A BRIEF HISTORY
In 1894, as Capitola was transforming into a beach side resort, the Hotel Capitola (also known as the "Grand Capitola") was built. The "Grand Capitola" resided at the end of the Esplanade, where the surfers take their waves. At its height, the hotel featured 300 rooms, a restaurant, and ballroom. Built in a Victorian style referred to as "The Rambles", the "Grand Capitola" set the tone for the architecture of Capitola. Up until the Great Depression, the "Grand Capitola" was considered the “heart of Capitola”. By August of 1929, everything had been auctioned off in the hotel, and on December 16, 1929 the "Grand Capitola" burned to the ground.
The Capitola Hotel currently resides on the Esplanade about 300 feet from where the “Grand Capitola” once stood. The oldest land deeds we have in our possession date back to 1923 and explicitly state the property only be used for residential purposes until 1945. So, we surmise that the hotel was built some time between 1945 and 1950. In the 1950s, the lower half was a liquor store, and in later years, a dress shop, garden store, and hotel retail shop. In 1975, Ann Hertel purchased the hotel that she successfully ran with her daughter, Minna, until it was sold in 2002. The Herberg Family completely remodeled the hotel, adding four more rooms, and eventually sold it to the Sid Family in 2015.
Changes are brewing once again for this boutique hotel, and this time...we circle back to the beginning. Capitola Hotel, in collaboration with the Capitola Museum and her previous owners, will embark on a historic view of the village. We are slowly transforming our brand from pineapples, seashells, and palm trees to that of old Capitola, when time was sacred and family was cherished. We will offer our guests a window into the past by posting historic photos of Capitola from the late 1800s to today. Our rooms and lobby will reflect a fusion of old and new, an industrial elegance that honors the traditions established by the “Grand Capitola” and carried throughout the years by the Village by the Sea.