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“Luxury for 'Santa Cruz'”
Review of Dream Inn

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Dream Inn
Ranked #2 of 54 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Luxury for 'Santa Cruz'”
Reviewed July 16, 2013

In SC, this is definitely the best place to stay for something luxurious. If you've actually traveled and visited other countries or big cities than you'll know this place IS NOT worth its cost. Views aside, this cannot be called a 4 star property. It is however a very good 3 star property with a high cost.

Rooms in the tower are newer, but are still very low quality compared to JDV's other properties like Hotel Vitale. Sheets, towels, mats, carpet - low thread count. Poor quality. Doesn't feel good on your skin. It definitely gets the job done, but its not what you expect for the price you pay. Bed is decent, but its not a heavenly bed. However, views from the 7th floor up are great. You can hear the ocean, see the Friday night music festival at the boardwalk (and hear!) and generally people watch while sipping a mimosa. Views are spectacular and the only redeeming point of the hotel.

Room Service/Aquarius: I never ate at the restaurant because I have little patience and all the reviews said service was horrible. However room service (from the same place) was always quick and the food was hot. Was it amazing? No,but I ordered pupus and drinks. You can't mess those up so I'd say opt for room service and have your meals...

On the boardwalk. Literally 5 minutes from the hotel is a GREAT, easy, fast place to grab a bite. The Picnic Basket has really good food. Great service and its SOOOOO much cheaper. TRUST ME. Don't eat at Aquarius, but if you're really hungry at 11pm, know that room service is definitely an option. Just remember the fees they add on to your bill can add up!

Pool is heated. Super plus. Hot tub is warm, not too hot. The pool gets crowded immediately. People camp out on chairs. What do you do? Go early or go late. Most families go right in the middle of the day. Sure you'll miss out on the pool bar, but its fine. Your hotel is right on the beach. Just take the beach access stairs and lay out in the sand. Bring your own drinks from the corner store. LOL. Pool opens at 7am and doesn't even have a soul in it until at least 9am. It's heated so just go early. Swim all by yourself. Or go after 6pm and while you'll still have teenagers, it wont be nearly as crowded.

Massage service offered by the pool or in your room. Skip it. Masseuse is not experienced enough. SC has too many other options for spa services downtown to pay for this expensive and lower quality massage.

Speaking of which, GETTING TO DOWNTOWN IS A BREEZE.

1. You can walk if you like. Takes about 20 min., regular pace. Don't do this past 7pm though. The route to downtown goes past a popular drug spot.

2. Take the 25 CENT trolley. Yes, 25 cents, per person, per way. Just walk right down the street and there is a stop in the median right before you hit the loud, reggae bar heading towards the boardwalk.This is a slow, but fun, scenic way to get to downtown.

I was here for the 4th of July weekend and it was crowded, but lots of fun. I definitely think Dream Inn is a good property. I liked the staff (parking is a bit of a pain, especially if you valet - wait can be a bit and price is $$) and I liked the location. I loved the view and I enjoyed room service. This place is probably the best option in SC if you want a beach front property, but its not luxury by any standard.

Room Tip: ALWAYS ask for a room above the 7th floor.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rei A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katie M, Guest Relations Manager at Dream Inn, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write us feedback about your stay. I am sorry to hear that we did not exceed your expectations. Thank you for sharing with us the areas where we can make improvements, such as the bedding, dining, and amenities. We want everyone to enjoy the feel of Santa Cruz and I am glad to see that you did have a wonderful trip, the trolley, the beach access, and the best time to enjoy the pool all to yourself. I hope you will continue to visit us as we look forward to wowing you in the future!
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

If you're going to take a trip to Santa Cruz, you might as stay right on the beach. The Dream Inn fit the bill without being crazy expensive. The hotel is right on the beach; you can walk down the stairs from the pool to the sand. And the nice part is it's south of the wharf, which means it was much less crowded then the part right in front of the boardwalk. But if you want to be in that, it's a 5 minute walk. Speaking of walk, the location was great in terms of being able to walk to the boardwalk and downtown (10-15 mins). Downtown has plenty of restaurants, stores, and bars, which is a nice change of pace from the tourist traps along the wharf & boardwalk.

As for the room, it was quite spacious. All of them have ocean views, and we had a private balcony. It had a modern, colorful, beachy feel to it with high ceilings. The bathroom wasn't huge, but that's not a problem for us. I would, however, follow the suggestion of another reviewer and make sure you get a room above the first floor, as the noise from the pool is significant (and the pool stays open until 11pm). There were plenty of families there, and even a wedding right on the beach.

Bottom line: I'd definitely stay here again, as long as I got the room for under $200.

Room Tip: Rooms by the first floor will be noisy due to the pool.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LaugingMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katie M, Guest Relations Manager at Dream Inn, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Thank you for your stellar review! I am so glad to hear you had an amazing stay. I quite agree with you about our 'Nice spot right on the beach"! Its great that you were able to experience so much of Santa Cruz, the crowds (or not), the tourist spots (or local favorites), the shopping and dining of downtown or enjoying the quiet ocean view from your balcony. Thank you for sharing your trip, we look forward to your next visit!
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Brooklyn, New York
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We stayed at the Dream Inn in Santa Cruz for two nights over 4th of July weekend and were underwhelmed, to say the least. It has its location going for it, as the only hotel with direct beach access, but they have a lot to make up for in terms of hospitality and over all quality of the rooms.

We were given a sub-par room upon check-in, the room with the worst possible room on the first floor/corner with obstructed views of the beach. We went back to the front desk and were told because we checked in so late in the day, we were given this room but in fact, they had a couple better rooms available and ended up switching us. So their logic didn't make much sense and we ended up being shuffled around instead of being put directly into a decent room that was available right off the bat.

The room itself was fine but nothing fantastic. Showers and floors could stand to be updated. There was a lot of noise in the hallways at night. Definitely a family friendly hotel. So in turn the pool area is packed with kids running around. If you're looking for a quiet spot to relax, this isn't it.

Breakfast at the restaurant was expensive for what it was. Over forty bucks for two people to have eggs and has browns. We ended up eating at Gabriella Cafe downtown every night because it was incredible!

The hotel manager was apologetic for our bumpy check-in and gave us a deal on the rental bikes that are a new feature there. We enjoyed biking around town and going to a farmer's market so this was a nice option to have.

Overall--not impressed with our stay and won't be returning.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lauren C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katie M, Public Relations Manager at Dream Inn, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to offer us feedback regarding your recent visit. We strive to bring an enjoyable memory to each stay and I am sorry that we fell short during your trip. It is never our intention to create an experience that did not meet your expectations, room wise, dining wise, or relaxation wise. Please accept my sincerest apology for not being able to make your stay as enjoyable as we wish we could have. I hope you will give us another try as I know we can do better.
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Woodland, California
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2013

Was very impressed by this hotel. Stunning views of the pier and ocean. Comfy and luxurious beds. Even fluffy robes an towels. Nice pool and hot tub. Located on the beach. Free coffee from a keurig machine in the room. They let me have late check-out for free during graduation weekend. Nice staff, safe parking area.

Room Tip: Great ocean view even from our room on the lobby floor.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dentistmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katie M, Guest Relations Manager at Dream Inn, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Thank you so much for your 5 Star review! The views really are breathtaking, and getting to soak in the pool and hot tub while watching the waves I must admit, is too hard to beat. Thank you for mentioning our amazing staff, they really are stars out there! We strive to bring the Joie de Vivre spirit to each guest's stay, we look forward to next time.
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San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2013

This was our third stay at Dream Inn, this time it was to attend a wedding on site. The hotel is within easy walking distance to downtown Santa Cruz, the Boardwalk and the Cliff Drive Walk. This central location is busy on a beautiful summer day in Santa Cruz, so if you are looking for a get away from people place, you should go somewhere else. However if you want to enjoy a great ocean view from your room, easily walk to dozens of great restaurants downtown, be able to listen to music from the Boardwalk while soaking in the hot tub and go for walks on the ocean, it is perfect.
What sets this hotel apart from others is the great attitude and friendliness of all the staff who work there. There had been some slight mix-up in the booking which was quickly straightened out on check in. All the staff at the restaurant and wedding reception were very pleasant, helpful and co-operative. And when my wife realized she had left her phone charger in the room and called the next day after we arrived home, they found it and mailed it to us!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ricardo f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katie M, Guest Relations Manager at Dream Inn, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
I am so glad you and your wife enjoyed your Santa Cruz adventure! Thank you for your 5 Star review. Its great that you were able to take in so much during your stay, there are so many fun things to do, and all so close. Its wonderful to hear as well that we took such good care of your lost item, the staff really do take the Joie de Vivre spirit seriously. Thank you for continuing to visit us and we look forward to many more adventures with you!
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Atlanta, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2013

then this hotel is fine. The whole area (including the hotel) has a 60's Coney Island feel.

We stopped for one night on the way from Monterey to Napa so that my husband could play golf at Pasatiempo. I should have done more research and picked a hotel in a different part of Santa Cruz.

This hotel is only a good value if you are going to ride rides on the boardwalk, eat at one of the restaurants on the pier, walk on the beach. The beach looked great from the room, but when I went for a walk, I found it to be overrun with kelp and not very pretty.

The lobby of the hotel was a little dated looking. The room was fine - clean with a big comfortable bed. The décor was a bit retro.

The hotel was completely booked - but that did not seem to fluster the staff. They were as nice and accommodating as could be.

Basically, the price is awfully steep for the quality of the hotel. However if you are going to make use of the amenities that are in walking distance to the hotel, then is may be worth it.

Room Tip: Try to get a room that overlooks the water.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank H0tlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aisha O, Public Relations Manager at Dream Inn, responded to this review, July 16, 2013
Thank you so much for staying with us while you were in Santa Cruz! We appreciate that you took notice of our staff's ability to stay calm and accomodating during our busiest moments. Happy Travels!!
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San Mateo, California
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2013

If you want to be on the beach near the boardwalk in a hotel with a retro-yet-cool vibe, the Dream Inn is your place. The staff was very friendly. We had to move our room because the first one they gave us was practically in the elevator. They were very gracious and put us in another room away from the elevator. Our room was clean and comfortable with a private balcony overlooking the beach. Unfortunately, the weather was a little cold and rainy so we didn't get to fully experience the pool, but it's a great setup and no doubt very fun when the sun shines. We enjoyed the walk from the hotel up to the lighthouse along the path overlooking the ocean and surfers along the way. It's the total Santa Cruz experience!

Room Tip: One thing to note when you are booking your room is that there are rooms overlooking the pool and ro...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank boulderkir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sean H, Guest Relations Manager at Dream Inn, responded to this review, July 10, 2013
Thank you so much for your positive review! The weather has definitely turned HOT! We hope to have you back to experience the same great service, and a sun tan!
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Additional Information about Dream Inn

Property: Dream Inn
Address: 175 W. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5438 (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 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Cruz
#2 Business Hotel in Santa Cruz
#5 Romantic Hotel in Santa Cruz
#7 Family Hotel in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Dream Inn 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 Dream Inn is the ideal destination for a weekend escape, corporate event, family vacation or a romantic getaway. ... 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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