Stanford Park Hotel, Menlo Park, California

My kids and I could have stayed at Stanford Park Hotel for a week without ever leaving and be perfectly content.

I had some work to get done and the kids were off from school, so I wanted to go someplace comfortable where I could plug in and write and let the kids kick back.

Stanford Park was the perfect little escape from the bustle of the city. We had a beautiful suite loaded with thoughtful amenities and views of the pool and gardens.

The overall vibe made me think of staying with a college friend at their parents’ elegant off-campus home. It is warm and inviting with overstuffed chairs in front of a massive fireplace, glossy parquet floors, bookcases filled with classics and little nooks to slip into.

Guests enter into a soaring atrium with exposed red brick walls and flooded with natural light. Hot cider is available all day in a corner niche, and to the delight of my sugar-happy kids, a seemingly never-ending supply of caramels. Evenings from 9-10pm, freshly-baked cookies are served. There is also daily coffee and tea service and weekend wine tastings

Stanford University is very much a theme here and the hotel is steeped in collegiate spirit. You can even purchase memorabilia. It’s an obvious choice for families with prospective applicants and incoming students, visiting the Northern California campus.

Menlo Park Bistro & Bar

This classic American grill is infused with a locals’ atmosphere. We had a light dinner there while watching the Golden State Warriors in the lounge area. There was a good and reasonably priced children’s menu, always a delight for a parent to discover. The bar is known for craft cocktails and offers an extensive wine list. Older couples dined alongside fresh faced Silicon Valley business types in the convivial and unpretentious space, that felt like a neighborhood gathering place.

Menlo Grill Bistro & Bar is an inviting neighborhood hangout at the Stanford Park Hotel.

Outside, the courtyard offers more dining space among beautiful gardens and sculptures. There is comfortable seating around a crackling outdoor fire pit.

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The pool and hot tub was a huge hit with the kids. They spent hours there while I worked upstairs in our suite above. I did take time out to indulge in the large, sparkling clean fitness center that offered everything you could want in a spacious, airy exercise room.

We loved this Silicon Valley oasis on the peninsula. It’s a true combination of luxury and warmth, great service and aesthetics. I had plans to venture out to the Stanford Shopping Center and explore the Filoli Gardens, but the three of us were completely content to enjoy Menlo Park from within retreat. I even got some work done!

I was a guest of the Stanford Park Hotel.

Photos by Lisa Dion

Nighttime antics at the Stanford Park Hotel pool.

If You Go:

Check in is 3 p.m, check out is noon

Stanford Park Hotel (866) 241-2431

100 El Camino Real

Menlo Park, California 94025