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“A quiet surprise on a busy street”
Review of The Zen Hotel

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The Zen Hotel
Ranked #7 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 15, 2013

We've stayed at the Zen Hotel many times while visiting family in the area. Even when there is an event at Stanford and the area is a bustle, the rooms are quiet and serene thanks to thoughtful amenities and lovely decoration. The free breakfast is ample and slightly better than standard free breakfasts. There is always fresh fruit available at the front desk and tea or coffee, which can be a welcome treat when one arrives after a long drive but still an hour or two from dinner. The staff is gracious and parking is tight, but efficient. It is reasonably priced and always a welcome part of our stay in Palo Alto.

Room Tip: For a comfortable place to rest and regroup, The Zen Hotel is a pleasing space.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank dharmoe77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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232 - 238 of 350 reviews

Reviewed July 4, 2013

Spent two nights in the Zen in June. There wasn't one thing that we didn't like. Starting from booking. Our family has a total of 5 so I asked for two rooms. The staff member on duty suggested one suite with two rooms. It made economic sense but I was worried. The kind lady really persuaded me into booking one suite only which was a bit more than 200 a night. Turned out to be an excellent decision. Room was spacious and clean. Beds comfortable. Amenities were all decent.

Breakfast was a pleasant surprise. Although complimentary, there was hot oatmeal, fresh cut fruit, selection of muffins and other baked products. Coffee comes with choices of brands like Starbucks and all. I was told that normally they would serve eggs, ham and bacon but during our stay the kitchen was under renovation so they catered for some hot wraps.

Ana, the staff member on duty there was very friendly and helpful.

Our suite was on the second floor. Carrying the luggage up and down was a bit of a challenge but we managed. (Ana even offered to carry some for us!) If this may be an issue then ask for rooms on the ground level.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank May H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ricberr, Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you so much for such a detailed, thoughtful and kind review. Your comments have reached all of our staff and we are very glad to learn that your experience at The Zen Hotel was one to remember. I am especially glad to see you pointing out that the recommendation by our staff member was welcomed by you and your family. We make special efforts to take our time to deliver as much information as needed when you call us, and to offer room options and promotional rates based on your specific criteria.

Thank you for your comments about our breakfast. I am glad to inform you that we are just about to be done with the renovation of our breakfast area. Once completed, we will offer a more comfortable space, along with additional menu options.

It is always nice when a member our staff is recognized by name. I can share with you that Anna was thrilled with your review!

We look forward to have a chance to welcome you again in a future occasion. We sincerely appreciate your business and hope to see you again soon.

Best regards,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL

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Reviewed June 25, 2013

I spent three nights here on business, and other than a small snafu on check-in, which was quickly fixed, it was great.

I was given a room with two queens in the back part of the hotel by mistake, and while some people here have mentioned how much they like those rooms, I asked to move. It was dark and gloomy, and having two doors into the room, especially one from the back secluded garden, didn't feel especially secure. Had I not been traveling alone, I might have felt differently, but I much preferred the smaller room in the front right off the parking lot where there were people.

The beds are comfortable and the rooms well-appointed, and they have an amazing number of tv channels, if you want to spend time holed up watching the tube. Everything was spotlessly clean, and I appreciated having bottles of water in the room because they use a water softener, so the tap water is kind of funky to drink. The hot breakfast is nice and it was a little different every morning.

Most hotels have those little tags that tell you to hang your towels if you want to use them again, but when you do, they change them out anyway. That's not the case here. It's a little thing, but I was happy that weren't just giving lip service to water conservation.

Only one negative about the room -- the beds are on platforms and I stubbed my toes every time I walked around it. They're padded, but still, ouch.

The location is good, only a few minutes from campus and nice food and shopping. I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again. One other thing -- my ATT cell service was awful, and when I mentioned it to the front desk, they said it's a problem all over Palo Alto. Sure enough, I had trouble on campus too. Kind of ironic to be in the heart of one of the most technologically innovative places on the planet and not be able to make a reliable phone call.

I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again next time I'm in the area.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank julias21
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 reviewResponded June 27, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for taking the time to comment about your experience at The Zen Hotel. We really appreciate when a satisfied guest makes the effort to spread the word about what we are all about here at The Zen.

I am glad to learn you found your stay enjoyable and that when something did not go as planned, we found a quick and suitable solution for you.

Thank you for pointing out about our wide selection of in-room TV channels. We just finished this upgrade and it is wonderful to see that it is welcomed.

We look forward to your next visit to Palo Alto.

Best regards,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL

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Reviewed June 15, 2013

So, somebody bought an old motel and turned it into this! The whole place has been painted refitted, restored, redone, replanted and It was so nicely done that I had to find the owner and complement them. The only worry I had was proximity to the street, but we slept just beautifully. We would stay there again.

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Christian E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2013

Reviving an older property can take many forms but few are as stylish or as successful as the transformation of a former motel to The Zen Hotel in Palo Alto. Conveniently located on El Camino Real just a few blocks from Stanford University, the Zen somehow manages not to have street noise and to offer a true oasis. The rooms are thoughtfully equipped; the complimentary breakfast goes beyond the usual "free" hotel fare; and the extra touches (cookies, tea, newspapers, apples) are all welcome. This was our second stay. We will return.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Catherine C
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 reviewResponded June 5, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you so much for your wonderful review and for recognizing our efforts to make you stay a truly enjoyable one. Although we kept the feel and charm of a motor hotel, we indeed offer an experience that is surrounded with amenities usually found only at upscale hotels. From our complimentary hot breakfast buffet and high end teas, to our bathrobes and slippers offered in all of our rooms; we take special care in making sure you get pampered while staying with us.

This is also a great opportunity to inform you that we recently upgraded our TV channel lineup. Our in-room TV programming now boasts 120 channels to choose from, 70 of which are in high definition! We look forward to your next visit and we hope you enjoy our latest upgrades.

See you next time,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL

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Reviewed May 10, 2013

First, the room was clean and the decor pleasant. What was disturbing was that I paid over $200 for a room where I could hear my neighbour through the walls making a telephone call at night. Secondly, the cable TV was fuzzy for lack of a better word. The analog channels looked like they were being routed by an antenna. True they give you free bottled water, but it doesn' tmake up for the fact that they are trying to charge hotel rates for what is really a dressed up motel with thin walls.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank leif0
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 reviewResponded May 13, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for your feedback. I am glad we were able to connect. It was my pleasure responding to your concerns directly and sharing the exciting enhancements we have coming around the corner that will take our in-room TV experience to the next level and provide a great, brand new HD selection of programming.

We were very pleased to welcome you again for you extended stay reservation. I hope you are enjoying your stay.

Best regards,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL

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Reviewed May 2, 2013

It's not often I feel that a room is clean enough to walk around barefooted, but this room felt that clean! The price is good, it feels safe. They have attempted to make it feel Asian/Zen feeling, and although not an expert on Zen, it did feel calm and tranquil. I needed my a/c fan on to mute out closing car doors, sirens, etc, but overall a quiet stay. It's a converted motor court, so you can park about 15 feet from your door. The breakfast is fairly good. Nothing special but they do have scrambled eggs and oatmeal. Be careful when walking around the bed because the wood at the bottom sticks out. Thankfully there is padding so you don't get bruised. No complaints! Would stay there again.

Room Tip: Room 108 is in a corner and quieter than others, however it's a handicap accessible room and mig...
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank scarter9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Palo Alto
#5 Business Hotel in Palo Alto
#5 Family Hotel in Palo Alto
Price Range: $133 - $352 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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