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The Westin Palo Alto
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Reviews (680)
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All reviewsheavenly bedstanford universityseparate tubwalking distanceroom servicefront desk staffclose to downtownself parkfour seasonssmall poolrestaurants and shopscaltrain stationsilicon valleybusiness centerthe location is perfectrooms are spaciousel camino
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Reviewed 28 July 2008

My partner and I stayed at the Westin Palo Alto for two nights while attending a Palo Alto High School reunion. I'm a fan of Westin Hotels (and Starwood properties in general), and this particular property is unique because of its smaller, boutique-style design (in contrast to the usual large, business style Westins in downtown areas). The hotel frontage is actually rather unremarkable. Because the hotel is placed very close to the road, it's easy to drive right by on El Camino Blvd without realizing it. The Westin and it's neighbor right across a parking lot, the Sheraton Palo Alto, seem to be jointly owned and managed.

Unique features:
1) Spacious and quiet rooms with especially large bathrooms. Decor is a little more "traditional" than the usual Westin. Not too much of a view from any room. The small "courtyards" aren't worth more than a casual glance.
2) Staff is very friendly and helpful, especially the valet and front door staff.
3) Location is fantastic! Easy walking distance to downtown Palo Alto, Stanford Shopping Center, and, of course, the entrance to Stanford University. The Palo Alto Caltrain station is a five minute walk away, and this is by far the best way to get into San Francisco without the hassles of a car--no fuel or parking worries! One way for two people into SF is $11.50, and the train takes a maximum of 60 minutes depending on how many stops are made along the way. We didn't use our rental car at all except for arriving and departing from the Westin.

Improvements that could be made:
1) Rates tend to be rather high (ours was a very special rate of $139/night, but that is definitely uncommon). Of course, everything in Palo Alto is relatively expensive.
2) The workout room is small. As a previous reviewer noted, there are three treadmills, two recumbent bicycles, and one elliptical. During our stay, the elliptical was in great demand, and people were clearly disappointed at having to wait. Many of the video units on the machines weren't working.
3) The pool, which occupies one of the small courtyards, is tiny and not good for anything except splashing around. On the plus side, the front desk directed me to the Sheraton pool (approx 17-18 yards in length) to swim laps.
4) Wireless internet access in the room is $9.95/day. While the price isn't especially unusual, the speed, however, is very slow. As a result I wasn't able to connect with my business server.

Overall, I would stay at the Westin again. Location trumps everything!

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank kiwitravelerpdx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2008

This is a top class hotel near Stanford and downtown Palo Alto (University Ave.) and good proximity for seeing performances at the Shoreline Amphitheater.

We were upgraded because of our SPG status to large suite that included a treadmill and workout area. Nice touch and I wish I knew prior so that I could have been prepared. The room was very nice a large bathroom and marble appointments everywhere and was exceptionally well maintained and clean. Westin bed and bath features were top notch as expected. To start, the rooms were very quiet.

The smallish pool was clean with nice chairs and the essential option for shade. When we arrived, the bartender approached us to attend to any needs. Nice touch. The breakfast restaurant had great service with a good quality breakfast buffet.Service overall was outstanding.

The only caveat was that the hotel rooms are all centered around mini courtyards. This is a nice feature and we had considered having our breakfast served there the following morning.We were on the ground floor. We woke up on Sun. morning to open the shades to find an event being held right outside our glass sliding door. In fact, the bartenders backs were flush against our window.

We had heard lots of activity outside starting around 7am. We were definitely woken by the staff setting up (moving tables and chairs, etc.). The only good thing is that they must be trained not to talk while doing so but their mere existence definitely affected our level of relaxation.

We should have been warned that this would be occurring. I would recommend asking, while checking in, how functions might affect your stay. Other than that, this is a fine hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled on business
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4  Thank Msk6261
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2008

The Heavenly Bed is great so if you're the kind of person, who just wants to lie in bed and not exercise this is the hotel for you. If you'd like to get a work out in, I recommend staying at the Stanford Park instead.

The fitness center is way too small for the size of this hotel. The first morning I was lucky because I got up at 5:30 due to jet lag. The people who tried to work out between 6:00 and 8:00 were screwed. No machines available. Only 1 elliptical, 2 bikes, and 3 treadmills. The weights were almost useless.

The staff is super friendly and helpful.

Stayed: June 2008
Thank publius72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2008

The Westin Palo Alto is certainly every bit a Westin...heavenly bed, rosemary and mint, Starbucks, lots of marble, etc...however, this one sees its share of international guests and I found out they don't all get the part about the smoking ban...nor did the front desk staff think it was much of an issue when a level of cigarette smoke I hadn't experienced since, oh, Moscow came through the adjoining door...but so what, since one can always stick wet towels under the door. The staff did their best to compensate in the AM with a free breakfast. The location near Stanford is fine, staff is fine...not a standout but it's a Westin.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled on business
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Thank thelivingjuj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2008

A dependably good hotel, close to Stanford University, downtown Palo Alto, and the Stanford shopping center (Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus . . .) If you like walking, all of them are reasonably close.

My room overlooked a quiet courtyard, but one side of the hotel looks out over a very ugly derelict building. Try not to get those rooms.

The bed, of course, is great. Bathrooms are fairly large. There's a separate tub, but it's shallow, and unless you're a child it's not great for a relaxing soak. The hotel brochure makes a big deal about the dual showerhead, but I couldn't get it to work. Speaking of things that didn't work, there's an "express service" button on the phone, which I pressed to request a pair of slippers. But it was disconnected.

The hotel has three computer terminals for checking e-mail, but two of them weren't connecting to the Internet for some reason. How ironic that in Silicon Valley I had trouble checking e-mail!

I had breakfast at the hotel restaurant, Soleil, all three mornings. Nice service, good food. It gets busy sometimes, so it's probably best to make a reservation.

My stay coincided with Stanford's graduation, so my bill was high. I think the hotel probably has better rates during quieter periods.

Despite the glitches, I would stay here again because of its location and dependably comfortable bed and rooms.

  • Stayed: June 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank SkyeTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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