My husband had business meetings in Palo Alto on November 13 and 14 and we chose the Zen Hotel for our stay. I may have had unrealistic expectations from the hotel's Web site's pictures, and was somewhat disappointed when we arrived at what was basically a motel fitted with boutique hotel furniture. But I was completely won over by the end of our three-night stay.
The staff was friendly and helpful, and although the breakfast was served in a small area that was once the motel office, it was really quite pleasant. The breakfast was varied and wholesome and freshly-baked cookies and apples were offered the rest of the day. There really is a nice feeling to the hotel, and the free breakfast, beverages and snacks, together with the convenient, free parking, add up to a very good value for the area, especially compared to the expensive high-end chains in the Palo Alto area.