The Best Hotels in Capitola, California

The hilltop Chaminade Resort pays homage to California’s mission history and offers scenic views of Monterey Bay
The hilltop Chaminade Resort pays homage to California’s mission history and offers scenic views of Monterey Bay | Courtesy of Chaminade Resort and Spa / Expedia
Photo of Sara Darling
8 July 2021

Whether you’re exploring Monterey Bay or enjoying the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, Capitola offers a charming combo of colorful buildings, natural wonders and surf culture. Here’s your guide to where to stay in Capitola, California.

Just east of Santa Cruz on the coast of Monterey Bay, Capitola merges quaint European charm with old-school surf vibes. With kaleidoscope-like architecture, flower-laden streets, craveable fare, cozy boutique stores and galleries – and, of course, a sandy beach – Capitola is a secret seaside gem waiting to be uncovered. Here are the top hotels for travelers looking to soak up the coastal sun.

Capitola Hotel

Independent Hotel
4.5/5 (183 Reviews)
Courtesy of Capitola Hotel / Expedia

Hearkening back to the rise of Capitola’s surf culture and tight-knit community, the Capitola Hotel provides a window into the past with historic photos dating from the 1800s and industrial touches throughout the bright white hotel, located in the center of the village. Each of the 10 rooms is uniquely decorated with nautical touches, and the home-away-from-home feeling extends past the rooms: the Capitola Hotel offers complimentary breakfast, afternoon cookies and a weekend cheese service.

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Capitola Venetian Hotel

Boutique Hotel
4.3/5 (384 Reviews)
Courtesy of Capitola Venetian Hotel / Expedia

Capitola’s postcard-view of colorful pastel homes evocative of the Mediterranean coastline is by virtue of the Capitola Venetian Hotel’s unmistakable facade. The charming and vibrant hotel rooms are adorned with hand-carved Venetian doors and maritime decor, offer Pacific Ocean views and step directly into the warm sand. Local galleries, boutiques and restaurants are just a short walk away from the rooms and suites.

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Hotel Paradox, Autograph Collection

Chain Hotel, Hotel
4.3/5 (950 Reviews)
Courtesy of Hotel Paradox, Autograph Collection / Expedia

With a striking lobby desk made from a felled tree, reclaimed wood headboards, river rock shower floors and floor-to-ceiling windows bringing in brilliant natural light, Hotel Paradox brings the local mountains and redwoods indoors. For a unique outdoor nature experience, head to the property’s Solaire Restaurant + Bar, where you can dine around cozy fireplaces set among backlit trees and starry skies. To explore beyond the property, rent an electric bike or take advantage of the Hotel Paradox’s surfboard valet.

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Babbling Brook Inn

4.4/5 (667 Reviews)
Courtesy of Babbling Brook Inn / Expedia

A former 18th-century corn grist mill, the Babbling Brook Inn’s quaint, wood-shingled property runs along a small creek, surrounded by redwoods and pine trees. Cozy rooms are individually themed, drawing inspiration from artists such as Renoir, Monet and Cézanne. Paintings line the walls of rooms, all of which are outfitted with fireplaces to curl up beside after a day of exploring. Stroll along Babbling Brook Inn’s pathways to discover the covered bridge, rustic water wheel and serene garden gazebo.

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  • Chaminade Resort and Spa

    3.8/5 (626 Reviews)
    Courtesy of Chaminade Resort and Spa / Expedia

    A quiet and remote 300-acre (120ha) storybook sanctuary in Santa Cruz, the hilltop resort pays homage to California’s mission history, with bold, colorful tiles, a grand stairway, exposed wood beams and Spanish arches. Aptly named, the View offers al fresco dining under fairy lights with scenic views of both Monterey Bay and the rolling Santa Cruz Mountains. For an active experience, stroll along the redwood and eucalyptus-lined hiking trails or challenge your fellow travelers to a game of disc golf, tennis or pickleball.

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    Sea and Sand Inn

    Map View
    Courtesy of Sea and Sand Inn /

    Located along a waterfront bluff, every room at the Sea & Sand Inn features a commanding ocean view and a cozy fireplace. Spa rooms and suites include private hot tubs to take in the ocean view in a new way. Soak up the California sun on the inn’s spiffy grass terrace after enjoying a complimentary continental breakfast or afternoon wine and cheese. The seaside property is just a short walk from Santa Cruz’s nearby colorful, bustling wharf and boardwalk.

    Seascape Beach Resort Monterey

    Luxury, Hotel, Resort
    Courtesy of Seascape Beach Resort Monterey / Expedia

    Featuring all suites and beachfront villas decked out with fireplaces and ocean views, the Seascape Beach Resort sits along a stretch of secluded, private beachfront in Aptos for a true escape. Sharpen your golf skills at the pristine Seascape Golf Club or hit the sand for a beach volleyball game. If you’re opting to relax, lounge by one of the three outdoor pools or take advantage of the in-suite spa services. Cap off the day with a private beach fire – yes, s’mores are included.

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    Inn at Depot Hill

    4.8/5 (541 Reviews)
    Courtesy of Inn at Depot Hill / Expedia

    Housed in a former railroad depot, the Inn at Depot Hill transports guests beyond Capitola with whimsical themed destination rooms, including Paris, Portofino, Costa del Sol and Kyoto. The inn offers daily breakfast and evening appetizers and wine, to be enjoyed in the luxe dining room and charming garden patio. In-room fireplaces and plush bathrobes offer a sense of respite and relaxation, but for more adventure, Capitola’s beachside village is just a short distance away.

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    These recommendations were updated on July 8, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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