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“Got a dog, like the beach - Stay here” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sunny Cove Motel Apartments

Sunny Cove Motel Apartments
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Sunny Cove Motel Apartments
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21610 E Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz, CA 95062   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #25 of 53 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Sacramento, California
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Got a dog, like the beach - Stay here”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2011

As described by others, this is definitely a funky, family and pet friendly alternative to a chain motel. We wanted a room as a base camp, and that's what we got. Good-sized room with a semi-functional kitchenette (bring your own cooking utensils if you really want to do serious cooking). Unfortunately the refrigerator didn't work very well, but did keep our stuff cool. Best ask if the refir is working before checking in. Some heavier curtains over the windows would have been nice to keep out the morning light, but this wasn't a deal-breaker. Several dog-friendly beaches are within a 5 minute walk, which was great for us. You can see the beach from several rooms, a nice feature indeed. There's also a nice pool area good for kids. They do everything by phone so don't expect the website to help out in this regard. For Santa Cruz, the price, location, and pet-friendliness were right for the day we were there.

Room Tip: Ask for a room with a beach view if that's important to you.
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2011

The Fun, Funky, Friendly, Fabulous Sunny Cove Motel.
I've stayed at the Sunny Cove more times then I can count now. I've stayed in probably every room they have, Gone alone, with my mate, with my kids, with my mate & my kids, with my kids & their friends.
No matter what the occasion or company with me, Sunny Cove has yet to disappoint.
I don't think they possibly could.
This is not the Hilton. But if you're going to take a trip to Santa Cruz to soak up the beach, go to the famous Beach Boardwalk, see 1 of many museums, or the many cool parks they have, or have lunch on the wharf with the 100's of sea lions there to greet you, or even go shopping down town. You just don't go to Santa Cruz to sit in a fancy, stuffy, inside hotel with no way to smell the ocean air, feel the oh so awesome clean air that just makes you feel great, no way, you can stay at a fancy hotel somewhere else, but surely not when visiting Santa Cruz, the surf capitol of the world.
The Sunny Cove is the best of the best when you think of going back to the 70's with funky style, friendly innkeepers, rooms on the ground floor, with lotsa windows, where you can leave your door open and unlocked and have no worries.
You book your room (highly recommended) arrive to the more than awesome friendly, feels like she's been your friend for years innkeeper, Jane, who shows you to your room, and if space allows even gives you a pick of a few rooms you'd like to stay in before you stay. How coool is that? You park right next to your room, unpack walking into the totally awesome ALL remodeled rooms, with new bathrooms in most rooms, most larger and for sure nicer, new bedding, carpets in many, paintings on the wall, updated kitchens, just a great overhaul with these renovated, remodeled rooms. Now im not saying the rooms weren't already great, but now they are awesome and even better.
Dependng on the room the rooms have 2 double beds and usually also a futon. And there are TV's in both rooms, which is great when im going with the kids. I don't have to watch the same thing they do which is a gift in it of itself. There is also as I said a nice remodeled bath that's such a treat. The kitchen has everything you could need to make anything you'd make at home, with a stove, fridge, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, and table to eat at. If you don't have something you need just ask Jane and she'll have it over to you in minutes.
If im with the kids they drop their bags and head for the pool straight away. They usually then walk down, which is literally yards from the motel, sunny beach cove, where they play in the ocean, do some sun bathing, and just hanging out in the best kept secret little beach cove spot. Its not that secret as they are always people there, but never too crowded,the cove is clean, and the great fresh smell of the ocean. There's nothing better for you than clean fresh ocean breeze air. You can usually watch some surfers or boogie boarders having fun there as well.
We may then have a BBQ at the pool before the kids want to head over to the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for a fraction of the cost on certain days of the week if you bring a Pepsi can. You get an unlimited ride bracelet & go at it. I usually leave the kids there to have a blast and go back to the motel and sit by the pool and read, or if time allows, Jane whose so totally friendly may join you for a little conversation. Jane is one of a kind, she's the most friendly, layed back, one of the greatest innkeepers I've had the pleasure of meeting, and I've stayed at many, motels, Inns, Bed & Breakfast Inns etc. She just goes out of her way, I mean way over the call of duty to make sure you feel welcome, comfortable, and have everything you need at all times, and talking with her you feel like you're old friends. She's the Best.
We stayed this time in August where the weather was nice for windows ope door open and its like having a beach block party with all your neighbors who for the most part are all real friendly too. I see many return customers and its just a great friendly place. With the weather so nice you really can leave your windows wide open and have no worries, no reason to feel afraid, this place is very safe and we've ever ever had any problems here.
Now don't get me wrong about the beach block party, this isn't a party house motel, by no means. I just meant in the day & early eve many BBQ and sit outside and talk with each other and then when everyone goes in its very quiet. You can then relax on the beds and watch some TV or read a book and there's never been a problem with noise in the evening. People are all respectful and quiet, and I believe Jane assures she only rents rooms to those who will respect that. There is no loud, music or even conversation allowed after a certain hour. Being this is a family motel as well, many small kids may go to sleep by 9 or so, so its quiet time till the next morning.
There are many great places to eat within a mile away, walking is possible if your up for a morning walk or drive in minutes. Or if you do what we do, we go shop at the grocery store the night after we get there and make meals right in our room.
The Sunny Cove really feels like your own beach front property you have for the summer haha! With a lot of friendly neighbors and a great community manager who runs the area of properties.
I also stayed with just my Mom In January of this year, it was just a well needed R&R couple days away. Our luck was with us as the weather was fabulous. We just went and relaxed sitting by the pool and talking, took at drive to some window shopping around town, then went to dinner at a great Italian place right up the street. The people there are very friendly and know Jane well and love you to mention she sent you over. The food is great real authentic Italian food, large portions you always go home with a doggy bag, or tomorrows lunch.
So to sum it up, the Sunny Cove is just the greatest place to stay while visiting Santa Cruz, whether its for a day or a week, its the best. Can't ask for better service, cozy, homey, funky, comfy rooms, with all the conforts of home, friendly excellant service, great price for Santa Cruz, and a dose of the best sea air you can get, just a great place to relax with one or the whole family. Even bring your four legged friends. Just the best. Will always come back and won't stay anywhere else when visiting the great Santa Cruz.
Easy 5 stars. Book your room now you'll never be disappointed! Just save a room for me, I go often.
Or the negative posters here I believe they may have not even stayed here, especially the very rude poster who said the place smelled of urine? Please. They were probably one of those who Jane decided not to rent to, she tells me she does turn some away as they are people who send one in and then have a boat load of guests come to make a lot of noise and trouble. She says for the peace of the rest of her guests she won't rent to these type people. So, I believe those posters were just upset they were turned away, and for good reason.
Keep up the great job Jane. Ignore those negative posters posting out of retaliation rather than actual facts of their stay, or how Jane acted. I don't think she's beed rude to anyone. She doesn't have a mean bone in her body.
Happy vacationing!

  • Stayed August 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portrush, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2010

I found Sunny Cove through the lonely planet guide, it sort of got an average rating there. I rang and booked my room there and got a very helpful and friendly lady who offered me a room at $120 or $90, as we were on a bit of a budget I went for the $90 room. We got there and I paid first for the room and then went to put our stuff in. The room was on the ground floor around the side of the building. Inside it had a tiled floor and the furniture in it was very old, the appliances ; fridge, cooker etc also looked very old. The curtains were very thin and there was a glass window on the door which had no curtain at all and people could see in. The bathroom was very small and the taps turned on in different directions ie cold tap anti clockwise and hot tap clockwise, in general the whole room looked like it needed gutted, re-plastered and decorated and re furnished. We weren't very happy but decided that it was just for one night and we'd make do with it. I should say, bed sheets and covers etc were perfectly clean and fresh. We went for dinner and whilst out my girlfriend decided she wasn't happy with the room and wanted to move out. We got back and I explained this to the lady and apologised, and we left. This was now 10pm ish on a Saturday night. She said she couldn't give me a refund as it was late and her saturday night booking was important to her , I accepted this as we were making a late call and we left. We booked into another motel in town and all was fine. The following day as we were driving towards San Francisco the phone rang, it was the lady from Sunny Cove, she said she had been able to re-let our room after we left and was refunding $70 of our room fee to our credit card. We were astonished and extremely happy and impressed that she did this, she could have kept the fee and said nothing but she didn't. So that changed our view on Sunny Cove big time. Who does that sort of thing in this day and age....not many.
My advice is this.....Go to Sunny cove, view your room first, and if happy stay. One thing for sure, you're dealing with decent people!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2010

Located in a primarily residential neighborhood a couple miles south of the Boardwalk, the Sunny Cove's neighborhood is great. About 2 blocks from the beach, it has a relaxed surfer feel.

The Sunny Cove is a motel, tightly squeezed in a small footprint. There's just enough parking for the units. (not a complaint!)

My family and I stayed in room 10 - the end room close to the pool. The simple room offered a queen sized bed, a partially separate sitting area that shared a flat-screen tv with the bed area, a small bathroom and a kitchenette and eat-at table.

The furniture was very simple, not modern, and I'd guess old. We opened and covered the metal framed futon in the sitting area for sleeping but recall it being a scratchy plaid, straight from the late 80s. The dining space held a small round table and two chairs. Space in the sleeping area was tight but accommodated our porta-crib. The bathroom was simple and lacked a shelf for toiletries. And the shower was wee-little. My husband indicated that he felt smashed in there. The kitchenette had more than sufficient hip-high fridge, a full-sized sink, counter space and a microwave.

I experienced sleep on the futon and the bed. I was warned by the office manager that the futon wouldn't be especially comfortable. She emphasized that they didn't advertise it as a sleeping spot. But, I'd accepted it when I booked and knew someone would sleep there.

The bed was uncomfortable. It seemed off-kilter somehow. Like our right ears were headed downhill and our feet up to the left.

The room was clean. The thick and shag-like carpet visibly was vacuumed. Our two windows were open and did not feature screens. I worried a bit that the kidlet would go out for the pool that he wanted so badly or someone could come in during the night.

At check-in the office manager greeted me by name and was very friendly and helpful. She provided great direction to good breakfast spots and told us about The Mystery Spot. She provided us additional pillows as well.

During our stay we went to Cole's Barbecue and the Harbor Cafe, the latter recommended by the innkeeper. I'll try to write reviews on those too.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno, Nevada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2010

We've been going to the Sunny Cove for more than eight years and we love it. It is an old Beach Motel, which is slowly but surely upgrading all their room/apartments with very tasty, distinctive, beach decor. If you want a Hotel go to the Hilton, but if you want a place to live in locally for a week, This Is It. Cook in your room or go out, the choice is yours, because most rooms have a small kitchen and some have larger kitchens. The best kept secret beach in SC is steps away. Take a dip or watch the otters and seals play. discover tidal pools and watch the surfers at Pleasure Point while eating a Pleasure Point Grocery Breakfast Burrito...This place is Local, not for the wine and cheese set...but the Bushmills, Beer, and Chili/cheese fries folks...And to the guy who had to wait for Jane to check in....He probably set the attitude first....Jane is too mellow to act the way he describes. Go there, you'll love it too....KM

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2010

My boyfriend shared this special gem! My kids live it, too! Right next to the beach. Beach all day. Come back to swim in pool. BBQ poolside, Kitchenettes! Some of the best times ever at Sunny Cove! We'll be there all summer long!

  • Stayed August 2009
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2010

I stayed here in '07 with some friends and my boyfriend. I remembered it being a great price. After 3 years they have remodeled (I think the double beds are the same) and the price was the same! The lady running the place is a true Santa Cruz native with an excellent attitude and sense of humor. The rooms are clean and have totally remodeled kitchenettes and bathrooms. The mattresses are a little on the cheap side, but I didn't mind. The only complaint was that the window shades let in a lot of light in the early morning.
There is a small cove less than a quarter mile away that is never crowded like the beach area at the Boardwalk or a more popular beach. I love this place and will definitely go back for another visit!

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Sunny Cove Motel Apartments

Address: 21610 E Cliff Dr., Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Location: United States > California > Santa Cruz
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 53 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Number of rooms: 13
Also Known As:
Sunny Cove Motel Apartments Hotel Santa Cruz
Sunny Cove Hotel Apartments

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