Checking In: Hotel Paradox – Santa Cruz • California • USA
California Hip & Laid Back
California Business meets Surfers
Modern & Minimalist with Surf Theme
Pool, Fire Pits, Surf Lessons
For my 2-night stay in Santa Cruz to explore this overlooked beach town, my home base was the Hotel Paradox.
Located in the heart of Santa Cruz, the Hotel Paradox is a short one-mile/15 min walk to the downtown and the beach. It is also just a 15 minute drive to venture into the redwoods for some hiking or ziplining.
This new Marriott Autograph Collection hotel has all the coolness of the Santa Cruz surf culture & Northern Californian nature with upscale amenities.
Walk into the lobby and you will see a HUGE eucalyptus tree that is now the front desk. The story goes that a white squirrel ran out of the log when it was placed on the property and still lives at the hotel. They have lovingly named it Simone and you will see these white squirrels throughout the property.
The property has all the amenities that you would expect including an exercise room, restaurants, and lounge areas. The Hotel Paradox’s statement area and my favorite part of the property was the gorgeous blue pool with one VERY large redwood overlooking the property.
With a pool facing room, I enjoyed the view both from my room and in the pool area where we enjoyed an early evening cocktail one evening. The second evening we took advantage of the fire pit for a quiet night in at the hotel enjoying the crisp California air, hot chocolate and s’mores.
I felt like a Californian again being able to snuggle up in a hoodie and still being able to kick off my flip-flips and stay warm my the fire with views of the massive redwood. Perfect bonfire atmosphere!
While my stay at the Hotel Paradox was to enjoy the town of Santa Cruz, the food, and the activities, the hotel also has business facilities. I peeked into one of the conference rooms to see this glass surround with an imprint of the redwoods. If you can’t be in the great outdoors, this is a good alternative while getting business done.
Enter the rooms and the hip factor continues with these refurbished rooms with Marriott quality including all the details you would want including free WiFi, iPod docking stations and mini-fridges.
I loved the Santa Cruz touches throughout the room and I especially enjoyed my patio overlooking the pool. This would be perfect for a group of friends or family reunion to have both private room, but connecting areas to socialize.
During my stay, I had the pleasure of enjoying an evening meal at Solaire. Whenever I am by the coast, I am ready for great seafood. Solaire delivered.
This restaurant offers farm-to-table specialities created by the executive Chef Ross McKee.
My choices for the evening included an Ahi Poke appetizer, Diver Scallops with browned butter, and a chocolate dessert with the freshest berries I have tasted in some time.
The Hotel Paradox also offers an unexpected opportunity to learn from the local surfer, Robert Weaver (aka Wingnut). Guests can book a one-on-one surf session with this former professional surfer to learn how to surf and learn about Santa Cruz surfing history.
Best known as a costar in the 1994 surf movie Endless Summer II, Wingnut has been surfing for 35+ years with a passion for the Santa Cruz and longboards. He is now a high-end instructor sharing his love of the ocean & surfing with Silicon Valley execs in private surf lessons both in Santa Cruz and around the world.
I had the chance to have breakfast with Wingnut and talk all things surfing from his adventures around the world. This surfer truly embraces the surf culture and you will be immediately sucked in with his laid back vibe. I was truly impressed when he detailed that he has a 100% first-timer stand up rate for his surfer newbies. I spent many weekends surfing in my 20’s in Southern California. A good MANY of the early weekends, I spent actually falling off the board… aka not standing. If only I had learned from Wingnut as you WILL be surfing with a lesson from him.
In the Area
Santa Cruz has so much to offer.
The downtown areas has a classic California vibe with a farm-to-table food scene. Of course there is also the infamous Boardwalk.
Wine lovers can pickup a wine passport and visit numerous wineries in the area.
For adventure lovers, drive 15 minutes into the Redwood forest and go ziplining through the canopy.
I had a great time in Santa Cruz and at this hotel.
Santa Cruz has so much to offer being able to go from the beach to the redwoods in 30 minutes.
The hotel was a great home base for easy access to all that Santa Cruz has to offer while offering upscale dining & accommodations. My favorite part was hanging out by the gorgeous pool under the redwood roasting and eating smores. Quintessential California!
Expect the unexpected at the Hotel Paradox.
Thank you to Hotel Paradox for hosting me on this trip to Santa Cruz, California.
All thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
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