What this former Holiday Inn lacks in cachet it more than makes up for in location and convenience. As for location, the 12-story Crowne Plaza is Ventura's only beachfront property, is right off Highway 101, has ocean views from every guest room, is directly in front of a prime surf spot, and is a 5-minute walk from the shops and restaurants of downtown Ventura, so you don't need to use your car to get around. As for convenience, the hotel offers perks that the whole family will enjoy, including a large heated outdoor pool, a game room, a fitness center, and instant beach access. You'll also enjoy the adjacent walking/jogging/biking that winds along the coast -- great for a romantic sunset stroll. The entire hotel was completely gutted and renovated in 2006 at a cost of $15 million; guest room improvements include very comfortable beds, over-size desks with handy outlets and high-speed Internet jacks, and 27-inch TVs, but it's the shimmering ocean views from the balconies that are the still the hotel's best feature. Also on the property is the C-Street restaurant, offering a California-inspired menu with dishes made from locally sourced organic foods, and the AQUA Beachfront Bar offering ocean-view outdoor seating. Pets are welcome as well, and dogs receive a special welcome package upon arrival.
- © Frommer's 2013
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