Retro-chic digs at the heart of Santa Cruz’s buzzing beach scene
With a primo locale on lively Cowell Beach, this retro-chic boutique hotel is the only true beachfront property in town. 165 guest rooms are stylized with a contemporary surf-inspired design and peer out over the Santa Cruz Wharf, the twirling rides of the 111-year-old Beach Boardwalk and the glimmering Monterey Bay. You’ll enjoy the same views from the expansive, oceanfront pool deck which sits directly on the sand and features morning yoga and weekend BBQs. The central location means you can ditch the car and explore the area on foot or via one of the hotel’s retro, blue beach cruisers. In addition to its proximity to renowned surf break Steamer Lane, the hotel sits on the site of Santa Cruz’s first surf shop opened by pioneering wetsuit inventor, the late Jack O’Neill. Grab a drink in the beachfront cocktail lounge named in his honor—Jack fancied a stiff vodka martini—and watch surfers through floor-to-ceiling windows.
Time Out tip: Grab a creamy latte from the Verve Coffee Roasters stand in the lobby for a taste of the beloved, third-wave brew that began in Santa Cruz before expanding to LA and Tokyo.