Top business stays: Silicon Valley
Online lodging experts Oyster.com has prepared a breakdown of the best hotels for business travellers in Silicon Valley.
Practically synonymous with modern technological culture, Silicon Valley is filled with the business that makes up its landscape. Also known as Santa Clara Valley, this is a sprawling area that makes up the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Unlike other business hubs, where hotels tend to be clustered together, Silicon Valley's resting places are spread far and wide. They're scattered through the communities of Cupertino (Apple's headquarters), Menlo Park (Facebook), Mountain View (Google), Redwood Shores (Oracle) and many more. Beyond the big guys, the area's also a bastion for start-up companies thanks to the US$150 billion risk capital that runs throughout Silicon Valley's numerous venture capital firms.
Road warriors would be wise to pick their hotel according to where they need to be if they don't want to spend precious minutes stuck in a car. Here are our picks for the best business hotels in Silicon Valley:
The Hotel: Four Seasons Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto (<bit.ly/NvFaoK>)
Location: Palo Alto
Business Staples: The Four Seasons reflects the legendary service and commitment to quality of this luxury brand. Rooms are bright and modern with floor-to-ceiling windows, offering marble bathrooms, deep soaking tubs and flat-screen TVs. There's 24 hour room service, an on-site partnership with Swank audiovisuals to assist with any tech request, and 7,000+ square footage of meeting space decked out in modern, stylish furnishings. Bonus: It's well insulated from the noise of the 101 freeway that sits just outside the hotel, so the convenience factor is high while the noise levels are (relatively) low.
Standout Feature: The fine dining at Quattro - there's an option to sit on the outdoor patio if the weather is nice.
The Downside: Rooms are a bit on the small side, so don't expect to spread out.
The Hotel: W Silicon Valley (<bit.ly/OVqtbO>)
Business Staples: This 172-unit outpost from the W chain offers the stylish rooms that are characteristic of the brand, along with a secluded outdoor pool. All rooms here are suites - with wet bars, mini fridges, and lounge areas - but the living area isn't separate from the bedroom. The (somewhat minimal) action of Silicon Valley is located a 20-minute drive away in Palo Alto, but the W does offer nice perks such as their Whatever, Whenever policy and 3,500 square feet of meeting spaces. Facebook's headquarters are just across the San Francisco Bay over the Dumbarton Bridge.
Standout Feature: The hotel is adjacent to the Don Edward's S.F. Bay National Wildlife Refuge, a great spot for hiking or biking through some beautiful wetlands.
The Downside: An isolated location means it's far from restaurants or any of the area's main attractions.
The Hotel: Domain Hotel (<bit.ly/Uxvsln>)
Business Staples: The Domain is actually a converted motel that has been significantly spruced up - spaces are filled with iPhone docks and flat-screen TVs; abundant freebies include Wi-Fi and parking. The hotel is convenient for business travellers thanks to its freeway adjacency.
Standout Feature: The cafe and bar, Bytes, is a nice touch (and nod to the area), and offers its guests free breakfast.
The Downside: Some rooms have older bathrooms and fixtures; something we wouldn't expect from this normally high-style chain.
The Hotel: Stone Villa Inn San Mateo (<bit.ly/NYj6hA>)
Location: San Mateo
Business Staples: The 45-room Stone Villa is a decent, no-frills, motel-like property near downtown San Mateo that's a solid value pick overall. But it does have plenty to offer the average business traveller: Free Wi-Fi and continental breakfast all for a relatively low nightly rate.
Standout Feature: Extra spacious closets are ideal for those on extended stays.
The Downside: The rooms are hit or miss - some are cosy, clean and appear recently remodelled, while others are shabby, lack a proper desk, and have stained linens and hard mattresses.
The Hotel: Sheraton Sunnyvale (<bit.ly/OsB50T>)
Business Staples: Silicon Valley business travellers are drawn to the Sheraton Sunnyvale for its comfort and close proximity to the area's corporate headquarters. While there is no elevator available to guestrooms on the second floor, all of the large rooms offer crisp linens, free in-room coffee and recent upgrades like flat-screen TVs and spacious work desks. More convenient perks include free parking and a Mediterranean spot - Faz Restaurant - that is devoted to serving fresh and flavourful food.
Standout Feature: The 24-hour fitness centre is pretty great for night owls or those in a "coding zone" for 36 hours straight.
The Downside: Limited dining options are a bother, so pack a box of protein bars to stay full.
The Hotel: Rosewood Sand Hill (<bit.ly/POmz3Q>)
Location: Menlo Park
Business Staples: The stylish and modern Rosewood Sand Hill leaves very little to be desired for either business or leisure travellers. The guest rooms are bright and airy, complete with flat-screen HD TVs with surround sound, fantastic rain showers and large, sunny patios with views of the stunning 16-acre property. The luxury Sense spa and serene outdoor pool round out an incredibly relaxing experience.
Standout Feature: Michelin-starred dining at Madera will impress even the fussiest CTOs.
The Downside: All this luxury comes at a high price.
The Hotel: Avatar Hotel (<bit.ly/LsoEBo>)
Location: Santa Clara
Business Staples: Perks here include an outdoor heated pool, bright fitness centre and the up-to-date technology expected in a Silicon Valley hotel. Wi-Fi here is free and rooms feature flat-screen TVs, iPhone docks and spacious work desks. Its prime Santa Clara location means it's constantly packed with business travellers and road warriors.
Standout Feature: A lively redesign: Think funky furniture, shag carpets and glass cases of toy robots.
The Downside: Cramped bathrooms and fitness centre make for less than desirable circumstances.
The Hotel: Residence Inn Palo Alto Mountain View (<bit.ly/Q3P0h5>)
Location: Mountain View
Business Staples: With a location close to Google, Facebook and SAP Offices, the 112-room Residence Inn is a convenient pick for business travellers. All suites offer fully-equipped kitchens and extra space including cosy couches and work desks. Additional perks for business travellers include a free grocery shopping service and free continental breakfast.
Standout Feature: The outdoor pool, with its byte-sized sundeck and lounge chairs sets just enough of a "leisure" vibe to help turn your biz trip into a mini-getaway.
The Downside: The rooms are incredibly drab in terms of their décor - don't expect to feel creatively inspired.
(This article comes courtesy of Oyster.com; any opinions expressed are their own.)
(Editing by Peter Myers)
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