My standard hotel reviews include a breakdown by the following topics. Feel free to skip to whichever section you find most interesting.

  • Highlights
  • Lobby
  • Room
  • Hotel Space / Ambiance
  • Food & Drink
  • Fitness
  • Miscellaneous


Highlights: Hilton Santa Cruz Hotel in Scotts Valley

Securing a Spend a Night on Us certificate from my Hawaii stay in August (which I still have not finished) I set about finding a nice quiet weekend getaway to surprise Lady Hotelion. There weren’t a lot of options available in the nearby area – as the certificate requires a Hilton-brand hotel specifically, but Santa Cruz was both close and far enough. Highlights include the service proactively fixing some issues, and that was about it. Food was adequate, and it was far enough from Santa Cruz to require a car.



Perched right off the highway on the top of a small hill, this Hilton had plenty of free parking across 2-3 staggered rows. Funnily enough, I had texted them earlier in the day that we may be late due to some household emergencies, and they went ahead and cancelled my reservation and said there was no penalty. Apparently they read my text incorrectly. Thankfully, before I arrived they called me and told me the issue and said they’d fix it, so by the time I actually arrived they had a room ready. Lobby was expansive, with two checkin desks on the left and a row of merchandise (tourist traps!) along the wall. They proactively gave me a $50 credit voucher to their bar for my issues, which was appreciated.



Unfortunately, there were no upgrades available (not even for my Hilton Diamond status) and our room was a basic King room. One small issue is that the thermostat didn’t work properly and the room never went above 63 degrees. When I tried to check on it the panel popped off and one of the teeth which you snap back into place was broken. I spoke with the checkin clerk before dinner and they swapped me into another room. Mild inconvenience, but not a big problem. They did offer extra Hilton HHonors points upon checkout, which was thoughtful. Lastly, the room had no view – as it was all blocked by trees and foliage.



This hotel is nestled in Scott’s Valley maybe 5-10 minutes from touristy Santa Cruz downtown, boardwalk, and wharf. Lots of couples and a couple families dotted the restaurant and breakfast time.



We arrived super late in the day and had a late second dinner right before the restaurant (Stone House) closed. Tomato soup, Blue Moon, glass of rose, a fake Diet Coke, and a shrimp quesadilla to kill the $50 credit they gave me earlier. Quesadilla was good – but not worth anyhere close to the $18 retail price. I did not appreciate them not telling me that they serve Diet Pepsi when I asked for a Diet Coke.



Funnily enough, the fitness center on the fourth floor was on the way to our room – guilting us each and every time we walked past.



With rooms in the low to mid 100s, Hilton Santa Cruz felt like a decent use of my $200 Spend A Night On Us Hilton certificate. Note that we still have to cover taxes, fees, and any gratuitites. We ultimately did not spend very much time in Santa Cruz but I hope to change that in the near future. Keep the spark alive with random weekend getaways! Perhaps next time we’ll check out the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk – a throwback to our childhoods.



Featured Image is of our bed and cool nook seating area in our room.  Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links which, should you click through and/or make a purchase, grant me a commission. Also, I only post in the best interest of my readers. Lastly, thank you for supporting my blog and my travels. 

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