon and we immediately opened the sliding door and actually kept it open all night to hear the surf.

Our room was immaculate and the bed and pillows were so comfortable. When we travel we always find the pillows awful. We slept like babies. The restaurant, Aquarius, was a great place to dine. Our dinner was fabulous and served promptly. Our waiter was so great too. Beautiful experience. Breakfast was a bit slow, but we passed the time talking with a family from Boston.

Pool and poolside service was fantastic. Great drinks and comfortable chairs. Everything about this place is perfect except for the $22 valet parking - both self-park and valet. We will definitely be back though. When you have a 5 star place like this you can expect high prices - but that's what makes it special. If you want cheap, go to one of the millions of motels in the area.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lovemykoi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rld9, Front Office Manager at Dream Inn, responded to this review, 1 September 2011
If having enjoyed your recent stay with us in August, we would certainly recommend staying in September or October as the weather remains great, and our rates enter the shoulder season. Thank you so much for your positive review!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2011

Fantasy vacationland! I stayed at the Dream Inn for a 5-day solo vacation, and I specifically picked it because all the rooms had private balconies. Was not disappointed. I was given a room in the Tower (625), which was nice and quiet, because it was a bit far away from the pool side... during peak tourist season, the place is *packed* with multiple-child-bearing families, and children are loud. It's probably quieter in the off-season.

My Deluxe King room was the perfect size for me, clean and lovely, with cute retro decor & a great firm mattress. The balcony & its view alone were worth the hefty price-tag! Looks right over the bay & the Municipal Wharf, with the Boardwalk just to the left. The balcony was so lovely that I ordered room service for breakfast every day... Eating fresh local fruit & coffee every morning with a private ocean view, watching the fog come in & burn off again, it was blissful. I had booked a bottle of red wine with my room, which was a wonderful thing to have to sip in the evenings & watch the moon rise.

I found the staff was all very pleasant and attentive. The service at the pool-bar & Aquarius restaurant was both friendly and professional. Aquarius also has a high price-tag that was well justified-- the quality of the ingredients is 10x better than any of the greasy-seafood joints on the Wharf that charge the same price. I always appreciate the efforts for local/sustainable food-sourcing by hotels. (I recommend their pan-seared halibut on a bed of cabbage & bacon. :)

The Dream Inn is a bit of an indulgence, but my experience was well worth the money, and it lived up to all my expectations. I can't wait 'till it's self-indulgence time again, so I can come back and stay here.

PS. A warning for non-drivers: They charge the $22/day parking fee by default, even if you don't have a car. So when you check out, examine your bill & tell them to remove the charge. They'll remove it right there for you.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JRuocco29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2011

We stay here at least twice a year. We come back to the Dream Inn because the service is outstanding and the Hotel Is right on the beach. I love to swim and they have a great pool.
We walk to Stagnero's on the wharf and have the Ernesto's special and Clams Bordelaise. Amazingly good.
We leave our slider open at night so we can listen to the ocean.
We usually try to negotiate free parking when we book our stay.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank californiacoastalgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rld9, Front Office Manager at Dream Inn, responded to this review, 1 September 2011
We love to hear that our guests enjoy themselves enough to stay with us more than once a year! Thank you so much for your positive review, and we look to impress with the same level of exceptional service upon your next stay.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 August 2011

I have to agree with all the reviews just prior to mine - I thought I had found the right place to stay, right on the beach, lovely looking newly renovated rooms etc etc....the website looked great and tripadvisor reviews were very positive.

Cons:
- for $400 per night, for the quality of the room and the hotel, not even worth about $200.
- bathrooms tiny and we did not even have a bath
- tv room in our suite was dirty and cheap.
- new renovations not great, quite cheap and tacky
- corridors very dark and dirty, lots of plates and leftover in-room dining left overnight
- housekeeping goes home early, so if you need a change of pillows or anything later on, nothing can be done

I am not normally in the habit of writing a negative review as everyone has different tastes. However, i have written this one as I feel people pay hard earned money and they will not be getting their money's worth at this property. it is also not a 4 start for sure, maybe a 3 star. we left after 1 night.

Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank smilingkids
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rld9, Front Office Manager at Dream Inn, responded to this review, 1 September 2011
Management is in the process of trying to contact this guest. Having not been given a chance to adequately address this guests concerns while with us, we would hope to impress with a higher level of service and amenities upon a future stay. Certainly any concerns brought to our attention regarding either the service or quality of product are meet with genuine concern and resolved in a timely and satisfactory manner.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Dream Inn

Property: Dream Inn
Address: 175 W. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5438 (Formerly Coast Santa Cruz Hotel)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Santa Cruz
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Cruz
#5 Romantic Hotel in Santa Cruz
#7 Family Hotel in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Dream Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 165
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

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