If you would like well-lit, well-maintained, super-staffed, easy access, under-$100 motel close to Stanford, the Stanford Motor Inn will fit the bill. My experience with telephone reservations was a delight, with the cheery desk clerk offering check-in "as early as you need." When I arrived in California and worked late at my client's, the hotel had held my room even without my explicit prior request.
Situated on El Camino Real, one of the 'main drags', one turns right from the west-bound lanes to enter the hotel's registration area and parking lot with plenty of spaces. The property looks like it was constructed in the 1950's and is maintained meticulously, initially most evident in its outdoor lighting and attractive greenery around the small swimming pool. The ice and soft-drink machines are just outside the lobby door. An easy check-in included a very nice touch: a large, free driving map of the area.
Courtyard parking means no room is far away from the car in this two-story edifice. Ascending the stairs one notices the trompe l'oeil flowers and wall murals which are abundant throughout the outside access areas. An electronic key gains entrance to the room whose dimensions are exactly what one would expect from a mid-20th-century motel. The short dimension of the room leaves two feet between the comfortable, firm king-sized bed and the dresser upon which the 32" CRT TV and DVD are mounted. The longer dimension leaves enough room for a pair of chairs, round table (with room-service options from local restaurants), and bedside dresser.
The surprise for me was the plethora of amenities: refrigerator (almost twice as big as a typical college dorm room unit), microwave, coffeemaker, two telephones, and iron + ironing board. Three dimensional trompe l'oeil flowers frame mirrors and towel racks. Granite (faux granite?) tiles cover the dressing and bathroom area in addition to forming an ample counter for the bathroom sink.
The room was absolutely immaculate, not a speck of dust or dirt. The heater/air conditioner appeared to be new and worked extremely effectively on a slightly chilly Palo Alto winter night. Wifi is very important to me. I had not one but two strong signal access points that offered reliable, high-speed, fast-connect service -- automatically connecting immediately upon powerup from sleep mode (perhaps the best wifi I've ever had in lodging).
My big complaint? I'd prefer feather pillow to the apparent foam-based pillow supplied on the bed.
If you're in the market for under-$100 motel-style lodging, it's hard to imagine goiing wrong at the Stanford Motor Inn.
Room 123 (second floor) had great wifi.
Don't be afraid to range a mile or two up and down El...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.