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“Few Frills, Good Price, No Problems”
Review of Hotel Keen

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Hotel Keen
Ranked #16 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Few Frills, Good Price, No Problems”
Reviewed September 16, 2011

I stayed at Hotel Keen on a recent trip to Palo Alto. Its downtown location near Stanford and the transit center is great. Also, it has some of the lowest prices of any hotel in the area. The rooms were small but clean. The interior finishes were nice. The hotel really tries to be environmentally friendly, with CFL lighting, natural toiletries (shampoo, etc.) in recycled paper boxes printed with soy-based inks, etc. I did not have any problem sleeping: the room was quiet and the bed was comfortable. The included breakfast consisted of yoghurt, cereal, granola, not-fresh pastries, and boiled eggs.

The main downside is that the hotel offers nothing other than your room and breakfast. There is no restaurant. There is no fitness center. There is no pool. There is no parking (other than Palo Alto city parking, which forces you to move your car every 2-3 hours during the daytime on weekdays). There is not even a washroom in the lobby, so you have to go elsewhere to use the bathroom before or after you check out.

This is the place to stay if you want a simple, nice, clean room at a good price and you need nothing else.

Room Tip: All rooms are essentially identical
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Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank jrissman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 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 (28)
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
87 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2011

Hotel Keen is a recently remodeled older building in Palo Alto. If you want to stay in downtown, it's in a good locatio - it's very convenient to all the shops and restaurants. The staff is nice, and helpful, but I didnt ask very much. There is no parking specifically for the hotel- you can park in one of the conveniently located free city lots, but from 8AM -5PM on weekdays, you have to move your car from zone to zone every two hours, and weekend nights get really crowded-I wound up parking several blocks away in a residential neighborhood one night.

The hotel itself is nicely decorated, but there were quite a few things that just weren't comfortable. They put a STRONG lavender scent in all the rooms -strong enough that after airing out the room for most of the day it was stiill difficult to sleep at night. The bed was centered under an AC unit, that blows directly downward. Everywhere they had to keep soap was a flat, polished surface, so bars of soap cemented themselves down as they dried out. There was a very bright LED in the wall socket next to the bed, bright enough that I had to cover it to sleep. The TV enclosure looked like it had been broken somehow- extra connectors hanging down from behind the TV. The Internet policy will read your email and prevent you from sending or receiving some emails. They will block some Internet applications as well.

More examples of not thinking- I had breakfast one morning and they had a granola-yogurt-fruit combo, but the granola was served with a little plastic teaspoon, and there were no bowl, only paper plates. the furniture was situated so that it was hard for people to serve themselves at the asme time others were eating.

In general, an inexpensive place to stay in downtown Palo Alto, but Nothing special.

In general,

In general

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Bumblebarb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto
1 review
Reviewed August 11, 2011

I'm staying (currently) at Hotel Keen. I flew half way around the world for work, and I thought this would be a place I could sleep well ..so I have some jet lag and work to do early in the morning. On my first morning, when I was awake at 2:30 in the morning, I called for coffee and Matt said he'd brew a pot and bring some up in a few minutes. He was great.

This morning was opposite experience....
I called down and asked to have some coffee. Response was "yeah... well, breakfast starts at 6:30..." I said that's great, but that's more than 1.5 hours from now and I really can't wait until then. Could you please make some?
Response was: Well... I'm sort of in the middle of something... breakfast is at 6:30... I could probably do it at 6:00:"

Then I got mad. And he said could probably do it in 15 minutes...

Now Its been 30 minutes and I'm even madder and front desk isn't answering when I call

This person had the worst approach to service I've every experienced. I travel every week for work, in many countries, and I've never had a problem getting coffee or dealt with a person that cared less to satisfy hotel guests

Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
Helpful?
Thank Jeremy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pfriedman, General Manager at Hotel Keen, responded to this review, August 25, 2011
I spoke with this guest personally the morning after the incident and apologized. As he was staying another night I assured him that he would have no problem getting coffee at any time. I also made sure that all of my staff knew that any reasonable request such as this one must be accommodated. The review was written and submitted prior to our meeting
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
7 Thank jarrellish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank eroyce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ExploringTim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Keen

Property: 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 #16 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Keen 2.5*
Number of rooms: 42
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