Domain Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The Domain Hotel is a 136-room converted motel in Sunnyvale that has been significantly spruced up -- colorful rooms have funky decor and high-tech gadgets, the pool is nice and secluded, and freebies include Wi-Fi and parking. The hotel is convenient for business travelers and offers perks like iPod docks, flat-screen TVs, Sleep Number beds with adjustable firmness, and an outdoor heated pool. The stylish cafe and bar called Bytes is a nice touch and offers free breakfast. Plus, prices drop as much as 60 percent on weekends. But the fitness center is cramped and there have been some complaints of noisy air-conditioning and heating units.
Avatar Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The 168-room Avatar Hotel is a 1960s-style motel that has undergone a fun redesign: think funky furniture, shag carpets, and glass cases of toy robots. Perks here include an outdoor heated pool with Jacuzzi, bright fitness center, and the up-to-date technology expected in a Silicon Valley Hotel. Wi-Fi here is free, as well as parking, local shuttle service, and evening wine receptions. Rooms feature flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, laptop tables for the bed, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers. But despite the modern furnishings with lively colors, many old problems remain, including rooms and windows opening into outdoor hallways -- which results in less privacy -- as well as cramped bathrooms.
Hotel Avante Rating: 3.0 Pearls
This 91-room hotel offers great value, especially on weekends, when prices drop over 60 per cent. Quirky rooms are colorful and stylish, and feature furniture on wheels so guests can create an ideal interior space. Aside from movable furniture, rooms feature large flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and bathrobes. This hotel offers many conveniences including free breakfast, a free weekday shuttle, and a small fitness center, which add to the value, but the one standout feature here is a nice outdoor pool complete with Jacuzzi and lounge chairs.