What are the first words that come to mind when you think of Santa Cruz? Beach bums? Surfing? The Boardwalk? Modern and chic are not usually at the forefront of most people’s minds when it comes to Santa Cruz and yet, the newly opened Hotel Paradox offers just that contrast to the Santa Cruz stereotype.
Located just blocks away from Santa Cruz’s downtown strip and a mile from the Boardwalk, the centrally-located Hotel Paradox offers 164 rooms and suites that perfectly blend the outdoor world with a modern aesthetic. You’ll notice this as soon as you enter the lobby and check in at the tree — yes the check-in counter is a 21-foot long, 7-foot diameter fallen eucalyptus tree that boldly and beautifully sets the tone for the hotel.
Scattered throughout the property you’ll find tree stump end tables, whimsical sculpted chipmunks climbing a hallway wall, and rooms decorated in a blend of natural fibers and textures that continually juxtapose the indoor and outdoor world.
Though right off Highway 1 and 17, the grounds of the Hotel Paradox transport you to a different world. Though it was a bit rainy when we visited, the pool area offers a large jacuzzi, cabanas, outdoor bar, and fire pit that I could imagine spending a long summer evening at. There is also a workout room that has an assortment of weights, machines and mats. Plus, the Hotel Paradox offers the largest events and meeting space in all of Santa Cruz.
Tip: For the best view, request an even-numbered room which overlooks the pool.
Solaire, the on-site restaurant, offers an inviting atmosphere of booths, tables, couches and the bar with a delicious selection of farm-to-table America cuisine. We visited for dinner (sans kids) and tried firecracker crab eggs rolls (highly recommend), a gem lettuce salad with white anchovies and manchego cheese, and risotto and pork entrees. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and happy hour, Solaire is an impressive addition to the Santa Cruz food scene and worth the visit. (Check out the seasonal menus here.)
While Hotel Paradox was definitely do-able with a family, I didn’t feel comfortable bringing them to the quiet, white leather-boothed Solaire. Fortunately, the central location of the hotel makes it easy to access a wide variety of Santa Cruz eateries.
For more information or to book your reservation, visit www.thehotelparadox.com.
Kate Bayless is a writer, editor and reviewer based in Southern California. Visit her on LinkedIn, Twitter or Contently. This is not a sponsored post. Thanks to the Hotel Paradox for hosting our stay. As always, opinions expressed are the author’s.