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95% (212 member ratings) "#5 of 51 Santa Cruz hotels" -- TripAdvisor

The Dream Inn

Santa Cruz, CA
  • Direct beach access and walking distance to boardwalk and Pacific Avenue
  • Fun surfer ambiance with retro decor
  • Rooms all have balconies or patios with views of the water
  • Quality Checked by Travelzoo
  • Best Rate Guaranteed
  • No Booking Fees

95% (212 member ratings)

4.2Value for the Money


175 W Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
United States Map & Directions
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With funky retro interiors and a boutique feel, the Santa Cruz Dream Inn is “as stylish as Santa Cruz gets,” raves Lonely Planet. The hotel’s main draw, though, is its position right on the beach -- it’s the only hotel in Santa Cruz with direct access to Cowell Beach, and the ocean views are perfect. The fairground rides on the boardwalk and Santa Cruz Wharf are just two blocks away, and Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz is a five-minute walk.

A converted and fully renovated 1970s motel building, the hotel is cleverly designed to make the most of the views, with both wings facing the beach and the bay beyond. Inside, the detailing is similarly beachy. Surfing photos adorn the walls and surf boards are suspended from the ceiling in the on-site Aquarius restaurant. Expect a focus on seafood here -- try the California coast yellowtail with cilantro risotto.

On-site facilities are geared toward the laid-back beach lifestyle, with a heated outdoor pool, Jacuzzi and poolside bar service (April-October) -- staff will even valet store your surf board or bike if you’ve got one with you. While there’s no gym at the hotel, free yoga classes are offered (weekends at 11 a.m., seasonally), and there are plenty of running trails at nearby Neary Lagoon Park.

The larger-than-average rooms all face Monterey Bay and each has its own patio or balcony. Ground-floor rooms open straight onto the pool deck. Suites are a good choice for families, with a sleeper sofa in the separate sitting room.

From the press:
  • "The city’s lone beachfront hotel, with a 1960s retro theme and Jetsons-style furniture" -- The New York Times
  • "The main draw here is having the ocean at your doorstep" -- Fodor’s
  • "Finally, a decent-sized hotel within Santa Cruz that we want to stay in ... with stellar oceanfront views" -- Frommer’s


  • Infant cots / cribs
  • Bar
  • Newspaper / magazines
  • Gym / fitness center
  • Hot Tub / Jacuzzi
  • Outdoor pool
  • Pool bar
  • Restaurant
  • No pets allowed
  • Extra beds (fees apply)
  • 100% smoke-free


  • 24-hour front desk
  • 24-hour security
  • Concierge service
  • Express check-in / checkout
  • Laundry / dry cleaning
  • Pillow menu
  • Room service (limited hours)
  • Business center
  • ATM

Room amenities

  • Air-conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea-making facilities
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Mini bar
  • Outdoor space for some rooms
  • Pay-per-view / movies on demand
  • Safe
  • Flatscreen TV
  • iPod/iPhone docking station


  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout


  • Bathrobes
  • Bathtub
  • Hair-dryer


A Parking Fee of $25.00 (plus tax), per day applies and will be added to your bill.  This rate is subject to change at the discretion of the property.

  • Parking (fees apply)
  • Valet service (fees apply)


  • Accessible bathroom in some rooms
  • Accessible meeting room
  • Accessible parking
  • Accessible path of travel
  • Accessible pool area
  • Accessible restaurant
  • ADA compliant rooms
  • Facilities for guests with special needs
  • Roll-in shower
  • Wheelchair accessible
Please note: Some amenities may not be available in all rooms and some amenities or services incur an additional charge and are subject to change. Please check with the hotel directly.


  • Standard check-in time: 4pm. Minimum age required to check in: 21.


  • Standard checkout time: 11am.

Children and additional guests

  • Children stay free of charge when sharing parents’ room and using existing bedding on request. Crib available free of charge for children on request. Extra bed available on request: $20 per night for children up to the age of 12 and adults in the king and suite rooms only. Charges will be added to your bill on checkout.


  • No pets allowed.


  • Cancellation policy & booking conditions vary by 'rate plan'. These will be displayed on the payment page after you have searched for your dates and selected a rate.

Additional details

  • Pool bar closed during the winter. Minimum stay requirements apply periodically based on local events.

Getting there

The hotel is 45 minutes by taxi from San Jose International Airport. There is convenient self-parking at the hotel for those arriving by car, but it is pricey ($25 a day).


  • 175 W Cliff Drive
  • Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
  • United States

Customer Service

Prefer to book over the phone?

Tel: 1-877-966-0000

Mon-Fri 9am-9pm ET, Sat-Sun 12pm-8pm ET

Questions? Check out our FAQs or give us a call.

Rates may vary by date, are subject to availability and are not guaranteed until your purchase is complete.

You will pay the hotel in the hotel's local currency. The rate displayed (in CAD) is an estimate based on today's currency exchange rate.

The room rates listed are for double occupancy per room unless otherwise stated and exclude tax recovery charges and service fees.

It is the responsibility of the hotel chain and/or the individual property to ensure the accuracy of the photos displayed. Travelzoo is not responsible for any inaccuracies in the photos.