Hotel Review: Avatar Hotel, Santa Clara, CA

During our honeymoon, we stayed at this funky, cute hotel located in the Silicon Valley. We were on a road trip around the Bay Area and I chose this hotel because they had a picture of a toy Bender from Futurama on their website. I hadn’t stayed at a Joie de Vivre hotel before, but if the Avatar is anything like the others, they will definitely be on my radar in the future.

My first impression upon arrival was that it might have been an old Howard Johnson at some point in its life. The grounds look as though the are in the process of being revamped. Like, they were dirt and a chain-link fence.  It wasn’t really a big deal.

reviews, hotels, bay area, silicon valley

First Impressions: Oooh!

Love the lobby! Cute metal toy robots line the walls. The gals at the check in desk were very friendly. Did I mention that they have good social media interaction? I had posted on their Facebook wall that we were coming for our honeymoon and they had a note about it in the computer when we checked in. They even gave us complimentary breakfast at the IHOP next door.  Yay pancakes!

Other reviews had mentioned that single females might not feel safe here. Not sure I agree with that statement. Yes, the window at the front of the room facing the walkway was a little odd because most hotels are not designed like that anymore, but just shut the blinds and you’ll be fine.

One of the elevators were a little disconcerting. There was no indication that when we’d pushed the button to select our floor. There was also no readout indicating that the elevator was moving past a certain floor, but we could always take the stairs.

Overall room feel: Comfortably modern

On the plus side, the hotel has free wifi, which would probably be ridiculous to not have in the Silicon Valley. There is a giant HDTV in the room, which I found to be well positioned with regards to the bed.  There was also a lot of counter space as you can see from the above photo. Also the furniture in the room was really funky and cute.  I wish I could be hip enough to decorate our apartment like that room. Another bonus: bed tray! It was very convenient for propping up various mobile devices as well as securing beverages. The doors to the rooms are not sound proof at all. There is a decent sized gap between the door and the floor. Anyone walking outside the room will be heard fairly clearly. It didn’t bother us because we’re used to city noises, but other people might find it a little off-putting. Overall, I thought the room was very comfortable.

Avatar Hotel Lobby Robots

How’s the bathroom? Good

Sometimes with properties that are rehabbed or going through a rehab, they glean over the tub and it can still have an air of creepy oldness about it.  This one was fine. It was a tub/shower and toilet in one area with vanity/sink off the bedroom area.

Amenities? Location? Not too bad.

When we checked in, we received a piece of paper that listed all of the hotel’s amenities. It said there was a happy hour every day and that guests could receive a complimentary glass of wine. We trekked down there about half way through the happy hour only to find the room completely empty. No one was in there and no wine to be found. Granted, it is a Sunday night, but one would think that a hotel in the Silicon Valley would be quite busy on a Sunday night. I did notice quite a few empty rooms when we walked around the hotel. Also, one of the massage recliners in the happy hour room looked like it had seen better days.

There was a pool with umbrellas and chairs. A few people were out there enjoying the sunshine.

I did like the fact that you could walk to the IHOP. It was sort of attached to the hotel’s lobby. Also, there is a Bennigans right next door. It looked a bit worn and tired though. Service was good at both places.

Also, you could see the new Levi’s Stadium from the hotel. Well, we were on th 3rd floor and you could see the red Levi’s logo peeping through the trees. Anyway, it is within a short drive or a good walk on a nice day.

Customer Service? Outstanding!

They knew we were here for our honeymoon and brought a gift basket to the room. “We did a little research on you, I hope you don’t mind” They had Legos for Paul and a bottle of wine for me, as well as the colors of our wedding. Amazing! I will be singing their praises for a very long time. Pretty much every travel website and review site I can find, I will give them a glowing review as well as my own blog, of course!

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