Mod surf culture has once again washed ashore in Santa Cruz, Calif., but this time it’s in the form of a new hotel. The Hotel Paradox—which opens Aug. 15 on Ocean Street downtown—capitalizes on the hip, laid-back vibe of a small-town surf community but also kicks it up a notch with modern, eco-savvy features, like a check-in desk crafted from a fallen eucalyptus tree.
Orchestrated by the San Francisco-based Orlando Diaz-Azcuy Design Associates, and part of BPR Properties (behind the trendy Hotel Keen, open since 2010 in Palo Alto), what was once the University Inn & Conference Center is now a 170-room boutique hotel. There’s a brand-new indoor-outdoor bar lounge and restaurant, as well as a remodeled pool and new fitness center (which overlooks the pool). Each of the rooms (large wall prints of the nearby forests contrast nicely with muted grays, blacks, and whites that contribute to a white-washed effect) is packed with little luxuries like flat-screen televisions, iPod docks, down-bedding packages (on request), and eco-friendly bath products. (Pillow snobs will love the services of the hotel’s ‘pillow butler,’ who provides pillows—whether it’s hypoallergenic down or foam—off a special ‘pillow menu.’) Each room has something ‘green’ in it, too, with a conservation-minded HVAC system and custom headboards made out of reclaimed snow fences. Much of the furnishings were custom-made for the hotel.
Solaire Restaurant + Bar is the hotel’s indoor-outdoor bar lounge and restaurant providing alfresco seating in two posh locations: near the pool or with a view of surrounding redwood trees. (Guests can also opt to dine indoors.) Or, you can hole up in a cabana. Or, better yet, cozy up to a fire pit on a chilly night. Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner the dishes (mostly small plates) rely upon locally farmed, sustainable ingredients and can be paired with Central Coast wines. Even the cocktails carry a locavore twist and contain locally grown ingredients.