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Reviewed 17 November 2011

We stayed here because of its location relative to the Stanford campus and the Cal-Train. While not as convenient as the Sheraton Palo Alto, it was less than 1/2 the price. To get to/from Stanford, the Marguerite (Stanford's free shuttle) picks up at El Camino Real and Maybell Ave. approximate 3-4 blocks away. The Marguerite only runs Mon-Sat and once an hour or so, so sometimes its more convenient to just take a cab. Check the Stanford website for schedule.

Hotel itself was clean and very tropical-feeling. Room (Garden Room) was smaller than average but didn't feel cramped or cluttered at all with two people. Bed was extremely comfortable. Bathroom was a good size, well-appointed and had a beautiful marble standup shower and large sink. We were on the second floor and had a large, vine-covered balcony overlooking the pool which was nice to sit on in the mornings with a cup of coffee.

Trader Vic's is nice but on the pricey side but there are many restaurants of varying price ranges and cuisines that are convenient to get to. Hobee's across the street and down the block to the right is a Great place for breakfast/brunch.

Check-in staff were very helpful and professional. The only issue we experienced was the morning we checked-out. We planned to leave a little early (around 7am) and called the front desk to request a cab. When we reached the front desk approximately 10 minutes later, the clerk was clearly in the middle of a personal call on his cell phone. While not very professional, he did interrupt his call to check us out. We waited another 10 minutes or so in the lobby. When no taxi had arrived I went back to the clerk to ask if he knew anything about the taxi. He replied that he hadn't called one yet and asked if we still wanted it... Seriously?! YES! We've got a train to catch! I guess everyone focuses on the first impressions and neglects the last impressions. At any rate, even with this last and only frustration, I would not hesitate to stay at this hotel next time I was in this part of the world. Wonderful little gem.

Room Tip: Garden Room had a nice balcony and pool view. Open hallways can be noisy at times.
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank map2260
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2011

Clean room, friendly staff and great location! Will stay here again!

  • Stayed: November 2011
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Thank Dianak54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2011

My cousin reserved 3 rooms (for himself, his daughter and me), and I unwittingly checked in under my own name, all of us returning from the funeral of my aunt. When we realized he was charged for the 3 rooms and I was charged for one, we notified hotel and were told categorically that no refund would be given for the double-charged room. Customer service leaves something to be desired. TAKE NOTE!!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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4  Thank Martell50
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 reviewResponded 28 November 2011

Dear Future Guests,
This is in response to the above review.

Please know that we were informed of the mistake made by the guest’s weeks after their stay with us. The guest’s reserved and also checked into four separate rooms, they received room keys for four separate rooms, signed registration cards for all four rooms, as well as signed the checkout receipts for all four rooms.

At no time during their stay or check out did they inform us there was a one too many rooms and occupied all four rooms this is why the charges stood and were not reversed. I am truly sorry they feel they were mistreated or over charged.

We strive to make every stay flawless and enjoyable leaving each and every guest feeling good about choosing Dinah’s Garden Hotel, as you can read in our many other reviews we are a very caring and passionate hotel management team. We are very sorry for this one guest’s dissatisfaction in the way their reservations were handled.

Thank you and we hope to welcome you as our guest.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2011

I am currently staying in the hotel.

The check-in experience was quick. My room was in the back. You should leave your car in the carport while checking in, since you'll likely have to drive to the building in which your room is located. The layout is poorly designed with a maze of small buildings. You can't navigate your way around the property without a map.

The parking situation on the property is horrible. The parking is simply inadequate. The hotel was full when I checked in and I had to drive around for over 10 mins looking for parking. I finally found a spot at some distance and had to drag my bags all the way to the building where my room was located.

The room was dank and musty. The furniture is very old and smells of the age. The carpet was clean, but had that smell of age. The bathroom was also clean, but still after decades had acquired a smell that never goes away.

The mattress was ok, not very comfortable, but at least it didn't give me a backache. People with sensitive backs may have a gamble on this one.

The temperature controls in the room were finnicky. Took me a few mins to adjust them.

The toiletries are of poor quality. The hand soap left my hands feeling like I had cleaned them with sandpaper.

Overall, while the room was adequate in terms of facilities and cleanliness, I rate this hotel poorly primarily because you have to live with a smell in the rooms that never goes away, and because of the horrible parking experience. I guess first impressions count, and Dinah's just doesn't meet the bar for me.

Room Tip: Go to another hotel.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled on business
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3  Thank santoshUSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2011

In two words? Hodge-podge; Mrs Eyes Wide Open and I stayed here for easy access to the Stanford campus. When Mrs Eyes Wide Open told me what we had paid for it (several hundred a night), given I am quite well travelled, certain expectations popped into my head. The hotel missed this by some shot. Bottom line? Nice, old style hotel with a certain amount of charm. But, I have to agree with a previous reviewer: It feels like a badly renovated Best Western or Travelors Lodge. Quite frankly, it rates #5 on places to stay in Palo Alto on Tripadviser: how or why that is is beyond me. They do have an ‘executive’ wing.. Maybe that's it because based on our room, I struggle to see how.

The good? Friendly, helpful front desk. Clean smoke free rooms (ours was), Free wifi, comfortable bed, balcony was a nice touch. Ducks in the pool was interesting. The pool area itself is well landscaped. The photos you see are mainly of that area. The in-room drinks/menu prices were probably some of the best I’ve seen price-wise.

The bad? The walk to the center of the Stanford campus runs a few miles (ie: get a car) The room itself was an interesting décor: Kind of like they started renovating but ran out of cash. The TV was a boxy one from 10+ years ago and the hotel felt the need to tie it (yes, I mean tie) to the room but then there was modern, recessed lighting. The prints in the room were dated 1969 and 1976. Not sure if the frames were that old but I does not give it an air of modernity. There was one of those tubular, boxy, plasticy hair dryers that most hotels did away with 15 years ago as well as a modern hair dryer. The phone beside the bed is straight from c1975: think old school, boxy buttons with an actual handset. If I liked kitsch, I’d probably steal it. You have to pay for water here too, which is annoying.

Conclusion? Hodge-podge. Would I be back? Probably not. This hotel has to compete on price given its location is not exactly walking distance to anything. The fact is there are better priced options (with more up-to-date rooms) closer to Stanford/Palo Alto/Menlo Park. We booked late for a function we were attending. It really does, in a quirky kind of way, feel like a old Travelodge Motel that someone tried hard to fix up but ran out of money. The two large elephants at the front feel out of place, an old abandoned radio mast with lights on it means you know where it is at all times too, both of which lead to further head scratching. It is clean tho. But then given we're in 2011 and there are a dozen competing hotels nearby, you'd expect that.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Eyes_Wide_Open01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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