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“Clean and comfortable” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Zen Hotel

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The Zen Hotel
2.5 of 5 Boutique Hotel   |   4164 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306   |  
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Ranked #6 of 26 Hotels in Palo Alto
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
55 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Clean and comfortable”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

The Zen Hotel is a modest motel type property. The rooms are very clean and they look like they have been recently renovated. The beds are surprisingly comfortable and the bathroom is spacious and modern. There was a little garden outside our room where you can relax or just walk around. It is conveniently located, close to many restaurants. The free breakfast was good. I have to mention that the wifi service is really bad.

Room Tip: Picka room that is on the first floor and towards the back of the hotel. They are quiet.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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206 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

As other reviewers have noted, this is a motel rather than a hotel: as far as I could see, all the rooms were essentially chalets, whose doors opened to the outdoors. It's on a busy junction, which makes it a bit noisy. And the heating system in my room was a bit dated. But the staff were friendly and helpful, the breakfast was very good, and I could park my car close to my room. I'm assuming that the pricey room rates I paid are unavoidable in this part of the Valley. The location, near to Palo Alto, Stanford and Mountain View, is good, and there are a few restaurants a short walk away, and a Walgreens drugstore.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ricberr, General Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
Dear Peter,

Thank you for your comments about your most recent stay at our hotel. Your feedback is highly appreciated and it significantly assist us with identifying areas that have room for improvement.

We do make it a point to offer great value related to comparable hotels in our area. Our policy is to provide our guests with the best possible deal based on their stay patterns, as we believe that rate transparency is beneficial for both our guests and our business. As a general rule, discounts and promotional rates will be available for early bookings. As occupancy increases, discounts get gradually closed. This applies to most hotels. But rest assured that if a discount is open at The Zen Hotel, we will let you know and will not wait to be asked.

Thank you again for your feedback and for presenting us an opportunity to describe what our rate transparency policy is all about.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
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Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2013

First, you would never notice this hotel, which really looks more like a motel from the outside. It is located at the corner of El Camino Real and Maybell, across from Walgreens. it is in a quiet area, even if it was close to the street. We were a little nervous when we first drove up. There was nothing fancy and everything look really plain and the only thing that stood out on El camino Real was the big green The Zen hotel sign. We drove onto the property and there were Asian inspired lamp posts on each side of the entrance. Nice touch. We checked in at 2:30 am and there were 2 people at the desk. They were very nice and friendly. We parked right in front of our room. We opened the door to our room and whoa!! We were pleasantly surprised!! The room was very clean, spacious with lots of upgrades and everything looks really nice and new, with Asian inspired touches. We had a double Queen. The beds were very soft and I was afraid that I would wake up with backaches. Surprisingly, it was not a problem at all and I probably had the best 6 nights of sleep here. Now I need to find out what mattresses these are so i can buy one for myself!! Pillows were very soft and squishy and very comfortable. The room service folded the pillows into squares so you have to fluff them out every night. Bathroom is very clean and upgraded too. The sink is outside the bathroom. There's lots of drawers and cupboards for our clothes. There's a refrigerator, coffee machine with coffee and tea. Microwave is hidden in a cabinet. Hair dryer and iron available in room. I think that the hotel was probably gutted from the inside out and redesigned which is why everything looks so nice!! The only negative was when we entered our room, there was a smell. We ended up buying a deodorizer that we placed by the tv.

We were on the ground floor and there was a back door to a garden with a small water fountain. If the weather had been warmer and we weren't that busy, I would have sat out there to relax. Another negative, guest one floor above was walking around the room a lot, and we could hear the footsteps very clearly. There is no swimming pool although we were not expecting one.

Breakfast was the usual continental although I have to say that their chocolate muffins were awesome!! Breakfast room is by the office. The whole place is very nicely upgraded with many many nice touches. The little touches make this place so much nicer.

There is a computer with printer available for hotel guests to use. There is wifi in every room.

We were here to check out Stanford University which was just a short drive 8 min away on El Camino Real. Stanford shopping center with many high end stores is only 10 minutes away. University Drive by the campus had many many restaurants. All around The Zen hotel were many fast food restaurants as well as family style restaurants such as The Fish Market. The Google campus was only 10 min away, on the other side of the highway.

We will definitely come back to stay at The Zen again. It is so central to all the places we visited, such as Milpitas, Cupertino, Mountain View, San Mateo. San Franciso is about 1.5 hours away. the airport was about 40 min away.

Love this place and will definitely stay here every time if my daughter goes to Stanford.

Room Tip: Our room was in the back, where it is quieter.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ricberr, General Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
Dear guest,

I was delighted to read your review about our hotel and that your good experience merited sharing it with the rest of the Tripadvisor community. Thank you so much for such a detailed, honest and ample review. We could have not described better what a future guest should expect when making reservations for our hotel.

I am glad to learn that your experience was greatly positive. I am sorry that the scent you found in your room was not pleasant. Please rest assured that is not our standard, as we consider room scent an important part of our guest experience. If you have a moment to share, I would like to know the specific room number you were in so I can look into this further.

You mentioned our pillow-top mattresses as an important part of your good night sleep. I am glad to share the specifics of the mattresses we place in our rooms. They are Simmons brand and the model description is as follow: "BeautyRest World Class Bouvet Island pillow top never flip mattress 16" Height. Ours is a model specifically geared towards the hospitality industry, but I am sure they have a version for retail customers as well.

I greatly appreciate you choosing The Zen Hotel, in addition to taking the time to post your review. We look forward to an opportunity to welcome you back.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
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CA
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

My friend & I came for a nearby 3 day workshop and stayed an extra night on each end and were very pleased with the Zen. Greeted by friendly staff and great fresh baked cookies we were even given a choice of rooms when we arrived early. Ricardo could not have been nicer arranging our extra nights stay, as was Ashley who originally booked us and helped us while we were there. We loved the idea of taking an older motel and upgrading it to a "green" friendly place with very very reasonable prices. We slept well on the dreamy mattresses and found the full size down pillows divine. Wishing other older motels would update with this kind of "green" awareness. They even served Peet's Coffee which my friend loves and for me Mighty Leaf Teas in their silk pouches. Our room was conveniently located off the parking area and yet quiet. We enjoyed our room so much we brought dinners home from a nearby huge Whole Foods Store and enjoyed wine in our room before an evenings hot bath and tucking into the robes provided & 2 comfy double beds. The one morning breakfast with eggs & potatoes that were flavorful with onion & sweet bell peppers was quite satisfying, as well as the juice, didn't have the pastries however. We would both definitely return to the Zen if we come back to Palo Alto. Thank You!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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West Palm Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

The name is so apt....the hotel was tranqulity personified - right off a busy street but you would never know it. Perfect for business or pleasure.....the surprise was the Japanese garden/seating areas at the back of the property.

My colleague and I were there on business for one week and we loved it! The size of the suite and the amenities provided were an exceptional value. The free Breakfasts were delicious and the coffee and tea selections suberb! Add in the laundry facilities and caliber of staff and it totaled up to an extremely memorable stay.

Room Tip: Ask for the end suite on the first floor in the back building. The covered seating area and the smal...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ricberr, General Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this review, February 27, 2013
Dear Karen,

On behalf of all the staff at The Zen Hotel, I want to thank you very much for your comments. I love the fact that your stay was for a week, so myself and the rest of our team had a chance to interact with you in some way. The Zen Garden you so much enjoyed is one of my favorite parts of our building. When summertime comes it is a great place to sit and enjoy a good read.

I particularly enjoyed your comments about our selection of coffee and teas. After speaking to many of our guests we found that making both Starbucks and Peet's coffee in addition to Mighty Leaf organic teas available as part of our breakfast was the right choice.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your experience. I look forward to seeing you again here at The Zen.

Best regards,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
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Mountain View, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

We stayed the hotel many times. First time, In 2010 for my engagment in Bay area. From website, it's just a Motel style. But inside decoration is really nice and warm. The facilities are very new.

Have to say, I lived in different quality hotels in the world, including bay area and San Francisco. Though ZEN is not 5 star hotel, but their service has highest quality. I had to cancel my hotel booking for my pregancy. The GM is so kind and help me to do that, though the online booking can not be refunded. They returned the money to me. Is it a favorable offering?

I feel warm and defenitely ZEN is my first prority choice when i visit bay area.

I visited Palo Alto in Oct. 2012. We choose ZEN AGAIN. So amazing for the staffs and General manager. They offered great service and support to my husband and I. We stayed here for almost 3 months - even we knew the apartnment price is much cheaper than the hotel- But we reallly love this place.

I will check out tomorrow for my C-section. Thanks for all help from The ZEN. Defenitely the days i spent with them are memoryable. Of course, I made real valueable choices for my BIG DAYS.

Best luck for the business.

Lu ZHANG

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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ricberr, General Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Dear Lu,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience at The Zen Hotel with the Tripadvisor community.

It was such a pleasure to have you as our guest. Every single one of our staff members got an opportunity to know you in the time that you stayed with us. It is with mixed feelings to see you depart after 3 months, but we know it is time for you to welcome your newborn.

On behalf of all The Zen team, we wish you the best and look forward to keeping in touch in the future.

Best regards and congratulations!

Ricardo.

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

It's difficult sometimes finding a place for us and our two 20-something children and this was perfect! We had a suite with two beds in one room and one in the other with a living room where we could hang out and play games with a mini-kitchen. Yes, it's a converted motel, but very nicely done and everyone on the staff was as nice as could be. Not to mention the hot breakfast -- a vast improvement over the cereal and stale muffins we often encounter. The beds were a bit soft for my husband's bad back, but otherwise it was terrific. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Zen Hotel

Address: 4164 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Palo Alto
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Palo Alto
#3 Romantic Hotel in Palo Alto
#5 Business Hotel in Palo Alto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Zen Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of Silicon Valley, The Zen Hotel offers daily full hot breakfast buffet that includes freshly made smoothies, Peet's and Santa Cruz Organic coffees, Mighty Leaf teas, sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs and much more. L'occitane toiletries and free true high speed Internet are standard in all guestrooms. Minutes away from Stanford University, Shoreline Amphitheater and tech companies such as HP, Facebook and Google; The Zen Hotel offers great value and is a fantastic choice for business and leisure travelers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Townhouse Hotel Palo Alto

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