East Palo Alto Travel Guide
Silicon.com's Will Sturgeon is just a simple man with some simple needs, like free internet access in hotels. While on a trip to Silicon Valley, Will had free WiFi access in the room at the Four Seasons which is quite the exception as we all know luxury brands tend to charge the most for internet.
The only problem is, we called the Four Seasons in Palo Alto today and they are still charging $10 for 24 hours of wireless access. So we're not sure how he got it for free. Maybe he hopped on a Linksys network or something. Or maybe they provide it for free for tech editors.
Either way, Will feels that free internet should be the norm, not the exception:
This isn't like the in-room pornography which should remain ring-fenced on a pay-per-view basis (though it could seriously be argued that free internet access would cannibalise that revenue stream). This is something which, to the business traveller, sad as it may seem to admit, can be as important as the bed linen and towels that you also reasonably expect to be covered by the room charge.
Will then went onto say that he stayed in around eight or nine hotels in the area over the past year and only found one other place with free WiFi, a "flea-pit in San Francisco's Tenderloin District."
We were taken aback at this statement. Where did he stay? The Ritz? The South of Market Marriott? The Hyatt Embarcadero? Will, most high end hotels still charge for WiFi. And you got off lucky since some Four Seasons charge upwards of $20 for 24 hours of web access. (That is, if you were really staying at the Four Seasons and not just virtually visiting.)
Still, how could a Silicon.com editor be so uninformed about hotels with free WiFi in and around the Valley? It's clear he didn't bother to check out a SF Kimpton or a JDV Hotel or even a Holiday Inn Express. Ok, maybe we are just bitter Will didn't read our Best and Worst WiFi Hotels report--we worked hard on it so that Will and others wouldn't have to be left high and WiFi dry.
Are you a post-dotcom-boom macher, looking for a place to stay that'll treat you right the next time you're wheeling and dealing on the West Coast? Then you might want to stay at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley.
The hotel, which opened at the beginning of February, is located ten minutes from Stanford in, gulp, East Palo Alto, which is otherwise notable for being not that nice a place. But hey, finally the Four Seasons has something in common with the Little Slum Inn!
Anyway, it's a Four Seasons like any other; that means there's a swank fitness center (where you get wireless headsets, which is damn impressive, though we still work out using a medicine ball), and access to the nearby Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course.
We're still not sure about the whole East Palo Alto thing, and neither are the guests. One review on TripAdvisor said it was "just like a Hilton". Ouch.
The newest Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley is just two weeks away from opening and crews are working fast to finish some last-minute construction such as are busy installing fixtures and furniture, finalizing the menu and oh, pouring concrete around the outdoor lap pool.
With guests and visitors most likely coming from venture capital firms, Silicon Valley law firms,the tech industry and Stanford events, rooms with the earth friendly tones and plasma TVs will be in high demand.
A hotel spokesman elaborated on the services the rooms offer for business travelers, such as:
Expansive desk space and high-speed wireless capability, the plasma screen TV that can be connected to computers and iPods, and the laptop-sized closet safe.
"We planned ahead because we know the type of clientele we have here," [he said.]
The hotel has 200 rooms, with 27 suites. It also comes complete with the Four Season standards such as restaurants, a ballroom, meeting spaces and a spa.
· Four Seasons hotel readies for its debut [San Mateo Times]