Thursday, February 17, 2011

California Dreamin' at the Dream Inn, Santa Cruz

The view from our room at the Dream Inn
 Last weekend, my older daughter's school had a family day, so we were only too happy to take the jaunt down to Santa Cruz to visit her. Any excuse will do. We were able to get a great deal at the Dream Inn, a hotel overlooking the main Santa Cruz Boardwalk Beach. I would venture to say it is the nicest of the hotels in Santa Cruz proper, and I had been wanting to stay here since we first heard about it a couple of years ago.

Dream Inn is owned and operated by Joie de Vivre Hotels a company that specializes in California boutique hotels. Joie de Vivre owns hotels from the Sonoma Valley wine country to San Francisco, Los Angeles to Orange County, all of them fun and unique. One of their newest is the Citizen Hotel right here in my town, Sacramento.  

View of the Santa Cruz Pier from our Room at the Dream Inn

The Dream Inn has a fun young and beachy Mid-Century vibe that incorporates, what else, surfing and the Santa Cruz Boardwalk in it's decor. In our room, we had a photo of the Ferris Wheel above orange Panton chairs. The colors are vibrant and suggests good times ahead.
Fun Furnishings in our room
 The rooms all have fantastic views of the ocean, and the sunsets we saw were beautiful! There were lots of goodies on the bar area...snacks, hot chocolate, tea and coffee, and Izze's! Oh....and I have to say, the beds were perhaps the most comfortable hotel beds I have slept in.

Typical Room at the Dream Inn.
Photo courtesy of the Dream Inn Website
 The Lobby area was modern and funky with the very cool washed wood sculpted front desk and FLOR carpet squares. One of the things I appreciated so much was the courtesy and really friendly attitude we found with everyone who worked here, from the front desk to the valets, to the room staff. Bravo!

Front Lobby

Loved the Front Desk!

I was very fond of the rocking chairs!

Relaxed and Fun!! The Rockers and everything else as well.
 We decided that on our last night there, we would check out Aquarius, the hotel's restaurant. It was just as fun as the rest of the hotel with the surf boards on the ceiling in the bar and more Panton chairs facing the beautiful shoreline and Boardwalk views.
Aquarius Bar

Aquarius Bar
 The drinks were flowing and our meals were great. I had perfectly seared Salmon....one must have seafood at the beach of course!
Cocktails and Private Dining Room at Aquarius.
Photo courtesy of Aquarius website
 One of the traditions at Aquarius is a wink to the Boardwalk. Every guest receives fresh cotton candy flavored with Tangerine with the check at the end of the meal. It's those little touches that keep one coming back.

Aquarius Cotton Candy and Dining Room.
Photo courtesy of Aquarius website

If you are planning a trip to Santa Cruz, or anywhere in California for that matter, I would take a look HERE at the bounty provided by Joie de Vivre.

I am thinking the Ventana Inn in Big Sur may be my anniversary get away!!!!

9 comments:

Sarah said...

Looks fabulous Katie - the front desk, the cotton candy and the room with a view...the Ventana - wow, great idea - love that area -it looked great in 'Play Misty for Me' - my fave Clint movie...must get the husband to take me out there someday!!

gbf... said...

oh my what a great run down of the dream in....lovely sunset! the rocking chair is fabulous! have a good weekend. Dayle

snippets of thyme said...

Love the cotton candy in the bowl. How simple and fun. I also noticed the sliding shutter door in the hotel room. That is a cute idea. Glad you had a wonderful getaway!

Party Resources said...

Boston is blanketed under dirty, grey snow and ice. I want to be here NOW. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah Jane said...

ah! i miss california. this place looks amazing. I LOVE Ventana, their deck overlooking the ocean and margaritas are my fave. they have this insane 10 mi hike that leads to hot springs. wherever you go, enjoy. xo

Anonymous said...

Oooooooo!!!! I've stayed at the Dream Inn! But it was probably 20 years ago, before it looked so totally cool like it does now...but it was still the most desirable location on the beach and what a great place to be. I think I might still have a pen or note pad from there, very retro. Thanks for posting.

Callie Grayson said...

I love the colour palettes, did you realize that orange was in almost every image, from the sunset to the panton chairs to the reception desk to the flooring.... then turns to golden yellow in the last three!

What a beautiful hotel. I will have to check them out next time I am in Cali
xx
callie

Domestic Goddess..Diva sometimes said...

I have been there twice but I think it got renovated since they no longer offered shared 2 rooms (my parents could go to our room by a door between us).

I loved waking up seeing the boats leave really early in the morning for the daily catch. One of the restaurants on the boardwalk itself was when I had my first taste of shark meat. Pretty good.

Last year we went to Capitola and stayed at the Venitian (clustered of colorful tiny homes). Very old but it's also in front of the beach and we got a porch to sit and look at the ocean.

Anonymous said...

I lived in SC for 26 years and used to take care of the people (Canfields) that owned the boardwalk. Thanks for the memories!
Susie H