Where to Stay
Expense Account: Hilton Garden Inn Cupertino.“Oh, the beds,” say regular visitors of this recently renovated Hilton property—indeed, they are fully adjustable, with luxury linens to boot. A free airport shuttle and outstanding customer service put the inn at the top of the business traveler’s list. Doubles from $210; 10741 North Wolfe Road, Cupertino; 408.777.8787; hiltongardeninn.com
Romantic Weekend: Garden Court Hotel. A popular venue for weddings, this Vincci Hotels property has been a Palo Alto mainstay for years. Its 62 guest rooms feature varying amenities such as fireplaces, whirlpools, and private balconies. All have marble baths, luxury linens, and bedside gardenias, plus Aveda products and the latest in-room technology. Walk to restaurants, cafés, bookstores, boutiques, and more. Doubles from $299–379; 520 Cowper Street, Palo Alto; 800.824.9028 or 650.322.9000; gardencourt.com
On the Cheap: Residence Inn by Marriott. Comfortable suites include separate kitchenettes, so you don’t have to eat every meal out. Relax by the outdoor heated pool after hours, and head to Palo Alto for dinner. The inn is close to Stanford University and Mountain View businesses. Suites from $129–169; 4460 El Camino Real, Los Altos; 650.559.7890; marriott.com
Where to Eat
Business Dinner: Kaygetsu. The traditional Japanese kaiseki banquet is a formal affair during which a succession of beautifully presented courses arrive at a relaxing pace—each prepared using a different technique than the one that came before. In an unlikely location inside a strip mall, but minutes away from the action on Sand Hill Road, this tiny restaurant offers a unique and unforgettable dining experience. Sharon Heights Shopping Center, 325 Sharon Park Drive, Menlo Park; 650.34.1084; kaygetsu.com
Hot Spot: Manresa Restaurant. “The French Laundry of the South” to those in the know, this New American find serves entrees of abalone, squab, suckling pig, and roasted monkfish. 320 Village Lane, Los Gatos; 408.354.4330; manresarestaurant.com
Eating Alone: Il Fornaio. Whether it’s a quick bite for yourself or a power business meeting, Il Fornaio’s several Bay Area locations always draw a crowd. Savor the smell of homemade breads in the morning and expect satisfactory, if not original, Italian fare for lunch and dinner. 20 Cowper Street (at the Garden Court Hotel), Palo Alto; 650.853.3888
Coffee and Internet: Starbucks. In the land of the computer, you’ll find a Starbucks on every corner, where you have to pay to use the T-Mobile network, plus free Wi-Fi in many town centers.
Where to Shop
Business Critical: Stanford Shopping Center. Choose from Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Armani Exchange, and more. If you can’t find it here, it doesn’t exist in the Silicon Valley area. 87 Stanford Shopping Ctr, Palo Alto; 650.327.8510; stanfordshop.com
Date Night: Romi Boutique. Whether you’re looking for a sophisticated dress or just a new handbag for a night out on the town, this new boutique offers a little of everything. Visit a second location on Sacramento Street in San Francisco. 624 Emerson Street, Palo Alto; 650.322.7664; shopromi.com
Techie: Apple Stores. With two retail stores in Palo Alto, another in Los Gatos, and headquarters in neighboring Cupertino, help for Apple products is never far away. 451 University Avenue, Palo Alto; 650.617.9000
Where to Play and Primp
Best Yoga Studio: YogaSource. With studios in Palo Alto and Los Gatos, YogaSource offers classes in Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and power yoga. Drop in anytime for $15 per class. 158 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto; 650.328.9642; 15545C Los Gatos Boulevard, Los Gatos; 408.402.9642
Best Day Spa: Pavia Day Spa. From facials and pedicures to deep-tissue massage, this is the place to relax after a hectic day of meetings. 12840 Saratoga-Sunnyvale Road, Saratoga, 408.741.1555; paviadayspa.com
Best Blow-Dry: Ciana Salon & Spa. Whether it’s makeup, hairstyling, or a full menu of day spa treatments, the professionals at Ciana will get you ready for the big event. 111 Main Street, Los Altos; 650.241.1503; cianasalonspa.com
How to Get Around
Preferred Airport: San Jose (SJC) or San Francisco (SFO)
Public Transportation: Caltrain connects the various towns along the peninsula all the way to downtown San Francisco, including SFO. A VTA Airporter shuttle is required to reach San Jose from the Santa Clara station. BART, the Bay Area’s underground transit system, connects the eastern parts of the valley to downtown San Francisco. Take a shuttle from the Fremont station to reach SJC. Many hotels offer shuttles from either airport, and taxis are available at both locations.
Taxi or Car Service Numbers: From the San Jose airport, call National Cab, 408.298.4374, or Yellow Checker Cab, 408.293.1234. From San Francisco, try Taxi-Palo Alto, 650.322.9999, or 5 Star Yellow Cab, 650.636.6060.
Rental Cars: All major brands are represented at both airports, but cars are located off-site.
Weather and Wardrobe: Look forward to a sunny and mild climate year-round, with summer temps in the 80s and winter temps in the 60s. December through February is the primary rainy season. Business casual defines the attire at most companies and establishments in the valley.
Where to Do Business
Host a Meeting: Fogarty Winery. High in the hills above Silicon Valley, serious business mixes with the pleasure of tasting fine wines. 19501 Skyline Boulevard, Woodside; 650-851-6777; fogartywinery.com
Best Place for Printing and Copies: FedEx Kinkos. Kinkos is an institution throughout Silicon Valley, with a central location in Mountain View, as well as many others. 1935 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; 650.964.4701