- I stayed at the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park, California, close to Stanford University and the Silicon Valley.
- I loved how it had a central location but felt like a little tucked-away oasis. Rooms were comfortable and quiet, and the hotel has a great pool area and restaurant.
Having spent three years working and going to school in Palo Alto, California, it’s likely I’ve driven by the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park hundreds of times without really registering it. And honestly, this is one of the aspects of the hotel that makes it so special—it’s right in the middle of it “all”—downtown, the university and its art venues, shopping, but it’s so perfectly tucked away that one might never know it’s even there.
With abundant surrounding trees and foliage, an inconspicuous driveway into what feels like a whole other realm from the hubbub of the El Camino, the Stanford Park Hotel is the perfect retreat and/or home base for whatever brings you to the heart of Silicon Valley. Stanford Park’s location, spacious rooms, spa-like appeal, and delicious dining make it just what a traveler needs.
Things to Know About The Stanford Park Hotel
- Location. Location. Location. The Stanford Park Hotel is somehow a stone’s throw from everything—downtown shops and cafes, Stanford University and its event venues, and easy access to both highways.
- While located on a main thoroughfare, I felt like I was at a secluded resort when spending time by the pool with its a gentle fountain, bubbling hot tub, and shaded rest areas that surrounded the courtyard pool area.
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- Though it’s a small, boutique hotel, its restaurant’s menus are ambitious and sophisticated.
- Spacious and beautifully appointed rooms and suites give you room to spread out and relax.
What Families Need to Know
Downtown Menlo Park (and beloved Kepler’s Bookstore) is just a few blocks north, the expansive and ever-growing Stanford Mall is to the west and close to the famous hospital; downtown Palo Also spreads out before you just a few blocks to the south and leads right into Stanford University. All of this is just give or take 30 minutes from both San Jose and San Francisco airports. For whatever brings you to Silicon Valley, Stanford Park Hotel is central.
Though there’s plenty surrounding the hotel, I never felt like I needed to leave to meet any of my needs. A cozy lobby with coffee and snacks is the ideal spot for reading or meeting up with friends. With dining/cocktail options indoors and in the year-round courtyard, the ground floor of the hotel felt like an extension of my room.
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That said, the rooms at the Stanford Park Hotel are plenty spacious and have desks, fireplaces, balconies, and/or sitting areas. Parlor rooms are ideal for families; 600 square feet of space plus separate sink/bath areas give you privacy (the perfect option if you’re, say, visiting the university with teens). Though courtyard-facing rooms are quietest, I was pleasantly surprised at the sound-proof nature of my room that fronted the main road.
Tucked just beyond the courtyard is the secluded Stanford Park pool. More than a just-right-temperature pool, the whole nook is a relaxing oasis. There are plentiful umbrellas as well as a kind of outdoor living room structure with couches, fans, and reading materials. Take advantage of the spacious hot tub any time of year after a workout in the nearby 24 hour fitness center.
Stanford Park Hotel Reviews
The Stanford Park Hotel earns a rating of 9.1 out of 10 on Kayak, 4.5 out of 5 on TripAdvisor, and 9.1 out of 10 on Booking.com. Reviewers praise the kind and accommodating staff, beautiful setting, comfortable rooms, and convenient location.
Important Details About Stanford Park Hotel
Approximately 30 minutes from both SFO and San Jose airports, location is one of the main draws to the Stanford Park Hotel. In addition to easy access from both Peninsula highways (101 and 280), the Stanford Park Hotel is walking distance to much of what appeals in the Palo Alto area. Restaurants, sophisticated shops, and both the art and music offerings at Stanford University are easily accessible from the hotel.
A tree-lined and inconspicuous parking lot fronts the palm-tree roundabout that welcomes you to the Stanford Park Hotel. Walking in, I immediately felt at home among the comfortable couches, magazine, and snacks in the lobby. Both the lobby restaurant and courtyard dining are elegant and are set up so you can stop in for a festive beverage or delicious meal—the hotel offers lots of options for both. Out of view are the elevators to rooms (though a grand and carpeted staircase winds it way up from the lobby) and the hidden pool oasis.
With the hotel designed in a kind of rectangle around the courtyard, your room will always face greenery, though some face the main road or train tracks; don’t let that dissuade you though, as all of the rooms are quiet and spacious. Choose from deluxe rooms with desk or fireplace, or a parlor room with larger sitting area. Get the most room for your family with a suite or even the Stanford Suite with both a living and dining area.
I ate both breakfast and dinner at the Menlo Tavern on site at the Stanford Park Hotel and I enjoyed both meals. Menlo Tavern offers some interesting and delicious dinner options and the opportunity to eat outdoors comfortably year-round. I appreciated that the chef not only took in a dietary request but came to check that it met our needs; it was an ideal dining experience right on site.
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