I had high hopes for the Chaminade Resort & Spa located in Santa Cruz. The company I was meeting with highly recommended them for a nice relaxing 3 night stay. By the time I finished work for the day, my client dropped me off at the Chaminade around 9pm. I had booked their room with one queen bed. For some reason I ended up in a room with 2 queen beds. Normally I would have called about it, since I didn’t need the extra bed and I was hoping the 1 queen bed rooms would have bigger bathrooms. But at the Chaminade, the lobby is in one building and you have to drive to your room. Since my client had driven me there and then was nice enough to wait while I checked in so he could drive me to my room. I didn’t feel like walking back to the main lobby with my luggage, getting a new room, then walking to that new room. Fine, I would deal with it, but while the room was large the bathroom was EXTREMELY small. I mean claustrophobic small. Think stall with a full size tub.
The bed was comfortable but not on the caliber of a Starwood, Marriott or Hilton bed. I was actually thankful for the 2 beds because one of them had a HUGE dip in the middle. When i went to lie down, I rolled right into it. So I switched to the other bed.
Usually when I stay in a hotel I stay at the top floor, never the ground especially when there is a patio that leads out and faces woods. Unfortunately they don’t have elevators and my client while kind, piped up that he would prefer I stayed on the first floor since if I choose the 2nd floor he would need to lug my luggage up for me. So first floor it was.
I had heard a lot about the Chaminade’s restaurant and since by now it was close to 10 and I didn’t want to walk to the main lobby ( I was told the restaurant was open till 11pm) I ordered a burger from room service. I ordered it cooked medium. It came back EXTREMELY well done. Almost hard. As you can see from the photo below there was nothing special about this burger, but when a burger cost $23 you really do expect it to taste at least decent. To be fair, it was late at night and maybe their good cooks only work regular hours, but the food was another disappointment.
What I did like about the Chaminade was the color scheme. It was really nice rustic feel to it. I love a place with a balcony / patio so you can sit out and enjoy the weather. The air smells like Eucalyptus and in the morning when I left I really got a chance to look at the grounds. Yes you read that right, I decided to leave and check into another local hotel. For the price I was paying I didn’t feel like I was getting very much value. I definitely didn’t feel like this was a “resort”, but then some people have accused me of being a diva LOL! Now I will confess a guilty little secret. I LOVE taking the soaps and shampoos at the hotels I stay at. I have a great collection of Bliss products from Starwood hotels, Marriotts products aren’t that great and I do leave those behind. Here they don’t set out little bottles of anything. In the shower there are 3 bottles attached to the wall one with soap, one with shampoo and one full of conditioner. Nothing to take home 🙁 They had a little thing of body lotion and thats it.
Well thats my review of the Chaminade. Would I stay here again, probably not. I think if you are in the Santa Cruz area and you are there looking for a nice place to stay while you hike or go to the beach. Then this is a nice rest stop.
If you are looking for a luxury get away. This isn’t it. They do have a spa on property that maybe nice, I didn’t get a chance to try it. But to me luxury goes far beyond having a spa on the property. Its the amenities, the room, the staff etc. When I checked (again it was late at night so maybe during the day its different) The rushed out the door not to greet me and take the bags, but to tell me to keep the bags in the car since we would need to drive to the room. I guess they don’t have a golf cart or anything to take me. My client said no problem he would wait while I checked in, but I knew his wife was waiting for him rather impatiently from the way she kept texting. Anyway, I would have to say this is a 3 star hotel. Its clean and comfortable but not the Luxury Resort they advertise.