Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto offers a perfect base for luxury travelers arriving for either business or leisure.
The term “sense of place” is so widely used in the hospitality industry that the phrase has almost become a cliché. But a stay at Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto is the real deal. There are constant reminders of the vibrant Silicon Valley culture in which you are fully immersed.
- Young CEOs in the elevators are as likely to be dressed in jeans, with their company logos emblazoned on their T-shirt sleeves, as they are to be wearing business suits.
- Like any other five-star hotel, you’ll see your share of luxury cars pulling into the driveway but at the front desk, I overheard a concierge call down to the garage attendant, “Please bring Mr. Jones’ bicycle up as quickly as possible.”
- In the early morning, guests head out for a run on the nearby jogging trails (2, 4 and 6-miles long) that have been carefully mapped out by the hotel; the gym, workout room and pool are busy into the late evening.
- In the guest rooms, there are more USB ports and electrical outlets than there are bars of soap (of which there are plenty). There is also free high-speed Internet throughout the property and wide screen TVs in both bedrooms and baths.
- Even the black-and-white room service menu, called in-room bytes is a whimsical play on the tech culture. Some of its hash-tagged headings: #start up (for breakfast), #live streaming (all-day offerings), #mainframe (larger meals) and #kidbytes (for children). The #mobile option allows you to pick up an order at the front desk that will be there within 15 minutes.
- Once you download the Four Seasons mobile app on your smartphone, you can check-in to the hotel remotely and find your room and key ready upon your arrival. It also allows you to personalize your stay with requests for extra pillows or turndown service at a certain time, to make restaurant or spa reservations, or to plan your itinerary with a GPS mapping feature.
Just right for work or play
This right-sized, 10-story hotel has 200 guest rooms and suites, with four different categories in each. Our recently remodeled Deluxe King, Room 625, was on the sixth floor with a view of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The hotel is predominantly filled with business guests during the week. On weekends, you are more likely to bump into leisure guests or locals who’ve opted to check-in for a staycation.
Our spacious, tastefully furnished room included a comfortable king bed with fine linens, a chaise lounge beside the window, two ergonomic chairs, and an exceptionally large desk and worktable. The large closet had two luggage racks (I always wonder why most hotels only offer one for double-occupancy rooms) and an in-room, eye-level safe large enough to accommodate a laptop.
The oversized travertine marble bathroom had twin sinks, a separate glass shower and full-size soaking tub. The hotel provides L’Occitane bath amenities.
Coincidentally, we arrived at the almost 10-year-old property (which opened in 2006) on the very day it was hosting an open house reception for the local community and frequent guests, celebrating the completion of its newly renovated guest rooms, suites, and meeting spaces and function rooms.
We were told that when initially designed, the rooms were quite austere. That was hard to imagine now because the contemporary décor had a clean, soft look with warm hues, textured fabrics and sculptural artwork throughout the hotel.
We enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Quattro, an upscale Italian restaurant in the hotel overseen by Executive Chef Marco Fossati. It sits in a gleaming glass cube with an outdoor terrace. In the evening, Quattro serves contemporary Italian fare using fresh herbs from the Chef’s garden; the Chef also makes his own ricotta and mascarpone cheeses in-house.
The spa, which we unfortunately didn’t have time to experience, has seven treatment rooms and a curated gift shop. The stunning 50-foot outdoor pool on the third floor is an oasis that takes advantage of the Valley’s climate, which is temperate most of the year. In addition to lounge chairs, umbrellas, and poolside food service, it offers television and Internet access as well as “moonlit massages” in the privacy of a cabana.
Location, location, location
Situated in a modern business park close to the 101 Freeway (that seems to lead everywhere), Four Seasons Silicon Valley offers an uber-convenient base for those working at or visiting any of the nearby tech giants of the Silicon Valley (among them, Hewlett-Packard, Google, Apple, Skype, LinkedIn and Facebook). We were in California to attend Google “Take Your Parents to Work Day.”
The hotel has an interesting backstory, too. The once decaying neighborhood had been nicknamed “Whisky Gulch” because during the years when Palo Alto was a dry town, it was a watering hole lined with bars that attracted students and faculty from nearby Stanford University (about 10 minutes away).
The construction of the hotel complex with office buildings played a major role in the revitalization and gentrification of East Palo Alto, a city that was previously struggling to survive financially.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay, which was made especially pleasant by our interactions with consistently gracious and superbly trained staff.
With an unbeatable central location, Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto couples all the trappings and convenience of an upscale city hotel with the top-notch amenities and service of a posh resort, perfect for a long weekend or even lengthier stay in Silicon Valley.
IF YOU GO
Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto
2050 University Ave, East Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA
Disclosure: We paid a media rate for our stay at Four Seasons Silicon Valley but any opinions expressed in this post are our own.