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“Pleasantly surprised. I will be back.”

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Dinah's Garden Hotel
Ranked #2 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Certificate of Excellence
Acton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
69 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised. I will be back.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2011

Two nights in a large "executive suites" room was a pleasant experience. I have stayed at many places along the El Camino Real over the years, and this was one of the most enjoyable. The room was large and well-furnished, and immaculately clean. I didn't use the exercise equipment of steam shower that are available in the room, but might do so on a future trip. The pool-side restaurant was a bright, sunny place for an excellent breakfast. The front desk staff were uniformly friendly, efficient and helpful. Good value. Nice!

Room Tip: If AAA member, ask for AAA Rate
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FortPondMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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884 reviews from our community

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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 (196)
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English first
Providence, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2011

This hotel is very picturesque. We arrived at about noon, even though check in time is 3. They held our luggage and had the room ready within 30 minutes while we ate at the Poolside Restaurant. The restaurant was short-handed and a little slow, but we had tostada salad and crab cakes which were both excellent. It is literally "poolside" and reminds me of an idyllic old Hollywood motel setting. Afterward, we took a little walk around the hotel. It is beautifully landscaped and meticulously clean. The hotel is next door to a Trader Vic's (which will bring you room service- awesome!!) and close to several rental car places and about two miles from Stanford University as well as a lot of good dining.
I would highly recommend an executive suite. (As a side note, they were built by Edward Durell Stone, the architect who designed Radio City Music Hall and the Museum of Modern Art.) Each one is individually decorated. We stayed in the Oslo Suite. These suites are like fully furnished apartments complete with range, microwave, fridge, and dishwasher, as well as all the dining utensils you need. Our room had a large walk-in closet with a chest of drawers, buffet, and even an exercise bike.
I can't tell you enough how much I enjoyed this hotel. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: The executive suites are excellent and definitely worth it
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank oliviarand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
UK
Level Contributor
61 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2011

We are a family of 5 that took out an Executive Suite in 800 building of this hotel. To be honest, last week I read some very mixed reviews about the place, so was a little worried before we arrived as to what the hotel was going to be like. To put some perspective on it, we'd just spent a number of days in a Marriott and hotels of that ilk. When I did my initial searching for a hotel in Palo Alto the pictures and the variety of rooms looked lovely. My husband called them directly, and we booked directly with them, and they were very consultative in explaining our options, this was how we came to have "The Asian Suite" which was a suite with 2 bedroom, 3 bathrooms, lounge/dining room and kitchen.

I can't stress enough how fabulous this place was. When we arrived at check in we walked in to a well appointed lobby, with a really nice woman on reception that checked us straight in, gave us a map of the property, explained where everything was, and organised for a bellman to meet us at the carpark lift to help us with our luggage. Two guys ended up helping us, and we got everything out and up very very quickly.

When we came to our suite on the 3rd floor I was flabbergasted. The place was stunning. As you walked in you can step forward 5 paces and you come to a really good, small but well managed kitchen, with 2 dishwashers, 2 ovens, a good sized sink, lots of cupboard space etc. The lounge was really well appointed with a huge writing desk that had a fax on it. Walking through on the right there was a round dining table with chairs, the ceiling was glass over the table which made it wonderful to eat under during the day, and great at night. This was all very nicely decorated with Asian influences (the only negative I can give it is that there wasn't a couch/settee/sofa, which for us we found difficult, they do have 3 pretty comfy single semi upholstered chairs) but that must be the influences they were using. The lounge had a huge flatscreen TV inside a really nice cupboard, with the same furniture theme running throughout the suite. There was also a number of "boxes" that went with it, ranging from Cable to DVD etc,

The bedrooms were very very nice. The master had a huge bed which was very comfortable, ample storage space and flat screen TV. The ensuite bathroom had toilet and huge (and i really mean huge probably fit 8 people standing (not that you would, but just to give you an idea of size) in it, and a sink/towel rack etc. The other room had a smaller double bed, again ample storage space, a flat screen tv etc. This bathroom had a toilet, sink and large bathtub, with glass screen across half of it, that you could close to have shower.

There was also a seperate toilet and sink in a seperate room as well. The whole suite was immaculately clean, and there weren't too many fiddly nick nacks about that other places have, which can make it difficult with kids.

The grounds were beautifully kept, and their swimming pool was fabulous. We used it a couple of times its a good shape, one side is nice and shallow for the kids, and the other is very very deep. It was very warm and just placed well for the sun. Towels were always being replenished and removed when people where using them, and there was ample seating for everyone. Alongside the pool is their own restaurant (not the trader vics thats on site), the waiter was fabulous, you could see he was very attentive to his guests, and anyone that walked in whether they were going to swim or sit down to eat/drink he was guiding them, offering drinks etc.

I started off by saying that I was very apprehensive about this hotel, and I really was, but I am so glad that I didn't change my mind on staying here at the last minute. It really was a home from home. I can't talk about the rest of the hotel, but everyone I spoke to round the pool seemed really happy with the place. I think others may have made the mistake we nearly made of going to the wrong pool on the complex, when I looked out one of our windows there was a pool there, same shape, different size, no loungers, pretty grim that we nearly went to on our first day, it turns out it is the motel or residential building behind (which really looks moth eared and flea bitten) its an easy mistake to make and looks like its on their property but isn't.

When/If we are next in Palo Alto I will definitely be staying at the Dinah's Garden hotel.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank wolsy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
67 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2011

We arrived late on a Thursday night and were upgraded to the Oriental Suite in the Executive suites section. The room was huge the shower and bathroom were big. It was very quite as we were on the 3rd floor and everything was clean and functioned properly.
The grounds are beautiful due to lush tropical plants.
The swimming pool was warm and a nice size. My husband enjoyed the workout room and said it was not crowded. The service at the Garden Side Grill was great and the food was good. The hotel is very accessible to other sites like the Stanford campus.

Room Tip: Make sure you specify what you want. We stressed that we wanted a quiet room.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank viajara821
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Whittier, ca.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2011

Had a friend up in the VA Palo Alto hospital and figured I go to cheer him up for the 4th of July three day weekend. Waited till early Sat morning to drive up to avoid traffic. Checked in early (1pm) and they had a room ready. Got to the room and it was at the edge of the property.

From the reviews you know that this is a tropical style boutique hotel to mach the Trader Vic restaurant on the property. It is very true that this hotel need a refurbishment badly. The old school TV and radio and some of the furniture in the room made me feel that Jack Lords / Steve McGarrett was going break down the door at any moment with Tom Selleck / Magnum P.I. as his back up. There was also fun with the Wifi on my room towards the edge of the property for it would come and go. Thank the island gods that I brought my net book that had an ethernet Jack for the building is wired awesome or it would have been a total 70 -80’s flashback stay.

The location the property was great for it is right around the corner from the large big box mall to the south and the back of the VA hospital to the north.

The connection to that Trader Vic made the stay awesome. Happy hours of Mai Tais and bar food help ease the stress of the day with a nice discount for staying at Dinah’s. Also if you get the chance, shell out the clams to try Vic’s Prime Rib Sunday special. Very awesome.

The rooms have a fridge with some loose bottles of water soda, booze, and beer that is the mini bar. Make sure you don’t mix it up with your stuff or you will have to pay for it.

Beds are good and did not have any issues getting to sleep.

The workout room equipment needs to be updated badly for I was expecting Jane Fonda with her huge 80’s hair and leg warmers to start an aerobics class.

Overall the stay and price was great and can be fun if you want a flashback trip.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FCD5TH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paso Robles, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2011

This hotel is rated as a 3.5 star hotel on Priceline. As a comparison, normally in Palo Alto, when you bid on a 3.5 star property, you get either the Sheraton or Westin. These properties are FAR superior to Dinah's. I was surprised when my bid gave me Dinah's Garden Inn but I do realize there is no certainty of what hotel you get when you bid on Priceline.

Our first impression was so disappointing that our first thought was to check out. However, we decided to bite the bullet since we were only staying for one night. The "hotel" is basically a motor inn with a pool. There is a Trader Vic's restaurant on the property. An on-site restaurant does figure into the star level of the hotel, but it is still such a stretch to have this listed as a 3.5 star property. The rooms smell musty, and have not been updated for years. The furniture is old and a mix of styles in the same room. For instance, the couch was a danish modern vinyl one with stains while the bedroom furniture was nondescript chipped cherry. The TV is box vs. a recent model. The air conditioner is an old single unit one which is noisy and inefficient.

Our room faced the pool on one side and pened to the parking lot--this is a "garden" room. The room was very dark. It became even darker because we had to keep the blackout curtains closed or people at the pool could see straight into the picture window into our room.

Something is fishy in that this property has so many excellent reviews. One wonders if they are real. I do not usually write reviews that are so negative, but I feel anyone thinking of staying here needs to be warned it will not meet expectations if you think you are getting a 3.5 star property.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank topromer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JBloomfeldt, Front Office Manager at Dinah's Garden Hotel, responded to this review, 5 August 2011
Dear Valued Guest,

I first and foremost want to thank you for taking the time to give us your feedback on your recent stay at our hotel as this allows us to make changes and be aware of what our guests are experiencing. I apologize that you had an unpleasant experience and did not find the hotel to meet your expectations.

You brought to our attention a few details that were reviewed amongst the property’s Owner as well as managers that has never been raised before, so Thank You. We are now looking into getting privacy glass put into the mentioned Garden Rooms to ensure the occupying guest’s privacy while also allowing the sunlight in.

We are in the process of updating all of our room’s televisions, some rooms are furnished with new flat screen T.V’s as well as a state of the art air conditioning system that was our most recent update. Each building is designed and decorated differently making no two rooms the same. We get positive responses from most of our guests on this unique hotel detail. We do strive to provide a different kind of hotel experience to travelers and stand out from the big chain hotels, but we do understand we may not be what every traveler is looking for.

There are rooms that have more of a modern look and have been more recently renovated and we would love to invite you back to experience something that may be more to your liking. If you would like to give us another chance and allow us to show you what our other guests are raving about please contact me directly.

Thank you again for the feedback and bringing to our attention details that have gone unacknowledged and allowing us to correct them.

Warm Regards,

Jessica Bloomfeldt
Front Office Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin
Level Contributor
94 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 July 2011

I brought a group of 25 MBA students from Germany to stay at Dinah's. Heard about the hotel on a group bidding service, Dinah's bid and we chose to stay there. It is a low-rise, quite spread out (sort of an upmarket boutique motel), well cared for place, with very friendly service. Impeccably clean (both public spaces and rooms). The atmosphere made the place seem more like I was on holiday than working. The owner was very proactive in anticipating the group's needs and very attentive. One suggestion for improvement would be to open the poolside bar until 8 or 9pm (it currently closes at 3, but there is another bar in Trader Vics, also on the premises).

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank barneyDublin
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:
Region: United States > California > Palo Alto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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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