More about Stanford Park Hotel
bicycling down the coast
day 1: land in SFO, check into 4seasons, san francisco. ship bike box down to pasadena via UPS ground(around 60$). keep bicycle in the room.
day2: travel from san francisco to palo alto on "el camino real". check into stanford park inn. keep bicycle in the room. no in house spa.
day3: from palo alto to monterey. from the skyline boulevard, it's a straight down hill to santa cruz. from santa cruz to monterey, need a detailed map to avoid riding on freeway(available from 'bicycle trip' - bicycle store in santa cruz) checkin to monterey plaza hotel and spa
day4: from monterey to big sur. have a burrito at the first general store that appears on coast highway1 in big sur. check in to "post ranch inn". get an in-room massage.
day5: from big sur to San Luis Obispo. 110mi. check into "apple farm inn". get a massage
day6: amtrack from S.L.O. to Santa Barbara. check into "simpson house inn"
day7: amtrack from S.B. to LA. rent an SUV from union station, put bicycle in, check into the Ritz in pasadena. keep bicycle in room. 1. camera + extra battery
2. epson p-2000 + recharger to download your pictures
3. bicycle tires reinforced with cavilar(available from bicycle stores). i pump up to 100psi in san francisco, never had a problem; didn't need to use airpump until LA.
4. suntan lotion(got a nasty burnon my wrist after 1 day - it's beginning to look better)
5. i used 3 maps. first large scale(from Borders books, the whole california atlas. i cut and pasted pages along the coast and tossed the rest); small scale from santa cruz to monterey(from local bike store), and another small scale map from SLO to SB(again obtained from a local SLO bike store, which i ended up not using)
Beautiful but seriously flawed
First impressions of this hotel are favorable. The hotel is undoubtedly elegant and makes a great first impression. When I arrived late in the evening, the exterior was lit with subdued lighting and I was looking forward to a relaxing stay.
The staff were friendly and courteous, but in that faux way typical of Californian hotels, lots of smiles and "yes, sirs" and "no problems" but it all just feels, well, fake. It's as if the staff of all the upscale hotels have been to the same charm school which is turning out slightly insincere staff with a soupcon of car salesman. Nevertheless, I was willing to put this aside.
My room was spacious, clean and well appointed. There were nice details, such as separate his and hers sink areas. Everything had that shiny new feel to it and it wasn't hard to imagine that you were the first guest to stay in that room. But, for a hotel like this to live up to the high expectations that it has set for itself is not an easy task and it failed within the first 5 minutes when I noticed that only one set of toiletries were provided in the separate vanity areas. I was disappointed. Yes, this is a small detail, but you don't get to charge the prices that the Stanford Park charges and get to fail on silly things like this. You have to get it all right, every time, for every guest. Minus one point.
I then decided to order room service dinner. I didn't want anything elaborate, so a chose a simple chicken dish, dessert and a bottle of mineral water. Dinner arrived within a half hour with the customary courteous knock. The waiter had been trained to use my name and to ask permission to enter while stumbling over the hotel approved phrasing. Is there some legal reason why this do that? You're holding my dinner, I've opened the door, what else am I going to do? Carry that precarious tray myself? Anyway, I invited the waiter in and he went to rather too much length to prepare my meal with the ceremonial lifting of covers and naming of contents. Then I saw the check. It was over $60! Okay, so if you're probably not going to be concerned with being charge 100% more than the reasonable cost of the service and delivery, but if I wanted a $60 meal, I would have eaten out, ordered wine and made an evening of it. This is room service fare. Sure, it was better than average, but not worth over $60.
It was then that I noticed the trains. The Trains! The Trains! I'm shouting so you can hear me over the sound of the Trains rumbling by while they play Broadway show tunes on their whistles. The first time you hear their whistles, you think how quaint they sound. You can imagine Casey Jones with his head out the side of this steam train playfully pulling on the whistle. Like I said, quaint, but not at all quaint at 5am in the morning when they start trundling by blowing their whistles for each and every hotel guest.
So, dear reader, do yourself a favor and please map the address of this hotel on your favorite mapping service and be appalled that the railroad tracks are not just somewhere near the hotel, they more or less go right through it. And wonder, how a hotel with such pretentiousness could fail to install soundproofing throughout the hotel.
At the Stanford Park hotel you pay dearly for the privilege in more ways than one.
Nothing but beauty
We had our wedding reception here; months of planning, tons of confusing requests to the hotel, dozens of guests... not one complaint on our side (or theirs, thankfully).
The staff greeted us personally and treated us well. The service was impeccable, and the hotel itself is just gorgeous.
It has a high-class, upscale feel without being uncomfortable or snooty. There's comfortable places to sit and talk, and the courtyard is peaceful and colorful with beautiful flowers and plants.
Rates here were only a bit higher than neighboring properties (especially on weekends--rates at the SPH are really reasonable), and the amenities you get at the SPH are worth every penny.
These people really care about service and their reputation, and it shows.
The hotel feels like a sanctuary; even when there are trains passing by, we didn't hear any of them in our room.
I've been here to have dinner and drinks when there was a rowdy wedding reception going on (not ours, natch), and it was still really pleasant. The staff obviously does concentrate on the weddings at the hotel, but they were apologetic and courteous to us in compensation.
I'd recommend this hotel and its restaurant whole-heartedly.
Best Hotel & Service ever !
From the moment we entered the driveway of the hotel with it's beautiful fountain and quaint garden setting, I could tell we were in for a peaceful and enjoyable stay. We were welcomed with smiles by the hotel doormen who also provides guest with complimentary valet parking as requested. As we entered the quiet hotel lobby, a warm fire was glowing, a subtle hint of fresh flowers was in the air , and it was apparent by the decor that no details were left out.
Our next wonderful surprise was our spacious guestroom.
It was well equipped, very tastefully decorated, and the cleanest hotel room I have ever stayed in- the maid service does an exceptional job in the rooms and throughout the entire hotel. I was very impressed and it was apparent that this was one main reason why this is a 5 star hotel. They also offer turn down service, which I refused the first night because I was not sure what that was. Then on the second night when we came back form a dip in the hot tub we found our bedcovers had been nicely turned down and a mint was laid on our pillow- talk about details, wow! Another nice detail is in the evening from 9:30-10pm in the lobby they have asst teas, coffee and fresh baked cookies -yum.
As far as the price, they have a great weekend getaway package around $199. night, which includes breakfast at the beauitful and elegant duck club restaurant. The staff at the Duck club were wonderful, I have never had this great of service anywhere, and the food was excellent and they don't skimp on portion sizes either. We upgraded our room so it was a little more pricey than the standard, but overall still a great deal especially considering this was a 5 star hotel, and besides with age I am learning you get what you pay for. This hotel is a rare find- It's perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation.
My family & I loved everything about it and we will return soon.
If you want to stay in a peaceful, quaint, beautiful and relaxing hotel give this one a try. The amenities are wonderful; From sipping tea in the tranquil garden, relaxing in the pool or hot tub, shopping at the stanford shopping center or Downtown Palo Alto or just relaxing at the hotel . This place really is perfect.
Pleasant hotel in a great location
I recently stayed at the hotel for two nights during a business trip. I felt the hotel was upscale and elegant, but in a modern (somewhat "hip") way. The location and grounds are beautiful. Let me comment on the following:
*Rooms: The rooms are very nice and reasonably spacious. I travel often and was more comfortable than normal. I liked the room layout and the TV (not a flat screen but the cabinet was in a great spot/height in the room).
*Noise: the prior review talked about noise from trains. This is true. I travel with a sound soother (which for light sleepers I highly recommend!). I could not hear the train with the sound soother going. I could see this being bothersome but cannot comment on how often it came by at night. My colleagues did not seem to be too bothered by it.
*The food at the cafe/bar was quite good. The service here was outstanding. The bar area is "fun" but polished.
*Pool: The pool was nice and an outstanding 8 feet deep. A pleasant setting around it as well. There is also a jacuzzi.
*Work-out area: this was ok but nothing to get too excited about. There are a few aerobic machines and some small dumbells. The rug in the weight area could stand upgrading.
*Location: The location is great and a very convenient walk to much of Menlo Park. I walked 5 minutes one night to have dinner at PF Changs.
*Price: My company paid this, and I did not even see the bill (long story). I cannot comment on the value for money.
I normally stay at a different hotel very nearby, but had to stay here for client realted reasons. I was very impressed and this will now be my preferred hotel for the area. My flight was very delayed (I arrived at about 4:30 am) and the staff was up and very helpful and my room had not been given away (not true at every hotel). The rooms were nice sized with a very comfortable bed. Lots of light in the room. The mirror/sink are was in a separate area from the shower (which I prefer) and a nice arrangement shampoo and conditioner. The business center was also convenience
The hotel itself was lovely, very romantic. It was in a good location for shopping and dining.
Staff was very helpful, both in recommendations and helping around the hotel.
The hotel has a free wine hour weekday evening, which I unfortunately missed.
The bar and restaurant was very nice. And while I left before Sunday brunch, the menu looked superb.
Would stay here again
I enjoyed my two-night stay here. I was a little concerned reading other reviews about the trains/noise, but my room overlooked the main entrance to the hotel and I never heard any train noise, despite the fact that the tracks do indeed run right by the hotel.
The staff was very pleasant and helpful, always calling me by name. My standard king room was clean, roomy, and nicely appointed. The bed was very comfy. The bathroom was large and had 2 sinks. The soaps/shampoos had a pleasant scent. Room had a coffemaker, desk, and sitting area. The live plants in the guest rooms and hallways were a nice touch. Only thing I wish the room had was a full-length mirror.
I didn't use the pool, but it looked nice. I did use the fitness center, which was small but adequate. It had an elliptical machine, treadmill, and weights. There was also a sauna and a shower.
The parking lot had ample parking and was nicely landscaped. Overall, a very nice property. And if you love breakfast, go to Stacks 3 blocks down.
A Caring Instititution
This is probably the most caring mid-peninsula hotel in the Bay Area. It's very well-managed and always relaxing--not to mention an excellent cuisine which only gets better every year. We stay here at least once a year and always wonder why we don't come back more often....
Needs renovation -- or worse
It is a complete mystery to me how anyone could like this hotel. I have been here several times on business, and I always leave unimpressed (on a good day) or fuming (on a bad one).
The chintzy rooms and lobby -- which look like they were modeled on an early '90s Westchester tavern -- badly need refurbishing. The carpet looks shabby and garish, and the wood floors? Let's just say they apparently haven't been buffed since your older sister graduated from Stanford. The rooms, by the way, have all the za-za-zoom of your grandmother's bedroom.
Turning to services, the hotel's policies are simply mystifying.
For example, when I am staying at one of the larger suites in the hotel for a week, is it really necessary to charge me ten dollars a day for parking? Not valet parking, mind you, just the privilege of parking my own car, by myself, in the lot -- which has plenty of empty spaces -- next to the hotel. Maybe they need the money to maintain the shrubbery around the lot. After all, it keeps your mind off the decaying strip mall next door.
As another example, is it really necessary to ask me for documentary proof that I am, in fact, staying at the hotel when I wander downstairs for breakfast the next morning? Are there really all that many well-dressed men walking through the deserted streets of Palo Alto trying to abscond with walnut pancakes and coffee? And don't get me started on room service not answering the phone.
The Peninsulas, Mandarin Orientals, even the Park Hyatt Chicago -- those are great hotels. The Stanford Park is a pretentious, snotty-nosed pit stop.
Great hotel. Clean, friendly, comfortable. Was concerned about previous posting that gave it a single star, but I couldn't find anything wrong. There is a nice shopping center across the street, complete with Bloomingdales & Nordstroms. Lots a places to eat. We found a few trails to walk on. Highly recommend this hotel!