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“The best kept secret in Palo Alto”
Review of Hotel Keen

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Hotel Keen
Ranked #17 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Reviewed 2 May 2013

I am an experienced business travelers having accumulated over 4 million miles in 25 years. When I go to Silicon Valley on business, I find myself staying at hotels that I know and am comfortable with like the Fairmont in San Jose. My daughter just got accepted to Stanford so this time we decided to stay at a hotel in Palo Alto. A friend recommended Hotel Keen.

The most wonderful staff, the nicest rooms although minimalist, small intimate boutique feeling. Very much like hotels in the Nordics. I loved my four day stay there. Two great yoga studios are walking distance from this place. unbelievable restaurants full of organic food and fresh produce are steps away.

You will never go wrong with this place and you do not have to pay Fairmont prices. I will come back for sure.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Afsaneh N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pfriedman, General Manager at Hotel Keen, responded to this reviewResponded 18 June 2013

Thank you very much for the kind words. I am glad that we meet your needs and we hope to be your home away from home over the next four years.

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127 - 133 of 201 reviews

Reviewed 18 March 2013

Nice lobby, excellent and friendly front of house staff. Free tea and coffee station 24 hours. Nice breakfast. As with many boutique hotels my room was small but comfortable, good heating system, comfortable bed and decent shower. My only real complaint was the frosted window opened inches from a brick wall though so it could feel a little claustrophobic but there are plenty of outdoor tables at local cafes should you feel the need for fresh air. Front desk recommended an excellent restaurants for dinner locally - Reposados.
Parking in Palo Alto generally can be tough but I managed to find on street or garage parking within 2 blocks throughout my stay.
All in all a very pleasant place to stay on a brief business trip.

Stayed: March 2013
2  Thank Jen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2013

We stayed here for three nights and were astonished how this poor quality stay can be so expensive.
The rooms are tiny (even deluxe) and the door to the toilet is missing. There is just a curtain. The walls are surprisingly thin: we could hear every single word of our neighbor's phonecall. It was unfortunately at quite unpleasantly early time if the day...
The little window looked out at the wall, just about 2 yards behind it.
And eventually the room was quite clean at the first sight, but you just need to walk on the carpet floor barefoot, and your feet will turn black!
I hope we won't stay here again.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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4  Thank Polka5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2013

Where this review is coming from: 40-something married couple who wanted a night in Palo Alto.
Why we decided on Hotel Keen: price seemed OK, the simplicity attracted us.
Would we stay there again? Not very likely.

Great for: very tired (so tired that they are dead to the world) solo business travelers and/or folks who need to be downtown.
Not good for: anyone who needs to see the sun, or breath outside air from their hotel room.

The Review:
This hotel is fine/ok, but that's about it.
The desk staff was very nice, attentive and helpful. Upon arrival, they told us that they had upgraded us to a larger room free of charge (which was very nice, naturally). The "larger" room was fairly small (acceptable, but just small in general), so I'm afraid to find out what the smallest rooms are like.
As the other reviews here on Trip Advisor point out, Hotel Keen is a very stark, simple, small boutique hotel with nearly no perks.

...the clean design, and creative use of small space are great and all, but as my wife pointed out, it may be a little bit like what living in a cell might be like. Me, I thought of it as being confined to a cell on a spaceship as you're unaware that you are hurtling through space (kind of like living in the Film "2001"). Why? Well, the fact that there was a single window, which you cannot open, and is made of frosted glass so that it was also almost impossible to tell if it is night or day outside might have had a lot to do with it.
The room was clean, efficient, and generally attractive with its use of curtains instead of doors, and euro-style fixtures, furniture, etc. The bed was comfortable, the TV worked fine.

WHY we wouldn't stay again, or longer than one night; honestly, it is because the impression is that you are basically confined to a cell.
As you walk towards your room down the hallway, you notice there are little blue lights at foot level not unlike the emergency exit lights on a plane. I'm doing what I can to give the best illustration/impression that I can of the place so that you won't be surprised when/if you stay there. Again; I'm not intentionally trying to put the place down, it is fine for what it is, but you should really understand what that is before you stay there.

I think this place would be ideal if you were super, super tired, and all you wanted to do is sleep without knowing if it is daylight or nighttime outside.

There is an acceptable level of "white noise" to the place; the sounds of machines and such muffled through the walls which is typical for any building, but I'm mentioning this so you don't think the place is 100% quiet.

The free 24 hour pod coffee (in the lobby) and "free" continental-style breakfast were nice, but with 3+ bakeries nearby (plus numerous other restaurants all within a couple blocks) you might need to get out of the hotel to not feel like you are still on lock-down in the hotel's confining environment.

SO; if you just need a practical, but small, essentially windowless room to stay in for the purpose of sleeping, and you feel the price is OK, then go for it.
If you want to feel human, however, or if your idea of life is breathing outside air and seeing the sun (from/in the hotel) while staying somewhere, then this won't be the place for you.

On the plus side; seriously close to EVERYTHING downtown.
Parking: we were there for a Saturday night, and had no problem getting a free spot in the lot next door, weekdays would be challenging, and/or at an expense.

Great for what it is. Not so great if you need/want something different than what it offers.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank DaDAisTic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pfriedman, General Manager at Hotel Keen, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2013

Thank you for giving the hotel a try and posting a very honest and accurate assessment of the property. I am especially glad that you found the staff and service spot on as they and that is what truly sets our hotel apart from our peers. While we were able to do an amazing job on the physical plant during our two plus year renovation, we were not able to make the property any larger with regards to public space. We actually lost rooms, going from 56 to 42 (adding private bathrooms in every room, an elevator, etc.). Palo Alto and its surrounding area has so much to offer with one exception - a truly cool place to refresh and recharge when work and fun are done. One small correction: the windows do open - albeit to face the walls of our neighboring buildings (so I almost didn't want to mention it).

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Reviewed 2 February 2013

I love staying at Hotel Keen and have had an amazing experience every time. The guys at the front desk are very accommodating and have a great sense of humour! The know all the good places to eat and are very helpful. The rooms are very compact and have everything you need, and they have a healthy breakfast complete with great espresso! Can't wait to go back.

Stayed: August 2012, travelled on business
2  Thank foodie_wanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pfriedman, General Manager at Hotel Keen, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2013

Thank you for taking the time to write such a nice review. I am pleased that we are still on your mind these many months since your visit. Which only means that it will be that much sooner until your next one. Did that come out right?

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Reviewed 27 January 2013

We spent a night at the Hotel Keen. This was our third night at this centrally located, hip, small, boutique hotel in Palo Alto. The hotel is 1/2 block off university and 3 blocks from the main Stanford entrance. Rooms are small but comfortable and well-appointed. The staff are welcoming and accomodating. The buffet continental breakfast was excellent and improved with Nespresso machine which produced a great latte. The only drawback was absence of private parking but parking after 11 PM on the street and in public lot next door is easy to find and free. We will be back soon.

Room Tip: Standard rooms are more than enough for the young business traveler. Larger rooms are available but...
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled on business
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Thank Wayne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2013

Amazing location, cute decor, and friendly staff. However, you can hear everything going on in the other rooms and halway. The air is directly over your bed and blowing on your face all night. Shower is beautiful, but very narrow and not for everyone. T

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank BusyTravelerFoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Keen

Address: 425 High St, Palo Alto, CA 94301-1621
Region: United States > California > Palo Alto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Price Range: £115 - £427 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Keen 2.5*
Number of rooms: 42
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