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Santa Cruz: need advice

Santa Cruz: need advice

Old Nov 13, 07, 11:43 am
  #1  
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Santa Cruz: need advice

I have a workshop in Santa Cruz that ends on a Friday. I am completly unfamiliar with the area. If I decide to make a weekend out of this trip does anyone have advice on what to do? In particular I'd want to find a nice hotel with resort facilities near the coast. It could be away from SC itself. I've done some searching online but I found myself thinking I should just return home or perhaps weekend in SFO.

I'd appreciate any input from FTers on this. Price is not an issue.
Dr_wanderlust is offline  
Old Nov 14, 07, 9:09 pm
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Depends on what you would like to do. Santa Cruz is a laid back beachside community. You're about 1 1/2 hrs from San Francisco. You are also only 45 minutes or so from Carmel and Monterey. 3 hours from Cambria (Hearst Castle).
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Old Nov 14, 07, 9:23 pm
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Well, you will not find a luxury hotel with resort facilities in Santa Cruz.

You could head down to the Inn at Spanish Bay, Lodge @ Pebble Beach, or Casa Palermo. Further down the coast, much more secluded would be Ventana or Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur.

It would probably be most convenient to drive up to the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, which is in a spectacular location, has great golf courses, a very good spa, and a marginal fine dining restaurant.

If you decide to do the Ritz HMB it is almost an hour's (amazingly beautiful) drive north of Santa Cruz but you will actually be quite close to SFO airport for your Sunday departure, 30-45 mins.
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Old Nov 15, 07, 9:27 am
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True, there is no Ritz or Pebble Beach Lodge in Santa Cruz, but there are a couple of very nice resorts. Chaminade is right in Santa Cruz, up on a hill overlooking the bay and Seascape is about 8 miles south in Aptos, right on the ocean.

If you go to Chaminade, they have a very good restaurant called the Library and their Sunday brunch is the best in the area. The Lounge at Chaminade, called Linwoods, has decent food and jazz on Friday and Saturday nights. It's a very comfortable room. If you go to Seascape, skip their dining room. It is not very good. There are a some good restaurants in Aptos - Ma Maison, Sparrow, and Bittersweet Bistro. Our favorite is Sparrow - a small informal bistro. Ma Maison is more formal, and Bittersweet is the largest, somewhat hectic and expensive. You should have reservations for these.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

AMENDED 11/17 - Just heard there was a norovirus outbreak at Seascape - so avoid the place for sure.

Last edited by JerryFF; Nov 17, 07 at 10:00 am
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Old Nov 25, 07, 7:37 pm
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I just left Seascape yesterday morning. They did have a norovirus outbreak there last week, which has "cleared out" by now (here).

I had a nice stay there, which was a convenient and pleasant location given family in the area. In particular, I was impressed that my "partial ocean view" room did not involve standing on my toes, bending my neck, or other sorts of silliness to enjoy the actual ocean view...out of my room or from the generously-sized balcony, I had a 180 degree view of the ocean, which was blocked somewhat by a half dozen or so trees closer to the beach.

All that said, given the OP's "price is not an issue" statement, I would imagine Seascape is not what he's looking for, save proximity to Santa Cruz. The room itself was furnished rather casually, with more than a few signs of wear. I believe this is a timeshare setup, as there was a small locked "owners" closet in the room. The room service menu was fairly light, and it did not run 24 hours/day. There was a coffee maker in the room (along with a kitchenette and small kitchen table/chairs), but no coffee to make. Again, the property was quite comfortable and large for me and my brood, with pleasant interactions with staff as needed, but this was not a luxury property.
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Old Nov 30, 07, 11:04 am
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One addition - there is a new excellent French restaurant in Aptos that I think is better than any other restaurant in the area. It is called Au Midi -

www.aumidi.com

The atmosphere is very casual, the restaurant is small, the prices are expensive, but the food is outstanding.
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Old Dec 3, 07, 1:21 pm
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advice on santa cruz

^I would go check out the seascape resort www.seascaperesort.com for a good place to stay and for dinner check out Tortilla Flats in Soquel. Iíve lived in Santa Cruz pretty much my whole life & one place that has never let me down is Tortilla Flats in the Soquel Village. They have unique Spanish / Mexican recipes & great service. I think you can find them online at www.tortillaflatsdining.com
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Old Dec 5, 07, 3:27 pm
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Advice

The most beautiful hotels in Santa Cruz are either the Seascape resort www.seascaperesort.com or the Chaminade. You can google the chaminade but I don't have their web address.
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Old Dec 5, 07, 9:30 pm
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If "price is not an issue," Chaminade isn't the place either. It's primarily designed to be a company meeting locale.
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Old Dec 9, 07, 10:21 am
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luxury B&B

This isn't a resort, but is well appointed and well considered.

http://www.innatdepothill.com/
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Old Dec 9, 07, 11:33 am
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another vote for Depot Hill...

and another for Chaminade.I have been there twice in the past year or so for weddings etc, the food was really awful, the rooms are a step above motels and the staff is really clueless...the grounds are gorgeous and the location is special but I have not been impressed recently.
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Old Dec 10, 07, 9:34 am
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As a resident of the area, we go to Chaminade frequently. It is highly variable. The Library is an excellent restaurant. We have never had a bad meal there. The buffet varies a lot - Sunday brunch is the best in the area, but the evening dinners are just so-so.

Linwood's lounge is a great place to have lunch or a drink and appetizers - the dinner food is mediocre. They have live jazz in the lounge every Friday and Saturday night.

We have always found the staff people friendly and helpful. However, we have not stayed overnight and have not use the spa or the pool. We have also not attended any arranged functions, such as weddings.
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Old Dec 11, 07, 6:45 pm
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Originally Posted by jjlankin View Post
Yeah right buddie, I've stayed at the chaminade alone numerous times. Also, I live in Santa Cruz, and you live in San Francisco. Keep your replies related to the city, don't pretend that you know about MY hometown!! Nice try, though.
Not living in Santa Cruz doesn't disqualify me from having a valid view on Chaminade. My company has hosted a few meetings at Chaminade and I reported our experience. It may well be one of the best in Santa Cruz, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a great, or even very good, place to stay.

When someone (like the OP) says "price is not an issue," that generally means they are looking for someplace great when judged on a broader scale than just one town unless that town is filled with great hotels, like Bangkok.

Oh, I don't live in Bangkok either!
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Old Dec 12, 07, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by jjlankin View Post
Yeah right buddie, I've stayed at the chaminade alone numerous times.
I guess your post explains why you have stayed there alone. Welcome to FT
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Old Dec 19, 07, 9:15 am
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thanks for all the suggestions. something came up and I was unable to attend the workshop (I was really disappointed as I had been looking forward to it). But I will heed the advice in this thread next year when they hold the workshop.
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