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“Truly my 2nd home”
Review of Garden Court Hotel

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Garden Court Hotel
Ranked #4 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles
1 review
“Truly my 2nd home”
Reviewed May 4, 2009

A boutique hotel beyond the call of duty. From the top mangement down they are all friendly and always there immediately to help in any way. The rooms are a good size, tastefully decorated and most face a charming courtyard. I am there twice a month for a week.at a time and its like being at an exclusive mini resort.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BP60GPLD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BarbaraGM, General Manager at Garden Court Hotel, responded to this review, May 6, 2009
Thank you for your kind remarks about your experience at our hotel. We understand that spending so much time away from home can be unsettling. We are all delighted to have made such a positive difference in your work life and travel.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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386 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    298
    61
    17
    5
    5
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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
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Matthews, North Carolina
Level Contributor
130 reviews
112 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
Reviewed September 13, 2008

I stayed here for a business meeting, and my only expectations were those from the hotel web site. It said it was a luxury hotel, and seeing that it would fall into the 'boutique' category, I figured it was probably high end (and given the price tag, I would hope so). Overall, I would say it falls short of that bar (again, especially given the price).

The hotel itself is picturesque - it has a lovely courtyard that every interior room overlooks. It is also right in the heart of downtown Palo Alto, so location-wise top notch for restaurants, etc. The rooms are very unique, and honestly, whether or not you like this hotel will probably be based on your taste of decor, which in hearing from my colleagues, differs from room to room. Mine was decorated like my sister's bedroom in the home I grew up. The room itself was gigantic, as was the bathroom. The bed was exceptionally comfortable (on par with Westin's Heavenly Bed, which I love).

For a 'luxury' hotel, I would expect more up-to-date fixtures, particularly in the bathroom. The toilet was very old, as seemed the hardware on the vanity. While I understand the boutique decor, it just seemed a little kitsch to me.

Being so accustomed to the monotony of Sheratons, Westins, and Marriotts, the change was probably a bit overwhelming if only for one night. However, if I'm going to spend the money it would take to stay here when I travel to this area, I would want to earn points with some program - which you can't do here.

  • Liked — Large rooms, comfortable bed
  • Disliked — Childlike decor
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Doug H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
parkcity
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2008

How wonderful it is to find a gem when you weren't even looking for treasure! The Garden Court Hotel is such a treat, from the time you check in to the time you sadly leave. As a world traveller, there are certain amenities I look for, and the Garden Court surpassed all of them! From the gardenia placed next to your bed, to the mask and ear plugs you could choose to use, to the relaxing cream for your neck to the lovely fireplaces in the rooms, everthing was well thought out. But the surprise of the day ( or I should say night, ) were the wonderful linens and pillows awaiting you for the perfect night's sleep. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

Stayed June 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank condog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
143 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2008

We have stayed at this hotel off and on for the past ten years. The service started going downhill about five years ago and we began using another hotel in the area. I read the recent reviews on TripAdvisor and they were all positive so we decided to give it another try due to it's perfect location in downtown Palo Alto. Unfortunately, the service was the worst it has ever been. The manager forgot to make a reservation at a nearby restaurant for my husband's birthday and confessed that he had been at a staff party. He later sent wine and apologized but it didn't take the feeling away. We had after dinner guests the next night and ordered ice cream to be sent to the room. We had mentioned the bad service to our guests and after it took one hour to receive the dessert, they said that we weren't exagerating. The staff has remained with the hotel for many years and all are extremely friendly and sweet. We understand that the ownership has recently changed so hopefully things will improve. The furniture is really shabby and needs recovering as well. Unfortunately we won't be giving this hotel another chance.

  • Liked — wood burning fireplace, jacuzzi
  • Disliked — service
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Openstudio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New England
Level Contributor
30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2007

We were travelling to visit family in Palo Alto and chose the Garden Court based on Trip Advisor reviews, its location in the heart of Palo Alto, its historic qualities, and because I didn't want a canned experience like I could find at the nearby Sheraton or Four Seasons.

This is a lovely property. Most of the rooms terrace (step) back from a central courtyard and have balconies.

The reception desk is located on the second floor in the way that you might find in Florence...after all the hotel is owned by an Italian group. What must been the original lobby is now a great Italian restaurant. The ambiance is very European, low-key and quite classy. It certainly has more character than the newer hotels in the area, and the character of the hotel appeals to me.

There were a pieces of minor disorganization around our reservations and arrival which turned out OK but might have been issues. This, with a very obvious cigarette burn on the rug of our non-smoking room, is the reason I give this hotel four instead of five stars. .

Let me explain the disorganization. When the Garden Court called me about a week before our arrival date to confirm the reservation (even though a deposit had been made), I stressed the importance of having the suite prepared with the sofa bed made up in the living room and a crib in the room. I had also included this in an earlier email to them in response to their initial reservation confirmation. We were travelling with a 3 year old and newborn. But when we arrived at 8PM (this is when we told them we would arrive) after a 7 hour flight, neither of these arrangements had been completed. After waiting about 15 minutes for the desk clerk to complete a phone call before checking us in, we had to wait another 30 minutes up in the room for these things to be attended to.

However, once we got past those problems most everything was good. This is an old hotel so the rooms are not oversized. However, the furnture layout was thoughtful and makes the best of the odd-shaped rooms. The finishes were really nice (beautiful drapes) although we couldn't help but notice the prominent cigarette burn on the carpet of our non-smoking room. The room amenities made up for some of these flaws...a desk with office supplies, scissors, nice fruit plate, nice magazines, good bathroom things like Q-tips, cotton balls.

And the morning coffee and rolls were just outstanding...offered on very floor with style. Peets coffee, croissants, fruit.

We were a bit stymied by the morning maid schedule...didn't show before noon which was just when we had returned from a morning outing and needed to put the baby down...but the maid was so helpful in the end we could overlook that.

Parking is by valet and they were just great...very prompt...kept our car without charge on our last day past check out.

The location of this hotel is so superior to others in Palo Alto...right on University Avenue...steps from the best restaurants (modest as well as expensive), book, and clothing stores...one of the best toy stores in the USA. It is way better to stay here than someplace on the fringe of Palo Alto surrounded by a sea of parking.

If they tuned up their service just a bit , I would be happy to give the Garden Court five stars the next time. One thing is sure: I will be back.

Stayed November 2007
Helpful?
4 Thank kbarch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
79 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2007

Every stay was above my expectations. The corner suite was magnificent. The fireplace suite was also extremely wonderful. Every amenity I could imagine complete with turndown service. I find it extremely hard to find anything I didn't love-I guess the corner suite has sort of sky lights with no drapes, if you want to sleep in you have to use the blindfold thing they have in the room. I was up early and didn't find it a problem. The service was wonderful and sincere. The second visit I did miss the check-in glass of port.

  • Liked — luxery everything
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank garybgomez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
104 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2007

This well-located hotel is a great choice in Palo Alto. It's just steps from University Avenue and has plenty of European charm. Rooms are spacious and very clean. A large wedding party was using the property on the Saturday night of our stay. The loud music from the reception stopped promptly at 10:00 p.m. as the manager told us it would.

  • Liked — great location & lots of charm
  • Disliked — Courtyard style made it a little noisy.
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eric F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Business Hotel in Palo Alto
#1 Romantic 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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