Garden Court, Boutique Luxury Hotel in Downtown Palo Alto

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Downtown Palo Alto, California is buzzing with activity. Between Stanford University students and Silicon Valley techies, you can feel the electric energy pulsing in the air. Yet step into Garden Court Hotel, situated in downtown Palo Alto, and you are immediately worlds apart. The staff at reception great you with a warm smile, and a glass of lemon ice water, if it’s a day filled with California sunshine. Our dog was also welcomed with a friendly pat on the head and she was told that treats were waiting for her in the room.

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We opted to stay overnight on the other side of the Bay Bridge and take advantage of the Garden Court’s latest package called Take the Lift Home. Available Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, this special package, including 25% off best available rates, valet parking and a food & beverage credit, is designed for locals, but anyone smart enough to check the specials is able to snag this hotel deal.

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Our deluxe king room was pet-friendly and had a lovely balcony with floor to ceiling French doors. The room was wonderfully decorated and included all the special touches that make a stay in a boutique hotel so special. Down duvet pillows, fluffy robe and slippers and nightly turn down service make me happy. Imagine my delight when I discovered homemade chocolate truffles and a spot of Port wine waiting for guests in the lobby each evening. It’s the little extras like this that make the Garden Court feel like a Forbes four star experience.

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If you happen to be staying on a Friday night at the hotel, don’t miss the Happy Friday Club – Garden Courts answer to upscale happy hour. It’s delicious and again, pet-friendly.

Room Service at Garden Court Hotel

Yes, pastry and coffee is served complimentary in the lobby in the morning, along with orange juice and tea, but I’ll let you in on a secret, you owe it to yourself to order room service at a luxury hotel. The chef makes a great breakfast, (for an additional fee) from huevos rancheros to filling omelettes and addictive granola with fresh fruit and berries. In fact, the hotel offers breakfast, lunch and dinner options from the room service menu – don’t miss the milk with homemade cookies! Now if only I could convince them to sell the granola to go.

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There is public parking available on site for an additional fee, unless you opt for the complimentary valet service offered in the weekend hotel package. Wi fi is available in room, free of charge. There is an additional fee for pets ($50 on our visit) but it does include the loan of pet bedding, water & food bowls, in addition to a toy for your dog to keep.

The staff is service oriented. When I asked for restaurant recommendations I was promptly presented with a list of so many options within walking distance that it was difficult to decide. Of course, there are dog-friendly dining options nearby, as well. Another plus, I found a drop in yoga class at Yogaworks on Kipling Street.

This is a well-run and thoughtfully designed hotel in an excellent downtown location in the heart of Palo Alto. Rates start at $300 per night. Check the website for current pricing. You can then compare those rates against a booking site such as Travelocity or

Review and photos by hotel expert Nancy D. Brown, who was hosted at Garden Court while researching additional story ideas.




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