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“Star Attraction of My Business Trip” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Fairmont San Jose

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The Fairmont San Jose
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   170 South Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113   |  
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Ranked #8 of 73 Hotels in San Jose
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Berkeley, California
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Star Attraction of My Business Trip”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

I spent two nights at the Fairmont in downtown San Jose at the end of August while in town on business. I used to live in San Jose, and I am well aware of the Fairmont's central location and reputation as a nice hotel. I am happy to say the hotel delivered!

The premises were clean and attractive. Front desk staff were friendly and helpful. My upper floor room was clean too, extra large, well-appointed, and had a striking view to the east. I only wish I had more time to spend in my room!

My only serious complaint is that 3 of the 4 pillows on my bed were musty. They smelled terrible, in fact, but I didn't say anything because I only need one pillow to sleep and I didn't want to wait for housekeeping. Other negatives include the small, somewhat dark shower enclosure, and the extra charge for Wi-Fi. (I had great T-Mobile 4G reception, but this could be a hassle if you need to use a computer.) If the Fairmont can figure out how to modernize the bathroom, offer free Wi-Fi, and discard musty pillows, I would unquestionably give this property 5 stars.

FYI, parking here is not cheap. I used to be a local, so I knew where to put my car for free overnight parking, but this probably isn't practical for most visitors. Don't forget to budget for parking, or try your luck in surrounding garages or on the street if you dare.

Room Tip: Rooms facing east have bright morning sunshine, which is perfect if you need help waking up.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1,090 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Sao Paulo, SP
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
57 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

Positives:
- Internet wi-fi really good
- Very nice rooms and bathroom
- Very nice view of San Jose from the high floors
- Excellent room service
- Good valet Service for car parking

Negatives:
- They could have an indoor Swimming Pool

Room Tip: Higher floors have a nice view of San Jose downtown.
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
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FairmontSanJose, Public Relations Manager at The Fairmont San Jose, responded to this review, November 20, 2012
Good Afternoon,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review. We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Sincerely,

Joanne Casem
PR and Marketing Manager
joanne.casem@fairmont.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomington, IN
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

Based on the TripAdvisor Reviews, I expected to be really WOWED by this hotel. Unfortunately, my experience just didn't measure up to other reviews. I arrived at the hotel at the same time as many other guests for a very large conference. Most of the guests were young, college students. In any case, I had a couple of bags and there were several bellmen standing in front of the hotel and not ONE of them offered assistance. They just pointed me to the front desk. Whatever. I can deal. The physical lobby space is absolutely gorgeous. Very tasteful and elegant. I loved it. The check-in process was easy and the desk clerk was friendly. My room was in the main bldg (there are two towers) and I was on the 16th floor.

My room was neat with two double beds (even though I booked a King room, but again...it wasn't important enough to me to make a big deal about it). One criticism I noted right away was that there wasn't enough space on either side of the double beds to get in from both sides. You could only get into both beds from the center. And the beds had built in reading lights, but only on one-half the bed!? That was strange to me, as well. My room was obviously an older room. The tile and faucet fixtures had seen better days, but the room was clean, so I was fine. My bathroom sink had a slow drain, so every time I washed my hands I had to turn off the water, let it drain and resume. The bath had a separate tub and shower stall and there was a separate toilet closet. I'm sure when the hotel was built these rooms were breathtaking. Now they are starting to look dated. One HUGE plus is that the bed was heavenly. No complaints on the quality of the bed. It was super comfortable. They also had room service menus in my room, but the pages were falling out of the book from the torn tabs, and the "specials" were dated Fall 2011 (it's now Nov 2012). Also, they had options from their Asian restaurant Pagoda, except I was told the restaurant is no longer open. Also, my clock had the wrong time set (they hadn't reset the clocks for daylight savings time), so I had to reset that myself.

The staff were ok. I honestly can't say that customer service was their forte. I went to the concierge desk shortly after arriving to find out how to take the light rail that stops by the hotel to the convention center (the convention cntr is literally like 2 1/2 blocks away, but I have a disability, so that short walk was difficult). In any case, the girls pointed me to the back of the hotel and couldn't tell me much. They had no literature or schedule for the rail station. They couldn't tell me for sure if the train went there. It turns out that the train in back of the hotel came FROM the Conv Cntr, but not to. I digress. The Concierge desk should have been able to tell me SOMETHING. They were clueless. Also had a "run-in" with hotel security. As I was rounding a corner, I noticed a hotel employee approach a room door and mumble (literally mumble) "security," and he just went into the room and closed the door. He didn't knock. He didn't wait for a response. He didn't even project so that anyone would have heard him! He just went into the room. So I stood outside and waited because I wanted to see if he left with anything and he came out with a bag (it looked like one of our convention bags), so I confronted him and asked him if it was normal for them to just go into guests rooms like that. He was sarcastic at first and said, "Yeah, that's what we do all day." And then he got angry and said, "No, it's lost and found!" and walked away. I was kind of weirded out by the entire thing, but I let it go.

They have a couple of restaurants and a lounge. The Grill is a like an upscale steakhouse almost. Very pricey. I didn't eat there. I did have lunch at The Fountain restaurant (which I didn't even know was there until I'd been there a couple of days. It's kind of in an obscure part of the hotel, and not as visible as everything else. The decor of The Fountain was very bright and just a great environment that you'd want to have a formal brunch in. The restaurant was completely EMPTY though at lunch (and every hotel downtown was sold out). The staff were...odd. I was seated and given a menu. The waitress started asking too many questions about why I was there and where I was from. I didn't want to give this woman a life history. I just wanted lunch. Then she noticed that I'd brought in a little box from the bakery across the street, and said, "I see you already brought dessert. What is that?" Now, I may be a little weird, but for some reason I didn't want to tell her what I'd bought. I just wanted to eat my lunch, and I thought she was being too comfortable with me. That's just me. On the plus side, I had the salmon with orzo and peas, and it was delicious. Salmon was moist and flaky, and everything was flavorful. The lounge bar in the middle of the hotel lobby was interesting. They had music a couple of nights we were there. The bands were very good. A couple of people looked like they were ballroom dancing. The crowds looked pretty swanky. I did enjoy seeing people enjoying themselves there. I don't get to see people gussied up and partying like that very often.

Overall, for the cost of the hotel (my first night was about $265, the 2nd night was $200-something, one night was $199 and the other night I can't remember), but this hotel wasn't cheap, and I just felt like it didn't live up to the hype. I think the hotel took our business for granted and just completely lacked in customer service for our group.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Tucson
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

Our granddaughter selected the Fairmont for her wedding and it turned out to be a a great choice. It was so convenient to have the wedding party all in one place and the ceremony, reception and dinner/dance in adjoining rooms. Decorations were elegant and the food delicious. Best of all, Special Event director and staff were super efficient and responded to every need so effortlessly that the entire affair unfolded seamlessly from start to finish. What a pleasure to just relax and enjoy the entire experience!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Geneva, Illinois
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I really wanted to like this hotel - it's "old," it's grandiose, and I'm sure it was considered top of the line in it's hayday. But it's not 1978 anymore and the rooms need an update.

I will say the hotel was exceptionally clean for being as dated as it is. The carpet is extremely faded (but my socks didn't turn black), the bathroom has a separate tub & shower (circa 1978 but not a speck of mold on the grout) and the toilet closet has a telephone in it (which I wouldn't touch if you paid me) so all in all, I'd give it high marks for being so well kept (just worn.). The bed was lovely and has white linens so I didn't get that "ick" feeling.

The room was also HUGE compared to its more modern counterparts. The staff was friendly, there were plenty of amenities in the hotel and within walking distance and the parking attendants knew me & my rental car before I even handed them my ticket. I appreciate that kind of service.

All in all, it wasn't a bad experience by any means. I was traveling on business, and was provided with clean accommodations in a friendly atmosphere and a convenient part of town. However, this hotel is not one that I would want to pay for out of my own pocket for a weekend away with my husband.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Minnesota
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

We had a wonderful experience at this hotel. All staff was friendly and helpful. Special requests were granted graciously. The room was beautiful! And the bathroom spa like. The central location allowed us to walk to a recommended restaurant, lunch spot, coffee, park, church, and museums. I am so happy I shopped for the best prices and stayed here!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 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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Washington
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

This hotel is impecable. The staff is helpful and welcoming. The valet parking is very convenient and well worth the $26 charge. The room was pefect and we agreed that the room is very quiet and the bed was very comfortable. It is the perfect get-away!

Room Tip: Highest floor that you can afford. The view is wonderful.
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  • Stayed October 2012, 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 Fairmont San Jose

Address: 170 South Market Street, San Jose, CA 95113
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Jose
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in San Jose
#2 Romantic Hotel in San Jose
#3 Business Hotel in San Jose
#3 Luxury Hotel in San Jose
#7 Family Hotel in San Jose
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Fairmont San Jose 4.5*
Number of rooms: 808
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Refined elegance and sophistication flow into each of the 808 well-appointed non-smoking deluxe guest rooms and suites at The Fairmont San Jose. Located near Silicon Valley in Northern California, this 20-story two tower masterpiece caters to discerning and well-traveled business professionals who expect impeccable quality from their accommodations. Meeting and conference rooms in our San Jose hotel are equipped to handle functions from exquisite receptions to multimedia presentations. Pamper yourself in the luxurious Tova Day Spa where you can relieve the stresses of the 21st century or simply enjoy a quick mani-pedi. A short drive will take you to more than 60 wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountain Appellation, as well as the famous Monterey Peninsula golf courses. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Fairmont San Jose Hotel San Jose
Fairmont San Jose
San Jose Fairmont

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