Silicon Valley Hotel Notes

Mountain View

Hotel Zico: Conveniently located on Stevens Creek Trail between Shoreline Park and McClellan Ranch. Breakfast is good (omelettes) but often very late. Rack rates are high, but discounts can often be found. The last time I stayed here though the room was incredibly small, barely big enough for the bed. Avoid.

Hotel Avante: not awful, but rooms are small and the hotel has seen better days. Breakfast is mediocre at best, but starts at 5:30 AM, much earlier than other hotels in area. Pool. TV has good sleep timer, but only some channels are in HD. I don’t mind standard def except that the TV is locked on 16:9 resolution so everyone looks deformed. On the expensive side.

Quality Inn and Suites at NASA Ames: very close to Shoreline Park, Googleplex, and freeways. Often the cheapest option. Nonetheless the property itself is offputting. Avoid.

Dinah’s Garden Hotel: the one time I stayed here loud machinery (AC?) ran outside my hotel room all night. Avoid.

Best Western Plus Mountain View Inn: perfectly serviceable budget motel, especially if you’re looking to save a little money. Convenient to birding locations along the bay and Googleplex.

Country Inn & Suites Sunnyvale: a bit hard to find in an office park, but nice enough. It’s down the street from Baylands Park and not far from the Santa Clara Convention Center and the Sunnyvale Water Pollution Control Plant. Not bad for Tech Corners and the Quad, though not as good for the main Googleplex.

Hotels I haven’t tried but should:

  1. Hotel Strata
  2. Hilton Garden Inn and Suites (has restaurant)
  3. Ramada Mountain View: near Moffett and freeways
  4. Sheraton Sunnyvale: perhaps the closest hotel to Tech Corners and Sunnyvale WPCP. Try this next time I’m in Tech Corners.

San Jose

The Fairmont is my goto hotel, but it’s persistently annoying. They try to squeeze every dollar out of corporate travelers with extra fees. The restaurant has been up and down over the years. It used to be better, but breakfast is still OK and great on weekends. Parking is extra, but there are zipcars nearby. The rooms have a minibar instead of refrigerators, and they try to charge you for the drinks even if you take them out to replace them with what you actually want to drink. It’s convenient to downtown, dining, and public transit.

The Four Points Sheraton is less luxe than the Fairmont, but has refrigerators instead of minibars. It’s noisier though, and the staff is equally unhelpful. The restaurant is not very good. Perhaps personal preference, but I found the coffee bitter.

The Marriott is connected to the convention center, and convention room blocks tend to sell out quickly. It’s convenient to downtown and dining.

The Hyatt is connected to the convention center on the other side. Convention room blocks also tend to sell out quickly. It’s convenient to Guadalupe River Park.

The Westin is across the street from the convention center, but weather in San Jose is good. It’s convenient to downtown, dining, and public transit.

None of these hotels have particularly good views.

Outside downtown, the airport Doubletree is a perfectly adequate hotel, and usually not too expensive.