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“A sleeping bag on the beach would be better!”

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Casablanca Inn on the Beach
Ranked #21 of 54 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Wynnewood, PA
Level Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A sleeping bag on the beach would be better!”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

My experience with the Hotel Casablanca was the only defect in an otherwise delightful weekend in Santa Cruz, California on August 9 through 11, 2013. My wife and I were part of a large group of people attending the wedding of the son of our good friends.
Months before, the couple reserved a large block of rooms at the Hotel Casablanca for their out-of-town guests. They assured us we were on the list. We still called the hotel to verify the reservation. The hotel assured us that we had reservations and would have a room right next to the groom 's parents. Not having received a written communication from the hotel, we called twice to verify our reservation with the hotel. Each time we were assured we had reservations.
We awoke before 5 AM to drive to the home of the groom's parents, flew from Newark, NJ to San Francisco, got into a rental car, and drove over an hour to Hotl Casablanca. What did we find there?
No reservation for my wife and me!
Not only did the desk clerk say they had not one room available for us, the said we never were on the reservation list! They then showed a list to us which did not contain our names. His list was not credible because this allegedly authentic list did not contain the name of the groom's sister, who had also flown in from the East Coast with her husband and two children. The only remaining spot in the Hotel Casablanca was a two-bedroom suite, which clearly had been reserved for the sister's family, even though her name was not on the reservation list. Interestingly, the groom's sister's family and my wife and me were the last two parties to check in.
We had no place to stay. We told the front desk felt we had no choice but to secure transportation back to the airport and to fly home. Having traveled with the groom's parents, who had to leave for the wedding rehearsal, we had no car of our own. The Hotel Casablanca assured us there would be a room at their hotel for us the night after the wedding if they could locate a room for us for that night.
Somehow, they then located a room--but not at the Hotel Casablanca. The other hotel was about a half-mile away-and cost $75 more a night. We got transportation from a relative of the bride. That room merits its own review, but would take away from this one.
Upon our return to that room after dinner, we again called the Hotel Casablanca to verify our reservation for the following evening. The desk clerk said we had no reservation. I asked for his supervisor. He said the supervisor had left and would not return until the next day. I informed him that he had better reach his supervisor and straighten things out immediately. He put me on hold for several minutes and got back on to tell me that there was in fact a reservation for us. I told him we had a wedding the next day, and that we had to be dressed and ready to leave by 1 P.M.
After occupying ourselves for the morning, we showed up at the Hotel Casablanca at 11:45 AM, 45 minutes after checkout-and which should have been enough time to clean up the room. We found two interesting things.
First, the maid had barely begun to clean the room. We had to set up suitcases and change-forget showering-in a total mess.
The second thing we found was more interesting-a gift basket!
Why would the Hotel Casablanca have a gift basket for a party which didn't have a reservation?
What other explanation could there be other than that the Hotel Casablanca double-booked its rooms and then trashed our reservation when we lost the game of musical chair reservations?
But the fun didn't stop there! When we returned after the wedding, we found that there was no air conditioning. Since it was a mild night, we were willing to open the windows. However, at least two of them were held shut by pieces of metal, and some others were painted shut. We got enough of the windows open so that, between the breeze and the ceiling fan-which could only be used on low speed because of the loud vibrations at full power-we were able to sleep.
Upon awakening, we found that, if you believe that protein should be part of breakfast, you would be out of luck. Fortunately, there was a wonderful place nearby that we found the first morning, which I will discuss in a review of its own.
If you are offered a stay at the Hotel Casablanca, bring a sleeping bag and sleep on the beach. At least you will know where you are staying!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank phillyguy1776
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charles C, Owner at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, August 30, 2013
We apologize for the confusion surrounding your experience with us On the Beach. The wedding coordinator who was in charge of your wedding party had given the Hotel Manager the list of names that needed to be in the rooms, and your name was never on the list. We had extra rooms blocked off for the Wedding Party, and the wedding coordinator personally released those extra rooms the morning before you arrived. We are a very popular hotel on the Beach, so those extra rooms were sold within an hour. We do not have any record of you contacting our Hotel regarding your reservation, there were specific rooms that were blocked off for your wedding party, in which you would have needed to give us your information for us to switch out the room to your name. If you had a reservation with us, our system keeps track of every name that stays or cancels with us, and you were never in our system until you provided us with your information when you arrived here. We tried to accommodate your party as best as we could, including going out of our way to find you a room for the first night down the street last minute during peak tourist season here in Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, your wedding party lacked some communication and we can only account for the information provided to us. Given the circumstances, we feel very strongly that we attempted to accommodate your party as best as we could. We would be happy to change your mind by giving you a better experience if you try us again in the future.
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Alpine
Level Contributor
28 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2013

We had a great view of the ocean and the wharf from our shared balcony of rooms 20-21. Room was charming and the staff was excellent. Very friendly and helpful. The only draw back for me was the awful, thin, scratchy towels.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank 245Karin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charles C, Owner at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, August 23, 2013
Thank you very much for sharing your experience of your stay On the Beach! The views from the top floor of the Cerf Mansion are unbeatable, we are happy to hear you were able to take advantage of the beautiful sights from your room! We also appreciate your feedback regarding the towels, we take your comments into consideration when we are ordering our supplies so that our amenities maintain the highest of standards for our guests. Thank you again for your lovely review, we hope you can come back and stay with us On the Beach soon!
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Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level Contributor
91 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2013

Everything other reviewers say is true. The showerhead is so low for anyone over 5'6", the water never gets hot. There is a lot of noise from the sea and seals but there is nothing one can do to prevent that. You can tell they have tried to upgrade the place and it was a very nice room. The only major upgrade needed is a new flat screen TV located across from the bed, not next to the bed. The other rooms might be nicer; we paid $150 and thought we got a pretty good deal. The decks are the best part where you can sit in the shade or sun and hear and see the ocean. It is in a great location right across the street from the beach (not on the beach like the picture looks) and right next to the boardwalk/wharf. It is a mile tops walk to the downtown area, which has a lot of nice shops and restaurants. Our room was not ready before 3, we were hoping it was, but that is ok. Parking is FREE. We parked on the street for 10 minutes before realizing it was $1.50 per HOUR so we walked to the hotel and they said we could park in the parking lot five hours before we checked in; which was very nice. The staff was nice, we always had to wait when we went to the desk, we don’t know what was going on behind the desk. The continental breakfast consisted of weird wrapped breads, bagels, and frit salad. The coffee was good. Overall, nice place, quaint little hotel on the beach!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank EllenJoan2222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charles C, Owner at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, August 22, 2013
We are so glad you enjoyed your stay with us On the Beach! As a historical property, we do have a few unique features, and our shower heads in some of the rooms are related to this historical nature. We're sorry that you did not enjoy any hot water! On occasion when the hotel is fully booked, it is possible for our water boiler to reach max capacity. If you notify the Front Desk, they can alert maintenance to verify if there is a problem that can be fixed. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed our decks with ocean views, we want our guests to be constantly reminded of our seaside location! Parking in Santa Cruz is quite a hot commodity and we are proud to boast FREE parking for our registered guests, even prior to check-in! Thank you for taking the time to write about the features of Casablanca Inn, please come back and stay On the Beach anytime!
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Manteca, California, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed August 1, 2013

My family and I were in Santa Cruz for the day, and decided around 10 PM after dinner that we wanted to stay the night. We had been dining on the wharf, and simply walked across the street to the Casablanca Inn. Service inside was quick and friendly, within a few minutes we found ourselves in a very charming ocean view room. We had a small kitchenette, and very comfortable beds. In the morning we had breakfast on our balcony, enjoying the ocean view and breeze. Continental breakfast served in the lobby was decent, and we look forward to staying here again!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Nicole L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charles C, Owner at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, August 22, 2013
Thank you for your kind words on your stay with us On the Beach! We always enjoy hearing about how people stumble across us. We are most fortunate to be situated in the heart of all the Santa Cruz activities for the convenience of our guests. We are so happy to hear about how you enjoyed our accommodations, please come stay with us again sometime soon! We'll gladly have you back next time you are in Santa Cruz, either last minute or reserved in advance!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
Level Contributor
255 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 302 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2013

One of the coolest places to stay in all of Santa Cruz. When me & the misses want another day'cation we'll come here and unwind. Right on the beach. The Santa Cruz Municipal Warf is totally within walking distance and has lots of awesome restaurants and shops. Very near the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk if you want to catch a cool ride on the Big Dipper.

There's really too many cool things to do within walking distance to list here,, seriously.
Have a couple of cocktails and dip your toes in the ocean?? Yes sir.. that's me all over.

To the rogue poor reviewers I say, Hey, Stuff happens! Stop and smell the roses or get out of the garden and make room for someone else (just one man's opinion). One reviewer called the Casablanca a "lovely, relaxing seaside hotel"... I couldn't describe it better.

The Casablanca has been thru a lot of changes over the years, most of them not so good in my book. However, the NEW owners have spruced the place up, modernized it, and I think it is now, the best it's ever been. I travel a lot all over California and I've come to really appreciate a place that has the location, the decour, and most importantly the staff to make it all come together.

Can you tell i like this place?

Room Tip: For a really quiet room, get one away from the main drag.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Danny_OI812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charles C, Owner at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, August 22, 2013
We are so appreciative of your charismatic review of our little Inn On the Beach! Thank you for taking the time to notice the updates around the place, the new owner has set very high standards for shaping up the property while keeping the historical nature readily in mind. We have undergone many changes since he took over in 2011, and we are continuing to add changes here and there as time goes on. We invite you back On the Beach anytime to see what we've been up to since you've been here last!
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Stockton, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

I would not stay here. I am participating in the Wharf to Wharf run on July 28, 2013. I made this reservation back on April 7th. I received a phone call on June 29, 2013 that the hotel computer system had crashed and that they lost track of my reservation. I had booked a room with double queen beds for my friend and myself. They told me at the time of the phone call that they had moved me to another room with a single queen bed and that they would give me an air mattress for my guest. And for the inconvenience they would drop the rate to $185. That was not going to work for me and my friend. So I requested to speak to the manager, Priscilla, and she "was at a meeting and would return my phone call." She never did. So I called back a few days later and she stated she would call the other couple who had reserved the room "after the computer crash" and call me back to see if that family was willing to change rooms. A week and half later they still had not called me back. When I called back, requesting to speak to the manager, "she was not at her desk" and the clerk," did not know where she was." At that point I cancelled my reservation and requested that my credit card be refunded the amount it was charged in April and the clerk stated my card had been refunded back on 6/26 which was not true. I had to dispute the charge with my credit card company and get them involved.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charles C, Owner at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, August 22, 2013
We are so sorry to hear about your reservation experience. We did have a computer crash incident in April in which we lost all new data that had accrued on the day you made your reservation with us. We are truly sorry about the inconvenience that was caused as a result of trying to get you in a room that could accommodate your party after the system lost your information. The front desk clerk who told you that you were refunded had incorrectly read your paperwork and we had not refunded it as of yet. When we attempted to refund your card, our system would not allow us to refund you based on the card on file no longer being valid. The Hotel Manager attempted to reach out to you to get a new credit card to apply the refund to that card, but we received the charge-back information from your credit card company upon which we acknowledged you are owed that money back. This system crash had never happened before and we are so very sorry that you were fell victim to unavoidable circumstances. We hope that you can still try us out another time so we can change your mind once you experience our accommodations!
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Travelers are raving about these Santa Cruz hotels

Fresno
1 review
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Our stay was fabulous! We were very happy with our room and the view was so spectacular I didn't want to leave the room. I woke up to the peaceful sound and view of the ocean. The hotel was very quiet and the staff extremely friendly. The continental breakfast was delicious and perfect for us light eaters. The location is excellent. I loved this hotel!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Terre K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charles C, Owner at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, August 21, 2013
Your wonderful review has made us feel very special here On the Beach! We are so happy to hear about your beautiful stay here! Please come back and stay with us again soon, we would love to build upon your previous experience!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casablanca Inn on the Beach

Property: Casablanca Inn on the Beach
Address: 101 Main Street, corner of Beach and Main, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5422 (Formerly The Casablanca Inn)
Location: United States > California > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Casablanca Inn on the Beach 3.5*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historical Casablanca Inn is strategically located across the street from the Santa Cruz beach, a block away from the wharf and the boardwalk. All our rooms are beautifully decorated and have a breathtaking view of the beach. Some of our rooms have a unique design which reflects the distinct character of the historic Cerf Mansion. Over the years, the Casablanca Inn has been fortunate enough to cater to some of the most influential and famous personalities of our time, which has immensely appreciated the elegance that our hotel has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casablanca Inn & Bistro Hotel Santa Cruz
Casablanca Inn And Bistro
Casa Blanca Hotel
Casa Blanca Motel

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