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“Awesome location so they should knock this horrible hotel down and build anew”

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Sheraton Palo Alto Hotel
Ranked #15 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Reviewed April 7, 2009

I walked into the lobby and couldn't hear the guy checking me in over the cacophony of about 100 sorority girls. I'm not that picky about noise but my room was next to a rumbly old soda machine which sounded like it was going to lift off to the moon any moment. I asked to be moved and instead of just moving me down a couple of doors I was taken over the river and through the woods (the hotel is a complete maze) to another room. Second room stunk of cigarettes (I always ask for non-smoking) and was generally shabby.

Room service tries hard but there was always one thing missing or incorrect. Sigh. I guess getting an order correct might be too much to ask at this hotel. It's too bad that this hotel is so awful because the location is amazing, right in downtown Palo Alto and Stanford. I usually stay at the W Hotel and will never return to this Sheraton when traveling to the Bay Area.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
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Thank bebop62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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670 - 676 of 771 reviews

Reviewed March 29, 2009

Reception / Wedding Planner:
We would NOT recommend this hotel for a wedding reception. Brides beware: Ask to speak with another "bride and/or groom" before you book the hotel/reception hall. The wedding planner assigned to our bride & groom was horribly incompetent (reducing our bride to tears on her wedding day … and many times in the days leading up to the event … inexcusable). One example, on the day of the wedding (at 3am!!) they were taking the bride & groom around the hotel trying to find a suitable room for them (since the one they were promised was not available). In addition, we were very disappointed with the shenanigans of the wait-staff at the wedding reception. During the cocktail-hour the wait-staff began offering platters of appetizers to guest tables at one end of the room, when their platter was empty they came out with another platter of appetizers and started at the same tables again … the tables on the other side of the room were never offered any appetizers. It was our understanding that we had the room until midnight … but the wait-staff began cleaning off tables at 10pm while guests were dancing … their paid $ cocktails were discarded … their wedding keepsakes were removed (some were thrown away, others were pocketed by the wait-staff) … full bottles of wine were removed from the tables … their slice of wedding cake discarded … they did not even leave water glasses for the thirsty dancers!!

Parking:
We had a special $10/day rate. The normal rate is indefensible. Only one entrance/exit was available … they claimed to be repairing the other two exits, but over our stay of 4-days the exits were never fixed. RoomKey is pass for parking lot (be careful … if you use another's RoomKey because you are sharing a car, their room will be charged for parking fee too).

Rooms:
Very small, crowded. Do not open that bottle of water (even thought the placard says it is complementary!!). Some of us were charged $3 for a bottle, others were charged $7 (it appeared some rooms had larger bottles of water … that was the difference). Windows were impossible to open without brute strength (and then Brutus had to come back to close them at night). SMOKING. Apparently, our room was next to, above, or below a smoking-room. We were suffocating with the smell of smoke 3 of the 4 nights. It was horrible: at first we thought the smoke was in the hallway so we rolled-up towels to cover the doorway-floor crack, but that did not help. Seems to be coming thru the air-system somehow (vents? clean-air intake?). Be very careful using the room irons. Ours leaked horribly and stained the shirt. Electrical outlets are scarce: one in the desk lamp, one for the TV, one in the bathroom, one by the bed for alarm clock … could not find any other outlets (if they are there, then they are inaccessible, behind furniture). There was a small table (supposedly to eat or work at) but no chairs to sit around the table. And, if you sit at the desk chair, no one else in the room can get around you … again, too cramped space.

Location:
Very nice. Near Caltrain (best way to get to San Francisco). Shopping. Restaurants.

Staff:
Overall, the office-staff was good; they were responsive in correcting problems when brought to their attention. For example, we were there for a wedding and the restrooms were horribly dirty … we asked to have them serviced and they complied immediately (my only complaint would be that we should not have HAD to ask … they should have been maintained).

Security:
The outside doors leading to parking lot do not lock. They were propped-open by the staff all day and night. Do not let your children wander about the hotel unattended … it is not a secure environment (and lock / latch your room door when you are in your room).

Food:
On-site restaurant was average quality. Exceptional service. Over-priced (even for that area). As wedding-guests we were supposed to be comp'd a breakfast but that never materialized. The bride & groom were supposed to be comp'd a breakfast as well … they were denied this at first because they did not have their "coupon" (a coupon that they were never given) … they had to explain to the restaurant staff who they were (the staff was trying to charge it to their room). Which brings up another point -- I charged all bar and restaurant bills to my room -- never once was I asked for an I.D. or a RoomKey to verify who I was … or did I even have a right to charge to the room# I indicated (so check your final bill very carefully). Bar staff was okay (but you cannot bring outside food into the bar, we were asked to leave because we brought meal from local fast-food restaurant into the bar to watch March Madness games … even though we were drinking their alcohol).

Pool:
Looked clean. It was too cool for us to swim (pool is outside, but is heated).

Elevators:
Only two elevators … inadequate, especially since one was always "broken" or closed for repair. Very slow, taking the stairs is faster (but stairwell is very dark).

Fitness Center:
Not worth mentioning. Two or three pieces of equipment in a tiny room.

Internet:
An ungodly $9.95 a day.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Thank Vic2911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2009

Hi:

I am writing a review of my stay last night at the Palo Alto Sheraton. I stayed on March 15th to 16th on a business trip. The lady (with the cool purple glasses) at the front desk was very accomodating, gave me a 20% off coupon for dinner in the restaurants at the Sheraton or Westin next door, gave me a free drink coupon, and was very pleasant and asked where I flew in from. She gave me my room key and showed me a map on where to park.

I parked in the back and had to make 2 trips to bring in my luggage. I accidentally locked myself out of the room and had to go back to the front desk for another room key. In doing so, this lovely lady asked me if my room was OK. I let her know that the room was great.

I was pooped from the trip so ordered room service which was great. I had the pesto chicken and a ceasar sald. The chicken with fresh spinach was the best room service meal I ever had in a hotel. The server came within 20 minutes, my food was hot; it was a huge portion and the best meal I have ever had from room service at any hotel.

The hotel is like a motel. There is an outdoor pool which is heated and a koi pond with a sitting area...the hotel is older but my room was fine. I slept great. The bed was comfortable and the hotel was quiet.

I got a great deal on Orbitz and paid only $99/ night for the room. I tried Priceline and Expedia but the room price was higher. Even the Garden Court Hotel was only $169/ night but I could not pass on the $99 rate. Prices have come way down from my last trip to Palo Alto.

I stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel last time which was a brand new hotel. I liked this location better and had dinner the next night at Scott's right down the street in the nearby shopping plaza. The Courtyard rate was $189 so I decided to try the Sheraton. The food was better at the Sheraton although it is an older property.

I read the last Trip Advisor review which does not relect on my eperience so I had to send in my positive review.

Would I stay again- absolutely- for the food and service.

I did have dinner the last trip and ate at Il Fornaio which is in the Garden Court Hotel. I would like to give that hotel a try since it really seemed like a special place. The food at Il Fornaio was outstanding too.

I would have considered the Westin too but the rate was so much higher at $219.

The only draw back at the Sheraton is that they charge $9.99/ day for internet service. With the room price and food discounts I cannot complain.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Thank VacationBabeBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2009

I am a professional pilot and I travel over 200 nights a year. When I checked in at the Sheraton Palo Alto on February 28, 2009, I was upgraded to the club level (without asking) and given a great, comfortable room. The rate was $129 per night plus tax for a 7 night stay. On the third day, the hotel desk left a voice message on my room phone asking me to call the desk about the club level use. When I returned the call, I was told that I was not supposed to be using the club for free breakfast and that I would be billed $20 per visit to the club on the 4th floor if I continued to use it. The chilly female voice went on to say that they would not charge me for past uses of the club because it was possible I had made a mistake, but that they felt they needed to bring it to my attention. On the previous two mornings I had used my room key (It worked without issue) to access the club for coffee and yogurt. When I asked why I had been given key card access in the first place, I was told that the club was for platinum members and that I wasn't even gold and that perhaps "I should stay at Sheraton more often. I did not get any clear explanation as to why I had been given access and I received no apology from the staff. I was made to feel as if I had been dishonest and I was more than a little embarrased.

The bar was equally strange, filling each night with small groups of shoeless nerdy teenagers staring at laptop computers. The bartender was equally quirky and controlling.

I moved to another hotel (the Stanford Park - I highly recommend it) for the remainder of the stay. There are not many good hotel options in Palo Alto. The Sheraton Palo Alto is worth avoiding.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank rrochfort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2009

Stayed here on many occassions over the past 15 years. This place used to be a Holiday Inn - obviously not posh enough for Palo Alto.

My views are slightly distorted since last time I was there I got food poisoning from something I had at the bar, and spent 2 days in bed. This kind of messed up my business trip. This was an exception as normally they are very careful about the food.

The nicest things about this hotel are the bar and thehotel location. The place is quite old and has an 80s feel about it. Everything is in good order and works, but the rooms are dark and dingy (but with comfy beds), the work desk is uncomfortable, and worst of all you can hear you neighbour's plumbing activities during the night (I mean tinkle tinkle, not just flush flush). I don't think there is much they can do about this without rebuilding.

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
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1  Thank Sliminvestor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2008

We, as well as approximately 30 of our family and friends, stayed at the Sheraton, Palo Alto, California for 4 - 6 nights in August, 2008 to attend the wedding and accompanying festivities and celebration for our daughter's wedding.

We had contacted the hotel, made a tentative booking, advised our out of town guests and then a negative Trip Advisor Review was brought to our attention. This review indicated "walls were thin, the noise of the Caltrain kept one awake all night etc.

Please be advised everyone in our group rated the hotel as excellent and outstanding - no one was bothered by the train.

The staff could not have been more friendly, efficient, and professional in all their dealings with us - we had a wonderful time.

I write this review because, based on one negative review, we could have changed our plans.

We would return to the Palo Alto Sheraton without question.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank fankle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2008

I have been staying at this hotel several times a year since the early-nineties. I go back because I really like it. The place has its faults - some of the rooms are in need of a refresh - but these are far outweighed by the perfect location, the friendliness of its staff, and the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in. I understand from the manager that there is a rolling programme of room upgrades going on so the next time I go back in October I expect to see much better.

I can't really comment on the food due to my "never sleep in a restaurant, never eat in a hotel" policy, but on the odd occasions I've had breakfast there it has been pretty good. Given its location on University Avenue, you can walk to a huge selection of restaurants in just a few minutes - its principal attraction for me.

Paid-for Internet access is in the rooms is a bit disappointing, but wifi access in the lobby, bar and by the pool is free. Get a poolside room and you may be lucky enough to use this free connection (if you sit by the window!)

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank MikeyTheBikey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sheraton Palo Alto Hotel

Address: 625 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94301-2301
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Palo Alto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Price Range: $144 - $623 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sheraton Palo Alto Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 346
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sheraton Palo Alto Hotel is a luxury accommodation in Silicon Valley near Stanford University and San Francisco Bay Area attractions like Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square, Chinatown, and Napa Valley. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sheraton Palo Alto
Palo Alto Sheraton

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