HOTEL PARADOX (Santa Cruz)
The college surf town of Santa Cruz is somewhat like a combination of Venice Beach and Santa Monica, but with a much nicer coastline and a lighter pulse. Our stay in Santa Cruz was complimented nicely by Hotel Paradox (www.thehotelparadox.com, 611 Ocean Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060, 831-425-7100) – centrally located with ample parking and verdant surroundings . Hotel Paradox is a fine example of well executed modernist architecture and interior design — a rarity on the central California coast. The very unique registration desk is a dramatic counterpart to the modernism of the surroundings – it consists of only one piece of wood – a large and long section of eucalyptus tree trunk. It suits the place well, even though Santa Cruz is in redwood country, and is a definite conversation piece.
The staff at Hotel Paradox exuded the warmth of Santa Cruz and made every effort to ensure a comfortable and pleasant experience. I was really blown away by the immaculate pool and spa facility, a feature that can reveal a lot about how the rest of the facility is maintained. Every detail of the pool area was in perfect condition – crystal clear water, super clean tiles and deck, welcoming fire pit, plenty of deck heaters, pristine lounge chairs, illuminated wood pool enclosure, tree trunk side tables and pool lifts for the disabled. There is even an inside/outside bar and lounge area accessible from the pool deck that’s tied in nicely to the on-site restaurant, Solaire Restaurant Bar.
Solaire’s fresh farm-to-table American comfort food not only tantalizes hotel guests, but also attracts Santa Cruz locals excited about a new dining experience featuring local ingredients, wines and brews. Solaire offers in-room dining for hotel guests that includes breakfast, lunch or dinner options.
Hotel Paradox is also a hit for conference and meeting spaces, boasting the largest ballroom (4,400 square feet) in downtown Santa Cruz that includes catering, audio/visual equipment and Wi-Fi. Other services include airport shuttle transportation, business center, concierge, fitness center and 24-hour front desk assistance. Overall, the outstanding customer service coupled with the hotel’s “attention to every detail” makes Hotel Paradox Santa Cruz’ finest establishment worthy of return.
PARC 55 Wyndham in San Francisco
Our stay in San Francisco was perfectly served by Parc 55 Wyndham (www.parc55hotel.com, 55 Cyril Magnin Street San Francisco, CA 94102, 415-392-8000); a boutique hotel near Union Square offering luxuriously renovated rooms with great views at reasonable rates for a hotel of this caliber and location. Our elevated room on the 30th floor had a spectacular view of San Francisco’s skyline and the bay-style windows helped us enjoy the breathtaking views. Parc 55 Wyndham’s convenient location to San Francisco’s vast amenities could not be better with BART and the cable cars literally right outside the hotel’s entrance.
The hotel features 1,015 rooms and 15 suites, more than 30,000 square feet of event space that’s ideal for weddings or business conferences, three on-site restaurants and a 24-hour health club. The hotel staff offers world class service as everyone extends a warm welcome whenever you pass by. I found the concierge desk extremely helpful and the valet service to be efficient and professional. We highly recommend staying here at the Wyndham as you will be very satisfied. The location is great, amenities are fantastic and overall beauty and decor are top notch.
Parc 55 Wyndham makes your visit to San Francisco a success. Step outside the hotel and ride the cable car to Chinatown for lunch or to Fisherman’s Wharf for a stroll. Walk the Golden Gate Bridge, visit Alcatraz, experience countercultural Haight Street, high-end Pacific Heights, the Mission District, North Beach and take a ferry to Sausalito. There is so much to do and see in this incredible city.