Santa Cruz is a a classic seedy/sketchy college town in places, and while this hotel might be justify its high price for what it is if it were facing the beach, it is, instead, surrounded by: a giant government building and its cement parking lot, a major pedestrian unfriendly artery, a homeless encampment type park with a corridor of street people leading to it. You wouldn't notice any of it if you pulled up and parked and then drove everywhere. If that's your style, then the location would be fine, if boring.
Pros: Nice lobby decor. Delicious food in the overpriced restaurant ($15 for a breakfast omelet that doesn't include toast, potatoes or fruit. Just.the.omelet.) Lots of seating indoors or outdoors. Responsive and friendly staff, truly a cut above what you find anywhere these days. Fun faux-Tahoe-decor at the pool. Fast elevators and convenient stairs. Illy coffee in the rooms, nice bath products.
Cons: Tiny airless rooms, no windows, no privacy as it's exterior corridors and your "wall" is a glass pane that lets the neighbors peer in or creates a cave if you draw the curtain. Just like a motel your grandparents once knew. Walkable to downtown, but you'd never want to do it after dark. (They offer a shuttle service, but we didn't try it, we just waited for a group going in the same general direction and hoped for the best.) Overpriced. A beach town hotel from which you can neither see nor hear the beach. A parking charge when there is plenty of room to park cars and they are located on the highway, practically!
If you're deciding between this and one of the many hotels on the cliffside path, you'll get more out of your stay by picking one of those, because you could walk to the pier and along the cliffs, and wander into the neighborhoods of historic homes.
I would base any return visit on price alone. For their average weekend price, you can do better at a charming B and B, if you can find one. Or use your points with Marriott as this is part of that brand, although points availability was always zero when we checked.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- WELCOME TO HOTEL PARADOX A Modern Alternative to the Traditional Santa Cruz Hotel Look beyond your first instict of Santa Cruz and you will find things hidden in plain sight: Rugged mountains, majestic redwoods, vibrant communities, and much more. This is where Hotel Paradox lives. It strikes the perfect balance between nature and urban design without excessive fuss. A Paradox is meant for discussion and questioning the obvious. This Autograph Collection Hotel will challenge you with bold contradictions. The engaging staff invite you to enjoy an experience where the ambiance is contemporary, inviting and a little bit mysterious. Hotel Paradox...Expect the Unexpected. ... more less
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