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“One of the better places in Santa Cruz”
Review of Sea & Sand Inn

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Sea & Sand Inn
Ranked #1 of 54 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“One of the better places in Santa Cruz”
Reviewed 13 August 2007

Our King size room was large with a newly updated bathroom that was huge. We had a jaczuzzi tub and king size bed. The jacuzzi tub was actually in th room in the corner which was really odd but it was fun to turn on the jets and soak.

I am not sure it was worth spendning $250 a night only because in Santa Cruz you spend most of your time on the beach boardwalk or out wandering the downtown, not sitting in your room.

It did look to be one of the safer, nicer spots in the area. There are a lot of dumpy motels in Santa Cruz and the Coast Hotel next door was a dreary box.

Next time I would try the West Cliff Inn. It looked lovely and was right near the Sea and Sand.

  • Liked — Beautiful location on the cliff
  • Disliked — expensive
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank FloppyD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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454 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (132)
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Ann Arbor
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2007

We stayed in one of the two larger king suites with private patio, so I cannot speak for the smaller rooms (except to tell you that the ocean view from the enire complex appeared to be excellent). Our room was tastefully decorated and completely updated, with kitchenette, very modern bathroom, two flat screen t.v.s, and impeccably clean to point of sparkling, with a lovely private patio, high on a cliff, directly overlooking the ocean. There is only a four foot partition seperating the king bedroom from the living area with sofa beds, so if that is an issue, than this may not be the place for you. We were traveling with our child, so this arrangement worked out fine for us. My only complaint was that the king mattress was rump-sprung, and with everything else being surprisingly in excellent order, the inn really should spring for some updating on the beds. Other than that, our king suite was nicer than I expected in every regard. A footnote: several roller coasters dot the bay to the south of the hotel. You can hear the rider's delighted screams in the far distance throughout the day, which appears to set the sea lions off, who bark back (half the fun of being in a sea-side toursit town!). The amusment parks shut down at 10:00 p.m., and at that point, all you will hear as you sleep is the surf from this superbly located inn. Another suite is directly next to the one we stayed in. Fortunatley, our neighbors were not partiers, just door slammers, so we had a fairly restful night. I suppose that in this regard, you may be taking a chance if you crave peace and quiet, but then, this can happen anywhere.
We had a very pleasant stay, and plan to return. I would definitely highly recommend the suites at the Sea and Sand if you want a clean, updated, nicely furnished room with a private patio, right on the ocean.

  • Liked — View, location, cleanliness
  • Disliked — Internet connection was virtually hopeless-- really bad
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank MsEd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Antioch, Ca
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2007

We have stayed at many places in Santa Cruz over the years and this by far has to be the BEST ever so far! The Inn sits on top of a cliff overlooking the beach and ocean. The grounds are beautiful with some really nice sitting areas and patios. We loved the lower deck located at the bottom of the Inn right above the beach. What a place to get some R & R! The peace was indescribable. This does not have a pool which we really did not miss with the beach and ocean so close by. We noticed that because it had no pool there were not very many children running around. In fact, we only saw two older kids. We truly did like the quiet atmosphere of mostly adults being there. The staff could not be friendlier or kinder to us. The room was clean but a bit older in decor. If you like really modern fixtures, this won't be the place for you as the bathroom tile was a bit old and the water smelled like sulfur in the shower (which most of these older places seem to all suffer from). We were able to overlook all of this because we felt we truly got what we paid for which was sitting right on top of the beach and ocean. At night you could hear the waves crashing on the beach and the seals barking. What a way to go to sleep! They have a service which you can call that goes and picks up food for you from several area restaurants. We especially loved this feature because we were very tired one day and ordered food to be delievered. It was there in 30 minutes. The other fabulous things were the continental breakfast which was very good and (you will love this), they bake cookies from 3:00-5:00 pm which were scrumptious (you can have all you want) and they make lemonade and iced tea. Another great feature is that the front office is OPEN 24 hours a day with someone always on call. We absolutely loved this too because we came home late and my husband was able to go into the office and make some hot chocolate as the night was quite chilly with the fog rolling in (he was also able to grab more cookies)! This was 11:00 pm at night....there is popcorn available for $l.00 and you can also rent movies from the front desk. Lastly, there was GREAT SECURITY because NO ONE can come into the complex without their card key because the place is GATED SOLID. In today's world, this is a fabulous feature to rest one's mind. The only possible problem areas are that there is a pathway which is right in front of your room and if you are trying to relax by your window overlooking the ocean there is constant foot traffic which seemed to look in every time they passed. It was a bit uncomfortable because we like our privacy. We ended up going outside quite a bit for the views and enjoyed the patios they have set up. Parking is not real great but they do try to make sure that each guest has their own spot. We rated this Inn a 4. If you love the beach and ocean as we do, you will be more than happy here. Just remember its not the Ritz and an older Inn at that. This place shines overall for its location, location, location.....wonderful things are within walking distance, especially the great Santa Cruz wharf and boardwalk. Please do try at least one night and you will be so thankful you did. Like us, YOU WILL BE GOING BACK AGAIN AND AGAIN..... Thanks to all those at Sea and Sand Inn for making our stay so very wonderful!

  • Liked — Proximity to beach and ocean/incredible views
  • Disliked — Lack of privacy from foot traffic looking into room.
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank peacekeeper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2007

My fiance and I have been there twice, and we love it! It is a bit on the pricey side, but what can you expect from a beach town? We like that it's just a short trek to the boardwalk, the rooms are comfy and stocked with essentials. The shower has hot water. The only thing that stuck out to me was in the bathroom, there was only one bar of soap for washing hands, and washing in the shower. There should have been two bars.

After a long day at the boardwalk, it was nice to come back to the room and be able to rent a video from the front desk to wind down. We expected to pay for the rental, but when we checked out the next morning we were told it was complimentary!

We will most likely stay there again next summer. We will enjoy the ocean view, the lovely gardens and the service with a smile.

  • Liked — Ocean view and easy boardwalk access
  • Disliked — not enough soap in the room
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank tra_lalala
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burbank, California
Level 6 Contributor
30 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2007

My grandparents have owned one of the white condos across the street from this sweet little motel since 1989 (a few months before the '89 quake which scared the pants off of them but everything for the most part was okay).
When my husband and I decided to get married in Santa Cruz because the location meant so much to us and my family I knew I wanted to stay that night at the Sea and Sand Inn. There are lots of other places to stay that are just as nice (the Darling House B&B, Casablanca, etc) along the main Santa Cruz bay right there but Sea & Sand Inn is reasonably priced, been around for a while with a good rep. and of course only across the street from where the rest of the wedding party was.
Our few short hours there were very nice. Our ceremony was held in the morning just below the cliff of the Motel on Cowells beach and the Reception just down the street at the Cocoanut Grove Sunroom (right above the Penny Arcade). We checked in around dusk in our full wedding attire, change of clothes in hand. I think all I had to do was sign one little paper before they gave us our room key. I discovered how they knew who we were so well when we got to our room. My parents had brought over the left over table flowers and decorations that would eventually die, but before throwing them out they got one more use. The staff had taken what my parents left and decorated our whole room with them including a heart on the bed made out of flower petals.
The room was a moderate size, very clean and fairly simple. The best thing about the motel is its location. The little green path that you can walk down to the edge of the cliff and look out over Cowells beach, the bay, the wharf and the boardwalk is beautiful. The proximity to the surrounding attractions couldn't be better. The beach is a short walk down a hill, the wharf has tons to see and do, the boardwalk is right there. You can walk the other direction along the road right in front of the motel along the picturesque cliff to the lighthouse/surfing museum and surfing statue/memorial. If you continue along that road (West Cliff Drive) best on a bicycle, the view continues until you hit Natural Bridges beach/park, in the winter you can see bunches of Monarch butterflies in the eucalyptus trees there. Downtown is a short bike or drive inland (up Front St. and one block east) where you can find the Pacific Garden Mall, plenty of nice shops and good inexpensive restaurants as well as nightlife.
On our way out in the morning I noticed the staff was making some suntea on the little picnic table outside. A place that makes their own suntea out in the open is just cute!

  • Liked — The extra efforts from the staff
  • Disliked — Our lack of time there
  • Stayed August 2005, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JayCa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2007

This one's a hard one to figure. My first impression was one of horror - from the street, it looks like some kind of faded flophouse of the sort that should be renting by the hour. The lobby doesn't do too much to dispel that notion. But once inside the grounds, it seems more wholesome, with families playing around the sitting area and reasonably nice people in the rooms. The views are indeed fabulous, looking down on the wharf area from cliffs high above. You can hear the waves crashing and seals barking from the bay below. But the rooms are at best shabby. They are in terrible physical condition, though they are at least clean. It looks as if they do have a housekeeping staff but do little or no long term maintenance. It's not clear to me whether they are aiming for some kind of ironic shabby chic or whether they simply have not been able to afford a renovation for at least 20 hard years. I wouldn't steer anyone away from this place, because it actually is clean and the staff is pleasant, but just be prepared for facilities that are more like an old truck stop motel than a sea-side resort.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Appearance and condition
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Seanibus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2007

Having hated the Coast Santa Cruz Hotel next door on a previous visit (see my blistering review), I am happy to report that the Sea & Sand is now my number one choice for where to stay in Santa Cruz. I used the word "motel" in my title because its small size and placement right on the street does give it a somewhat "motellish" feel, which heightens the contrast to the big hotel next door, but for me, in a good way. The view, the charm and many little creature comforts make this a very pleasant place to stay. Every room has a fantastic ocean view, and the view here is actually better than at the Coast because here you are looking past a well-maintained garden, with nice plantings and big eucalyptus trees at the far end. (No direct beach access, however, which may be an issue for some, but not for me.) Rooms and common areas are clean and well-maintained, with attention clearly being paid to the gardens on a regular basis. Aromatic jasmine at the office door is a particularly nice touch. The rooms are a little on the small side, as other reviewers have mentioned, but truly, they're not THAT small, and the appointments were perfectly fine. I loved the warm, cozy decor, and the room had absolutely everything I needed, including a surprising number of hangers in the closet (maybe 12?). Individual thermostats in each room work perfectly with the wall heaters so you can adjust the room temp to your heart's content and it actually does what you want it to do. Special kudos for the excellent beds. I like a firm, solid bed and this one was great. The bathroom is plain but had all the necessary elements (shower only, but that's fine with me) and everything worked and was clean. Extra thumbs-up for a seemingly trivial little detail that I really appreciated: the TV remote is blessedly simple and easy to use, making for an irritation-free viewing experience, and the TV had more channels than you get in some hotels. My only complaint (and here I must differ from other reviewers) is that I was underwhelmed with the service from the moment I made my reservation on the phone to the moment I checked out. The friendliness level was adequate and everyone certainly "got the job done," but nobody seemed to take particular pride in what they were doing, a couple people seemed dull-witted and the overall tone was self-centered as opposed to customer-centered. Oh yes, I almost forgot--the phone system is unreliable. Messages are supposedly taken at the desk when a guest is not in, but my callers never got routed back to the desk even after 15 rings. I count that as part of "service," and it is because of weak service that I give the Sea & Sand a 4 instead of a 5. But clearly other travellers have had good experiences with the service. Maybe I came in a bad week when the phones didn't work right and all of the best employees were on vacation. Anyway, all that being said, for the incredible location, darling rooms, excellent beds, lovely gardens and the heavenly sound of ocean waves as I go to sleep--all for what I would call pretty reasonable prices--I will use my cell phone for messages and lower my expectations where service is concerned because I definitely want to stay here again!

  • Liked — Charming rooms, great beds, fantastic location
  • Disliked — So-so service, unreliable message system
  • Stayed April 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank spicegrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sea & Sand Inn

Property: Sea & Sand Inn
Address: 201 W Cliff Dr, Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Beach Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Cruz
#2 Family Hotel in Santa Cruz
#3 Romantic Hotel in Santa Cruz
#5 Best Value Hotel in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The ocean-front Sea & Sand Inn has always been popular with savvy out-of-towners, but a major renovation in 2009 has added a whole new “wow” factor. Three new luxury king spa rooms with ocean view balconies were added; two spacious family cottages with private hot tubs and three other spa rooms were also upgraded. All 22 rooms have a fantastic ocean front view of sparkling Monterey Bay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sea And Sand Hotel Santa Cruz
Hotel Sea And Sand
Sea And Sand Inn Santa Cruz

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