The biggest plus for Chaminade is their conference package; really, no other hotel we researched came close to matching the package price.
Chaminade is in a beautiful location, up in the hills of Santa Cruz and offers sweeping views. This is definitely the selling point.
The staff is very helpful and the person we worked with was outstanding; but at times there seems like there was a disconnect with communicating with the front desk staff. They were incredibly busy the weekend of our event, and there were people everywhere. Unfortunately, this led to some minor problems. There was a very loud reception outside of our meeting room and it was very distracting for attendees; there were also glasses and dishware left behind by party guests, some thrown on the other side of their patios.
Also, depending on where you are assigned a room, you may wind up walking a short distance, but it is uphill/downhill. You can always call for a ride - they are very accommodating. The valets at the front are outstanding - very personable, friendly, and knowledgeable about where to go and what to do.
The food is good. Everything is buffet-style in the main dining room, so we ate with everybody else at the hotel. This can be problematic, as there were times when our group arrived for lunch and some of the buffet choices were completely depleted.
The meeting rooms are standard - but the views are very pretty. The common area is a great addition - comfortable seating, a nice patio area, and lots of wonderful snacks!
My room had a torn and broken patio door which I reported, but no one ever came to look at it or replace it; I just chalked it up to the property being completely full that weekend with all kinds of different activities and conferences.
Overall, it's about location, location, location for Chaminade coupled with the conference package amenities and price. It's a nice meeting spot and the majority of our group enjoyed their stay.