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“Dream Inn, always a dream stay...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre hotel

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Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   175 W. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (Formerly Coast Santa Cruz Hotel)   |  
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Exploration Vacation
Ranked #6 of 53 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence 2014
El Dorado Hills, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Dream Inn, always a dream stay...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

Every summer we have a group that try to get away for a few days to the Dream Inn. The stay is always refreshing and relaxing. The staff is attentive, acccomodating and kind. The food is delicious in the restaurant. Rooms are retro; all the usual amentities; comfy beds and every room has a balcony and view of the ocean. Pool is outside facing beach and poolside service is great too! Location is on the beach next door to boardwalk. Of course, you pay a little extra for the location. Ideal setting! Love to getaway to Dream Inn, Santa Cruz!

Room Tip: Every room faces the ocean. Some rooms have pool access. If you don't like heights don't t...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna P, Guest Services at Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Thank you for choosing the Dream Inn - we look forward to seeing all of you again next summer for another "dreamy" stay.
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915 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (311)
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Washington, DC
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
326 helpful votes 326 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

Need some rejuvenation of the surf and sand variety? The Dream Inn provides an idyllic private compound with spectacular ocean views, a South Beach pool vibe overlooking the Pacific, beach volleyball, and every watersport Monterrey Bay has to offer just outside on Cowell's Beach!

Whether you prefer to bask in the sun on complimentary beach towels, arrange a surfing lesson, learn to paddle board, or join the avid open water swimmers and surfers on opposite sides of the huge cove, opportunity awaits. The Santa Cruz wharf pier adjacent to the property is home to a colony of sea lions just waiting for you to take a leisurely walk to join their barking antics. Eateries and souvenir shops abound on the pier, as do the rental shops for the aforementioned watersports. Be absolutely sure to stop at Marini's for fresh salt water taffy and Dreyer's ice cream treats. Best taffy on both coasts, and their 1/4 lb. bags make great gifts for those left behind.

If you have time to venture to the other side of the pier, there is an arcade, carnival and amusement park, but check online for their weekend hours, now that it's past Labor Day. During the summer season, you can enjoy weekend concerts from your private balcony, as the ocean acoustics are just right.

Service at the Dream Inn is top rate. Special accolades to Jennifer and Chris at the front desk, who were super friendly and made great recommendations. Cafe Cruz, a few exits south in Soquel, was one such suggestion that is a wonderful local haunt, complete with an interior garden and an extensive wine list. The Dream Inn's Aquarius serves fresh local fare at a moderate price point, and dining on property comfortably insulates you from the outside world.

Bike rentals are available at the Pacific Avenue roundabout, about a 5 minute walk from the Inn. I worked out an extended rental at a great rate, so inquire with the proprietor if you are looking for more than an hourly or daily rental. Helmets, locks, and even a basket are included with their sporty beach cruisers. Be sure to take a ride north along the coast past the public beach to the maritime preserve and museum. The whale skeleton there is amazing to behold.

Also noteworthy in Santa Cruz is the UCSC Arboretum and gift shop, where you can purchase a global variety of plants and many colorful botany-related gardening gifts, jewelry and attire. St. Mary's Catholic Church is on the site of one of the 20 first missions and has components of the first church. Both of these are better visited by car, as the hills would be ambitious for a one speed bicycle.

Downtown Santa Cruz itself isn't the best of locales, particularly after dark. I walked about a mile down Pacific Avenue to the cinema my first night and encountered a deranged man in a wolf mask on my way home, accompanied by an unsavory band of ruffians. I later learned that the town harbors homeless meth addicts who behave irratically. The Dream Inn provides a safe haven, but I wouldn't advise a walk into town, especially after sunset. While there are a few national store chains and some eclectic shops closer to the Post Office end of town, the wasteland between those and the beach are laden with secondhand venues, tattoo parlors, and adult entertainment stores. On the other side of the wharf, the real estate changes quickly as well. The Dream Inn demarcates the better part of town that extends toward tony oceanfront homes and surfer havens.

Rooms at the Dream Inn are pretty cookie cutter with a counter/storage area, bathroom with rain shower and large vanity, and bedroom area with a huge desk surface, charge-friendly multi-outlet tower, large flat screen TV and retro clean and bright furnishings. The suites on opposite ends of the tower building have an additional room with a sleeper sofa, functional tables, and an array of interesting unique lamps. At the minimal differential, I'd suggest splurging on the extra space, particularly if you are traveling as more than a couple. One warning, and my only problem with the Dream Inn: ask for a room as far away from the elevators as possible, and FYI, the numbers go up from x20 to x29 as they go away from the elevators on each floor of the tower. Suites are the x20 and x29 rooms, with the standard rooms from x21-x28. The elevator cables make a whirring noise as the elevators move, and as others have stated, soundproofing isn't the Dream Inn's forte. My neighbors were reasonably quiet, but I'm sure you could be less fortunate.

The rooms were kept spotless with twice a day maid service, evening turndown, and even robe replacement. The robe's were light cotton and perfect for the climate. An always plentiful supply of towels were large and all cotton, but a bit rough in texture, water pressure in the shower was very good on the 9th floor, and the vanity and storage shelves were spacious and well positioned. The balcony furniture consisted of a cafe table and two chairs, which was about right for the space. The view and sound of the surf were great, but I hesitated to keep the sliding door open at night due to the large bird population that would swoop by the balcony days. The air conditioning units were a bit irratic, and there was one in the bedroom area and another on the far side of the living room of the suite. The lack of a fan or any ventilation in the bathroom made it a bit humid after showering. Refrigerators in each room were slow to cool as well. Though a third frig arrived as soon as I mentioned this to the desk. During my stay, the staff was always looking for ways to help out. Responsiveness is universal at the Dream Inn. So, if you're looking for a service-oriented beach resort on the Pacific to get away from it all, you can play and dine to your heart's content without ever using your car.

Room Tip: Most Quiet Rooms are the Suites on the opposite side of the building from the elevator--the x29 room...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna P, Guest Services at Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Thank you for your extensive review of the Dream Inn and the surrounding area attractions. I am so glad you enjoyed your stay with us in one of our Cloud Rooms. These rooms are located on the 9th & 10th floor with premium vistas and all the wonderful amenities you mentioned! Thank you for your compliments regarding our front desk hosts, our onsite Restaurant Aquarius, and for our “top rate” guest services.
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Redwood City, California
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

You would have a hard time finding a hotel that literally sits on the beach and where all the rooms face the ocean. Walking distance to the Wharf, the Boardwalk and the famous surfing spot called Steamer Lane.

Watch the seabirds and especially the pelicans diving. Numerous sea lions and seals. Do not forget your binoculars and camera.

One unforgetable experience was the Flyby of the Endeavour on its way to Los Angeles. My wife said she felt she could just reach out and touch it.

The sun rises in an unexpected location over the hills of the Monterey Peninsula that you think is south, but the Hotel actually faces East.

Room Tip: Get a room in the highest floor in the tower. Try breakfast in your room overlooking Monterey Bay...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna P, Guest Services at Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
I’m so glad that you enjoyed your stay and that you were here for that very special flyover. Dolphins can also be seen playing in the waves on occasion, and last year we even watched whales from the guestroom balconies. Binoculars available on request!
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Layton, Utah
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

My husband and I had reservations at this hotel in Santa Cruz Ca. It was a little pricey but the room and view we had was excellent. This property is right down the street from the Santa Cruz Beach Walk and the wharff. The room and surrounding property was very well maintained. The front desk staff and the valet parkers were all very friendly. If you are looking for a place right by the beach this hotel would be it. The Resturant Aqaurius was a liitle over priced for breakfast and not all the good. The one downside is you either have to self park across the street or have valet parking either one there is a charge. Though motorcycles do get to park in valet parking without being charged.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna P, Guest Services at Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Thank you for your stay - I am glad that you found our staff members friendly and that you enjoyed the hotel surroundings. I apologize for the unsatisfactory breakfast you experienced at Aquarius. Please enquire about our car stays free package on your next visit – this includes complimentary parking.
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Plano, Texas
Top Contributor
92 reviews 92 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

Facing the pier, the Dream Inn is the only hotel on the sand. The rooms are nice and large. You can see the bay from your room, even the lower floors. From my balcony, I watched and listend to the sounds of ocean surf all night long. Then, the incredible sunrise from the balcony...to top it off, the Space Shuttle Endeavor piggyback fly over the pier on its way to final destination in LA. People were incredible. Don't miss the jazz 'combo' in Aquarius Restaurant. Fish and chips..oo la la..very good....and the toiletries are from Lather..an added plus to the well appointed room with a view!!!

Room Tip: doesnt matter..all are terrific..but higher floors even better..
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sean H, Guest Relations Manager at Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, September 29, 2012
Endeavor flying over Santa Cruz was a sight to remember! While we can't offer that kind of treat every single day, we'd love to have you back and listen to the ocean every night! We hope to have you back sooner rather than later!
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Campbell, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

We had our wedding at the Dream Inn and Aurora Smith was the whole reason we decided to have it there. She was very helpful and went above an beyond her job to help us. She knew we were on a tight budget and worked hard to get us what we wanted within it. She even helped me plan my ceremony that was on the beach behind the hotel. The whole staff Mary included was really awesome. The honey moon suite was awesome with a beautiful view and rose petals. They left us complementary cheese cake champagne and notes. The food and bartender at our reception far exceeded our expectations :) !! Also the breakfast room service, the next morning was really good. They even let us have a late check out. Everyone had a great time and we were stress free. I couldn't have asked for a better place to have our wedding !!!!

Room Tip: book your room in the tower it's very quiet and you can hear the ocean.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna P, Guest Services at Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Congratulations and thank you for choosing the Dream Inn for your very special occasion. Thank you for your compliments of our staff members, we enjoy celebrating with you! We look forward to hosting all your future anniversary stays...
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Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

I switched to this hotel after spending one night in a not so great place down the street from it. I was doing the Big Kahuna triathlon in Santa Cruz and my husband was able to check into the room while I was racing. When I got to the room (they gave us a first floor which was great since I didn't have to lug my bike around) I swear I heard angels singing . The rooms are AMAZING at this hotel: spacious, modern decor, HUGE bathroom, and wonderful ocean view balcony. This hotel probably ranks in my top 5. The restaurant attached to it has a great happy hour and breakfast was pretty tasty. it's right on Cowell's Beach which is mostly swimmers and surfers, all the business is on the other side of the wharf which made it a nice tranquil night. LOVE THE DREAM INN! I hope to stay again and have more time to enjoy the hotel and pool.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Joanna P, Guest Services at Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
Wow - what a compliment. Please come again soon....we'd love to be #1 on that top 5 list!
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Additional Information about Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre hotel

Address: 175 W. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (Formerly Coast Santa Cruz Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center 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
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Cruz
#4 Family Hotel in Santa Cruz
#5 Romantic Hotel in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Dream Inn, a Joie de Vivre hotel 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 Santa Cruz Dream Inn is the ideal destination for a weekend escape, corporate event, family vacation or a romantic getaway. We're getting ready to make a splash. Our beachfront pool area will be closed for renovation from December 1, 2014 through March 12, 2015. We look forward to reopening with upgraded amenities and design, plus a hot tub more luxurious than ever before-all steps from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and Monterey Bay. ... 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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