We booked the Valley View Inn for two nights to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We picked Valley View Inn (a "non-hosted" inn) which is abour a 15 minute drive from Santa Cruz, based on descriptions on the owner's website. "Non-hosted" in this case meant a vacation rental (house) with a small amount of items left in the refrigerator for breakfast (bread, milk, eggs, english muffins, jams, Folger's coffee).
When we first called the owner, we were quoted a rate of $249/night, and we booked two nights using a credit card (we had to pay in full). The next day, the owner called back and said we were quoted the wrong price. It was $325/night. A little unprofessional, we thought, but we stuck with the house.
The pluses - the architecture is intriguing, the kitchen appliances are new, the neighborhood is quiet, the bed and bedding in the master bedroom are comfortable, and the shower in the main bathroom is good. The negatives: the carpet was filthy and the house had a musty odor. The house shows a lot of wear - nicks in walls and moulding, exposed wood where paint has chipped off and general signs of neglect and lack of upkeep. There is no "breathtaking vista" as advertised, although the redwoods in the backyard are very nice. And if there is a stereo, also as advertised, we couldn't find it.
The price we paid - $325/night - was way out of line with what we got. Valley View isn't even located in an area that justifies the high price. Scotts Valley is a middle class suburban town with strip malls. If Valley View had been clean and kept up, a fair price could have been around $225. Considering the condition it was in, it should not have been rented out for more than $150 - $175 per night. The addition of the breakfast items in the fridge (nothing fancy) did not justify the increased cost.
Our trip to Santa Cruz would have been near perfect, but for Valley View Inn. It was the one dark cloud on our getaway. I emailed the owner after our stay, because I believe owners should hear not only the accolades, but also the criticism. The owner, Tricia Young, never showed the courtesy to respond.
Beware, this owner also owns a B&B in Atherton called the Atherton Inn B&B. After our experience at Valley View, I would be extremely leary of staying at any place owned by this owner.