The Stanford Inn may not look like much from the outside, but it is gorgeous inside. Originally built as efficiency apartments in 1938, it was neglected for decades before the new owners renovated it this past year, keeping the period details and making it a beautiful, quirky place to stay.
Many of the rooms have the original 1938 tile in their bathrooms, as well as the original wooden floors. The rooms are built on a central courtyard (with parking and lemon trees), and there are tables and chairs and benches already set out for people to gather and talk.
One unusual thing about the Stanford Inn is that many of the units have small kitchens. These are the original kitchens from 1938, and they work, making it feel much more like a home than a hotel room.
We found the Stanford Inn when we were deciding where to block rooms for our wedding. We looked at every hotel within walking distance of the train station, and loved this place (and the Stanford Park across the street) -- none of the other hotels were even close to as nice.
We rented almost every room here, so our families could stay in one place. It was fantastic. Several people took me aside to tell me how much they enjoyed staying there, and how well the management was taking care of them -- which was a relief, when we were rushing around preparing for the wedding!
The Stanford Inn is on the same street as the Allied Arts Guild, and it's a beautiful walk there through the old neighborhood directly behind the hotel. Our families had a lot of fun wandering from downtown Menlo Park to the hotel after dinner, looking at the neat houses and talking.
This isn't to say that they're perfect. The original manager was nice but couldn't keep our reservations straight, and booked some strangers into rooms we'd blocked. But they changed management maybe a month before our wedding, and the new manager is _great_. He spent over an hour with us, straightening out the reservations to make sure our families were taken care of. (They're also getting a computer system in the next few weeks, to make sure that problem never happens again.) He was always available when people needed soap, or extra towels, and was friendly and charming the entire time.
This isn't the hotel for everyone -- it's more homey than fancy, and it is directly on El Camino. If you sleep lightly, you may want to bring earplugs. If you want polished, fancy service with a doorman and restaurant, do yourself a favor and stay at the Stanford Park Hotel across the street. But if you want to stay in a gorgeous 1938 period room with friendly, helpful management, I highly recommend the Stanford Inn.
- Also Known As:
- Stanford Hotel
- Stanford Hotel Menlo Park
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Charming affordable California Hotel Centrally located near Stanford University, Stanford Hospital, Palo Alto and Silicon Valley high-tech Investment Centers of Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park. We are ideally suited for long term stays as "Your Residence in California." We offer Studio, one- and two-bedroom units with kitchenettes, free Internet, free HBO, air conditioning and business center facilities. Bicycles are available for rent. Stay with us and visit nearby attractions of San Francisco, San Jose, Yosemite, Monterey, and wine country. ... more less
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