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“Good hotel, suitable for businness travel” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Zen Hotel

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The Zen Hotel
Ranked #5 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Certificate of Excellence
Terni, Italy
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Good hotel, suitable for businness travel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 13, 2012

I've been staying at the Zen hotel for 1 week in the last July, and I found it really confortable and not too much expensive, considering the accomodations prices in that area. It was clean, with an internal useful parking, good rooms, nice breakfast, and an efficient wi-fi connection. Furthermore there is a shared external garden, really well-kept, with fountains and bench, that creates a relaxing atmosphere, ideal for the evening after a day of hard job, and just before to have a dinner in one of the restaurants around. Also the position in fact is very good; it's located on the camino real with any kind of services really close. If I'll come back to Palo Alto, in future, I'll surely try to book a room at the Zen Hotel!

Room Tip: If you have a car, it's better to have a room at the ground floor, because you can park in front...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Valerio P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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314 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
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Maine
Level Contributor
83 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 955 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

What a wonderful surprise on noisy El Camino to be able to sink into this quiet, tastefully-appointed and reasonably-priced place. It used to be a motel and retains that architecture but goes beyond any motel I've ever seen.

Would definintely stay there again thanks to its serenity and convenience to the southern Bay Area.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Quality1989
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ricberr, General Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this review, November 7, 2012
Dear guest,

Thank you for your wonderful comments. It seems like this was your first time staying at The Zen Hotel and we are thrilled to learn that your good experience helped us earn a 5 of of 5. We look forward to another opportunity to welcoming you again to our hotel.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northbrook, Illinois
Level Contributor
37 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2012

Check in was great . I got there at noon and they had a room for me. My room was made up with care and had a back door to a running water fountain for ambience. Breakfast was free and was different each day. The location is 2 miles from campus an easy drive to California open space hiking trail and plenty of restaurants. Good choice as an alternative to big chain hotels. I would stay here again.

Room Tip: Ask for the 1st or 2nd floor with the fountain in the back
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank emery2e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
71 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2012

I was put in charge of selecting and booking a hotel in Palo Alto for a company trip. We had a strict budget, but also wanted someplace that would be updated, comfortable and convenient. After reading and comparing reviews of pretty much every hotel in the area, I decided to take a chance on The Zen Hotel. It turned out to be a great decision, and my entire team was really happy with our stay here.

I worked with Ricardo to arrange the group booking. He deserves special recognition for getting our group booked, dealing with several rooming changes and last minute credit card confusion. He was unfailingly helpful and polite, a real asset to this hotel.

The Zen Hotel has free parking, free wifi and free breakfast. Very cost effective, and a big plus for our group. The breakfast was pretty tasty, too! Cold cereal, oatmeal, various hot dishes (eggs, bacon, etc.), pastries, coffee and juice. Definitely a nice way to start the day. From Zen Hotel to downtown Palo Alto (University Ave) never took more than 10 minutes in the morning, which was very convenient. The staff at the front desk were really nice and helped our team with all manner of requests. There is a Walgreens directly across the street for any needed snack or supply runs.

I was booked into a room right at the corner of El Camino and Maybell, and the first night I was woken a couple of times by larger trucks passing by. The next day, I bought a cheap pack of earplugs at Walgreens and slept undisturbed the rest of my stay. My co-workers stayed in rooms further from the street and had no trouble with noise whatsoever. My room was spacious and nicely updated. It was very clean and the decor was modern and tasteful. The bed was comfortable, the bathroom immaculate, and there was a fridge, coffeemaker and hairdryer in the room. The space seemed recently redone and was a great place to call home for a week.

The last night we were in town, our client arranged for us to stay at the Crown Plaza just down the street. Let's just say that it paled in comparison to The Zen Hotel, and we were all sorry we'd had to move. If business takes us back to Palo Alto, I would absolutely book us at The Zen Hotel again. It was a very positive experience and a most comfortable stay.

Room Tip: If you're sensitive to traffic noise, ask for a room away from the road or pack ear plugs.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Erin74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Luis Obispo, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2012

Needed a place to stay for medical tests being done at Stanford Hospital. We were immediately impressed with the room upon opening the door. The room was decorated with a Far East flavor, which looked extremely inviting and relaxing. The room was spacious, neat and clean. Along one wall where the flat screen TV sat, was a very long credenza, with ample space to sit and work on a laptop and to spread out paper work. The beds were cozy and very comfortable and there were many pillows supplied for our comfort which was a big plus. There were low light reading lamps on adjustable arms beside the beds, which made it possible to read at night without lighting up the entire room and disturbing other's sleep. We made good use of the small refrigerator in the room which kept everything very cold. There was complimentary bottled water, Arrowhead Spring Water and a good array of coffee, tea, creamers and sweetners in the room. The room was quiet, except for people slamming doors now and then. The toilet was a problem. The design of the toilet was not suitable for solid waste to be thoroughly flushed without using an ice bucket to fill the bowl with ample water to completely flush the toilet clean. Just trying to flush toilet paper was a also problem on occasion and required several flushes before the paper was flushed completely down. The parking spaces in front of the rooms in the main courtyard could pose a problem for people in wheelchairs or on crutches. The stepway to the front door of the room through bamboo plants set in planters cut into the concrete are aesthetically beautiful, but make for narrow footing and rather precarious navigation. All in all though, our stay was comfortable and relaxing. The staff seemed very helpful and genuinely interested in making our stay a pleasant experience. The Zen Hotel is conveniently located near Stanford, great restaurants and shopping. We will be booking another room there in the near future.

Room Tip: The one story rooms in the main courtyard were far enough away from the busy road, El Camino Real, a...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Max B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Luis Obispo, CA
Level Contributor
99 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 16, 2012

My husband and I stayed here on a recent training trip for me. We got what we asked for: a quiet room (even though the main street's noise can be quiet loud). Note to fellow Zen guests: gently close the door to your room...if not, it makes a loud, resonating sound that disturbs the zen zone.
The service was outgoing, friendly and helpful.
The room was small and clean. Too bad some slightly off measurements in cutting finish work to the room happened. If all these little details had some together well, it'd be a very nice little room.
Wi-fi was slow. Sometimes trying an alternate connection would work. Other times, it was pointless to even try. Oh well, I didn't need to reply to work email anyway!
The mattress was not springs, so that's a plus. Unfortunately for fans of firm, cool mattresses this mattress was very soft (my husband referred to his side of the bed as "his hole" to sleep in) and the flippin' pillow top padding (please let this fad pass away into non zen sleeping habits of the past!) was mooshy and trapped body heat. So it was another couple nights' sleep of cold on top and hot on the bottom.
Overall, it's a good place to stay.
Loved the little zen garden area back behind the front first floor rooms. It was nice having the bamboo in the room, along with the fridge and microwave. Breakfast is the typical make your own, on a small scale. Good coffee. Cookies in the evening are fairly calorie-worthy! Cute neighborhood in the back for evening strolls.

Room Tip: Ask for a quiet room if street noise disrupts your sleeop
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LisaLovesPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ricberr, General Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this review, October 18, 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your candid review and for your great comments about our staff and our overall hotel decor.

Please accept my apologies for not meeting your expectations of mattress comfort. The mere nature of our pillow-top mattresses would probably not be the first choice of a firm-mattress lover. We have received a great deal of wonderful comments about them, but I certainly understand where you are coming from.

In regards to our wireless Internet, we will make sure to take a look at our network to make certain it is working properly. Thank you for the feedback.

Your comments are very much appreciated and help us have an open conversation about the good and also about the not-so-good. Thank you for your time and we look forward to an opportunity to welcome you back to our hotel.

With warm regards,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rhode Island
Level Contributor
45 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2012

On the advice of Tripadvisor, we stayed at the Zen Hotel a couple of years ago when my son was visiting colleges. Last month, we were back for 4 days to drop the kid off at Stanford, and our stay at the Zen was fantastic!

The whole family was along, so we booked a suite. Too many of the chain places slap the label "suite" on any room that slightly larger than standard and has a sofa and a bed in it, and those kinds of suites don't provide the privacy (aka, the freedom for Mom to go to bed early while everyone else stays up to watch a movie) that traveling families crave. The Zen offers a full bedroom suite—the bedroom had 2 queen beds and a door—while the spacious living area had a sofa bed, comfy chair, dining room area w/ table and chairs, and kitchenette. The room, on the ground level, had 2 doors, one that opened to the parking area and the other that opened to a lovely little garden with additional seating.

Although we were on street level, we were not bothered by noise. The hotel was busy with other families dropping their kids off, yet we never had trouble finding a (free) parking space or using the free wifi.

Since we are moving the kid across the country, we shopped in California rather than shipping boxes or paying to bring extra luggage on the plane. The Zen has a coin-operated washer and dryer, which made it easy to launder those new sheets and towels before the big move. The front desk staff was happy to make change.

The hot breakfast buffet is included in the room rate. The breakfast room was crowded at times, but the buffet was kept well stocked. Free cookies in the afternoon too!

The room and public areas were clean. The staff was friendly. The hotel is 2 miles from Stanford, and there is a Walgreens across the street. Easy drive to downtown Palo Alto or Mountain View, where there are plenty of options for restaurants, groceries or other shopping.

Thanks for helping make our trip easy! We'll definitely be back!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MrsJRI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ricberr, General Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this review, October 18, 2012
Dear Guest,

I'd like to thank you for being a returning guest of The Zen Hotel and for composing such nice and detailed review. We really appreciate when our guests are able to share their experience, which we find extremelly valuable and helpful to our efforts of promoting our business and services. I am glad you enjoyed your stay in our one bedroom suite and that you plan to stay with us on your next trip to Palo Alto.

We look forward to keep welcoming you back!

Best regards,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Zen Hotel

Property: The Zen Hotel
Address: 4164 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306-4075
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Palo Alto
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Palo Alto
#3 Romantic Hotel in Palo Alto
#5 Business Hotel in Palo Alto
#5 Family Hotel in Palo Alto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Zen Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of Silicon Valley, The Zen Hotel offers daily full hot breakfast buffet that includes freshly made smoothies, Peet's and Santa Cruz Organic coffees, Mighty Leaf teas, sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs and much more. L'occitane toiletries and free true high speed Internet are standard in all guestrooms. Minutes away from Stanford University, Shoreline Amphitheater and tech companies such as HP, Facebook and Google; The Zen Hotel offers great value and is a fantastic choice for business and leisure travelers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Townhouse Hotel Palo Alto

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