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“I was won over in the end” 5 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 #5 of 24 Hotels in Palo Alto
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
163 hotel reviews
Reviews in 107 cities Reviews in 107 cities
567 helpful votes 567 helpful votes
“I was won over in the end”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

I arrived at the hotel at 11 pm after a delayed flight and a $100 taxi fare from SFO. It didn't look promising. After checking in, I lugged my very heavy suitcase to the back of the property and then carried it up the stairs to my room. It isn't a hotel, so there's no one to help you.

My first impression wasn't positive, but that changed over the course of the next 24 hours, when I grew to appreciate everything this hotel does offer you. A jetted tub, for example. Bathrobes and slippers. Some welcome chocolates, fruit, and a complimentary bottle of water. A good breakfast. The list goes on. Oh -- and when I checked out, one of the cleaners saw me, and she insisted on carrying my suitcase for me down the stairs, despite my embarrassed protests. I was won over!

The only thing I continued to dislike was the overhead lighting, which was not bright enough. But I guess they're trying to be a trendy boutique hotel, where this sort of thing is par for the course.

And the bill was very reasonable for Palo Alto.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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161 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 (47)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

I stayed here on New Years Eve for a couple of nights. Its a great little hotel that is comfortable, clean and very relaxing. The outside grounds are very well maintained with nice little waterfall and Buddha statues outside. The staff is very accommodating. I had asked Ryan to order pink roses for the room so I could surprise my girlfriend which she was. It was nice to know a hotel can make the little details happen. I highly recommend this hotel! The price is also super reasonable.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ricberr, Front Office Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your kind words about our hotel. I am very pleased to hear that our attention to detail and commitment to guest satisfaction helped make your New Years Eve an enjoyable one. Comments such as yours help reinforce to the entire staff that our efforts do not go unnoticed.

I am thrilled to hear that you were able to take comfort in our Zen Garden. Hopefully the recent improvements we have made to this area helped you take a few minutes to relax during your transition to a new year.

It was also a pleasure to personally assist you with the flowers for your girlfriend. I am so happy that she was surprised.

Your feedback was greatly appreciated. I hope that we have another chance to welcome you back to The Zen Hotel in the future.

Thank you,

Ryan Aldridge
Front Office Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2014

This small unassuming hotel was the gem of our 3 week vacation. We usually don't stay at hotels with doors that enter from outside. Don't let this small detail fool you - this hotel is quiet, safe and delightful. A quiet sitting area with several water features, overlooking balconies, bath salts, hot water maker with really nice teas. A nice breakfast topped off the stay. We would stay here again in a minute. Really - stay here!!!!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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, January 22, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for this phenomenal review! Your kind comments about the way we run our operations are very much appreciated and reassuring to all our staff.

I was very excited to see you mentioning our Mighty Leaf organic teas, as this was an addition we made to our breakfast that received great positive response from our guests. We also find that offering both Peet's and Starbucks Coffee for breakfast was a decision that played very well with a number of coffee fans we welcome on a daily basis to The Zen Hotel.

Please rest assured that your feedback has been read by the entire Zen team, and that we all appreciate the time you took to leave your kind feedback on Tripadvisor.

Hope to see you back again soon.

Best regards,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
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Gothenburg, Sweden
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

Approaching Zen hotel by car, it looks like any other motel along the road. However it is well decorated and cosy once inside the room. The room feels perfectly clean, fresh and nicely done. I was surprised to find all the 5 star hotel amenities such as bathrobes, sleepers, good lightning and all possible toiletries including make up remover! The sink is actually placed in the room and not in the bathroom. Comfortable, soft bed.

The breakfast was good too: eggs, bread, sausages, yogurt, fruits, selection of coffees and teas and even a proper oatmeal. Wifi working everywhere :)

Room Tip: I asked for a room that is not facing the road. I got one and it was nice and quiet.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

My mother and I recently spent 2 weeks driving the California coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back. When preparing for this trip I spent many hours on this site reviewing accommodations knowing that tripadvisor never steers me wrong. I can honestly say that the reviewers have once again come through for me - every single hotel/motel/inn I booked was amazing.

The Zen Hotel was our last stop of the trip. We spent 2 days here and enjoyed every minute of it. A couple of points:

Booking: I booked online; it was quick and easy.

Check-in/Check out: Quick and easy; staff was professional, friendly and more than willing to answer any questions that we had re: dining options or traffic on the 101 the morning of our departure.

Lobby: Clean; welcoming. Free newspapers each morning as well as a great assortment or coffees and teas available.

Breakfast: Much more than a standard continental. There were hot foods available (eggs, bacon, hash browns, oatmeal) as well as fruit, cereal, and breads. Breakfast staff was also attentive making sure food was well stocked and tables were cleaned quickly.

Rooms: We were very impressed by the rooms. Nicely decorated; beds were the most comfortable ones we had on the trip; linens were comfy. Nice flat screen TV with lots of channels. Mini-fridge in the room as well as complimentary water. Bath and Body Works shampoo/conditioner/body lotion and soap.

Parking: We had a ground floor room and were able to park right in front; parking was free.

Miscellaneous: There is a nice patio area where you can sit and read the paper (or just relax).

Overall, would definitely recommend to others and would stay here again.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

For the second year, this hotel was our home-away-from-home over the Christmas holiday. If you have to stay in a hotel, this is the place. The four of us (two adult children) had the two-bedroom suite, with a nice living area and tiny, but complete, kitchen. (Somehow, the kids even baked cookies there!) Very clean, simple furniture, clean lines and open space. Sink outside the shower area which is good for a group. Smaller rooms look spacious with the same oriental-style. Breakfast includes eggs and bacon/sausage as well as the usual cereal, hard boiled eggs, bagels, etc.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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, January 8, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for returning to The Zen Hotel. We are so glad to be your "home away from home" for the second year in a row. I do recall our staff assisting you with finding a baking pan for the cookies. It is good to know the baking project was a success!

We have your new reservation for this year's Christmas confirmed and look forward to welcome you to The Zen Hotel yet again on your next holiday trip.

All the best in the new year!

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
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Los Angeles, CA
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2014

A great value hotel in Palo Alto!! The outside looks like a 1950s motel, but it looks like they did lots of upgrades and renovations. The rooms were very clean and comfortable with small touches that will confirm you made the right decision staying there. Breakfast was better than those hotels who have the "continental" breakfast. Good eggs, sausage, potatoes and fruit. Very good muffins and coffee from Peets and Starbucks. If you want a great value, stay away from the Best Westerns and Comfort Inns and stay here!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Palo Alto
#4 Romantic Hotel in Palo Alto
#4 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
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Townhouse Hotel Palo Alto

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