To the reader...do not overlook the Scotts Valley area! This was our first time staying at a hotel in this area, and it was a nice surprise. The downer was that the cultural differences between Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz are obvious. Scotts Valley is definitely NOT surf and beach culture. Just a 20-minute drive can really distinguish 2 nearby towns. That said, this hotel offers a comfortable and contemporary yet affordable alternative to usually-expensive Santa Cruz and Monterey.
Pros: The parking lot was a little small, but I had no problem getting around. The lobby is beautiful, airy and modern. We felt very welcome, and the staff acknowledge my Platinum member status and offered me either a snack or points. It was really nice to be welcomed in that way, and the ladies thanked me several times for my loyalty to their brand. Another cool part was they remembered it was my youngest daughter's birthday. The FREE upgrade to a 2-bedroom suite for no extra charge was a nice perk as well! Unlike other hotels in the Santa Cruz-Monterey area, this hotel has a big breakfast area with a nice variety of items. Our hotel room bathroom was huge and had rolling barn doors, which I thought were cool.
Cons: This hotel is in a decent area, but it is not the picturesque and majestic Santa Cruz. While it is very close to the highway and there's easy on-off access, there is a fast food restaurant and gas station within walking distance, and there were some "questionable" people hanging out near the hotel property that made my wife and daughters a little uncomfortable. Also, while the lobby is big and modern...it is not exactly kid friendly. There was a sculpture near the fireplace that was fun to look at; however, if a kid was curious and touched it, it would probably fall over and hurt someone. Also, considering how close it is to "Surf City" and beach culture, there was very little to no decoration or recognition of that. A water feature, picture, surfboard on the wall...something, anything would have been nice to reflect and acknowledge what the nearby areas are known for.
That said, I highly recommend this hotel and this area. The locals were friendly and helpful. If you are looking for an affordable, modern and comfortable alternative to pricier Santa Cruz and Monterey, then this hotel is for you! This hotel was an "A" in my book...definitely 9 out of 10. less