The Westin Palo Alto is a high-end hotel that looks pretty and has a good location, but is overrated for the price and the service.
The hotel is located directly on El Camino Real (the main street that runs through many cities in this part of the Bay Area) and is minutes from the Stanford campus. In other words, the location is fantastic. It's close to the freeway and easily accessible in about 20 minutes from San Francisco's airport.
(2) Check-In / Check-Out
Check-in and check-out were mostly smooth and the staff were generally friendly and helpful. Unfortunately, they were understaffed at night.
I checked in around 11:00 pm, and was offered porter service for all my luggage, but was told that nobody would be available for at least 15 minutes. After 10 hours of travel and jet lag, I just wanted to go to bed without waiting, so I carried my own luggage to my room -- only to find out that the check-in desk attendant had given me the wrong key. Since I didn't want to carry my luggage all the way back to reception (and it was a long, winding walk), I had to wait 15 minutes for somebody to come to my room with the new key.
Everybody was perfectly friendly throughout, but one would wish they were a little more attuned to the needs of exhausted business travelers.
I think that my company's travel agent booked the room for about $380/night. I suspect that it's possible to get better prices if you're traveling for leisure.
The bed and mattress were very good and I slept well. My room had a bed, a night stand, a desk, a TV, and a refreshment bar. It was not a business suite and would not have been appropriate for meetings of even 3 people.
I thought that the room was small for the value (not a big deal since I was only at the hotel to sleep). The hotel's literature about the room brags about it's amazing dual-headed shower. I was really unimpressed by this -- very little water pressure, and the second head was almost useless. The bathroom was stocked with the usual shampoo, soap, etc. but certainly wasn't up to "luxury" standards.
I think that Internet in the room was $10/day. There is valet service available.
Concierge service was lacking. I asked whether they could arrange for pickup or delivery of a special dietary request from a nearby store and was told that this wasn't a service that they provided, even though I was willing to pay for the service. I found this surprising, because if you're a hotel trying to attract business travelers for $380/night (and there were many business travelers there), I figure that they would provide services intended to make life easier.
It's a nice hotel, but for the price, I wanted more. After a long day of travel, I really would have liked a shower with full pressure. Also, the Four Seasons Palo Alto had better overall service and happily provided food for special dietary requests that the Westin was unable to do, and provided a large business suite for just a little more money than the Westin. On the other hand, the Westin has a much better location if you want to be on the main strip and near Stanford. The next time I go out to Palo Alto on business, I'll have to make a choice on quality v. location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience California at The Westin Palo Alto hotel, adjacent to Stanford University, and within walking distance of some of the best restaurants, shops, and nightlife. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Westin Palo Alto Hotel Palo Alto
- Westin Palo Alto
- Palo Alto Westin