Best Romantic Hotels in Santa Cruz County

Need a place to stay in Santa Cruz? Here are our picks for the best Santa Cruz hotels for romance. 

Featured photo: Courtesy of Chaminade Resort & Spa

Patio with string lights at the Chaminade Resort and Spa in Santa Cruz, California
Photo: Courtesy of Chaminade Resort & Spa​

Chaminade Resort & Spa

A 300-acre campus with just 156 guest rooms and 3 miles of hiking trails through the redwood forest already gives Santa Cruz’s Chaminade Resort & Spa an advantage when it comes to giving active couples room to roam — not to mention the fitness center, tennis and pickleball courts, bocce ball courts, cornhole and disc golf course. But the historic hilltop compound, built in Spanish Revival style in 1930 as a Catholic boys’ high school, recently completed renovation of all its public spaces that not only enhanced its architectural heritage but also gives lovebirds even more choices for outdoor R&R. The resort redesigned Linwood’s Bar & Grill and aptly renamed it the View, greatly expanding its patio seating with vistas of Monterey Bay. At night, the vibe turns romantic with twinkling market lights that set the mood for date night, and perfect for star-crossed lovers, the Moon Dinner series features a multicourse, chef-curated meal, wine pairings and expert-led moon viewing.

HIGHLIGHT: Enjoy some quality downtime together by booking a private cabana on the pool deck, featuring two heated outdoor swimming pools and three hot tubs. Perfect for star-crossed lovers

Exterior of the large white Victorian bed & breakfast, West Cliff Inn in Santa Cruz, California
Photo courtesy of West Cliff Inn

West Cliff Inn

Romantic and restful escapes have always been part of the appeal of Santa Cruz’s West Cliff Inn, built in 1877 on a bluff above Cowell Beach that became known as “Millionaires’ Row.” Extensively remodeled in 2007, it’s now a 10-room Victorian-style bed and breakfast with modern amenities and part of the Four Sisters Collection boutique hotel group. Some rooms feature ocean views, fireplaces and jetted tubs, making for a memorable getaway with your loved one.

HIGHLIGHT: Start your date night with a glass of wine and savory bites during wine hour, included with your stay. Additional amenities like a delectable complimentary breakfast, plus bikes and beach gear to borrow, keep couples coming back to this intimate inn for return visits.

Santa Cruz, Romantic, Inn at Depot Hill
Photo courtesy of Inn at Depot Hill​

Inn at Depot Hill

A one-time working train depot in the 1950s, the adults-only, 13-room Inn at Depot bed-and-breakfast in charming Capitola evokes the romantic golden era of international travel. Individually decorated rooms at transport guests from Paris to Kyoto, with luxurious details including feather beds, Italian linens and fireplaces — and some even include patios and outdoor jetted tubs, making the Inn at Depot Hill an appealing choice for couples looking for a memorable getaway. Capitola Beach, restaurants, bars, galleries and shops are all and easy walk away, and the full breakfast can be enjoyed in the elegant dining room or garden patio — or, in your room, should you and your sweetheart feel like staying in bed.

HIGHLIGHT: Celebrating a special occasion together? The Inn at Depot Hill can ready your room with special touches like flowers; chocolate truffles; balloons; and a bottle of bubbly, wine or cider.

A modern hotel room with a king-sized bed, wooden furniture, and a geometric patterned accent wall. The room leads out to a balcony with a table and chairs, overlooking a scenic ocean view with waves and a pier in the distance—one of the Four Santa Cruz Hotels to put on your Radar.
Photo courtesy of Dream Inn

Dream Inn

For couples who like a little play in their getaways, the 165-room, retro-chic Dream Inn Santa Cruz is primed for fun in the sun. For one thing, there’s its beachfront location — the only one in town — just steps away from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. That means the retro-chic rooms and suites have the benefit of sweeping views of Monterey Bay from private balconies or patios. The onsite Jack O’Neill Restaurant & Lounge, helmed by executive chef Gus Trejo, serves up California-inspired fare and creative cocktails featuring locally sourced ingredients — and live music nights make it a great choice for date night. And then there’s the pool deck, a hub of activity that overlooks the beach and bay and is outfitted with a cocktail bar and street taco cart. Stay until sunset to watch the sun go down together, cozied up by the firepit, cocktail in hand.

HIGHLIGHT: Bring on the romance by staying in the Dream Inn Suite, featuring a fireplace; seating area; and private balcony overlooking the bay, wharf and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

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