Room Location: Your entire hotel experience at this property may very well be dependent on these two words. A room assignment in the 100-300 rooms overlooking (better description “on top of”) the pool, unless you are a family with young children, may very well provide a very negative experience. Here is my experience – it will help to note I travel extensively for business and pleasure and was traveling with my older teenagers.
I was pleasantly surprised when the front desk staff called me, at noon on the day of my arrival (I had joined the Joy of Life club and a pre arrival call was an amenity, informing me that the high floor room I had requested was available for an early check in. I explained that since we were in Palo Alto touring Stanford, we would not be at the property until 4pm or so and requested that they hold the room for me. The friendly clerk confirmed our arrival that afternoon and said the room would be awaiting us when we arrived at the property. Great!
When we arrived at 4pm to check in, the great impressions vanished. Our high floor room, being held, had vanished. “I am sorry, we are completely booked tonight and have no high floor rooms available” was the response when I recounted my earlier conversations with a different front desk employee (a cheerful young woman called me – a surly gentleman checked me in). I was assigned to a room in the low 300’s, third floor. We went to the room – what a disappointment. The 100-300 rooms are in an old motel wing (now renovated), but have exterior doors. As I was traveling with two teenage girls – I had safety concerns with this scenario. On top of this – the road noises from West Cliff drive came right through the door. The balcony of the room overlooked the pool which was filled to capacity with screaming children. Even with the door wall shut you could hear everything. So much for a restful stay. I went back to the desk completely dismayed and asked for a possible room assignment – the clerk told me there wasn’t anything he could do. Wonderful. Thankfully the pool emptied out by 11, but the road noise continued. I cranked up the AC so the fan could drown out the noise. I felt like I was in a Motel 6.
The next morning I went to the front desk, and relieved to find different staff members on duty, calmly explained my situation. Jennifer attempted to help me out by looking for alternate room situations for noting that I seemingly had been placed in the “family” area of the property. She looked for a tower room for me (I had requested a tower room in the first place). Magically, there was a room in the tower I could move to immediately. Although it was still a third floor room, she assured me it would be much more quiet, and, being a tower room, had an inside corridor. I found it extremely interesting that this room was not available at 4pm the day before, but was somehow available at 8am the next morning….. Customer service is everything. I agreed to move and went back to pack up our belongings.
Reappearing at the front desk 45 minutes later, teenagers and luggage in tow, Jennifer was on break and the other attendants knew nothing of the move. Oh Joy – no pun intended. We were headed to UCSC for a tour, so our luggage could be stored while the situation was ironed out. When we returned, Jennifer was back at the desk and all was right again with the world. We were given the keys to a lovely third floor room in the tower. The view was fantastic and the room was quiet morning, noon and night. Perfect. We enjoyed the rest of our stay.
In summary: if you are not traveling with young children request an upper floor room in the tower – even spring for a cloud room. The rooms over the pool are noisy and the outside entry rooms feel insecure and have road noise. The tower rooms are the preferred rooms – perfect views. The pool is nice but small. It was extremely crowded and people got up early to hold lounge chairs with towels (made me feel like I was at the Marriott in Aruba). The hot tub was always filled with unattended children. We did have lunch by the pool – service was slow (expected given the number of people being served that day), but the food was decent – not great, but decent. All the frozen drink machines were out of order…. The room itself (tower) was nice – comfortable beds, nice balcony, perfect views, with an updated, colorful but smaller bathroom. Would I stay here again – as it is the only hotel right on the beach, yes – but would only occupy a cloud room.
- 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