Tucked within the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley, Hotel Valencia Santana Row is a mixture of high-end luxury and Old World charm in San Jose. Over the years, this California hotel has earned many prestigious awards, including Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Award for the top hotel in San Jose and number ten for Northern California hotels, and as one of U.S. News & World Report's Best Hotels in the USA.
As a guest of the hotel in Silicon Valley, I discovered there are plenty of features to love from its Spanish-inspired architecture to its delicious dining options and unusual amenities like a mid-day candy bar. Plus, the hotel is minutes from the airport, steps away from shopping and dining on Santana Row, and a short walk to the Winchester Mystery House®, making it easy for travelers who prefer to be car-free.
Old World Elegance Hotel Valencia-style
While you can see the Spanish-style architecture from the street, the first hint of the hotel's charming decor happens right at the elevators with an intricately carved lattice surrounding each elevator.
From here, guests rise up to an elegantly decorated lobby. In the lobby, rows of doors lead to a central courtyard with columns, drapery, fountains and seating arrangements, some of which can be used as outside seating for hotel's dining options, Vbar, The Terrace, and Oveja Negra.
A Room With A View
I stayed in a one-bedroom Executive Suite, which featured two sitting areas, a dining area, a private bar, and a bedroom. I also had a spacious bathroom with a soaking tub and a large walk-in shower. Just off the living area, I had two balconies with views of the Santana Row streetscape below and the Santa Cruz mountains in the distance.
Since I'd spent most of the day exploring Santana Row, the quiet and calm of the room afforded me some much-needed relaxation before dinner.
In total, the hotel features 215 guest rooms and 17 suites, all with custom-designed beds and Egyptian linens. All overnight stays include a complimentary breakfast and WiFi, 24-hour room service, and access to the fitness center, outdoor pool, and hot tub.
Dining At Hotel Valencia Santana Row
There are four dining options at Hotel Valencia Santana Row—The Terrace, Vbar, Cielo, and Oveja Negra. All but Cielo, the rooftop wine bar, are located around the outdoor courtyard off the lobby. Oveja Negra, an “unruly tapas” restaurant, hosted me for dinner.
I opted for a table outside near the fountain and soaked up the view and balmy California weather with Death & Taxes, a cocktail made with Don Julio, Mezcal, Ancho Reyes, lime, and agave.
For starters, I ordered the Burrata with tomatoes, balsamic pearls, and grilled ciabatta.
Then, a refreshing and flavorful Cucumber & Watermelon Salad with spices and cotija cheese.
For dinner, I had to try their signature dish—the Tomahawk Steak! It arrived at the table juicy and seared perfectly to order. Along with this delicious dish is a selection of tasting sauces (chimichurri, demi-glace, horseradish cream) and flavored sea salts (black garlic, pinot noir, and rosemary).
Cool Places To Get a Drink
Santana Row is stylish and lively. Vbar, with its backlit red acrylic bar, is one place to take in the scene and people watch from balcony seats.
There is also the seasonal rooftop wine bar, Cielo, which is a prime location for watching the sunset.
Make Time For The Pool
The pool is a favorite at Hotel Valencia Santana Row. On a sunny day, you'll most likely see guests lounging around the pool and cooling off with a swim well into the evening or warming up in the hot tub at night.
Hotels are known to have afternoon cookies, but at Hotel Valencia Santana Row, they've switched it up with a candy bar! Guests can pick from more than a dozen candies like Swedish Fish, M&M's and Runts.
Exploring Santana Row
With stores like Gucci, Sephora, and Kate Spade, shoppers will be in heaven on Santana Row. All are steps away from the hotel and many are open into the evening when the streets are full of people strolling around.
There is no lack of dining options on Santana Row. An additional place I recommend for weekend brunch is Village California Bistro and Wine Bar. Featuring seasonal California cuisine, I opted for the avocado toast with Lebanese cream cheese, a soft poached egg, radish, cilantro, and roasted pepitas.
During my stay, I toured one of San Jose's most interesting historic landmarks, the Winchester Mystery House®, which is only a short walk from the hotel. Sarah Winchester, the heiress of the Winchester family, had workers continually work on her house from 1886 to 1922. The 24,000 square foot house is an oddity and marvel with 10,000 windows, 2,000 doors, including some that go nowhere. There are 47 stairways, with some ending into the roof. It is often called the “world's longest home renovation,” and I would say it is Santana Row's most quirky experience.
Stay At Hotel Valencia Santana Row
I found my stay at Hotel Valencia Santana Row very rewarding. While being located in the heart of Santana Row's shopping and dining district, the hotel felt like an oasis. The rooms feel luxurious and outdoor terraces give you a chance to take in the sunshine and the hotel's Old World beauty. For travelers wanting a California escape that combines a little bit of luxury, shopping, a unique landmark, and amazing food, all within walking distance, this is the perfect place.
Note: As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with accommodations and meals for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.