Pet-Friendly Garden Court Hotel in Palo Alto

If you like being worlds apart, yet in the center of everything, consider a stay at El Prado Hotel in downtown Palo Alto. My husband and I were enjoying a staycation on the other side of the San Francisco Bay and decided to keep the happy vibe going. Why not enjoy another sunny day in paradise without having to worry about traffic or getting into our car? Rather than calling Uber or Lyft, we opted to valet park our car and stay the weekend at this Silicon Valley boutique hotel, with its endless supply of restaurants, shops and local art.

Formerly known as Garden Court Hotel, El Prado hotel offers a modern downtown Palo Alto hotel for the sophisticated traveler or business person.

Labrador retriever on exterior steps of dog-friendly boutique hotel El Prado
Nala enjoying this pet-friendly boutique hotel. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

With El Prado hotel’s Take the Lift Home package, we enjoyed a discount at the bar, complimentary valet parking and a discounted room rate, as well as a food and beverage credit. The value package is offered Friday – Sunday until the end of September. Of course, we couldn’t leave our dog home alone, so she joined us during these dog days of summer. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) We didn’t have to think twice about packing a dog bed or food and water bowls, as the hotel took care of those details for us.

deluxe king bed, pet-friendly hotel room with yellow Labrador retriever on couch, in front of king bed.
Deluxe king with balcony. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Our room, a deluxe king, room 202, was pet-friendly with floor to ceiling windows and French doors that opened to a balcony and courtyard below. At 400 square feet, the room was plenty large to accommodate us and our four-legged friend. Our non-smoking room included a work desk area, air conditioning, in-room safe, an option of hypo-allergenic bedding, down duvet pillows, robe and slippers, nightly turn down service and a wonderfully comfortable mattress. The bathroom was wall-to-wall marble and I loved the overhead rain shower, as well as the hand held option. Molton Brown bath amenities were in the shower, and a hair dryer was available, tucked under the sink.

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room service, breakfast, el prado hotel, luxury boutique hotel, palo alto, california
Breakfast on the balcony. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

Breakfast is included in the price of the room, however, it is only pastries and coffee or tea, served in the lobby. If this is a splurge weekend, business stay or you plan to use that food and beverage credit offered in the hotel package, I highly recommend ordering room service. What’s better than Huevos Rancheros with a splash of hot sauce or a bowl full of fresh California fruit with Greek yogurt and house made granola? Well, homemade chocolate truffles, with a glass of port wine in the evening, is my favorite way to end the day, but I’m getting ahead of myself!

el prado hotel lobby, downtown palo alto boutique hotel, palo alto, California hotel
Pastries, coffee & tea in the lobby. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

If you are staying at El Prado hotel on a weekend, don’t miss out on the happy hour. Dubbed the Happy Friday Club, happy hour specials pop up in the downstairs courtyard from 5-7 p.m. on Friday evening. If that doesn’t spark an interest, there are restaurants spilling over, steps away, on University Avenue and surrounding neighborhoods. With Stanford University located less than a mile away from the hotel, there are plenty of restaurants, bars and coffee houses to choose from, many pet-friendly. Check with the concierge as they have a great list of local restaurants compiled from guest recommendations.

happy hour, appetizers on a plate at El Prado hotel, downtown palo alto, california
Happy Friday Club in the courtyard. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

If all that dining out (or dining in) has you worried about your waistline, El Prado hotel has a fitness room located on the 3rd floor between room 305 and 306. The fitness center is open from 6:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. For the hard core athletes, the property has a partnership with Form Fitness that will keep you in those form fitting clothes. Then again, you may always opt for a massage.

fitness center, elliptical and treadmill machines, el prado hotel, downtown palo alto hotel, gym,
El Prado Hotel Fitness Center © Nancy D. Brown

Inside tips:
Happy hour at El Prado Hotel takes on new meaning between 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. with the arrival of the Happy Friday Club at the Palo Alto downtown boutique hotel. The pop up bar in the street level courtyard featured poke nachos, beef sliders, pork belly lettuce wraps and a tasty cheese board, among other items, as well as discounted cocktails, wine and beer. If you are traveling with your dog, the happy hour is pet-friendly. If you like staying in shape while you travel, drop in on a yoga class at nearby Yogaworks on Kipling Street in Palo Alto. I tried the restorative yoga class and found it deeply relaxing and a great way to kick off the weekend. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter or Instagram @Nancydbrown and @elprado_hotel on Instagram.

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Need to know
Check in 3:00 p.m.
Check out 11:00 a.m.

Complimentary wifi is included at the silicon valley hotel. Pastry and coffee is served in the lobby from 6:00 -10:00 a.m. Port and chocolate truffles are available in the lobby at 6:00 p.m. In room dining is offered from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. with a limited late night menu available after hours. The 62 room property has a business center in the lobby. Hotel room rates range from $300 – $1,500 for the Penthouse Suite. Parking is $24 per day. As always, confirm current pricing. There is a $50 pet fee that includes use of a pet bed, dishes and small toy for your well-behaved pet. Dogs should not be left unattended in hotel rooms. There is a pet-friendly park within walking distance of El Prado Hotel.

milk and cookies, sweet dream, garden court hotel, downtown palo alto hotel, northern california hotel
Sweet dreams start with milk and cookies. Photo © Nancy D. Brown

If You Go:

El Prado Hotel (650) 322-9000
520 Cowper Street
Palo Alto, California 94301

El Prado Hotel review, YouTube video and all photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of El Prado Hotel to experience the new Take the Lift Home package. As always, all opinions are my own.