Cabana Towne Plaza - Palo Alto
The Cabana Towne Plaza in Palo Alto consists of 194 guest rooms and twenty suites. Their motto is, "The new address for the savvy traveler" but I would also consider it as an address for the family traveler as well.
We came to this hotel when my two daughters were two and six-months old. As often parents feel when traveling with very young kids, we felt it was necessary to stay in a large suite for several reasons. We needed more than one room so that in case one of the girls awoke in the night we would have a place to take her without waking the other child or the other parent. We needed accommodations that could easily allow for the two cribs and all of our luggage. And we needed a space large enough for our energetic toddler to run around and burn off her pent-up energy after a long car ride.
We stayed in one of the large suites on the second floor and this met all of our needs. The suite had an impressively long, marble hallway which lead to a smart, chic living room complete with boudoir, couch, plush and comfortable sitting chairs, and a desk area. Attached was a complete dining room with a chandelier and a mini kitchen area. A separate bedroom was set apart by sliding, shuttered doors and this room had a separate boudoir and television. The expansive two-room bathroom had a steam-jetted tub.
One of the most impressive features of this hotel--which meets the needs of parents and of young children--was the enormous deck that comes with certain suites. Even if you do not have a child that runs back and forth hollering "whee!" like I do, you would enjoy sitting out on the suite's private terrace which is about three times the size of regular hotel decks. Simple wooden patio furniture was baby-friendly and there were no latches to catch small fingers nor plants for toddlers or babies to pick at and put into their mouths. The uncluttered sparseness of the deck was child-friendly and flowed with the modern, simplistic elegance of the hotel. The glass door leading to the patio had an extra safety latch so curious toddlers' efforts to get out are stymied. The outside railing had narrow slits, prohibiting a toddler from falling down from the ledge, although I would be hesitant to allow a crawling baby near the ledge (just basic common sense). The terrace overlooks a large beech tree, and, further off, the pool.
The bathroom of this suite was also unique. Ours was two or three times the size of regular hotel bathrooms and actually was two separate rooms. The jetted tub, much like a hot tub, allows for romantic possibilities as well as for babies or toddlers to bathe. My husband comfortably sat in a niche of the enormous tub and gave both girls complete baths as opposed to the little sponge baths we had been giving them throughout most of the trip. It is pleasant to find such a feature when traveling with youngsters, as most hotel tubs do not have this capability.
The long hallway within the suite was also an unusual feature. It was so long, my toddler was able to run up and down it, kicking her ball. The marble slate rooms of the suite were soundproof, so the baby could sleep in the next room while the toddler ran up and down our private hall, kicking her ball and chattering. This hall also provided extra space for storing our luggage that did not fit into the closet.
The hotel's restaurant, the 4290 Bistro and Bar, has been locally acclaimed and it provides food service until 11:00 p.m. The salmon with cream sauce that I ordered was arranged artfully on my plate, like a flower, and served with a tasty olive-type tapenade.
Other facilities offered by the hotel:
I found this hotel a convenient place to stay when traveling with children if you specifically request one of the large second floor suites, as I've described earlier. However, I would not rank this hotel as a top choice in terms of a romantic getaway. While it was comfortable, it lacked the features I look for in classifying a hotel as a "romantic" destination (See Romantic Checklist).
Life magazine once voted this hotel among the "Best Hotels on the West Coast." Known in the 1960's as the Cabana Hotel, its previous guests include the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and former owner, Doris Day.