San Jose bought a derelict estate in the 1990s called Hayes Mansion located on the southern end of the city not far off Highway 101. Fortunately the place is on the National Register of Historic Places and there are numerous landmark street signs or you would probably find yourself making U-turns in the residential neighborhood assuming you were not in the correct location for a nice hotel.
Hayes Mansion is now a city-owned, Dolce Hotels managed hotel property, restaurant, and conference center known as Dolce Hayes Mansion in hotel search engines.
This hotel property is a unique experience and low rates make this hotel one of San Jose’s best kept luxury bargains for the hotel guest. You would be hard-pressed to find another hotel suite in California with the kind of furnishings surrounding you in the Hayes Mansion at a rate even $100 more than these rooms. Weekend nights in a main house upper floor suites have been as low as $110 these past few months and are running $139 this weekend ($126 AAA rate).
Hayes Mansion was built as a Santa Clara Valley estate in 1905. The Santa Clara Valley is more familiarly known around-the-world these days as “Silicon Valley”. Hayes Mansion is located in the southern part of San Jose in a city district known as Edenvale. The remaining agricultural fields and orchards from here south over the southernmost 20 miles of Santa Clara Valley has maintained some sense of open space in the narrow part of the flatlands between the coastal mountains and the inland hills despite the creation of more housing tracts and golf courses in the past 20 years.
Before freeways and silicon chips this land was known for fruit. Our climate here in Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Monterey Counties is one of year-round crop growing. Temperatures below freezing rarely occur this close to the Pacific coastal waters of California.
This is Steinbeck Country where life maintains a pace of year-round production. We have the sun, we have the rain, and we now have lots of people. I’ve seen agricultural land cut in half in my lifetime from newly built housing developments in most neighborhoods where I have lived in California.
Hayes Mansion transports me back to an earlier time. The hotel is situated in a park-like space surrounded by residential neighborhoods. I feel like the estate stopped the clock of passing time while the city grew around Hayes Mansion to surround it with people’s homes. One feature I particularly enjoy about Hayes Mansion is the small city block park, a natural setting that seems to be part urban cultivation and part neglected just outside the Hayes Mansion northern fence.
The kind of architectural and style detail you see in Hayes Mansion is what you might find in Victorian B&Bs that would cost triple the nightly rate of Dolce Hayes Mansion.
Here is the wording of the plaque displayed at the historic site:
“Mary Hayes Chynoweth, matriarch of the Hayes family, built this 65 room, 41,000 square foot Mediterranean Revival-style mansion to replace an earlier Victorian one which had been destroyed by fire. While she did not live to occupy the mansion herself, her two sons and their families lived in the house for four decades.
Everis Anson Hayes and Jay Orley Hayes were two of San Jose’s most influential and illustrious citizens. E. A. Hayes served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1904 to 1918. J.O. Hayes was founder and president of the California Prune and Apricot Growers Association, which later became known as Sunsweet Growers. Together the two brothers owned and published the San Jose Mercury and the San Jose Herald Newspapers.
The Edenvale Estate was a center of social and political activity for the Santa Clara Valley and was visited by many distinguished public figures.
The Hayes Mansion was designed by architect George Page and completed in 1905. Renovation and remodeling was completed in 1994 by the public/private partnership of the City of San Jose and the Renaissance Conference Company.”
On a weeknight the early bird guest will fare much better than worms with a Steak Dinner for $14.95, available until 6pm. Kelley and I thoroughly enjoyed being the youngest guests (I am still 49, while Kelley is an old AARP 50) dining at the darkly lit dining room on a sunny April evening.
The Hayes Mansion pool has been disturbingly unoccupied on my last three trips to the hotel. This place is paradise on an 85 degree noon sun bake in San Jose. Palm trees rustling overhead and blue sky, clear water is constant heaven (when you can’t be on Carmel Beach).
Loyalty Traveler recommends you check this hotel out when you come to San Jose. You will be surprised at what this place offers compared to some of the other city hotel offerings.
There is a full service spa at the hotel:
This hotel has over 200 rooms and almost all those rooms are in wings around the Hayes Mansion original estate house. Two floors of corridors with regular rooms wrap the south and east side of the estate house, restaurant, spa, and pool. Some rooms at Dolce Hayes Mansion may not feel much different than a Hilton Garden Inn overlooking the parking lot if you end up in the backside hotel wing room.
The cost to upgrade big-time at this hotel to a parlor suite is so low compared to most hotels of this caliber that you should really splurge and do Hayes Mansion in style. This might be one of the best $50 upgrades you ever bought to get in an historic estate hotel suite at Hayes Mansion.
Spread the word, but not too loudly. I don’t want the $125 weekend suites in my Santa Clara “Big Silicon Valley” fantasy estate home to become an urban legend I reminisce about in the 20-teens.
Links: Wikipedia – Hayes Mansion, San Jose, California http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayes_Mansion
Dolce Hayes Mansion website: http://www.hayesmansion.com