Rosewood Sand Hill
Menlo Park, CA - Resort Review
Serenity in Silicon Valley
Aerial view of the pool at Rosewood Sand Hill Resort
Business Hotel Near San Francisco
Given its office park location, one would expect the Rosewood Sand Hill resort to be as pedestrian as its suburban surroundings — it's even on Stanford University property and is wedged between the school's two-mile linear accelerator and the 280 freeway. Instead, visitors immediately step into a gorgeously appointed hotel akin to a lavish lodge in Lake Tahoe that benefits from various Japanese touches coming together to create a very Zen-like experience.
The ranch-style resort spreads out across sixteen acres of grassy hills and offers views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Guest rooms are completely separate from the main building, and are constructed on a terraced hill below. A relaxed feel permeates the guest rooms and the impeccably manicured grounds, which are frequently landscaped in ways that again speak to a Zen-inspired sensibility.
Rooms range from 550 to 2,000 square feet, each dressed in a neutral palette of creams, browns and soft colors. A few funky furniture choices, reminiscent of a Palm Springs villa, keep the space from feeling dull. Meanwhile, Japanese accents include sliding doors between rooms. The standard over-sized bathrooms, typical of most new, upscale resorts, are found here, too, with a deep marble tub and an enormous shower encased in glass. Every room boasts a balcony that offers a surprising amount of privacy for enjoying the sunset or people-watching (since most rooms are positioned to offer views of the pool). The larger, ground-level villas have a mini-enclosed backyard with grills. Ground-level rooms come with neatly kept patches of lawn for lounging. Keeping with the hotel’s Silicon Valley point-of-view, all rooms are outfitted to be tech savvy. Entry keys to each room are electronic (no swiping necessary; just pass the key card in front of the room's lock). Inside the room, a remote control is used to control the television, set wake-up calls, dim the lights and perform a variety of other tasks.
The Premier room
The resort's pristine edgeless pool is ringed by the usual concrete, but then grass as the lounge chairs go back farther. When was the last time your poolside experience included grass under your toes? Soft touches continue in the form of potted plants that are used to create barriers, such as between the pool and the Jacuzzi. Outdoor dining is available seasonally, and light sandwiches and snacks from The Pool Bar & Grill are offered the poolside loungers, as well.
The main building, perched above, houses the resort's restaurant, Madera, which overlooks the entire grounds with views best nabbed on the 50-seat patio. The latter features a limestone-framed fireplace, as do a few private terraces, perfect for small parties or business meetings. Though the hotel was designed to offer Silicon Valley business travelers a high-end and sophisticated lodging option, the hotel's lounge and restaurant have become a very popular attraction for locals. On chillier days, the roaring fireplace is an ideal spot for enjoying a beverage from the bar's killer cocktail menu. Rub elbows with venture capitalists and tech dealmakers alike in the lively bar scene.
Cool amenities include private car service, available on a first-come, first-served basis, which will drop off and pick up guests from any location within a five-mile radius. And with so many great restaurants in the area (with full bars and ample wine lists), it is a great convenience.
For those mixing business with pleasure, Rosewood Sand Hill offers private dining rooms at Madera, a 2,769-square-foot ballroom, three boardrooms, three meeting rooms and plenty of outdoor function space for up to 400 guests. High-speed Internet access and audio/visual services are available in all venues.
Sense is the hotel's 17,000-square-foot spa that boasts thirteen treatment rooms and a fabulous treatment menu, but the real draw is the sunny co-ed waiting area that lets patrons zone out on comfy chaise lounges inside or outside around a babbling fountain. The only problem at Rosewood Sand Hill is that most views are of the highway, and although its noise eventually blends into the surroundings, it's still a nuisance and can't help but take away from the otherwise decadent tranquility.
More about Rosewood Sand Hill resort on the official website.
Read our review of Madera
Sense on our Top Spas in San Francisco