Business trips sometimes offer welcome changes of scenery -- but long days chock-full of meetings, luncheons (where a permanent smile is required), and early-morning (or late-night!) workouts squeezed in at the hotel gym can make them downright exhausting. But if you're lucky enough to be sent to a good destination, all the downsides can be worth the perks. Silicon Valley is a major business hub and, as such, most hotels in the area cater to those traveling for work with well-equipped gyms, up-to-date business centers, and comfortable rooms. And some also cater to those looking to let loose after a day of schmoozing meetings. After all -- work hard, play hard -- right? We’ve picked our favorite business hotels in Silicon Valley where mixing business with pleasure is easily done. Check 'em out! And then get back to partying work.
Four Seasons Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto
This Four Seasons reflects the legendary service and commitment to quality of the luxury brand. Upscale touches are everywhere, from the beautifully manicured grounds to the sleek wood-paneled lobby to the spacious rooftop pool (where attendants offer guests free sunscreen). The spa, pool, and Quattro restaurant are all top-notch, and the rooms are bright and modern with floor-to-ceiling windows, marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, and large flat-screen TVs.
Work: The hotel offers over 7,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, complete with ballrooms, flexible board rooms, and catering service. Unwind: The stylish rooftop pool features private cabanas and bar service, as well as an outdoor workout area.
The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
Perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific, the hotel has excellent facilities, including the luxurious 16,000-square-foot spa which offers great treatments for those with little time to spare, such as the Gentleman’s Quick Fix and the On The Go Combo. Rooms are spacious and elegant, yet simple, with beautiful marble bathrooms and quaint shutters covering windows. Fire Pit Rooms come with -- you guessed it -- cozy outdoor fire pits looking out onto the rocky coast.
Work: All rooms feature an elegant desk with a comfortable chair and easy access to several power outlets. Unwind: Hit the links at dusk and enjoy the beautiful ocean views as the sun sets.
Rosewood Sand Hill
The stylish and modern Rosewood Sand Hill leaves very little to be desired for business travelers, and those who plan to bring the family along will find tons of things for them as well. Rooms are bright and airy, with high-tech amenities,and elegant decor, and the hotel offers myriad services for those in the area for business, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, a hopping bar, a business center, and free car service within a five-mile radius. A luxury spa, the stunning landscaping, and a family-friendly outdoor pool round out the experience.
Work: Impress your clients at the Michelin-starred Madera restaurant. Unwind: The elegant spa offers myriad relaxing treatments, including several for couples.
Sofitel San Francisco Bay
Located on a serene lagoon, the 421-room Sofitel San Francisco Bay is a convenient choice for business travelers who want to be near the airport and freeway. The lobby is airy and attractive, making it a great spot to either check e-mail on your laptop or socialize after work. All guests can enjoy a relaxing moment by the outdoor pool, or enjoy delicious California-inspired French cuisine at the restaurant.
Work: Give the last touches to your presentations at the business center, complete with secretarial services, up-to-date computers, printers and scanners. Unwind: Swim a few laps or relax on a lounger by the pool, which boasts serene views of the lagoon.
Garden Court Hotel
The Garden Court Hotel is a standout boutique property in Downtown Palo Alto. The hotel's beautiful rooms are the highlight -- they have elegant white-and-blue decor, upscale amenities, marble bathrooms, and in many, balconies overlooking the quaint courtyard. Property features are few but upscale -- including a wonderful Italian restaurant with outdoor seating and a small fitness center. The hotel’s location makes it a good pick for those who want to check out Palo Alto’s restaurants, stores and parks, and though there is no spa, the hotel can arrange in-room massages.
Work: Get to your meeting easily and on time with the hotel's private car service. Unwind: Enjoy the daily reception with free wine and hors d'oeuvres in the lobby.
The 136-room Creekside Inn along Matadero Creek in Palo Alto is not the most upscale option in the area, but it is one of the most relaxing hotels in this price range. The property is pleasant, with tall, shady trees, ivy-covered pathways, and flowered grounds leading to a lovely courtyard with a round, stone fountain. It's not for those who want a hotel full of amenities (there’s only a small pool, a fitness center, and a charming restaurant), but it offers great value and is within walking distance of restaurants and shops.
Work: Start the day with free coffee and pastries served in the lobby, and a good workout in the gym. Unwind: Take a break between meetings or after work in the quiet patio surrounded by lush greenery.