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
Sara Darling

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. Read on to discover the best hotels Capitola, California — bookable with Culture Trip.

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.

1. Capitola Hotel

Independent Hotel

Modern queen room, furnished with stylish and comfortable decor and wall art at Capitola Hotel in California.
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.

2. Capitola Venetian Hotel

Boutique Hotel

Spacious double room with a private terrace and stunning waterfront views at the Capitola Venetian Hotel.
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.

3. Hotel Paradox, Autograph Collection

Chain Hotel, Hotel

Comfortable, outdoor lounge furniture sits around a roaring fire at Hotel Paradox in Capitola.
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.

4. Babbling Brook Inn

Inn

The lush gardens and exterior of Babbling Brook Inn in Capitola, California.
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.

5. Chaminade Resort and Spa

Resort

The romantic outdoor terrace at Chaminade Resort and Spa, offering spectacular treetop views.
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.

6. Sea and Sand Inn

Inn

The beachside exterior of the Sea and Sand Inn in Capitola, California.
Courtesy of Sea and Sand Inn / Booking.com

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.

7. Inn at Depot Hill

Inn

Lavish double room decorated with red and gold plush furnishings at the Inn at Depot Hill in Capitola, California.
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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