Hotel Valencia – San Jose – A Quiet Retreat in Santana Row

categories: Northern California

santana-rowOne of the most interesting neighborhoods in San Jose is not a neighborhood at all but a shopping area that was rebuilt for mixed use with housing as well as shops, restaurants, bars, gyms and a hotel. The area is called Santana Row and it is one of the most lively areas in the city for nightlife. What the developer managed to do was take an old 50’s style outdoor mall and replace it with a modern piazza with street music, a large chess set and lots of people watching. My wife and I love coming to Santana Row for dinner and a stroll with some light shopping mixed in. For that reason when I was invited to come stay at the one hotel in Santana Row, the Hotel Valencia, for free if I would blog about it, I jumped at the opportunity.

restaurantThe Hotel Valencia lobby is on the 3rd floor above the hustle and bustle of the street and is not all that obvious from the street. Valet parking is available but we simply parked for free in one of the nearby garages. The Valencia is an interesting retreat in the middle of this busy neighborhood. Its main restaurant overflows onto an interior 3rd floor terrance which also provides a quiet spot for a free buffet breakfast in the morning.

It has two bars which overlook the area. The first bar Vbar overlooks the main drag of Santana Row from the 3rd floor and enforces a dress code of “dress to impress” after 9pm. The other bar Cielo offers more of a respite from the chaos below as it is on the 7th floor on the back of the building.

vbar cielo

The rooms are very modern with comfortable beds, LCD TVs and windows that either open to let in the energy of the scene below or close to shut it out completely (clearly who ever designed the hotel understood that this would be a noisy neighborhood and provided double pane windows).

valentia-room valentia-room2

The hotel also features a well appointed exercise room and a roof-top pool for those who want to eschew the night life below and make Valencia their quiet retreat instead.

firness-center pool

We did not eat dinner in the hotel’s restaurant because there are so many different restaurants to try in the area. We were in the mood for Greek food and ate at a restaurant around the corner.

earthquakeOne quirky thing we noticed at the Valencia was that in the elevator next to the button with the fireman’s hat was a button clearly labeled “earthquake”. Now we assumed that this was a button to press in case of an earthquake but l we made sure not to press it. With the accommodating service we enjoyed from the hotel we wanted to be careful not to mistakingly signal a desire for an earthquake where one did not exist.

The Valencia is a luxury hotel so expect to pay accordingly, but there are deals on the Hotel Valencia site that will save you money on a longer stay or on package deals. Currently those deals can bring the price of a room as cheap as $149 a night.

do-not-disturbThe “do not disturb” sign for the hotel said instead “not quite yet” which very much reflected our feelings after one night at the Valencia. What time is checkout? I don’t think I am quite ready to leave.


by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

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