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“European elegance” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chaminade Resort & Spa

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Chaminade Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   1 Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz, CA 95065   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #18 of 53 Hotels in Santa Cruz
SF Bay Area
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“European elegance”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2013

We spent three nights in this resort and fell in love with it. I read some not that great reviews ahead and was a bit concerned but fortunately, I can't share them. I guess if you are looking for the luxury accommodation, meaning everything around is neat and posh (and soulless as a result) - it might be not the right one for you. But if you want to relax in the elegant European-style setting you may find it here. We arrived late but the ladies at the front desk were very friendly and even provided us with some spa and breakfast discounts. Some smell in the hallways somebody mentioned, I found rather pleasant and appropriate. All three rooms we occupied were nicely decorated in Club Med style, we liked the design. Two rooms had an extra "communication space" with the table and chairs, which made them large sized. The bath was of a normal size, I didn't feel squeezed, all the faucets, toilet and such are modern style, and looked like new. The windows were on the woods side with relaxing views. The pool is not very large, but it was not crowded on the Easter weekend, and in the morning I enjoyed it solely. The restaurant is great, breakfast - superior with the views of the ocean and the woods. I was surprised that the spa was not crowded - it is not big but with the very nice facilities, the fitness center is big. All the service staff was really friendly and pleasant to deal with. LTE reception was poor (what can you expect in the woods?), but the voice and WiFi worked fine for me. The premises are great, we explored the trails starting right from the hotel and enjoyed them. There is a very cozy fireplace near the lobby and an open fire to help enjoying the spectacular night views at the terrace. It was hard to leave after we enjoyed a fine breakfast in the foggy Santa Cruz morning, while a cook in a mead evil hat suspiciously reminding Rembrandt, was preparing omelets. Will definitely come back one day!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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515 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (125)
Date | Rating
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English first
Los Gatos, California
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
148 helpful votes 148 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

On a Monday the hotel was very quiet. I had purchased a very attractive coupon deal and I was faced with either using it immediately or losing the extra value, so my friend and I went.

Driving up to the resort through the eucalyptus grove immediately settles your mind. it is in a beautiful location. After checking in we took the shorter of two hikes, 1.25 mile. The other is a loop about twice as long. Easy hike and very well marked. The hot tub was nice and hot, about 104, and the pool was quite warm -- perfect in fact.

Only the bar and grill was open and we had a $50 credit to use so we had dinner there. The portions were fine. The pork tenderloin was a bit over cooked but tasty. There was only one family having dinner at the same time as us. They evidently thought it was fine for the kiddies to play Heart and Soul on the piano. The wait staff didn't say anything to stop them. I stood up to talk to the manager when their food came and that was the end of it. The piano should be kept locked or at least put a sign on it.

The first floor room was nice. There was a patio, but because it was totally enclosed by a wood fence there's no view. My advice is to ask for a view of the woods on the first floor. There are two sinks in the room, one in the bathroom, one by the closet. There were a table and chairs which would have made a nice dining space, but no mini fridge, which would have been very handy. Also, a couple of wine glasses would have been nice.

The biggest and most annoying shortfall of this hotel is the pillows. Neither my friend nor I slept we'll because the pillows were thick, lumpy foam / synthetic combination. Normally hotels give you a combination so you can choose one to your liking. I ended up sleeping without a pillow, rather than suffer with those. Therefore, I did not sleep well. Advice: bring your own pillow(s).

The breakfast buffet was included in our deal and I was surprised that it was a very complete buffet with omelette station, lots of fresh fruit, waffles, etc. the only problem was that the hostess was also the only server. She was seating people, filling coffee, getting condiments, etc for the entire place. Poor woman was worn to a frazzle and she didn't have time for pleasantries. The staff must have called in sick and she was left solo.

Mo's Alley is a short distance. It was closed on Monday but if I come back on a weekend I'll plan to go there. It's a fun live music bar.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on the first floor with woods view.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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SF Bay Area
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

We purchased a AAA special (great value for our money which included a lot of freebies) and had an amazing weekend. We started with the crab feed on Friday night. Atmosphere, food and service were awesome. Rooms are very nice but I wish they had small refrigerators. Staff is great across the board and extremely helpful. Grounds are lovely. All of the restaurants served good food, including room service. This place is close to everything but feels like a million miles away. Some of the rooms have parking lot views so be sure to ask for a forest view. We will definitely return.

Room Tip: Ask for forest view or you might be looking at the parking lot.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013

Just returned from my 8th visit to lovely Chaminade. It is one of the most peaceful and beautiful settings in California. Beautiful view from the top of a hill overlooking the valley and out to the ocean. Chef Beverly is fantastically creative. Shaun the restaurant manager know how to do it right. Sumptious buffets and the best omelets ever.

Outstanding spa and recreation center onsite. Be certain to take time to sit in the spa hot tub before or after your treatment.

Guest rooms are lovely. The bedding creates an absolute pillow from heaven. One downside - they very much need to put electrical outlets by the bed so you can plug in all your electrical devices.

Favorite thing - - Chaminade is nestled on a hillside in a eucalyptus forest. The air there is heavenly. There are a couple of not-miss hiking trails that are a perfect work out. No need to go to the gym when there is so much beauty on the trails.

Room Tip: Rooms in the 100 and 200 #'s will be closest to the main lodge giving you optimum access to the...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco Bay Area
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I spent 2 night at this resort hoping for a luxurious getaway. The facility screams business conference center. The staff is cordinal and efficient, but businesslike. There was no feeling of outgoing welcoming or catering to the non-business guest. There was an obvious group of company meeting attendees, and no other visible vacation travellers. The rooms are spacious, but 2 full size beds was not our idea of romantic, and there was a prevalent deodorizer fragrance in the hallways and rooms. Our business conference neighbors announced their return late at night by the slamming of the metal room doors...no fault of theirs. The setting is beautiful in the hills above Santa Cruz, but the hotel needs to advertise its main agenda or segregate the conference attendees and relaxation guests.
The highlight of our visit was the food which was a huge surprise. The menu sounded pretty pedestrian, the usual chicken, salmon, beef, etc., but the wild salmon served with a generous portion of mashed potatoes and perfectly cooked fresh asparagus was for sure the best I have ever had! It was so good we stayed in for a second night at the resaurant and the baked chicken breast with mushroom sauce was again perfectly prepared and delicious. Only mistake that night was the server who was under trained and forgot to present the specials, one of which my husband would have ordered but when we overheard the presentation at a neighboring table, it was too late to change his order.
So, eat here, but don't go expecting a romantic resort...just a great meal in a pretty setting.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Santa Cruz, California
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

I have stayed at the Chaminade Resort & Spa many times, for a relaxing get away or to celebrate milestone events and each time it was a superb experience. One of the best times was to celebrate my daughter's 21st birthday. The staff was so wonderful to us, our meal in the restaurant was very special and I'll never forget that weekend! The rooms are very comfortable and have many amenities that make it enjoyable. I especially like to request the garden facing rooms on the first floor, because I like sitting on the little patio and just totally relaxing with the view of the beautiful trees outside my door. Nothing beats this in my book!

Since I live locally to this great hotel, I am lucky to be able to enjoy the Spa, even when I am not a guest of the hotel. No one has to be a guest to visit the Spa, I just feel so lucky I have it available in my backyard (so to speak). The Spa at Chaminade is well worth every penny you spend. It is total relaxation, total pampering, and includes the use of their sauna, showers, hot tub, and more. I have been to many other spas, but Chaminade is my number one choice for facials. On Valentine's Week this year, I had a facial and then enjoyed lunch on the deck. I had such a nice day that words fail me to describe it adequately. My esthetician, Amy, recommended a serum product to help my large pores look smaller. The Spa uses all natural products so I decided to give it a try at home. I have been so amazed at the results. I am so grateful to the time and care the Spa staff takes with their clients.

I am planning another trip to the Spa in May to continue this gift of relaxation and self care I have decided to give myself this year. I turned 60 this past Christimas and want to stay young at heart, young in mind, and feed my soul with kindness . The Spa at Chaminade will play a big part in helping me to do so! Thank you Chaminade! I recommend both the hotel and the Spa very, very highly!

Room Tip: Garden view rooms are the nicest, in my opinion.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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ChaminadeResort, Public Relations Manager at Chaminade Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 12, 2013
We are delighted to hear that your experience at the Spa at Chaminade was more than a pleasure. The entire staff at Chaminade Resort & Spa take pride on the level of service that is provided for each and every guest....we are confident that you next trip in May will be just as memorable. Thank you again - Winona Holmes - Marketing Coordinator
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2013

When we arrived, it took forever to check-in. There was only one gal at the reception desk and about 6 people in line. Finally another gal came to help but it still took about 30 minutes to check in. Husband and kids were waiting in the car and finally they came in wondering what was taking so long.

The exterior of the building looks really old but the interior is nicely decorated. The bathroom is super tiny. I'm a small gal and when I went in there with my 5 year old to give a bath, there was no room to move around. The water was also really hard to adjust. The temperature would feel right but then you get in and the water is scalding. I tried to turn it down and bit but then it got too cold. I felt like I had to keep adjusting the water. It was hard because my 2 kids are small and the water has to be just right.

Went to eat at their restaurant in the evening and felt the food was a little overpriced. The kids had chicken strips which was nothing fancy and I think it was $9 per child. I had the salmon which was good but my husband has the pork tenderloin and he didn't think much of it. For the 4 of us (with no drinks) and 1 appetizer came out to $115.

The best part of the trip for the kids was the buffet breakfast and the pool. The breakfast has a really good spread and there's someone to make omelettes and waffles. There was alot of fresh fruit. Yummy! We went there on a really nice weekend and the kids wanted to swim and I was surprised at how warm the water was. There were also plenty of fresh towels there to dry off.

I felt for the price, this place is just ok. We live about an hour away and wanted to take the kids for a weekend in Santa Cruz so we went horseback riding and to the Boardwalk. We paid for the room in advance through AAA but was still hit with a resort fee, tourism tax, etc, etc, etc...and had to pay another $32.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Chaminade Resort & Spa

Address: 1 Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz, CA 95065
Location: United States > California > Santa Cruz
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 Business Hotel in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Chaminade Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 156
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The AAA Four Diamond award-winning Chaminade Resort & Spa is a spectacular mountaintop retreat in Santa Cruz. Our historic Mission-style resort overlooks sweeping views of Monterey Bay and the Santa Cruz Mountains. Chaminade is a luxurious destination for executive meetings, celebrations and getaways. Enjoy color palettes inspired by the California coast, contemporary Spanish furnishings, and world-class amenities. Chaminade is just five minutes from golf courses, the beach and downtown Santa Cruz. Escape to a haven of unsurpassed service. Chaminade is the first hospitality business in Santa Cruz County to receive a "Green Business Certification" for its environmental efforts. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chaminade Resort And Spa
Chaminade Santa Cruz
Chaminade Hotel Santa Cruz

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