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“Dank, musty rooms and horrible parking”

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Dinah's Garden Hotel
Ranked #2 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Certificate of Excellence
Bellevue, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Dank, musty rooms and horrible parking”
Reviewed November 2, 2011

I am currently staying in the hotel.

The check-in experience was quick. My room was in the back. You should leave your car in the carport while checking in, since you'll likely have to drive to the building in which your room is located. The layout is poorly designed with a maze of small buildings. You can't navigate your way around the property without a map.

The parking situation on the property is horrible. The parking is simply inadequate. The hotel was full when I checked in and I had to drive around for over 10 mins looking for parking. I finally found a spot at some distance and had to drag my bags all the way to the building where my room was located.

The room was dank and musty. The furniture is very old and smells of the age. The carpet was clean, but had that smell of age. The bathroom was also clean, but still after decades had acquired a smell that never goes away.

The mattress was ok, not very comfortable, but at least it didn't give me a backache. People with sensitive backs may have a gamble on this one.

The temperature controls in the room were finnicky. Took me a few mins to adjust them.

The toiletries are of poor quality. The hand soap left my hands feeling like I had cleaned them with sandpaper.

Overall, while the room was adequate in terms of facilities and cleanliness, I rate this hotel poorly primarily because you have to live with a smell in the rooms that never goes away, and because of the horrible parking experience. I guess first impressions count, and Dinah's just doesn't meet the bar for me.

Room Tip: Go to another hotel.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank santoshUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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New York
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 294 helpful votes
Reviewed November 2, 2011

In two words? Hodge-podge; Mrs Eyes Wide Open and I stayed here for easy access to the Stanford campus. When Mrs Eyes Wide Open told me what we had paid for it (several hundred a night), given I am quite well travelled, certain expectations popped into my head. The hotel missed this by some shot. Bottom line? Nice, old style hotel with a certain amount of charm. But, I have to agree with a previous reviewer: It feels like a badly renovated Best Western or Travelors Lodge. Quite frankly, it rates #5 on places to stay in Palo Alto on Tripadviser: how or why that is is beyond me. They do have an ‘executive’ wing.. Maybe that's it because based on our room, I struggle to see how.

The good? Friendly, helpful front desk. Clean smoke free rooms (ours was), Free wifi, comfortable bed, balcony was a nice touch. Ducks in the pool was interesting. The pool area itself is well landscaped. The photos you see are mainly of that area. The in-room drinks/menu prices were probably some of the best I’ve seen price-wise.

The bad? The walk to the center of the Stanford campus runs a few miles (ie: get a car) The room itself was an interesting décor: Kind of like they started renovating but ran out of cash. The TV was a boxy one from 10+ years ago and the hotel felt the need to tie it (yes, I mean tie) to the room but then there was modern, recessed lighting. The prints in the room were dated 1969 and 1976. Not sure if the frames were that old but I does not give it an air of modernity. There was one of those tubular, boxy, plasticy hair dryers that most hotels did away with 15 years ago as well as a modern hair dryer. The phone beside the bed is straight from c1975: think old school, boxy buttons with an actual handset. If I liked kitsch, I’d probably steal it. You have to pay for water here too, which is annoying.

Conclusion? Hodge-podge. Would I be back? Probably not. This hotel has to compete on price given its location is not exactly walking distance to anything. The fact is there are better priced options (with more up-to-date rooms) closer to Stanford/Palo Alto/Menlo Park. We booked late for a function we were attending. It really does, in a quirky kind of way, feel like a old Travelodge Motel that someone tried hard to fix up but ran out of money. The two large elephants at the front feel out of place, an old abandoned radio mast with lights on it means you know where it is at all times too, both of which lead to further head scratching. It is clean tho. But then given we're in 2011 and there are a dozen competing hotels nearby, you'd expect that.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Eyes_Wide_Open01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2011

I am currently staying at Dinah's. I dont really have anything negative to say about the hotel, but its very old. The furniture, bathroom, TV, basically everything is old. BUT it is very clean. so if you dont mind staying in a dated hotel, then you wont mind Dinah's.

Its about 6 miles from downtown Palo Alto. I tagged along my husband for a business trip, but really couldnt find anything to do in the area.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hibba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island, New York
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 28, 2011

We stayed here recently during a trip to move our son back to Stanford. We were blown away by how beautiful this hotel is! The rooms are clean and spacious and the setting is beautiful. There are koi ponds and tranquil landscaping that make you feel as if you are on a tropical island. The stress level of moving back on campus was greatly reduced for all of us! The pool is wonderful and the people who work at the hotel couldn't be nicer!! The beds and linens made sleep a pleasure. We could not imagine a better place to stay on all our return visits!!!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CarolandMich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 4 Contributor
29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed October 27, 2011

I did not stay at the hotel but we stopped for lunch because it is such an iconic location. We sat pool side and it was lovely all very organically retro.

Anyhow, our waiter was great, a big laugh. We ordered a burger and expected a run o f the mill burger. WOW. best burger I have ever had. The bun was melt in your mouth fresh, the patti was homemade and dripping with juice (med) avacado was sweet and freshly sliced and the bacon was chopped which is nice because you get bacon in every bite instead of pulling it out of the burger with your teeth. This was by far, the best, juiciest, homemade burger I have ever had. Well well well worth the 5 mile run the next day. Will come back there next time for sure!

Please note; my review ratings for service, and value are excellent, but for the burgers. I did not stay in the hotel I had to fill in blanks to submit my review for the categories after... but I wanted to rave about the burgers and this was the only way.

Read the other reviews for the other 6 categories

Mgmt: I forget our waiters names, but if management is reading this, we were there on Monday October 24 at 1230 and there were two guys working, plus whoever made those burgers! Thank you!!!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CassieinRSF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed October 22, 2011

Reasonably priced for the area, and the water through the property makes for a relaxing retreat. Ducks floating just outside our window. Would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mdhmdh31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
california
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 3, 2011

Our room was very pleasant & clean with a view of the pool. All around you can hear the fountains giving the hotel a zen feeling. A very peaceful setting. I would rate the hotel a 3.0 and not a 4.0 on the basis that it feels like an upgraded Best Western. We stayed to visit our son at Stanford. The hotel wasn't as close as we would have liked but it was close enough. The complimentary breakfast was a packaged danish and coffee. The poolside restaurant does offer breakfast and the prices were reasonable. The front office and restaurant staff was really very nice. We would definately stay again.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mmillerCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dinah's Garden Hotel

Property: Dinah's Garden Hotel
Address: 4261 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306-4495
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Palo Alto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Palo Alto
#2 Romantic Hotel in Palo Alto
#2 Business Hotel in Palo Alto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Dinah's Garden Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 129
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family owned and operated since 1957, Dinah’s Garden Hotel in Palo Alto is a lush oasis in Silicon Valley, and was voted “Best Hotel in Palo Alto!” Dinah’s is located near Stanford and the headquarters for the world’s leading businesses. We are California Green Certified and feature gardens, Koi-filled lagoons, well-appointed guestrooms, banquet facilities, two restaurants, and art from around the world. All 97 guestrooms and 32 suites are inspired by decorum from around the globe – creating environments that are both relaxing and productive. Visitors and locals alike love dining casually at Dinah’s Poolside Restaurant or enjoying a first class meal at THE SEA by Alexander’s Steakhouse. Although Dinah’s Garden Hotel is a historic location, we hope you enjoy our modern amenities such as brand new 42” LED televisions, complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and Business Center in the lobby. Come discover why we have been a destination creating a unique brand of hospitality for more than 55 years! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Dinahs Garden
Dinahs Garden Hotel
Dinahs Garden Palo Alto

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