May302011

W Silicon Valley, Newark, California

Can’t afford a W Hotel? Think again.

There are currently 41 W Hotels open around the world in the Starwood Hotels luxury boutique brand. W Hotels opened in the past year in London, St. Petersburg, Russia; Bali, Taipei and Santiago, Chile. There are several more W Hotels scheduled to open in the next year in Paris, Milan, Singapore and Bangkok.

W Washington D.C. lobby bar

Think lights and darkness, music and playful whimsy, style and attitude. Guests seem to either really love the W concept or find it pretentious. My wife is a lover of W style. I generally have a great time in W Hotels, but the rooms tend to be too small and the price too high for my comfort. Think $250 to $350 as average rates for this luxury boutique brand.

W Silicon Valley, Newark, California

Starwood’s W Silicon Valley is probably the hotel where I have booked more paid nights than any other hotel over the past decade. W Silicon Valley is undoubtedly the lowest priced of any of the W Hotels. By far the lowest priced during weekends and holidays. The published AAA rate for this Memorial Day weekend at the W Silicon Valley was $81. Even lower was my Starwood Best Rate Guarantee matched rate to Hotels.com price for $64 per night + 2,000 bonus Starpoints. And the hotel even upgraded me to a Cool Corner Suite for only the second time in 8 years.

W Silicon Valley in sunset glow

On top of the low price is the standard large room at W Suites Silicon Valley measuring 447 square feet. Most W Hotels will require a significant upgrade to land a room that size. The standard room at Silicon Valley is larger than any upgraded room I received at W San Francisco, W Washington D.C., W Chicago Lakeshore or W Chicago – City Center.

W Silicon Valley - all rooms have a couch.

All standard rooms at W Silicon Valley are basically junior suites with the TV table dividing the sitting room from the bed. The Cool Corner Suite has the same furnishings as lower category rooms, but larger space between the furniture and in the bathroom. Flat screen TVs arrived in the past two years to bring the hotel into the 21st century. The TVs swivel for viewing from couch or bed.

W Silicon Valley - Cool Corner Suite

All the rooms at W Silicon Valley come with a mini-bar refrigerator, microwave and sink.

W Silicon Valley - kitchenette in Cool Corner Suite

The refrigerator is spacious enough to put your own food and drink inside around the mini-bar items and no electronic sensors to inhibit moving the mini-bar items around to make space.

The bathrooms have both shower and tub.

W Silicon Valley shower and tub.

The rooms used to have large and beautiful blue drinking glasses. Now they are small and clear.

W Silicon Valley Bathroom.

Frankly, I am surprised W Silicon Valley hotel has survived as a W Hotel in the small southeastern San Francisco Bay city of Newark, California. There is no big city life in the vicinity of the hotel. There is actually not much of anything around the hotel. W Silicon Valley hotel is located between a business park, housing tracts and the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge on the shore of San Francisco Bay, at the eastern edge of the Dumbarton Bridge. The hotel is 8 miles from Palo Alto, home of Stanford University and 30 miles from San Francisco.

W Silicon Valley Newark wetlands

W Silicon Valley lobby is generally uncrowded unless a special party is happening. The bar, restaurant and lobby are a compact space.

W Silicon Valley lobby.

W Silicon Valley lobby.

There is a small fitness room and an outdoor pool surrounded by sand at W Silicon Valley. There is also an outdoor firepit. The wind tends to blow briskly at this southern end of San Francisco Bay which makes the hot tub a more popular ‘wet’ experience in my observations over the years.

W Silicon Valley WET.

W Silicon Valley spa tub.

W Silicon Valley near poolside seating adjacent to restaurant.

There are probably not too many people who would list the W Silicon Valley as their favorite Starwood Hotel, but for a loyalty traveler, Newark has been a home away from home since 2003 for this frequent guest seeking to maintain SPG Platinum elite and needing a high quality, low priced hotel within driving distance of Monterey. And the W Silicon Valley, Newark really is 90 miles from Monterey (W Silicon Valley website states 50 miles), so don’t take the W Silicon Valley Acura SUV for a 3-hour complimentary drive and expect to reach Cannery Row and back in the allotted time.

W Silicon Valley complimentary Acura SUV for guest drive.

Related Loyalty Traveler posts:

W Silicon Valley Fly-by in HD (July 28, 2009) – This piece touches on the adjacent wildlife refuge and history of sea salt production in San Francisco Bay.

W San Francisco in HD (Sep 4, 2009) – Loads of photos

W Chicago Lakeshore Hotel (Oct. 26, 2010)

W Chicago City Center in Blue Ray (October 27, 2010)

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »

Comments

  1. Do you know the history of this property, Ric?

    It started as a new concept, W Suites, which failed.

    We don’t know why it failed, there were plans for other W Suites properties, but they never materialized and Starwood eventually pulled the plug on the concept and rebranded this property to W Silicon Valley, which is itself weird, because it wasn’t built as a W Hotel and it’s not in Silicon Valley.

    I think it’s much nicer than any of the Marriott properties nearby and it’s also nicer than the Hyatt Place in Fremont. However, I have noticed that there’s usually something wrong with the rooms these days and they aren’t addressing all the maintenance issues they should be.

    -David

  2. Take out the W and WET signs and that could be any hotel chain.

    Take a look at photos from properties like W Hong Kong or W Santiago de Chile. Quite a difference?

    Back in the days we were huge fans of St Martin’s Lane and Sanderson hotels in London. An obvious choice for our trip to Miami was the Delano — nice lobby and.. what a dump. The “sea view room” was sold with real estate agent’s accuracy.

    We decided to give them another chance and booked us to the Clift in San Francisco which had recently opened. Great lobby and.. well, ok, not a dump but in the room one had hard time to identify the hotel.

    In our mind, W has pretty much killed their brand the same way.

  3. With today’s gas prices, I’d have a hard time justifying a 90 mile (x 2) drive for a mattress run. Maybe when the weather is nice and I could enjoy a day at the pool, but looking at our Bay Area weather (raining today, May 31!) that’s not the case right now.

  4. $9 more for a 180 mile drive than when gas was $2.50 gallon, so not a deal breaker on a mattress run.

    That weather up north was windy dark today. I drove through Santa Clara County in the dark clouds, then Santa Cruz with partly cloudy and now home in the gorgeous evening sun of Monterey.

    Looks like we won the weather contest in Monterey today.

  5. Is there a train that takes you to San Francisco nearby? Do you recommend this hotel if you are visiting for the first time in the Bay area?

  6. BART – Bay Area Rapid Transit runs from Fremont and Union City to San Francisco. Fremont is adjacent to Newark. Fremont is the farthest station on the BART system to the southeast.

    W Silicon Valley is much easier to access with a car and parking is free.

    Being in San Francisco is ideal if that is your travel destination, but parking is expensive and hotels in the city can be much more expensive.

    W Newark is a good choice for a Starwood person that can use a nice hotel at a low weekend price if looking at Sunnyvale, San Jose or more expensive Palo Alto Starwood hotels nearby. It is nicer than the SFO airport hotels.

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