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“The Royal Treatment”
Review of Garden Court Hotel

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Garden Court Hotel
Ranked #4 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Certificate of Excellence
Bend, Oregon
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“The Royal Treatment”
Reviewed August 5, 2012

I discovered the Garden Court in Palo Alto while staying at a nearby B and B (also a lovely property) during a clinic I was attending at Stanford. Every morning I passed by the hotel on my walk downtown to get coffee. The valet was kind enough to help me find a yoga studio nearby. I couldn't help but notice the curb appeal of the property. It was easy to tell it was a luxury hotel. Finally I stopped in to inquire about a room for the weekend when my husband was to join me. The front desk person (Michael?) was very enthusiastic about the hotel and offered to show me one of the rooms. It was delightful (newly redone a few years earlier in a refined Mid Century decor--hello Mad Men). The rate he offered was fantastic and so I reserved the room. Upon check in (my room was actually ready early) the valet and front desk staff were great to assist me with all my belongings and to store the bikes I had rented for an excursion the next day. When there was some confusion about rate, Jose was quick and gracious to correct it without me ever feeling uncomfortable. I cannot stress enough how friendly, yet elegant and professional everyone was. That night we dined at Il Fornio, the Italian restaurant in the hotel. Again, the decor was lovely, the food delicious and the server was wonderful. Being only two blocks from University Avenue, we were able to walk to all the great shops and restaurants. We will surely return for another romantic get away to the Garden Court where we felt pampered,important and right at home in Palo Alto

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JulsPlum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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386 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
Date | Rating
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English first
boulder,co
Level Contributor
187 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed August 2, 2012

as a previous review stated when you first get there you wonder about the property as you have to go up stairs to the second floor of the building to check in. We had a very nice stay staff is helpful rooms are very nice with extremely comfortable beds. Rooms are quiet and you cant beat the location, also they have a decent gym

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank howard0928
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Forestville, California
Level Contributor
77 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 214 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2012

This was my first stay (one night) at the Garden Court Hotel and upon arrival I was immediately impressed by the beautiful building. We arrived a couple of hours after check-in began (3 p.m.) and experienced no wait for the valet to take our car and to go thru the check-in process. Parking was $17 per night--a very reasonable fee. The hotel lobby is located up a flight of stairs embellished with beautiful tiles. The European ambiance of the lobby was warm and welcoming, as was the gentleman who checked us in at the reception desk. From the beginning to the end of our stay I was so pleased with the professional, refined, yet congenial demeanor of the hotel staff. They are indicative of a very well-managed hotel.

I previously hadn’t stayed at a hotel which required using one’s keycard to access the elevator (going up only). Additionally, one of the keycards (we received 3) needed to be left in a wallslot to activate the power in our room.

Not long after we arrived, I received a call from the front desk making sure that we were comfortable (we were). A welcome card and a plate of fruit (apple, orange and dried cranberries) were also in our room. Somewhat later, 2 members of the housekeeping staff came by with chocolates and checked to see if we needed anything for the evening. When we picked up our car the next day, the valet gave us 2 bottles of Voss water as a departure gift.

Our room #309 was on the top (3rd floor) and located about a hundred steps from the elevator. I actually enjoyed walking the attractive halls and looking out windows to the courtyard below where views of the building’s lovely architecture could be seen along with flowering plants and a pretty fountain.

Although our room was not that large (it was a Queen Deluxe) the floorplan was attractive and functional. The contemporary decor and furnishings were done in predominantly black and white, with natural wood accents. The room had thick wall-to-wall carpeting with a bold geometric design. Large format, texural photographic images of landscapes and architecture were on the walls of our room as well as in the hallways.

Our room had a queen bed with upholstered headboard and a very comfortable mattress, but I found the 4 pillows to be too squishy soft. The bed had a comforter inside a duvet with no separate top sheet or blanket which made it difficult (well, impossible) to stay at a comfortable temperature--it was either no cover at all or the whole shebang on top. Unfortunately for us, this was combined with a very powerful A/C fan (even on the lower setting) which blasted cold air across the bed and was also quite noisy. We tried turning the fan off completely (the room became too stuffy) as well as setting the thermostat higher to no avail comfort-wise. Consequently, neither my husband or I slept well due to the alternating too cold/too hot temperatures resulting from the bedding paired with the A/C on steroids. This was the only major problem we had during our stay--but it was a big one.

Furnishings in our room inc’d a long upholstered bench near the foot of the bed, 2 small nightstands each with a phone and a wall sconce above, and a cabinet which held the honor bar and container of snacks--a nice array of drinks and treats and more extensive a selection than at most hotels. Prices were pretty reasonable too. Wine glasses and champagne flutes were provided.

Our room’s small foyer had a good size desk with its own phone and a large upholstered chair. Power outlets were conveniently accessible right above the desk top. Lighting throughout our room was good and reading at night presented no difficulties.

The closet was roomy and contained plenty of hangers. It also held a cabinet with shelves and 2 drawers. A duo of luggage racks was provided. Had we been staying several nights, there would have been enough storage space.

From the foyer area French doors led out to a small balcony with a metal table and 2 chairs. The balcony overlooked a parking area and alley below and surrounding buildings, but we did enjoy a gorgeous sunset sky from the location.

Large windows with blackout curtains were located adjacent to the bed. We did hear garbage and delivery trucks in the parking area from about 5 a.m. The more expensive courtyard view rooms would be much quieter I would think.

Amenities inc’d: (3) phones, iPod dock/clock radio, wall-mounted LG flat panel TV, in-room safe, free Wi-Fi, iron and ironing board, and (2) bathrobes and slippers. In the morning a San Francisco Chronicle was placed in a fabric bag and hung on our door rather than left on the floor--a nice touch! From 6 a.m. complimentary coffee and hot water for tea along with good quality muffins, pastries and fresh fruit were available on each floor in the lobby area near the elevator. But one needs to get there early as most of the pastries were gone by the time I meandered out at a little after 7 a.m. We didn’t have a chance to use the fitness room on our floor, but peeked in and it was nicely equipped.

Our bathroom was delightful! Not large, but not too small either--just right! The floor, walls and shower surround were covered in the same grey/white marble tiles that were sparkling clean. The counterspace was adequate and the lighting fixtures provided good, even light. A wall-mounted makeup mirror and hairdryer were handy. There were plenty of oversized towels although their texture was somewhat coarse. A small bottle of body wash was provided, but there was no bar soap for the shower.

The oversized shower (no tub) had glass doors and a large, fixed overhead showerhead (rainshower) plus a wall-mounted hand-held one. The temperature control was somewhat slow to respond and the lever controlling the 2 showerheads was a bit awkward to figure out. But once they all were set, the water pressure and temperature were fine and the “shower experience” was a very nice one. There was no bathroom fan and the vent wasn’t able to keep up with the humidity created by a hot shower so the room became quite steamy.

Our primary reason for being in Palo Alto was to visit Stanford and the magnificent Rodin sculptures at the Cantor Center for the Arts. The campus was minutes away from the hotel and a stress-free drive. Even though our time was limited, we walked around the neighborhood surrounding the Garden Court and it was a great pleasure to see the well-maintained historic homes, tree-lined streets and beautiful blooming gardens that flowed out to the sidewalks and curbs. It was a gorgeous sight! We stopped for a coffee drink at Peets and noted the California Pizza Kitchen across from the hotel, although we didn’t eat there. We did have dinner at Il Fornaio, which is part of an upscale Italian restaurant chain, located on the bottom level and across the courtyard in the Garden Court’s building. The restaurant was bustling with activity that Sunday night and we had an enjoyable dinner there. They have an impressive wine list too!

The lovely ambiance, superb service and attention to details that we experienced at the Garden Court reminded me so much of a boutique hotel in Santa Barbara, one of my favorite locales. Had we not undergone the “temperature torture” while trying to sleep, I would have given the Garden Court “5 circles” without any hesitation. Reading a number of reviews by other guests, I found no mention of a similar scenario, so I have to conclude that it was just an unusual combination of factors that resulted in our problem. I hope to be able to prove that theory one day with a return visit to the Garden Court!

Room Tip: If early morning noise is an issue, be sure to select a room that has its windows, balcony/patio fac...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Forestvillian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2012

When the car dropped us outside of the hotel, I thought "uh-oh". However, once we entered the hotel it was wonderful! We were coming from the Four Seasons, so it is a fair comparison. The bed was fabulous! Separate living space and bedroom. The staff was very helpful. They serve a free continental breakfast on your floor, so just walked out to get my morning coffee. Love being able to have coffee right when I wake up. Ordered a wonderful room service breakfast, as I like a warm breakfast. They found me a place I could walk to for Zumba. There were nice little restaurants nearby. This is really a great place to stay and plan to stay when my husband has business in Palo Alto, again. This is THE place to stay in Palo Alto!

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Missymomm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeffery P, Manager at Garden Court Hotel, responded to this review, November 29, 2012
Dearest Missymomm
We are pleased that you expereinced the best of The Garden Court Hotel. It is delightful to hear that you found our guestrooms to be comfortable and our extra touches added to your experience.
As an independent boutique hotel-we depend on our service and thoughtful amenities to make the expererience memorable to our guests. I am happy to hear the Zumba class was fun-here's hoping you are my inspiration to finally make it to a class myself.

Thank you and please come back soon!

Jeffery L. Philips
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philipsburg, Montana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2012

I came here for a meeting and fell in love with the place, I will definitely be back. Palo Alto is one of my favorite places and The Garden Court captures the welcome and gracious feeling of the area with luxury and grace!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank colleenjflynn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeffery P, Manager at Garden Court Hotel, responded to this review, November 29, 2012
Dear colleenjflynn,
It is absolutely wonderful to hear you fell in love with The Garden Court Hotel. We are so proud when our service is so warmly received and agree it is a perfect pairing with Palo Alto's charm.
Thank you for appreciating the combination of the two.
Best,

Jeffery Phillips
Rooms Division Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
109 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Very pleasant.
We needed to be in the area and this was very comfortable, clean and convenient for 2 nights.
Palo Alto has a few ok places to eat and coffee shops, but otherwise, unless one absolutely needs to be in PA, there is nothing special about the town.
The management seemed a bit green, but were very polite and helpful when we asked for a nearby hiking suggestion.
The comfortably modern rooms (on the court yard side) have sweet terraces that have relaxing afternoon sun, and a semi "European" feel. Very clean.
The ajoining restaurant, "Il Fornio", was disapointing! It looks nice but the food has gone straight downhill over the past few years-do not eat there.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lisa K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeffery P, Manager at Garden Court Hotel, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Dear Lisa K-Thank you for your review. We appreciate your feedback and take everything to heart.
I am glad we were able to provide a comfortable, clean and convenient haven for you while you were in Palo Alto. I appreciate your experienced perspective as a traveler. If your travels do bring you to Palo Alto again- I would be honored to have the opportunity to guide you to some of the places we feel make Palo Alto special.
Warmest regards.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clearwater, FL
Level Contributor
204 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2012

This place was phenomenal! The only reason I rated it a 4 was because it did not have a pool and jacuzzi. Otherwise, this place was perfect ! Perfect location close to shopping and dining district on University Ave and Stanford. Rooms were so comfortable, clean and crisp. Bathrooms a bit small but luxuriously appointed. The staff was so nice and went out of their way to make us feel at home. The Italian restaurant on property was good. Great drinks at the bar and pizza!

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LynnGibb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jeffery P, Manager at Garden Court Hotel, responded to this review, November 27, 2012
Dear LynnGibb-Thank you for your exciting comments!!! Phenomenal and Perfect-WOW, I only wish I could make a pool and Jacuzzi happen as a thank you for your amazing feedback. I will let you know that our 3 Grand Deluxe Suites and 1 Penthouse do have aerated Spa tubs to relax in.
We are very proud of our rooms and delighted that you appreciated the details.
Please come back soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Garden Court Hotel

Property: Garden Court Hotel
Address: 520 Cowper St, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1823
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Palo Alto
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 Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Palo Alto
#1 Business Hotel in Palo Alto
#2 Luxury Hotel in Palo Alto
#4 Family Hotel in Palo Alto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Garden Court Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 62
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Garden Court Hotel and Event Venue rated in 2014 - Four Stars by Forbes Travel Guide. Located in downtown Palo Alto's tree lined streets this luxury boutique hotel offers 62 guestrooms and suites. Ideal for business travelers, meetings in Silicon Valley, leisure guests exploring the area and brides looking for a romantic wedding. With contemporary chic design, charm, luxurious amenities, attention to detail, spectacular location and privacy this ultimate urban retreat is amazing! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Garden Court Palo Alto
Hotel Garden Court

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