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Very Good 499 Reviews
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What We Love

  • The beachfront location
  • Aquarius restaurant's sustainable seafood dishes like California yellowtail or Monterey Bay wild king salmon
  • Each guestroom has a patio or balcony
  • Free WiFi
  • READ MORE: Who Doesn't Love a Boardwalk?

What To Know

  • The pool will be closed during construction from November 2, 2015 to March 17th, 2016
  • The poolside bar is open during the summer
  • Expect a tinge of 1970s flair, like bright neon accents and paisley prints, with mod cons like flat-screen TVs, iPod docks
  • Splurging on the valet parking for $24 is well worth it


  •  Bar
  •  Free WiFi
  •  Parking On Site
  •  Pool
  •  Restaurant
  •  Spa
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Bedroom Luxury Modern Waterfront sofa property Suite living room cottage bed sheet


Retro surf shack cool with sustainable seafood, a heated pool and outdoor spa in Santa Cruz

The Look

The first luxury hotel on the Santa Cruz waterfront, the Dream Inn adds a touch of style to this beachcentric college town. With splashy colors lapping over surfer motifs, the boutique spot celebrates the nostalgia of the nearby historic boardwalk but embraces a new wave of sophistication surging south from Silicon Valley. The subtle white exterior retains just enough of the inn’s former motel stylings to register as retro, while the rooms combine the style and class of a boutique hotel with killer views.

Bed & Bath

Each guestroom has a patio or balcony where you can watch surfers carve choice waves and sea lions and dolphins frolic further out. Expect a tinge of 1970s flair, like bright neon accents and paisley prints, with mod cons like flat-screen TVs, iPod docks and free WiFi. Large rainfall showers and plush robes are the highlight of the ample bathrooms.


On warm days — of which there are many in Santa Cruz — it doesn’t get much better than lying out by the pool, drink in hand, the sound of waves crashing just beyond the gate. On the other side of the hotel, a short walk puts you on the wharf or in the heart of downtown on Pacific Avenue. Locals and guests alike love the hotel’s Aquarius restaurant with sustainable seafood dishes like California yellowtail with cilantro risotto, preserved lemons and watercress or Monterey Bay wild king salmon with quinoa salad, watercress puree and greek yogurt.

In the Area

Ramble through the towering redwoods of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, and be sure to take a dip in the Garden of Eden swimming hole. The historic boardwalk dates to 1865 and still has one of the top seaside amusement parks in the country. Throw your hands up and let it out on the Giant Dipper wooden roller coaster, built in 1924. Share turf with the locals and learn how to catch a proper wave at Club Ed Santa Cruz Surf School & Camps on Cowell’s Beach. Rent a boat at Capitola Boat and Bait in nearby Capitola, where you can fish without a license. A lounge, tapas bar and merchant all rolled into one, Soif offers the best of California’s two main selling points — fine wine and top-notch cuisine — in one intimate setting.

How to Get There

Dream Inn Santa Cruz
175 W Cliff Dr
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 United States


Still the best place to stay in Santa Cruz!

My first review of The Dream Inn was in 2012. We've stayed once a year since then and have never been disappointed. The customer service continues to be excellent. A shout out to Hank in reservations who was able to assist us on a last minute trip (and who doesn't like a last minute trip to the beach)?! I won't stay anywhere else in Santa Cruz!
The views are amazing, the food is good, the rooms comfortable and nicely appointed. Quick walk to the pier, boardwalk, West Cliff Dr. Always something to see from the balcony - weddings, wildlife,amazing sunrises, movie filmings.

Great Place to Stay; but watch what is put on your credit card.
Bonnie L

Beautiful views and an awesome place to have a get-away, but they placed a pending charge of $1,254,85 on my credit card and would not immediately release that amount at checkout. I came in with a $1,000.00 gift card, which was verified, They told me that it could take 7 to 10 days to release the pending charges they made to my VISA. My bank told me to ask for an immediate release but Dream Inn stated that could not help me; said that it was already released. How embarrassing to use my card after leaving Santa Cruz and it was declined, due to Dream Inn not making my funds immediately available. Just ended up putting a damper on the whole experience spending a great amount of time on the telephone to the bank and Dream Inn with no positive results.

Fun and peaceful Fall Getaway
Mary D

Great room, views and ocean waves...doesn't get any better! Jack O'Neil restaurant has the best breakfast, highly recommend the Huevos Rancheros.
Foggy strolls at night, then jump in the heated pool to warm up.