Honestly, who knew San Jose could be so cool. I’ve always associated San Jose with the tech scene and start-ups, but little did I know that Santana Row even existed until I found out I was staying there during the Super Bowl. One Google search later, and I was officially pumped to see what Santana Row was all about. Upon arrival, I was not disappointed.
As I got into my Uber at the Santa Clara train station and told the driver where I was heading, he replied with “ah, the Europe of San Jose”. Elaborate please? He told me that Santana Row has a European feel and is it’s own little village of upscale shops and restaurants. As we pulled up to Hotel Valencia, I understood.
The boutique hotel boasts 215 newly-renovated guest rooms with a crisp, chic design. You are welcomed in the bright lobby to large french doors open onto the large, open courtyard where you can enjoy breakfast, happy hour, live music at night, or just a lovely place to hang out during the day. You won’t feel cooped up in this hotel either. An outdoor pool & spa, the large courtyard terrace, and Cielo’s rooftop bar are just a few of the areas you can go to enjoy California’s warm weather.
Located 10 minutes away from San Jose International Airport, 40 minutes away from San Francisco International Airport, and a few miles from a Caltrain station, you’ll have no issue getting here. You’re also located in the heart of Santana Row, so you have no shortage of dining and shopping options.
What I Loved
- Complimentary Breakfast: Although they call it a “complimentary continental breakfast”, it is much better than that and has hot food items. Extra brownie points for preparing actually good quality, real food and not adding extra ingredients like milk or butter to their eggs and oatmeal (vegans and lactose-intolerant friends, rejoice). Some options they offer are:
- Eggs (either scrambled or frittata style while I was there) with salsa on side
- Another hot food item (breakfast potatoes, bacon, ham, pancakes, french toast, etc.)
- Oatmeal with toppings such as brown sugar, nuts, dried fruit
- Yogurts with granola
- Cheese & meats (salami, etc.)
- Hard boiled eggs
- Fruit (the standard melons, pineapple, bananas, etc.)
- Donuts, pastries, bread with toaster
- Location: I just love Santana Row. There are so many great shops, European-style restaurants with abundant outdoor seating, oh and a Pressed Juicery (read about my obsession here). You are also very close to the train station (about a $10 Uber) to get to San Francisco or many other places.
- Happy Hour: Vbar and the Terrace have happy hour Monday – Friday from 4 – 7 pm where everything is $7. Some items you can find on the menu are:
- Cocktails (Moscow Mule, Santana 75, Ginger Rogers, Lychee Martini, etc.)
- Food (Kobe Sliders, Cheese Plate, Cornmeal Crusted Oysters, Steak & Chicken Quesadilla, Fish Tacos, Chicken Wings, Harissa Spiced Hummus, Garlic & Herb French Fries)
- Welcome Basket: I’m all about the little things in life, and a couple extra water bottles & snacks are a nice, sweet touch.
- Speaking of water bottles… Mini water bottles by the entrance of the hotel to grab on your way out for the day!
- The Staff: Everyone was so kind and helpful, especially the banquet staff (who also work downstairs at breakfast). Going out of their way to get me almond milk because I can’t have dairy, always remembering me and the things I like, etc.
What I Didn’t Love So Much
- The Gym: Although it was pretty & clean, it was too small and absolutely packed on Super Bowl day. The only time I was able to get a workout in the whole weekend was going at weird, off the wall times.
- The rooftop bar, Cielo, was closed! Although I do understand why because it was winter, I would have loved for it to be open.
Safe travels y’all!