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“So So” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Cowper Inn

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Cowper Inn
Ranked #1 of 5 Palo Alto B&B and Inns
2 reviews
“So So”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

We have just returned from a two day stay at the Cowper Inn. The best thing by far, is the location. It is maybe two blocks to a nice shopping area. It took us about 25 minutes to walk to the Stadium at Stanford. The room was ok. We stayed in room 28 in the Victorian House. It was large and clean but smelled a little musty. There was a comfortable bed and a small kitchenette.
We checked in and were shown our room by a young man after that, all we saw was one woman. This woman seemed to be running the entire place by her self, cooking and serving breakfast and cleaning rooms. If you want or need interaction with staff, this is not the place for you. The breakfast was a Buffett and had adequate food, nothing special. Palo Alto is a pricey place so I guess this place is reflective of what the market will bear. This was a three day week end and the place was about half full. It was an ok place but is pretty basic.

Room Tip: 28 was large but up two flights of stairs. It was quiet enough and had two beds so could sleep 3 eas...
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank reggiej1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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67 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    25
    17
    9
    8
    8
See reviews for
10
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

The Cowper Inn is not all that it's cracked-up to be.

I chose to stay in what is called a suite at the inn, since no rooms with private baths were available. But, what I ended-up with was no suite. At hotels and b & bs that I've stayed at across the U.S. and around the world, the term suite implies that the room will include a sitting area or some sort. This was not the case in room 26 at The Cowper Inn.

All I got was a large room with a queen size bed, a smallish bathroom and a small second bedroom with a twin bed.
I found the lack of a sitting area strange as I mentioned to the proprietor, several times, that I was meeting a group of friends and would like to socialize in the sitting area of the room. At no time did the proprietor tell me that there was no sitting area in the rooms. When I mentioned all of this to the proprietor, as I checked out, I was told that only the large suites have a sitting area. In my book, a suite is a suite and a bedroom with an adjoining smaller bedroom is just that.

Furthermore, the room was a bit shabby - wallpaper coming off of the walls, porcelain missing from the tub, a curtain rod that needed a lick of pain and a bathroom mirror that was in poor shape. Most importantly, the bedroom windows would not close properly. It was a cool autumnal night and I snuggled under the duvet to keep warm. I was annoyed but would have been more so on a colder night.

Speaking of the duvet, I was surprised to find that there was no duvet cover on the duvet itself. Furthermore, there was no top sheet on the bed. In Europe, when you have this type of set-up, the duvet cover is replaced with each guest. Since my bed didn't have a duvet cover, I can only hope that the duvet was cleaned for me.

On the plus side, the 1896 buildings are lovely on the outside and the gardens and patio are tranquil. The location is great - two blocks from University Ave., Palo Alto's main thoroughfare. And, the continental breakfast, which included French Toast during my one night stay was delicious. I was surprised by the Inn's request to bus my own table. I'd never been asked to do this before an thought it unusual considering the price of my room.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lauriedominic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Palo Alto hotels

Irvine, California
Level Contributor
31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2012

I have stayed at the Cowper Inn over 50 times. I often come to Palo Alto for business and find the breakfast wonderful especially the homemade granola. I absolutely love the owner Joji. And I love walking the old Palo Alto neighborhood with the beautiful homes.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank nancycrabbe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
54 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2012

We stayed for one night in February. The Inn is very sweet, and a good place to explore Palo Alto and the Stanford campus. I would say that this is a great place for people who enjoy staying in typical european style B&Bs. The rooms are clean, but there is some noise, based on being in a house with multiple other guests. The rooms are decorated in a period style, and while comfortable, it's certainly more about the character of the place than a luxury experience. The breakfast was delicious and served in a lovely room with a big fireplace, perfect for the rainy day we were having. My only complaint was that the staff was unavailable when we checked out, so we just had to leave our keys and hope for the best (they charged us promptly and for the correct amount and they did call to follow-up). We'd definitely stay there again!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank E-ETravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pacific Grove, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2012

I stayed at the Cowper Inn B&B for three nights while my husband was a patient at Stanford Hospital. I rented a suite advertised with a kitchenette. That consisted of a table, chairs, sink, coffeemaker and bar-size refrigerator. There was no way to cook or heat anything in this "kitchenette."
I arrived three minutes after hours and found the keys to my bldg. and room tacked to the front door. I have no problem with that, but I never once found anyone at the front desk, nor did I see the management face-to-face in three days. The note with my keys gave me the wrong code for the wifi, so I had none my first night--got the right code at breakfast the next day. When I checked out, I had to do it by telephone and I was told that a receipt would be emailed to me. It's been two weeks and, despite several additional requests from me, the receipt still has not been forthcoming, so I don't know what additional charges might have been added to my bill.
Breakfast was the one bright spot in my stay. I eat granola and unsweetened yogurt for breakfast at home and was able to get that here--very good.
Just be aware that the service is lacking at the Cowper, there's nobody to deal with any problems you might have and you'd better be ready to drag your own suitcases up and down long flights of stairs if you stay here.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Nancy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palo Alto, CA
Level Contributor
44 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2012

We stayed for 2 weeks in the smallest room they had (#32) to save money on a long business trip. This room has a shared bathroom; however, we are living in Europe right now where there are lots of shared baths so it didn't bother us. Overall we had a good experience. The inn met our needs perfectly, though I can see why it is not for some people. Here is my summary:

The Good
- LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
- Cool old house with lots of charm and history
- Great housekeeping and neat as a pin
- Aveda bath products
- Well equipped generally (hair dryer, iron, plenty of towels, nice bedding, etc.)

The Bad
- The house is old and creaky with weird angles, not good it you have lots of luggage or are not able to climb stairs
- There is no luxury anything, it is quaint though
- Old house = old windows = lots of street noise
- No AC (at least in #32), you might swelter in the summer

Can't comment on breakfast, we didn't eat there.

Room Tip: Avoid 32 if you are a light sleeper.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Will Work for Plane Tickets
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, FL
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2011

I loved my 5 days at the Cowper inn. Great food, great service. Clean rooms. What more can u ask for?

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank stovak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cowper Inn

Property: Cowper Inn
Address: 705 Cowper St, Palo Alto, CA 94301-2603
Location: United States > California > Palo Alto
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Palo Alto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cowper Inn is a beautifully restored Craftsman style house that recreates the comfort and elegance of the period's best homes. The parlor, with several conversation areas, a fireplace, and a piano, is a warm and gracious room for visiting or relaxing. Each uniquely shaped guest room is furnished with antiques, television, and telephone. Breakfast, featuring seasonal fruit and fresh-baked breads, is served daily in the paneled dining room. Guests may enjoy sitting outside on the two wicker-decorated porches or in the garden. There is parking on the grounds and easy access to public transportation to San Francisco and San Jose. The Inn is part of the quiet residential neighborhood of Professorville. Downtown Palo Alto's restaurants, shops, and people watching are a two minute walk from the Inn. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cowper Hotel Palo Alto

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