Santa Clara Travel Guide
Go long...down the hallway, past the ice machine!
If you're NFL great Joe Montana and you want to open up a luxury hotel, where are you gonna do it? Why in Santa Clara, Calif. right across the street from where your old team, the San Francisco 49ers, hope to build a brand-new 68,500-seat stadium. And indeed, that's what Joe Montana is hoping to do.
The San Jose Mercury News reports Montana and former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. have petitioned the city of Santa Clara to give them an 18-month exclusive negotiating agreement for about seven acres across from the proposed stadium site that would include a luxury hotel, sports bar, upscale restaurant and entertainment venue.
UPDATE: The Avatar is no longer a Best Western, but 100% Joie de Vivre.
It’s finally here: the weekend when Avatar mania infects millions of fan-boys and (James Cameron hopes) spreads to the rest of the masses. And if you’re in Silicon Valley this weekend, you can extend your all-things-Avatar-all-the-time experience by checking into The Avatar Hotel which is already in 3D. (Get it?)
This new joint venture between Joie de Vivre Hotels and Best Western is located in Geek Town Santa Clara, near the folks of Yahoo!, Cisco, Intel, et al. Accordingly, it has all the amenities techie travelers like, the most important being free WiFi.
You don’t have to be a “Second Life” fanboy to take advantage of the Avatar Hotel’s $99 opening rate. Joie De Vivre’s sixth Silicon Valley property is opening in a former Holiday Inn this month with 168 rooms, and claims to be the only boutique hotel in Santa Clara. For you non-geeks, Santa Clara is home to Yahoo!, Cisco, Intel, Sun Microsystems, and McAfee.
The hotel is targeted toward “tech road warriors,” with a network of techie amenities “designed to appeal to start-up entrepreneurs as well as established technology gurus.” Rooms come with complimentary wired and wireless internet access, laptop tables for working in bed, iPod docking stations and 37-inch flat screens.
There’s also a new fitness center, a heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi (only open April-October), and what just might be the most awesome free hotel food event we’ve come across lately: Wednesday night “Beer & Brats” barbecues with free microbrews and hot dogs for guests from 7:00-9:00pm.
Four or five people were standing in front of the entrance handing out fliers and yelling at the people walking inside. They said The Westin was evil and that we should not stay there support such a bad company. One woman was really screaming at another who apparently had mouthed off to her. I was tense already - walking into to a pack of screaming protesters was the last thing I wanted to do. I kept my head down and politely accepted the flier as it was handed to me. Luckily, I did not get yelled at.
When I FINALLY got inside and laid down on my bed, I pulled out the flier to
read it. It said that, "The Westin Santa Clara is under a strict boycott by local, community, faith, labor & student groups." Then it went on to describe all the atrocities the company has committed against the people who work there. It may have been a bunch of B.S., but it made me feel bad. I don't like crossing picket lines, but I sure as hell was not going to get back into my car and look for another hotel.
Why can't west coast hoteliers and their employees just hug it out.