The Hotel Paradox is located right in the center of business in Santa Cruz, and is convenient to lots of shops and restaurants. It was an easy walk to several shopping/eating areas, but some sections might not be advisable if you were walking alone at night. It is a very basic property (old Holiday Inn) that has been totally remodeled and updated in a “woodsy,” pleasant, and modern atmosphere. Access to the room blocks is with your pass key. Parking is plentiful, but the hotel can get quite busy. The front desk personnel were very friendly, welcoming, and helpful with questions and recommendations. They were also very accommodating when I asked to change room locations.
A word on room location. During warmer months, the pool is a huge draw for kids, both staying in the hotel and local kids. They apparently have some program that allows local families to use the pool for a fee. So, the pool is busy and LOUD with kids, basically all day, every day. The hotel rooms are in a long row, either facing the pool or facing the back parking lot. Since I was there for a number of days on business and wanted a quiet room, I asked to move from pool-facing to parking lot facing, and an upper floor to get as quiet a room as possible. I also tried to get to the far back of the property (away from the entrance on Ocean Street) as possible. The front desk was very accommodating in trying to meet those requests, and it made a huge difference in the noise factor.
The rooms are a bit basic, but quite comfortable. The decorating reflects the rustic theme of the front desk. There is a rough wood backing behind the bed, rough wood lamps, wood stump table, and barn door (top sliding) to the bath (which kind of slams rather noisily). The king bed was comfortable, storage, drawer, and hanging space were generous. The bathroom was modern and nicely decorated with a rain shower and river pebble flooring. A generous-sized safe, robes, a mini-frig (not real cold), a single serve coffee-maker, OK amenities, and free OK WiFi (although rather slow) rounded out the offerings. The hotel is kept very clean for the most part, but we did not get room service until 4pm one day when housekeeping ran late – the same day that we had to run them down to get coffee refills for the coffee maker. Parking was $10/day, but was waived for a group booking. Although we didn’t use the pool, there is also a fire pit and Jacuzzi (reported to be not very hot) in the pool area, which can only be accessed wearing the arm band, color-coded for any given day.
Overall, this is a pleasant hotel and a good price for the property in Santa Cruz – I would recommend it given the choices in SC.