Trusted Review: Garden Court Hotel, Palo Alto (four stars)

Thought I would share with you guys hotels I enjoy staying at during
my never-end world tour.

I’ve been staying in Silicon Valley for business trips a couple of
times a year for over a decade. When I was broke I would hit the
Super8, Holiday Inn and assorted $129 hotels on El Camino Real. They
are a short hop to Sand Hill Road and University, and there are so
many of them you can grab one say day or by walking in. They tend to
be uncomfortable, cheap and with linnens that leave you grossed
out–everything you would expect in a motel.

Years ago I brought my wife, then girlfriend, with me on a trip and
realized it probably wasn’t a good idea to subject her to the horrible
life of a struggling entrepreneur so I upgraded to the Garden Court
Hotel. The rate was roughly double (like $200-220 a night), but he
experience was five times better at the time and is now 10x better.

Garden Court is right off University Avenue where all the action is in
Palo Alto. You can take the elevator to street level and choose
between over 50 college town-like establishments to get a cup of
coffee or a meal. You can stop by the Apple store on the way, and
certainly swing by Fraiche Yougurt for a delicious treat of organic
frozen yogurt with shaved dark chocolate or one of three different
types of honey. I like the figs too.

There is an Il Fornaio on the ground floor of the hotel, which means
you’re minutes away from above average italian food all day. Getting a
salad and a half order of pasta is affordable (and well within their
ability). I’ve enjoyed many a lunch there.

Garden Court’s rooms are very modern, with huge samsung TVs, desks,
walk in closets and for the past decade they have known my newspaper
preferences and had them on my doorstep at six am (NYT and WSJ). Every
floor has a coffee and pastry stand in the morning, so I throw on a
robe, pour two cups of Peets Coffee and clear our three or four
chocolate croissants.

They also have free Wifi, free fresh fruit in your room and bathrooms
that are floor to ceiling marble.

Big tip: Sometimes the rooms will be in the $300 range. Simply call
and say you’re an assistant (to yourself!) and that your boss is
coming to town a love the Garden Court, but corporate has a freeze on
hotel rates of $200. Ask if they could possibly match that rate or
come close, because your boss doesn’t want to stay at the Four Seasons
over in East Palo Alto. They are not happy at Garden Court about the
Four Season. If you’re any kind of good negotiator you’ll get the
deal. Of course, don’t be afraid to leave your number and have them
call you back, or call the four season and work a good deal over

Based on saving money on breakfast, the free (but modest) gym, free
wifi and being able to avoid taking cabs everywhere because you an
meet on University, you’re gonna save an extra $50 a day I bet.

Hope this helps! What’s your favorite hotel in Palo Alto?

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