Editor Picks: Luxury & Boutique Hotels in Palo Alto, CA

by Oliver Stallwood  |  Published February 12, 2024

There’s more to Palo Alto than being a Silicon Valley tech hub – from nature to cutting edge cuisine, there is something for everyone. 

The Nest (Photo:

Palo Alto is perhaps most famous for being one of the birthplaces of Silicon Valley, and its wealth of buzzy startups, worthy nonprofits and computer giants show that it is still going strong in this particular field. But that doesn’t mean the city, in the San Francisco Bay Area, is just about talking money and innovations – Palo Alto is a wonderful place to visit and there are plenty of amazing things to see that are not on a screen. Natural wonders include Baylands Nature Preserve, 1,940 acres of undisturbed salt marshes, filled with pelicans and hummingbirds. There are also plenty of cutting edge places to eat and drink too – the inhabitants of Palo Alto like to be ahead of the curve – and even a Computer History Museum in nearby Mountain View to get the lowdown on the city’s global significance. 

The Nest Hotel Palo Alto

Compared to some of the big glitzy hotels in the area, low rise boutique hotel The Nest prefers to keep things low key, cozy and personal. The hotel itself uses a lot of natural materials and is stylish in a pared-down organic way. Free guest parking is a bonus and most important landmarks are not far away – Stanford University is 2.9km away and Facebook HQ is 5.4km. Each air-conditioned guest room comes equipped with a 55-inch flat-screen TV, a cordless phone and a 19-inch laptop safe, as well as an in-room Keurig coffee machine. From $344.

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el PRADO (Photo:

Voted as one of the best boutique hotels in the US, el PRADO is something of a Palo Alto institution, constantly attracting rave reviews. The exterior is classic Spanish-style architecture, but inside this is a thoroughly modern hotel, with 62 rooms and suites featuring flat-screen televisions and GLink iPhone and Android docking stations, plus there is a state-of-the-art fitness center is located on site. There is also a Breakfast Coffee Bar and Spanish tapas bar at the hotel. You can even get an in-room massage arranged through the concierge service. From $318.

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Hotel Citrine

The Citrine is worth visiting for its interior design alone, with a stunning, contemporary restaurant that opens out onto an elegant courtyard with roaring firepit. There are loads of other facilities at this four-star hotel too, including an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, private parking, and a shared lounge. The hotel offers room service and a 24-hour front desk, plus evening entertainment and a concierge service. But what also makes this hotel special is the staff – there is always professional help on hand – and everything is spotless. From $207.

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Graduate Palo Alto

Graduate Hotel (Photo:

Walk into the  Graduate and you might feel like you’ve strolled onto the set of an old cowboy film. It’s wonderfully decorated inside, eschewing bland modern interiors for bold, unique spaces that set it aside from any other hotel. There are birds and plants all over the walls and red chequered tiles in the bathrooms – this is how boutique hotels should look; stylish and bespoke and somewhere you can’t wait to share on your Instagram. The accommodation has two restaurants, private parking, a shared lounge and a terrace and even free bikes. From $242.

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Sheraton Palo Alto

The Sheraton Palo Alto has a great location, just five minutes from Stanford University and Central Palo Alto. It also has a lot more luxury than its three-star rating might suggest, with more of a resort vibe, including outdoor pool, on-site bar and restaurant, flower gardens with koi ponds, water fountains and tropical plants. Rooms include a 42-inch flat-screen TV, a refrigerator, free bottled water, guest robes and an en suite bathroom with a hairdryer and deluxe bath amenities. Definitely check out the Poolside Grill, which features a breakfast buffet and a menu focused on American cuisine with Californian flair.  From $162.

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