What We Love
- A stylish 'geek-chic' boutique hotel in Silicon Valley, within walking distance of Levi's StadiumThe vibe: a little bit modern, a little bit mid-century modern
- The nearby Intel Museum and other Silicon Valley sights, like the House of 2,000 Doors
- The 24-hour IHOP – pancakes for dinner, anyone?
What To Know
- There's an outdoor pool and hot tub to relax in
- Within walking distance to Levi's Stadium, for all the 49ers fans
- The building is a renovated motel
When visiting Silicon Valley, stay at a hotel with its own tech-savvy streak. Avatar Hotel is a boutique joie de vivre getaway that prides itself on its “geek-chic style,” expressed through décor that puts a futuristic spin on mid-century colors and lines – think vintage toy robots on the lobby’s shelves. The laid-back lounge comes with flat-screen TVs, or you can kick back and channel surf in your room instead. (Hoodie optional.)
When you want to dive fully into Santa Clara’s culture, the Intel Museum is within a five-minute drive, with exhibitions on the company’s history and computer-science innovations. Or, you can experience impressive feats of engineering firsthand, in the best way possible: on a thrill ride at California’s Great America theme park. Later, come back to Avatar, and partake in the timeless techie tradition of over-caffeinating and pulling an all-nighter, as you flesh out your next big idea. Conveniently, the in-house IHOP is open 24 hours a day.
Your recently renovated room is sunny and stylish, showing off a “geek-chic” take on classic California aesthetics. Expect bold modern furnishings, plus the thoughtful addition of a refrigerator.The 320-square-foot Avatar rooms offer your choice of one king bed, one queen bed or two doubles. For a view of the pool and a larger TV, stay in the Executive King room.
How does “pancakes for dinner” sound? Feast on these – or opt for breakfast or lunch pancakes instead – at the 24-hour IHOP outpost. For wine and draught beer, relocate to Commons Lounge, the perfect place to catch up on TV.
You might know the area in and around Santa Clara better as Silicon Valley, since this section of the Bay Area is headquarters to the tech world’s biggest players: Yahoo, Google, Apple and Netflix, to name a few. While you can’t tour their campuses, you can learn about the history of the local computer-science industry at the five-minutes-away Intel Museum. There’s also some interesting non-tech history to explore locally, such as at the Winchester Mystery Mansion, and family-friendly thrill rides are on hand at nearby California’s Great America.
How to Get There
I have stayed twice in Avatar this year - once in January, and again in April on business for more than two weeks each time. I went for this because of its location and being close to my place of work. This is a nice clean setup with 4 floors, many refer to this as a higher grade motel kind of because of the layout perhaps.
The front desk people, and other staff members are quite helpful, friendly and cheerful. The check in, check out process is super fast. They provide you with a print of the layout for you to find your room after check in. There was a complimentary beer during my checkin the first time I was in Avatar. Maybe there is some happy hours or so where you get a beer, but I am not sure as to what exactly is that because there is no such communication for guests staying there. I just happened to know from a couple of other guests out there. The lobby is good and there is a common area for residents as well.
I have stayed in the 2nd as well as the 3rd floor. All the rooms are quite similar, slightly small in size, and none of them face each other - they either face the street or the pool. The beds are comfortable. The staff do a good job trying to keep the place clean, and replenish and toiletries (soap, shampoo and moisturizer) as needed. The room has adequate charging points for your devices, a television, and a digital alarm clock. In terms of improvement, they really need to provide an in-room safe at least, apart from a complimentary bottle of water (instead of a $4.50 charge apart from the room charges). For someone staying more than a couple of weeks on both occasions, an in-room safe is definitely needed. The hotel has a fitness center, which I have never used but have seen a couple of folks using it as a routine. The pool looks very nice from the rooms, but I never got a chance to use it because of my schedule. Avatar provides free parking and there is ample space for cars outside - perhaps one of the plus points of this place.
The biggest drawback - they do not have a restaurant, or in-house dining facility. The best you can manage is IHOP which is attached to this hotel. To be fair, there is nothing to really excite you to look forward to a meal. Avatar guests get a 10% off at IHOP, but beyond there isnt anything I can really talk about. You cannot survive on pancakes, toasts all day. I am not sure of what the plan is, but doesnt seem like the Avatar team is really keen to have a restaurant of its own for its guests. Since, most of the restaurants nearby close by 9PM, you hardly have any chance for a late dinner.
The room charges are pretty high considering the amenities available, but I believe they take a good look at the competitors around and price it accordingly (even though the other chains might have more amenities to offer). If you do not find a better place as per your choice and you are pretty fine compromising on your food, this is a decent option for stay in Santa Clara - considering the location and the offices, convention center nearby.
This hotel was fun. Clean. It's definitely an older, not fancy, and the rooms are pretty small. But the property is really cool. Lots of outdoor sitting areas. Great pool. Walking distance to restaurants. It was perfect for our group.
Ok room but whole facility looked a little sad, friendly staff, useless breakfast in restaurant next door: onlx sweet and fat stuff.
I would return for reasonabe near conference.
My best experience was the check in and the map fo runners with 2 routes.
In December, I booked a room for May with 2 double beds. A week before the stay the manager called me and explained that they overbooked the rooms with double beds and were looking for volunteers to change to a king size bed with sofa bed. He offered free breakfast. I asked if he could lower the rate for me, he said he couldn't because I booked through a 3rd party but he could offer a free bottle of wine. I told him I was travelling with my family and asked if the sofa bed could fit 2 kids. He said it could and that it was a double. I decided to be nice and take the offer, thinking that the kids could sleep in the sofa bed.
A couple of days later I was sent an email mentioning that I get a free bottle of wine because they are an Orbitz VIP Hotel. Nice- so the manager offered me something free that I was already supposed to get.
Check in was easy, front desk people were nice. We got to the room and the sofa bed was the size of a twin. There is no way 2 kids could sleep together comfortably. Since I knew all of the other double bed rooms were already sold out we stuck with it and my 7 year old slept in our bed keeping me up for half of the night.
We were in this situation because I decided to be nice, and BECAUSE THE MANAGER LIED.
The good news from me is I will never take an offer to move rooms again unless I'm 100% sure that the room is one that is expected, AND that there is some sort of recourse if I get lied to.
I couldn't get a refund because of the 3rd party site booking. A free breakfast at IHOP is not worth not being able to get a good nights sleep. If you get a call from the manager asking you to change rooms to help the hotel, DON'T DO IT!
First time staying at a joie de vivre property. Was treated very nicely by staff and the hotel was nicely furnished and the pool and rooms were clean with plenty of towels. Check-in and check-out were speedy. Loved the Common Room.