If your inner escapist is yearning for Pacific vistas, forested hikes, and farm-to-table dining, this Mission-style resort in Santa Cruz’s tree-clad hills is your hall pass to getaway bliss. Chaminade Resort’s 156 rooms, 11 villas, four tennis courts, and two restaurants are perched on a hillside overlooking Monterey Bay’s blue expanse.
A $7.9 million facelift in 2016 added a fresh, artistic whimsy to the guest rooms and public spaces here. Historic black-and-white photos adorn the walls, and in-room refrigerators are disguised as vintage iceboxes. Oversize dominoes designate the room numbers. Guest beds are backed by “abacus” headboards—and yes, you can move the beads around for any bedside arithmetic needs.
The resort’s bohemian vibe fits right in with Santa Cruz’s eclectic energy. Take a 15-minute drive down the hill to shop downtown, golf, or stroll the vibrant Santa Cruz Harbor, where you can hop on a boat for a bay cruise. Or just stay put—Chaminade’s 300 acres are filled with possibilities. Take a swim in the heated pool or breathe warm, therapeutic air in the Himalayan salt sauna. Hike three miles of shady trails. Pamper yourself with a massage or facial. In summer and fall, plan ahead for Chaminade’s farm-to-table dinners, where you can meet and mingle with local food producers and vintners as you nosh your way through five farm-fresh courses paired with Santa Cruz Mountains wine.
Year-round, Linwood’s Bar & Grill and Sunset Restaurant serve enticing California cuisine, and they add a big “bone-us” for dog-loving travelers: a pooch menu that entices canine guests with peanut-butter-and-bacon pup cakes. (And of course, your fur baby can sleep next to you in Chaminade’s pet-friendly rooms.)