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“Very quirky hotel with few amenities, but I love staying there” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel California

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Hotel California
Ranked #3 of 5 Palo Alto B&B and Inns
Washington DC
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Very quirky hotel with few amenities, but I love staying there”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2010

Look, this is a quirky, funky sort of place. A tiny hotel. A mom-and-pop operation (run by husband and wife on premises). Decorated in a very tacky manner - but its very tackiness makes it endearing. And the rooms are tiny and the furniture is old.

All that said, I have stayed here about 4 different times on various trips to Palo Alto and would gladly do so again.

The first 3 reasons are: location, location, location. The California Ave neighborhood of Palo Alto (sort of a "mini-downtown") is just wonderful - with a great array of cafes and restaurants and other nice and useful service establishments. And it's just down the road from Palo Alto's distinctive "Town and Country Shopping Center." And a short drive from Stanford.

But more than that, I like the quirkiness of this hotel. I like the fact that it's a mom-and-pop operation. I like the little courtyard. I like the smells from the bakery on the ground floor. I love the cats (the owners have cats and if you want to befriend them, you can).

And the price is right!!!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention one of the best parts -- every Sunday morning there's the California Ave Farmers Market, which features a cornucopia of delicious, fresh, and healthy food. If you stay at the Hotel California on a weekend, you can practically roll out of bed to this gustatory delight!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SteverinoJH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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41 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    3
    11
    16
    5
    6
See reviews for
3
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21
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
56 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2009

Located near the California Ave CalTrain stop, one away from the main Palo Alto downtown area, but still easy access to campus with the Stanford free shuttle (check on-line schedules), there's a stop right across California street from the hotel. Quieter rooms are those with the interior deck view, although a neighboring room's A/C was noisy (we preferred open windows). Shower was hot, bed pretty good, this place is more a B&B feel which I prefer. Rooms were not large, but adequate, with decent free wireless availability and adequate area/hooks/drawers/etc for storing one's stuff. Pastries provided for breakfast were from Palo Alto Baking (the bakery next door), and were excellent (the bakery has espresso drinks for the morning, too; better than the star*ucks down the street); juice/toast/cereal also provided, and the shared kitchen also allowed for use of the refrigerator, nice to store leftovers from dinner (or medicines) without a noisy appliance in your room. Walking (or going for a jog) around Professorville, which is the neighborhood on the other side of the CalTrain station (away from campus, take the underpass near the station) is quiet, good for gawking at incredible real estate; a fairly long (but nice) evening walk from downtown Palo Alto after a big dinner. Walking along El Camino Real is awful. Hotel California is my stay of choice for somewhat frequent work-trips to Stanford.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 3311kd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
121 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 31, 2009

It's my first time to stay at a motel or in other words if I had a choice I wouldn't stay here.
For $79 a night, I knew I had to tone down my expectations. Way down to the point that if something, anything, had been really bad, I would have cut my stay short and checked in somewhere else. Knowing the Eagles song doesn't help. =)
Well I didn't cut my stay short. The room was musty when the room's AC isn't on but you will be turning it on anyway. The sheets were clean but the printed quilt and shams looked old. The room fit just the bed, a stand with a small tv and a small desk. There was a ceiling fan. The bathroom was small too with plastic cups, soap and shampoo provided. I only used the plastic cup as I'd brought my own soap and shampoo. Used my own towel as well although the towels provided looked clean.
Breakfast was included which meant that there were muffins and danish provided in the common kitchen.
The hotel was full. Overall, as long as you're not expecting a Holiday Inn type of hotel and if that is fine with you, this hotel is a great value.
The actual hotel (rooms and 'front desk') is located on the second floor at the corner of California Ave. and Ash St. The main floor houses dry cleaning and pet grooming stores. All the hotel's rooms surround a courtyard area.
The location is great as it is walking distance to: Caltrain's California Ave station, Stanford University's free Marguerite shuttle (line C) and the city's bus service on El Camino Real. California Ave also has so many restaurants to choose from. I recommend the Japanese restaurant Jin Sho and the Indian restaurant Tandoori something (forgot the name).

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank sunflowii
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel California

Property: Hotel California
Address: 2431 Ash St, Corner of California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306-1803
Location: United States > California > Palo Alto
Amenities:
Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Palo Alto
Number of rooms: 20

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