I find myself in San Jose on business a lot, and my favorite place to stay is the Fairmont San Jose right downtown. The Fairmont brand of hotels has a well-deserved reputation for sophistication and old-world elegance, and the San Jose location is no exception.
The entry to the Fairmont San Jose takes you right into the public areas, with a comfortable lounge and sitting area and a vibrant bar area. Getting to the check-in desk requires a veer off to the right where you’ll be warmly greeted in the posh Fairmont-style.
With 805 guestrooms/suites and 65,000 square feet of meeting and event space, this is a large hotel in a landmark 20-story building. The decor blends the historic theme of the hotel, with the elegance of the Fairmont brand, with topnotch technology, creating a signature brand that defies its chain hotel status. Each Fairmont is different, yet each one evokes the same feeling of coming home (if only home were quite this elegant).
My room was a double on a higher floor, giving me a nice city view, decorated in tones neutral tones with a splash of teal. (That’s the view from my room in the top photo.) The room was average-sized, with space for the two beds, a chair and ottoman, work desk, and appropriate storage area. It wasn’t spacious, but neither did it feel crowded. I’m a fan of the pillow-top beds, always providing me with a comfortable night of sleep.
In contrast, the bathroom was quite spacious, with a separate walk-in shower and tub, along with sink space. There was room to put all the accouterments of toiletries and makeup, something often lacking in classic hotels.
The Lobby Lounge area is a great place to meet up with friends and colleagues, perhaps grabbing a beverage from the bar. While I didn’t have time to sit and relax, I’m told that the mixology program is impressive.
The decor is rich in colors of red and beige, lots of wood, and deep carpeting. The area sprawls over much of the ground floor, creating little pockets of conversations areas or a larger open space around the television (game time, anyone?), depending on your preference. The bar was lively well into the wee hours (when I was able to get a photo).
This is the heart of Silicon Valley and you’re as likely to have a conversation with a young tech wizard in town for business as you are to have one with a well-heeled European traveler exploring the California coast. I ran into both.
Other dining options include the Fountain Restaurant (for a casual breakfast or lunch), the rill on the Alley (steakhouse), McCormick & Schmick’s (seafood, located in the South Tower), and Bijan Bakery & Cafe (European baked goods and sandwiches). I had to leave in the very early hours and I wished I’d stopped off the day before to grab a pastry to go with my morning coffee.
Since my visit was during the winter, I didn’t have a chance to check out the rooftop pool. That’s on my list for a future visit.
The downtown location means that the Fairmont San Jose is walking distance to many of the things a visitor wants to do, from shopping, dining, to enjoy theater and attractions. If you need help with recommendations or reservations the concierge and front desk are helpful.
The Fairmont San Jose is located at 170 South Market Street, San Jose, California. Room rates start $200 night. Compare rates for a better deal at Priceline or Hotels.com. Generally speaking, weekends have better prices than during the week. The hotel does not offer airport shuttle service; an Uber from the airport will run about $15.