The moment you enter the finally-opened Hotel Paradox at 611 Ocean St., you can surmise the paradox, or contradiction.
The decor is an imaginative blend of modern urban minimalism, like something out of New York, and expansive nature scapes from the woods of Santa Cruz.
The front desk is carved from a giant Eucalyptus log offset by the type of slate grey walls you'd see in Tokyo. It's an intriguing mix of modern and traditional California. The name even brings to mind another Santa Cruz tourist destination: the Mystery Spot.
After being bought by BPR Properties, which assumed $13.3 million of the previous owners' debt, the 170-room hotel and meeting center was supposed to open in June, then July and finally, it debuted last week.
Its restaurant, Solaire, was supposed to have its debut Saturday, but when we showed up for a meal, it was still closed. Test dines are scheduled for last this week, with chef Ross McKee in charge.
His resume includes the Pine Inn in Carmel, which his family owned, Le Coq d'Or, Carmel Valley Ranch and the Shadowbrook.
Prices range from $125 to $425, depending on day and season. It was $315 for a room over Labor Day weekend.
Guests have been checking in for a week.
Check the pics...and tell us what you think.