The 136-room Creekside Inn along Matadero Creek in Palo Alto is a functional mid-range option. It looks a bit like a motel from the outside, but the property is pleasant, with tall, shady trees, ivy-covered pathways, and flowered grounds leading to a lovely courtyard with a round, stone fountain. Rooms are comfortable, with chain-like decor but nice amenities, including balconies, iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, and microwaves. The bathrooms are basic and clean, but could use an overhaul. The fitness center and pool are both small but useful, and the neighboring Driftwood Deli is convenient. One rare feature unique to the inn is a charging station for electric cars, an increasingly common site in eco-conscious California. The area around the hotel, which includes an auto repair shop, is more residential than it is quaint.