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“It's like a mini W Hotel!”
Review of Hotel Keen

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Hotel Keen
Ranked #18 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Reviewed August 2, 2011

This boutique hotel is awesome! Great downtown Palo Alto location, restaurants and shopping within walking distance, helpful staff and cool vibe. It's like a mini W Hotel. Perfect place for business or social travel.

Room Tip: 3rd floor is quiet and elegant.
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  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Brandy3000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pfriedman, General Manager at Hotel Keen, responded to this reviewResponded August 4, 2011

Thank you very much for your stay and the kind words. We have just celebrated our first year and it's great to see that the design and staff still impress.

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187 - 193 of 222 reviews

Reviewed June 23, 2011

Cool, small boutique hotel in Palo Alto; highly recommended for solo business travelers because it's literally two blocks from Caltrain depot as well as the downtown Palo Alto bars like the Old Pro. And one of your hotel walls is a whiteboard (pens and eraser included); but you would only want to have a brainstorm meeting with a few people (rooms are not large).

So if you can handle small-ish rooms and have some meetings or business in Palo Alto, I think Hotel Keen's a great option. Actually reminds me of places I stayed in Berlin and other European cities: good bed, small rooms, clean, fun design but not too trendy, smart staff, and close to amenities and nightlife.

Note: the lobby seating is minimal, so hotel provides to-go boxes for you to take the included breakfast away. I thought the breakfast options were too sweet and, when I told the manager, he said the hotel owners do listen to guest feedback, so perhaps they've provided some healthier options.

Again, a neat little hotel and very convenient for the right traveler.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled on business
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7  Thank jarrellish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2011

I stayed here one night on business. As other travelers have indicated, the rooms are very small: I stayed in a deluxe at $269 per night and I would estimate it measured no more than 15' x 10'. The room decoration could be described as "designer Spartan" with no door to the bathroom, no door to the closet, and a glazed outside window that cranked open to a 3 ft wide alleyway with a brick wall on the other side. On the positive side, the room fittings were new (new, large widescreen TV) and in the bathroom, on the higher end. The rest of the hotel is similarly small: corridors are perhaps 4 feet wide and there is a 10'x10" breakfast area in the lobby. Apart from that, you'll have to hit the neighborhood for your needs.

On the more positive side, the staff was very friendly and welcoming. The hotel is clean and when I was there anyway, very quiet (the staff confirmed that the noisy club mentioned in older reviews had closed). You also get a free continental breakfast and free WIFI. The hotel is very well located: two blocks from University Avenue, which has plenty of restaurants, cafes and shops.

I ended up here because all the other hotels were sold out due to Stanford graduation. I won't say it was a bad experience but it was expensive for what you get. If it were priced at $150 per night, I would have considered it a good basic boutique hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled on business
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4  Thank eroyce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2011

I stayed in this hotel for a few nights whilst working at Stanford and its really helpfully situated near the CalTrain and general down-town Palo Alto. The hotel itself is very clean and of super modern design, which I really liked. The staff are helpful and someone is always on hand if you need anything.

With its stylish looks and central location it's not the cheapest hotel around, but of the choices it was one of the better ones I think. In the unlikely event you don't have anything to do of an evening in Palo Alto, you can even borrow a Nintendo Wii if you're at a loose end!

The only thing I'd say about this hotel is the slightly poor breakfast, however, this does seem to be an affliction that plagues most american hotels so it may just be a cultural thing.

The bottom line: Stylish designer hotel with good service and quality rooms.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled on business
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3  Thank ExploringTim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 17, 2011

Overall, I enjoyed my stay very much. Staff were extremely pleasant and helpful, and my room (though tiny - seriously small) was very clean and comfortable and had everything I needed. The location is great for visiting Stanford. My only real complaint is the noise problem that I think others have mentioned. I stayed over a weekend, and the bar next to the hotel was very busy/loud well into the night. This was not a problem at all on weeknights.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank seaward14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2011

I stayed here one Saturday night with my husband and would have stayed longer, because of the excellent location, good price and the nice decor, if we would have been able to get a good night sleep. There's a club behind the hotel that's very loud, it goes right through the wall. Loud music and people on the street. Unless you plan to join the party people till closing time, I recommend you stay elsewhere on weekend nights.
When told the staff about this, they said that new windows are going to be installed as well as other sound proofing. Hopefully that wil solve this problem for future guests.
The superior room was a nice size and has a comfortable bed with duvet. More suitable for 1-person occupancy though. It looked good, but some things just didn't work for us. There was only 1 switch for the 2 overhead bed (spot) lights, on the wall, next to the bed. You had to get up to switch them off, impossible to use as reading light if the other person wants to sleep. The bathroom (including the toilet) has no door, you can close a curtain, but when sharing a hotel room I definitely want a door.
The location is very good, also for restaurants, Evvia is around the corner and Tamarine also within walking distance. Breakfast was very good.

Room Tip: Front of building probably les noisy.
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  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 1,972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pfriedman, General Manager at Hotel Keen, responded to this reviewResponded May 17, 2011

We are pleased to announce that as of May 17, 2011, Bistro 412 on Emerson Street (the club whose noise was noted in this review) has closed its doors, thereby eliminating all noise issues. We are still looking at alternate window solutions despite this development.

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Reviewed February 22, 2011

Let me start off by saying that I travel 100-120 days a year fro business and have had the experience of staying at a wide variety of hotels. Our company is located near this hotel in Palo Alto, however, this is NOT a business hotel. Due to its location relative to Stanford University, this hotel is more suited to visiting alumni, students and parents of Stanford students.

While the hotel is beautiful, chic and trendy (think W Hotel but on a smaller scale), it has many serious deficiencies for the business traveller:

Rooms:
- Small. Far smaller than anything I've ever stayed at in Europe. More the kind of room size you would find in Tokyo (10 sq. m).
- No closet. Couldn't even find a cleaning ticket. Fortunately, there was a dry cleaner across the street and too my laundry there myself.
- While there is high-speed internet, the desk, which measures <1 sq. m (30 in x 30 in), was impossible to work on. Between the phone and clock on the desk, there was litterally no room for me to place my 15" laptop and mouse. For doing any work, you need to work in the lobby.
- Since there is no closet, where do you put a suitcase or hang your jacket/coat? There is a wall hook with two hangers. That's it. For the suitcase, you need to either leave on the floor or sacrifice the chair. I chose the latter since the desk was too small to work from so there was no need for a chair.
- I understand why there was frosted windows. Being located on the west side of the building, opening the window reveals rooftops with ventilation exhaust vents and the smells that accompany them.
- Finally, the bathroom. Shower was great.
- With the Eco-friendly sign reminding me to re-use my towels, I found that the beautiful, modern sink had no stopper/plunger. There was no way to plug the drain to partly fill the sink with water. Shaving required to have the water running all the time. So much for eco-friendly...

Hotel:
- the lobby was beautiful but again small.
- staff was very courteous
- lounge area had six chairs, 3 tables, a counter and 2 bottle of wine (in the evening). A very good selection of pastries, juice, coffee and cereal were available in the mornings.
- Spa/Pool/Workout area? Couldn't find them.

Summary:
This is a great hotel for short term stays only (1 or 2 nights max). If you're visiting Stanford for a Conference, Parent's Weekend or a sporting event, then this is a great alternative to the big chain hotels in the area. However, if you're a business traveller, stay away. There are other hotels in the area better suited to you.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled on business
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5  Thank BIGH0W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Keen

Address: 425 High St, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1621
Location: United States > California > Palo Alto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Price Range: $147 - $528 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Keen 2.5*
Number of rooms: 42
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