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“Run down but strangely charming” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cowper Inn

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Cowper Inn
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705 Cowper St, Palo Alto, CA 94301   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 6 Palo Alto B&B and Inns
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Run down but strangely charming”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2011

It has been really hard to rate this inn.

We stayed in two different rooms during our stay. Both rooms were dilapidated and could use renovation. One of the rooms had a faint moldy smell.

Service is friendly. but a little informal and slap dash - we asked to be in the main house after returning from a road trip and we were told this would be fine, but in the end we were back in the Victorian house.

Despite this, the place just oozes charm and we were happy staying there.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ramw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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60 reviews from our community

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San Francisco, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2011

Conveniently located B & B in downtown Palo Alto. Clean rooms but not terribly quiet.
Delicious homemade breakfast included...very nice.

Room Tip: ask for a room in the main building and not in the basement
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank beachbunny415
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2011

Certainly the worst service we've had on this California trip. No one to greet us on arrival. No one to explain how to log onto the Wifi (in Silicon Valley no less). Breakfast was mediocre. Room was small and smelt strange. On check-out we called out and rang the bell several times before phoning. We could hear the manager / proprietor on the other side of the door - well within earshot of the bell. She appeared reluctantly, made a few excuses and offered a $4 discount on a $179 bill.

You will do better elsewhere.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank smccure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Palo Alto hotels

2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

The Cowper Inn is a quaint B & B, but if you use them I would recommend you ask them for the room that is not on the first floor. I it by the front door and people have to lock and unlock it when they come in and out, which is all night. Oh and there is that lovely "Ring this bell" for service annoyance all day. 

And in the morning, there is a loud echo because all the people eating and talking sitting in the lobby or dining area are literally on the other side of the door. I went out at 7:3o am today and asked 2 men if they didn't mind talking more softly because there was an echo into my room. They did but 3 more people arrive a few minutes later and it started all over.

I killed 3 Mosquitos in the bathroom and 1 giant spider last night, but today I woke up to a spider web connecting my deodorant to the mirror over the sink.

I called for directions from airport but the person who answered kept hanging up and saying I had wrong number. 3 people called number on website same thing. So I found my way here and the door was locked. I had no idea how to get in. They should email guests with information about how to get in if there is no one here, when they confirm.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ladiosa3K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winston Salem
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2011

We stayed at the Cowper Inn for one week during which time we stayed in 2 different rooms. We were in the room 26 as mentioned in a previous review. We were initially thrilled with the space, though as we settled it was clear the furnishings were old and poorly maintained. Kitchenette poorly stocked- a few random utensils, no cleaning supplies, no kitchen towels. Housekeeping left dishes to be dried on paper towels which left a wet mess for us to clean up. Bathrobes in closet were old, pill-y fleece in serious need of replacement- rough on the skin when worn. Bedroom eaves were so steep you couldn't stand next to bed. This room DID NOT have its own en suite bath, but rather had a "private" bath down the hall which was inconvenient and full of black mold creeping up the wall corners. Yuck. Management- PLEASE revamp room 26 and its bath.

The second room was a major upgrade. In the main house, larger private bathroom, nicely appointed with furniture that felt appropriate for B&B without feeling tired.

The breakfast was delicious and we enjoyed some of the best blueberry pancakes I've ever eaten. We thought management and housekeeping were friendly, we did notice that there was rarely anyone at the front desk, so can see others' frustration at check in, etc. I wil say that the price for this downtown Palo Alto location is probably the lowest you'll find. Are we just getting what we pay for?

This review is a tough one... Avoid the Victorian House- it needs some serious TLC. Truthfully, I would not send my family here to stay given the inconsistency among rooms and potential for discomfort and less than ideal conditions.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tknee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2011

The Cowper Inn has great potential, but poor execution. The location is marvelous, and the suites are housed in two grand old Craftsman houses. Unfortunately, the rooms are tiny and everything in them is old or cheap. The beds (I popped into and explored several rooms) are all *very* soft. The furniture was old, chairs had worn upholstery and uncomfortable. Doors didn't fit tightly. Hallway lights that stay on all night shone into the room. You can hear all your neighbors. Even the wallpaper in my room was starting to peel off. When things have been replaced, the innkeepers have used the cheapest possible (e.g., plastic faucets, Ikea furniture in the dining room, etc.) You can get a larger, more private, and equally charmless suite at a hotel for less money. Food was acceptable; not remarkable. All in all, the place is overpriced. It needs updating. On the upside, at least it is clean.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PeripateticProfessor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sonoma County, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2011

This is from October 2009.

We stayed in the Victorian house of Cowper Inn in room 26. While the room is spacious and has a small alcove room with a single bed and the main room with the full bed, the inn itself is old and dusty and not cheap. (We paid a total of $184). Also it was very stuffy in the area with the large bed with no air conditioning with a loud noisy fan to cool the room.

Also we were trying to check in at 3 pm (check in can start at 2 pm) but we got a sign that said out to lunch. Why would you go on your errand or lunch when people are going to check in?

Anyway our friends were staying in the craftsman house next door and it was much much better - it actually was cooler more well kept, cleaner. It was like heaven and the other place. They even had soft short robes were as the Victorian looked liked something out of a scary movie.

At least they had good chocolate chip cookies and Aveda products.

If you stay here, make sure you stay in main house - the craftsman. I will not stay here again.

Room Tip: Ask for the Craftsman house.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank augusttravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cowper Inn

Address: 705 Cowper St, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Location: United States > California > Palo Alto
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 B&Bs / Inns in Palo Alto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cowper Inn is a beautifully restored Craftsman style house that recreates the comfort and elegance of the period's best homes. The parlor, with several conversation areas, a fireplace, and a piano, is a warm and gracious room for visiting or relaxing. Each uniquely shaped guest room is furnished with antiques, television, and telephone. Breakfast, featuring seasonal fruit and fresh-baked breads, is served daily in the paneled dining room. Guests may enjoy sitting outside on the two wicker-decorated porches or in the garden. There is parking on the grounds and easy access to public transportation to San Francisco and San Jose. The Inn is part of the quiet residential neighborhood of Professorville. Downtown Palo Alto's restaurants, shops, and people watching are a two minute walk from the Inn. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cowper Hotel Palo Alto

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