It had been a good 10 years since visiting San Jose. Since then, I’ve schlepped through many airports and felt it notable to mention SJC (San Jose Airport) is a small international airport that is clean, calm, hassle-free and well maintained with no waiting for taxi’s or long lines for TSA checkpoints. Easy peasy.
A 10-minute drive from SJC, Hotel Valencia is located on Santana Row, Silicon Valley’s lifestyle destination with shops, restaurants, spas and salons. This is especially inviting when you’re usually time-pressed and want to be in a walk able location that has a lot to offer -- with easy access to just about everything you would want during a weekend getaway. Vibrant geraniums lined the street, hanging from street lamps like welcome flags and planter boxes exploded with life and color. Santana Row is a very well maintained, well-planned and good-looking development with public outdoor gathering spots that beckon people to socialize.
Check in at the Hotel Valencia was a breeze and the moment you step on property – it’s like a Calgon-take-me-a-way moment. The chic, sleek, contemporary Spanish style is a visual signal you’re in for something special. Wrought iron chandeliers hang from a raked plaster vaulted ceiling in the lobby. Embossed plaster treatments with hand- carved details and Iberian inspired furniture add to the dramatic Mediterranean vibe.
Our room was large with a generous balcony overlooking the courtyard below, the pool across, and the mountains in the background. We had signed on for the wine weekend getaway package and enjoyed sitting outside watching the sunset while sampling some of the cheese selection, dried fruit and baguette slices that were delivered to our room with our bottle of wine. The view overlooked the hotel’s tranquil and picturesque inner plaza where guests sat and talked in the courtyard among water fountains, archways, columns and plants. Relaxing and reconnecting was the focus of our weekend.
The beds – oh the beds are divine – with glorious pillows and bedding and THE perfect mattress. With plenty of special touches like the oak-plank headboards, red velvet monogrammed pillows and plush custom Valencia bedding – I felt totally comfy and cared for and had a great night of sleep.
Rise and Shine! Our breakfast at Citrus (included in the package) was a buffet with many healthy choices such as fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, green juice, a selection of teas as well as meats and cheeses, bread and pastry selection, cheese blintzes with raspberry puree. The service was unhurried and there were newspapers to read so it seems a leisurely breakfast is encouraged. For those that like to sleep in – you’ll be pleased breakfast is served until 11 am. We really liked an American bistro down the road and ate there both Friday and Saturday although in hindsight I would like to have tried Citrus, the hotel's restaurant that boasts a menu full of fresh locally sourced seasonal cuisine.
We were lucky that the weather was glorious, sunny and 72 degrees. We went up to the pool area, read a bit and hopped in the spacious Jacuzzi. As I looked up, I noticed the room windows above were completely spotless and streak free and all of the exterior design elements that added charm, style, expense and maintenance.
In the afternoon we picked up our straw picnic basket and passes to the wineries from the front desk on the way out. The basket was cute with a red and white checked tablecloth neatly folded on top. It was also surprisingly heavy which boded well for all the goodies inside. It was our first time using Uber and our driver picked us up in a super clean Prius stocked with bottled water. At Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos (about a 25 minute drive), we found the perfect spot for our picnic, bought a bottle of wine and started unpacking our Hotel Valencia picnic basket – green and black olives, artichoke hearts in olive oil, different cheeses, baguette slices, sandwiches, chips, cookies, water….we both agreed this is the life! How lucky are we?
As the sun was starting to wane, we called Uber (another good experience & hint: if you haven't signed up yet, you can get a free ride using Camille137 promo) and returned to the hotel. Our room was so comfy – we decided to hang out there, talk and relax. Later in the evening, we took a stroll for dinner. Santana Row was hopping. Every restaurant was packed and all the inviting public gathering places outside that have fire pits, benches, tables and chairs were brimming with conversation. Back at the hotel, we walked by Vbar –a popular and trendy hotspot – and evidently the place to be. However, my sis and I very happily enjoyed the sanctuary of our room on a Saturday night and felt completely content and satisfied. We were transported away from our daily commitments to a place of relaxation thanks to Hotel Valencia.