The Ultimate Guide to Santa Cruz Hotels

Planning a vacation in Santa Cruz?

From luxury hotels, bed and breakfasts, budget options, and pet-friendly accommodations, this Ultimate Guide to Santa Cruz Hotels features the best that Santa Cruz has to offer.

This guide is broken down into sections covering luxury hotels, boutique inns, bed & breakfasts, budget hotels, beachfront, motels, pet-friendly, and green hotels. You’ll also find vacation rentals, and hotels near the boardwalk.



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LUXURY HOTELS

Dream Inn

Dream Inn Santa CruzThe Santa Cruz Dream Inn is a retro-chic Joie de Vivre hotel located just adjacent to the Municipal Wharf and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk on Cowell’s Beach.

Each of the 165 light-flooded rooms in the 10-story hotel features ocean views from private balconies.

The Dream Inn was recently remodeled and its new on-site restaurant, Aquarius, offers a variety of sustainable seafood in a sleek modern setting.

Dream Inn
175 W. Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, CA
866-774-7735
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Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley

Hilton Scotts ValleyLocated off of Highway 17 in Scotts Valley, the Hilton Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley is a mountain resort only 10 minutes from downtown Santa Cruz.

Each of the spacious and elegant guest rooms offers complimentary wi-fi, microwave, refrigerator, and a work desk with ergonomic chair.

The resort also has an on-site restaurant, business center, and large banquet room for events.

Hilton Scotts Valley
6001 La Madrona Drive
Scotts Valley, CA
831-440-1000
Book a Room


Seascape Beach Resort

Seascape Beach ResortJust south of Santa Cruz in the quaint beach town of Aptos is the Seascape Beach Resort,  offering 285 spacious suites and beach villas with fully equipped kitchens or kitchenettes and private balconies.  The Resort offers in-suite spa services, and a full 18-hole golf course offering breathtaking views of the coastal highlands of the Monterey Bay.

Seascape Beach Resort
1 Seascape Resort Drive
Aptos, Ca
831-688-5800
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Hotel Paradox

Hotel ParadoxCentrally located off of Ocean Street, Hotel Paradox is an upscale boutique hotel that explores the concept of the urban forest set inside a small coastal town.

This sophisticated hotel features 162 spacious guest rooms and 8 suites with modern, design-focused décor and deluxe amenities including free wi-fi.

The hotel is completely non-smoking, and also features a fitness center, business services and meeting rooms, a full-service restaurant and indoor/outdoor bar, and luxury pool and rentable cabanas on the pool deck for a unique, chic Santa Cruz experience.

Hotel Paradox
611 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz, Ca
855-425-7200
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Chaminade Resort and Spa

Chaminade Santa CruzThis historic Mission-style mountaintop luxury resort overlooks sweeping views of the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Monterey Bay.  Situated on 300 acres, the resort features two, on-site restaurants, luxury spa, an executive fitness center, heated outdoor pool, tennis, volleyball, badminton and croquet, and miles of scenic hiking trails.

The Chaminade is decorated with contemporary Spanish furnishings inspired by color palettes from the California coast for the ultimate in Santa Cruz luxury.

Chaminade Resort and Spa

1 Chaminade Lane
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-475-5600
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BOUTIQUE INNS

Bella Notte – The Inn at East Cliff

Bella Notte - Inn at East CliffConveniently located between the cities of Santa Cruz and Capitola and within walking distance  to Twin Lakes Beach, Bella Notte is an Italian-inspired inn.

Each of the 10 spacious rooms is decorated with simple Mediterranean luxury. Several of the rooms feature large tubs and jacuzzis, and guests rave about the heated bathroom floors.

Bella Notte Inn
21305 E. Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, Ca
877-342-3552
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Ocean Echo Inn & Beach Cottages

ocean echo inn and beach cottagesPerfect for a family getaway, the Ocean Echo Inn & Beach Cottages are located between  Capitola and Santa Cruz.  Each of the cottages has a charming, beach vibe, kitchenettes and outdoor barbeques. Ocean Echo Inn also offers complimentary breakfast to start your morning.

Ocean Echo Inn
401 Johans Beach Drive
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-462-4192
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Inn at Depot Hill

Inn at Depot Hill

The Inn at Depot Hill is comfortably situated in Capitola Village outside of Santa Cruz.

Each of the 12 guest rooms offer a sense of luxury, comfort, and privacy, and evoke sentiments of world travel.  Adding to the elegance and ambiance, guests can enjoy afternoon wine and hors d’oeuvres as well as turn-down service.

Inn at Depot Hill
250 Monterey Avenue
Capitola, Ca
831-462-3376
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Captains Inn at Moss Landing

Captains Inn Moss Landing, CaLocated south of Santa Cruz at Moss Landing, the Captain’s Inn is a quaint, historical inn located in the old Pacific Coast Steamship Company building built in 1906.

Each of the 10 rooms features a different maritime theme and décor with the original redwood molding. Guests can enjoy quiet, sandy beaches, and views of wildlife including sea otters, seals, and various coastal birds.

Captains Inn at Moss Landing
8122 Moss Landing Road
Moss Landing, Ca
831-633-5550
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Babbling Brook

Babbling Brook Inn, Santa Cruz, CaNestled among redwood and pine trees, The Babbling Brook Inn is a hidden forest retreat in the center of Santa Cruz. The inn offers 13 guest rooms and suites which are tastefully decorated with impressionist artwork, brick fireplaces, and stained glass windows that look out over a lush garden and brook. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Santa Cruz, yet centrally located in the heart of town, Babbling Brook is a perfect romantic getaway.

Babbling Brook
1025 Laurel Street
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-427-2437
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Additional Boutique Inns:


BED AND BREAKFASTS

Adobe on Green Street

Adobe on Green StreetLocated in the heart of Santa Cruz is The Adobe on Green Street, a quiet bed and breakfast with quaint charm.  With 50 restaurants within six blocks of it, The Adobe on Green Street is in the perfect location to explore. Comfortable, simple rooms feature, non-fussy décor and thick walls so you can’t hear your neighbors.

The bed and breakfast gets bonus points for generating 80% of their electricity through the use of solar panels, having an electric vehicle charging station, and making their own natural cleaning solution.

Adobe on Green Street
103 Green Street
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-469-9866
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Cliff Crest

Cliff Crest Inn Santa CruzBuilt in 1887, The Cliff Crest Bed & Breakfast Inn is a quaint Queen Anne Victorian perched on Beach Hill, above the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

The bed and breakfast features five period guest rooms with Old World charm and canopy beds.

Breakfast is served in the solarium overlooking lush gardens and trees, for an idyllic escape away.

Cliff Crest
407 Cliff Street
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-427-2609
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The Darling House

Darling House Santa CruzThe Darling House Bed & Breakfast Inn is a historic oceanside inn built in 1910 by celebrated local architect William Weeks.

With breathtaking ocean views on West Cliff Drive, The Darling House has seven richly decorated rooms featuring tasteful elegant touches including antique woodwork and Tiffany lamps.  The owners of the bed and breakfast, the Darlings, provide warm hospitality for a charming and peaceful seaside escape.

Darling House
314 W. Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-458-1958
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Sand Rock Farm

Sand Rock FarmLocated in the coastal community of Aptos, Sand Rock Farm is a simple, yet sophisticated bed  and breakfast with five tastefully decorated rooms.

A mixture of a country inn and European retreat, the bed and breakfast offers gracious hospitality and gourmet breakfasts.

Sand Rock Farm sits on 10 acres, surrounded by trees, gardens, meadows, and splashing fountains, and is a  popular wedding destination because of the beautiful grounds.

Sand Rock Farm
6901 Freedom Boulevard
Aptos, Ca
831-688-8005
Book a Room

Additional Bed and Breakfasts:


BUDGET HOTEL AND INNS

Hampton Inn Santa Cruz

Hampton Inn Santa CruzThe Hampton Inn Santa Cruz is conveniently located in Santa Cruz off of Ocean Avenue, less than a mile away from downtown. It offers spacious, clean, and comfortable rooms with modern amenities. The hotel also offers complimentary breakfast including made-to-order waffles and oatmeal.

Hampton Inn Santa Cruz
1505 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-457-8000
Book a Room


Mission Inn

Mission Inn Santa CruzThe family-owned Mission Inn is located just minutes to the beach, downtown shopping, and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Municipal Wharf. Featuring a beautifully landscaped Spanish-style courtyard, the hotel is a convenient, comfortable choice for Santa Cruz lodgings.

Mission Inn
2250 Mission Street
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-425-5455
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Seaway Inn

Seaway Inn Santa CruzPerched on a hillside overlooking the ocean, The Seaway Inn is a classic beach hotel with  modern amenities.  Located on West Cliff Drive, it is just a short walk to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Steamer Lane.

Seaway Inn
176 W. Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-471-9004
Book a Room


Bay Front Inn

Bayfront Inn Santa CruzThe Bay Front Inn offers centrally-located rooms at an affordable price. Each of the updated rooms features free wi-fi, HD-TVs, hardwood floors, microwave, and refrigerator.  The hotel also has a heated pool and outdoor pool area.

Bay Front Inn
325 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-423-8564
Book a Room

Additional Hotels:


BEACHFRONT

Rio Sands Hotel

Rio Sands HotelLocated just outside of Santa Cruz in the quaint village of Aptos, the Rio Sands Hotel is about 100 steps from Seacliff and Rio Del Mar State Beach, where visitors can walk for miles along the shore.  The hotel offers a large pool, spa, BBQ and garden area, and a wide variety of room types, including suites with bunk beds for the entire family.

Rio Sands Hotel
116 Aptos Beach Drive
Aptos, Ca
831-688-3207
Book a Room


Casablanca Inn

Casablanca Inn Santa CruzThe Casablanca Inn is a sophisticated Mediterranean-style inn just steps away from the Boardwalk and Main Beach. This charming, sea-side hotel offers 33 elegantly designed rooms and bungalows on sprawling grounds, most of which have ocean views.

Casablanca Inn
101 Main Street
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-423-1570
Book a Room


Beach Street Inn and Suites

Beach Street InnLocated next to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Beach Street Inn is an oceanfront, family-owned boutique inn with one of the most spectacular views of the Santa Cruz coastline and the Monterey Bay.  The rooms are bright and colorful, with either ocean views or pool views for a fun, convenient stay.

Beach Street Inn
125 Beach Street
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-423-3031
Book a Room

Additional Beachfront Hotels:


MOTELS

Edgewater Beach Motel Resort

Edgewater Santa CruzThe Edgewater Beach Motel Resort is located on Beach Hill, and overlooks the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Each of the rooms is comfortably decorated and suites come equipped with their own kitchen.

Edgewater Beach Motel Resort

525 2nd Street
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-423-0440
Book a Room


Carousel Beach Inn

Carousel MotelThe Carousel Beach Inn is family-friendly lodging conveniently located next to the Santa Cruz Beach  Boardwalk, and offers special overnight Boardwalk packages that include lodging and ride  tickets.  The rooms are comfortable and freshly decorated, and include modern amenities.

Carousel Beach Inn
110 Riverside Avenue
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-425-7090
Book a Room


The Torch Lite Inn

Torch Lite InnThe Torch Lite Inn is a motel close to the municipal wharf, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and  mile-long Main Beach.  Styled in art deco theme, the 38 rooms are comfortable and spacious, and have black-out drapes and curtains for privacy and a peaceful night’s rest.

Torch Lite Inn
500 Riverside Avenue
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-426-7575
Book a Room


The Islander

Islander Motel Santa CruzThe Islander Motel is a clean and comfortable two-story motel with 22 guest rooms.  Located a mile from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, it is a popular and affordable option with visitors.

The Islander
522 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-426-7766
Book a Room


Aqua Breeze Inn

Aqua Breeze InnLocated just a block from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is the Aqua Breeze Inn. Comfortable and cozy, the motel features bright, colorful décor and modern amenities.

Aqua Breeze Inn
204 2nd Street
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-426-7878
Book a Room

Additional Motels:


PET-FRIENDLY

Inn at Pasatiempo

Inn at PasatiempoThe Inn at Pasatiempo is a boutique, pet-friendly hotel styled like a French country home and garden. Located off of Highway 17 right next to the Pasatiempo Golf Club, just 3 miles from downtown Santa Cruz, the location of the hotel offers more of a secluded stay amidst the redwoods.  Each of the 57 guest rooms and suites at the inn offers luxury amenities in charming rooms.

Inn at Pasatiempo
555 Highway 17
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-423-5000
Book a Room


Sunny Cove Motel Apartments

The Sunny Cove Motel Apartments is an older mission-style motel with 13 newly remodeled suites and apartments. Located just five minutes from Sunny Cove, a picturesque sandy beach cove between Santa Cruz and Capitola, the motel is a great option for families with pets.

Sunny Cove Motel
21610 E. Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, CA
831-475-1741
Book a Room


Ocean Pacific Lodge

Ocean Pacific Lodge Santa CruzLocated just blocks from the Santa Cruz Wharf and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Ocean Pacific Lodge is a convenient option for pet-owners. The hotel features 57 comfortable rooms, free wi-fi, heated outdoor pool, and complimentary continental breakfast.

Ocean Pacific Lodge
301 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-457-1234
Book a Room

Additional Pet-Friendly Hotels:


GREEN HOTELS

Pacific Blue Inn

Pacific Blue Inn - Green Hotel in Santa CruzThe Pacific Blue Inn is a bed and breakfast inn that promotes green living and eco-awareness.  It was built with non-toxic long-lasting blue wood and uses reclaimed and recycled construction materials. The inn also has installed lower water use fixtures, and they use non-toxic cleaning supplies to eliminate harsh chemicals. Located halfway between downtown Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the Pacific Blue Inn offers a quiet, secluded environment with nine rooms that are all wheelchair accessible, for a comfortable and relaxing Santa Cruz experience.

Pacific Blue Inn
636 Pacific Avenue
Santa Cruz, Ca
831-600-8880
Book a Room

Additional Green Hotels:


VACATION RENTALS

Vacation rentals are also a popular option for staying in Santa Cruz, as they provide more space, privacy, and the comforts of a home. With thousands of rental properties scattered along the beach and throughout the area, there is something for everyone, from rustic cabins, to condos, to beach villas. Many properties are pet-friendly as well, for a more relaxed pet environment than the pet-friendly hotels.


BOARDWALK AREA HOTELS

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Hotels

Photo Credit: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

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About Elizabeth Coleman

Elizabeth Coleman is an attorney-turned-writer born and raised in the Santa Cruz mountains. Her mom reads her blog, www.realitygumbo.com.

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