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“Not what I was expecting...” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Zen Hotel

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The Zen Hotel
Ranked #6 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC
Level Contributor
82 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Not what I was expecting...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2014

We have never been to Palo Alto before and maybe things are just more expensive here. The hotel rate I got was the same as the Grant Hyatt in San Francisco, and higher than Marriott at the Union Square. I had expected something comparable to those two hotels I mentioned.

I was shocked when I saw the motel like exterior. The check-in desk and the breakfast area also looked kind of shabby at night when we arrived. We got room 302 and it was away from the street noise and pretty quiet at night. The room was clean and Asian/Zen inspired decoration. But the room still looked dated with the cream color wall paper and giant A/C unit. The A/C unit was very loud when it was on. The room was either cold (when the A/C was on) or stuffy (when the A/C was off).

Breakfast was pleasant. They had a good selection of good tea, which was very nice.

I don't know what to expect for this area. Maybe this is a nice enough hotel based on what I paid. But I would choose a different hotel the next time I am in the area.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ReviewDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ricberr, General Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this review, 21 April 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing your experience at our hotel. Although we work hard to offer great value among the available lodging options in Palo Alto, we understand we did not meet your price-product expectations and we are very sorry to learn that. Among the value-added amenities we offer, we believe that our complimentary hot breakfast, Internet, parking and upgraded room amenities such as bathrobes, free bottled water, lip balm, etc. can be differentials that result in great value as compared to nearby hotels. However, your feedback is important for us to continue evaluating our operations and fine tune areas that present an opportunity for improvement.

Thank you for your comments about our breakfast. I am glad you were able to enjoy our selection of Mighty Leaf organic teas.

Your comments are much appreciated. We hope you consider our hotel as an option again when your travels bring you back to Palo Alto.

Best regards,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
650-493-4492 X 311
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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324 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    167
    125
    19
    11
    2
See reviews for
114
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
Date | Rating
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English first
New York City, New York
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2014

the bath pipes and showers are behind paper thin walls and my bed was next to the bathroom wall, so every night around 1 am and then around 5 am the neighboring rooms started running loud, clattering, long showers, about an hour each... so much for the bad water pressure, that is supposed to help with the drought, people just don't care and want the shampoo out of their hair, also the wifi in my room, which was supposed to be free and strong, was totally unusable,the front desk people couldn't answer any questions about the area,and did not try either

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cherryseeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ricberr, General Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this review, 21 April 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for your feedback about your stay at The Zen Hotel. I am very sorry to learn that we failed in providing you with a comfortable and restful stay. Please rest assured that the issue you experienced with poor water pressure is an anomaly that will be investigated and corrected by our maintenance department. I am sorry it happened in the room you occupied. I was disappointed as well to see that our Wi-Fi did not work as it is supposed to, especially since we have recently doubled our bandwidth and we have received great comments about our speeds. We understand that fast and reliable Internet connectivity is essential to all our guests. This issue will be followed up and corrected as well.
I would be grateful if you could share the specifics of the information you requested from our Front Desk staff. I did not recognize our commitment to use a YES attitude when approaching all our guests’ questions, and I am very interested in learning first-hand the particulars of your interaction with our staff. If you have time, I can be reached via phone at 650-493-4492 ext 311, or via email to ricardo@thezenhotel.com Thank you again for your candid feedback.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Rosa, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 March 2014

This hotel is filled with restful, Zen-like simplicity and follows "green" practices. Comfortable, clean, attractive rooms. Cookies in the afternoon, green tea in your room (& coffee if you must), and a nice variety of food for a buffet breakfast, including fresh fruit and yogurt, as well as the usual eggs and pork. We stay here several times a year and it is always a pleasant experience.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JoAnn h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ricberr, Front Office Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this review, 25 March 2014
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for all of your positive feedback on your experiences at The Zen Hotel. Thank you for noticing our green practices and small touches that we think set us apart from many of the larger hotels in the area. I am very pleased to see that you always enjoy your stay with us, and I hope that all of your future visits continue to meet or exceed expectations.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts about our hotel.

Best Regards,

Ryan Aldridge
Front Office Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
193 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 March 2014

The Zen Hotel in Palo Alto is great for a short stay if you are on business trip. It is conveniently located, has ample parking and the service is friendly. The rooms are small, but clean, comfortable and recently renovated. Everything seems to be new and more-or-less good quality. They also claim that they are green. That is, they don't seem to abuse the nature in any way. It really deserves at least 3 1/2 - 4 star rating, but it is a fancy road-side motel (former) and the cost is too high for what you get. That said, definitely go stay there if you can expense it.

Room Tip: The rooms probably are all the same.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JarvNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maine
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2014

The Zen Hotel is close to my ideal for lodging. I have spent several
months out of the last three years there, and in a way which transcends
the cliche, it has been my home away from home. The esprit de corps of
the staff expresses both in their attention to detail in the maintenance
and running of the hotel, and in their kindness and willing attitude
toward their guests. The rooms are tastefully decorated, and the beds
are among the most comfortable anywhere. The breakfast room is lovely,
and the breakfast provided, even lovelier. They serve real food, not
prefabricated breakfast technology, and it is a very pleasant social
environment in which to eat it. The clientele which the Zen attracts is
another mark of how unusual and wonderful this place is. There are, of
course, some of the usual tech crowd who populate Palo Alto these days,
but there are also families and down to earth folks. I grew up in Palo
Alto in the 60's and I find that the Zen has discovered a way to blend
the kindness and humanity of the old Palo Alto with the aesthetics and
high functionality of its current dominant culture-- no mean feat. This
is not just a place I like to stay, this is a place I treasure.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mainetraveller8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ricberr, General Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this review, 28 February 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you so much for this candid, thoughtful and generous review. I do recognize you as one of our loyal guests we so much appreciate and enjoy having every time your travel plans bring you to Palo Alto. I and the rest of The Zen staff are always very glad to welcome you back and look forward to your next visit.

Thank you again for sharing your feedback with the Tripadvisor community. Take care and see you next time.

Warm regards,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palo Alto
Level Contributor
49 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2014

This place is a hoot - a perfectly ordinary motel, located handily on El Camino Real, but with Zen-inspired landscaping around the car parking and Zen themed decor in the rooms. Comfortable and convenient, and the Zen theme made it just that little bit nicer than a bog-standard motel. A motel right next to a busy street is never going to be a complete oasis of calm and peace, but this was a pretty good try.

Room Tip: Rooms on the ground floor with car parking spaces outside (and no rooms above) are handier than the...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Doug C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2014

Just an 9rdinary motel. Room, two double beds. Noise from the sidewalk outside in the morning. You pay for what you get. Zen in the sense that you might want to meditate while you're there and picture staying in a really nice hotel. Nice mugs, though.. .

Room Tip: Just prepare for what you're going to get. Lower expectations.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Dennis H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ricberr, General Manager at The Zen Hotel, responded to this review, 19 February 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for your feedback. I am very sorry the location of your room was not as quiet as you would have preferred. I sincerely hope that other aspects of your stay were to your satisfaction. Should you decide to give us another opportunity in the future, we have rooms available that are located in specific sections of our building that we could recommend as being on the quieter side. Our Guest Services Agents are available 24/7 to assist with reservations and provide recommendations on our rooms.

Best regards,

Ricardo Berrospi
General Manager
THE ZEN HOTEL
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Zen Hotel

Property: The Zen Hotel
Address: 4164 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA 94306-4075
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Palo Alto
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Palo Alto
#5 Family Hotel in Palo Alto
#5 Business Hotel in Palo Alto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — The Zen Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 37
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of Silicon Valley, The Zen Hotel offers daily full hot breakfast buffet that includes freshly made smoothies, Peet's and Santa Cruz Organic coffees, Mighty Leaf teas, sausages, bacon, scrambled eggs and much more. L'occitane toiletries and free true high speed Internet are standard in all guestrooms. Minutes away from Stanford University, Shoreline Amphitheater and tech companies such as HP, Facebook and Google; The Zen Hotel offers great value and is a fantastic choice for business and leisure travelers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Townhouse Hotel Palo Alto

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