A Home Away from Home at the Clement Hotel
Have you ever wanted to not leave your hotel? Anyone that knows me knows that when I am in a new place, it’s all about the sights. And, maybe the eats. While I certainly enjoy myself at hotels, none has left me wanting to stay at one more than the Clement. The Clement Hotel in Palo Alto may be within an hour of San Francisco, but trust me: you will not want to leave. This is what I discovered when we stayed at the Clement Hotel last month. Read on and you will see why, too.
Staying at the Clement Hotel
While Clement Hotel founder, Clement Chen, is no stranger to hotel entrepreneurship, he set the bar extra high when he set out for his third brand along Palo Alto’s El Camino Real. While his preceding properties, the Westin and Sheraton, are in no way low-class, they are completely different experiences. They have the big names behind them. You know what you are getting. While at the Clement Hotel, you might as well be in your new home away from home.
All-inclusive, we pulled up to the Clement Hotel not knowing quite what to expect. We were immediately greeted by Julian, just one of the many friendly staff members. Julian made sure we were aware of the complimentary valet service. They offered to take our bags as they gave us a tour of this beautiful complex.
There’s the spacious living room, where you can sit by the fire and order a cocktail. Candy bowls with Lindt chocolates are aplenty, too. If you are away for business and need a meeting room, the Clement has both a business center and board room at the ready. If you don’t want to break your fitness routine, don’t sweat; they have a full fitness center. Play guitar? Chen collects them himself and they have several on hand for guests’ enjoyment and you can even request an amp be brought to your room!
As if we weren’t ready enough to move in after our amazing tour, we then got escorted to our suite. An ample living room awaited us, as well as a gorgeous bedroom with a view of the city. Big screen TVs are in both rooms for your enjoyment, as well as a mini TV in the bathroom. Nearly every essential you could want was there for us. Everything is all-inclusive. Even the mini bar. We had champagne, candies and snacks waiting for us upon our arrival. The best touch? Stationery cards and envelopes engraved with my name on them.
The bathroom boasted a walk-in shower, Jacuzzi tub and even a Bidet toilet with a remote. What impressed us so much was the importance to detail down to every little thing. Even our necessities like the hair care products and soaps. Bath salts, too.
When we heard we had amplifiers available to us, we figured the walls must be pretty sound proof. Not only was our mattress like sleeping on a cloud, but no disturbance was heard, either. Can we just move in, really?
Probably my favorite part about the Clement Hotel was, of course, the cuisine. A 24 hour pantry is available to you, in addition to all of the goodies in your suite. Just some of the treats at your disposal in the pantry include gorgeous fruit and veggie plates, sodas, candies, ice cream and chips. A midnight snack lover’s dream.
Their kitchen is open from 6am to 10pm daily, which means you can have a meal served to you either in the dining room, living room or in your room. If you happen to be arriving after 10pm, just give the Clement a call ahead of time and they will have your meal ready for you in your suite.
If you have something special in mind to eat while staying at the Clement, no problem at all. A family seated behind us had requested sushi prior to their arrival and some beautiful rolls had been prepared. We were tempted to crash their table!
Dinner for 2
We arrived just in time for dinner on a foggy, typical San Francisco Bay Friday evening. Opting to dine in their dining room, it made it all the more personable that their chef, Jesus, was on hand to tell us about his menu favorites and suggest gluten-free options. A menu is available with an array of starters, entrees and desserts. Not to mention their wine, beer and cocktail list.
Just like dining at a fine restaurant, nightly specials are also available. Mike decided to try their spare rib while I ordered off the menu and got the shrimp and grits. We all know my love for this plate since I visited Georgia last year!
When our server, Alyssa, offered us a starter, we decided on the hummus plate. While Mike was in for pita bread, I was so touched that Alyssa brought me gluten-free toast to enjoy with the dips. While I am usually happy to enjoy dips on veggies to cut some carbs, I gotta say-this was the ultimate treat and only made my cheat week more special!
Our meals were wonderful. While the shrimp and grits usually features bacon, I decided on just my shrimp. While not as buttery and creamy as my shrimp and grits in the South, I would deem the Clement’s take on the Southern must a California version. Instead of an abundance of cheesy goodness, it was seasoned with herbs and spices and paired perfectly with jumbo shrimp. It hit the spot and also paired greatly with my glass of Chardonnay.
Mike equally loved the spare rib, with potatoes and seasonal vegetables. The sauce looked incredible but, alas, it was not gluten-free. Mike enjoyed for me and was happy with my recommendation of a glass of Cab with his dish.
Lounging Around the Clement
While dessert was tempting, we decided to chill in the living room in front of the fireplace and order up some margaritas. I played smart and had Alyssa prepare me one while Mike had yet to decide on his treat. Lucky for him, Sebastian, the Clement’s General Manager, checked in on us and noticed Mike was without a cocktail. He came to his senses and ordered his own. They were some of the best margaritas we’d had in a long time. Sweet, sour and strong. What’s not to love?! This was just another element we adored about our time at the Clement; the staff is so attentive, and truly goes out of their way to treat you like family.
If the weather permits, do not miss a chance to enjoy their roof top pool and cabanas. With a stunning view of the city, I can only imagine the hub-bub and fun to be had during the warmer months. A beautiful pool and BBQ’s await you.
Getting back to the fact you feel at home at the Clement, all-inclusive really means it. Gratuities are included with the price of your stay. So, no worries on carrying cash on you for all of the enjoyment you’re having.
Breakfast is Served
We were going to rise and shine early to enjoy breakfast in the dining room. But then thought, why?! Just another amazing option at the Clement. Any and all of your meals can be served in your room to you. A menu check list is in your suite and simply select what you would like, hang it on your door by 2am and your morning meals will be brought to you at your designated time. We were silly and chose 9am, thinking we’d be asleep. We’re early risers and were eager to enjoy our morning. I called the kitchen and sure enough, it was no issue at all to have our breakfast arrive sooner.
Already my favorite meal of the day, we were served all of our favorites and enjoyed in the living room while watching some TV.
As were prepared to check out, Gail, another lovely Clement associate, could not have been sweeter and said it would be no problem at all if we stayed to enjoy lunch. We headed back to the dining room and had such a great experience with our server, Lisa. The Clement’s staff prides itself on assisting you for ‘anything you would like’.
This time around, I could not leave the Clement without trying their crusted halibut. San Mateo County is infamous for its incredible, fresh seafood. This fish filet did not disappoint nor did the winter fresh vegetables that accompanied it. Mike opted to go all American and have a mouth watering burger and fries. I may or may not have had a few of those French fries. Who can resist when they’re thick cut?!
For our appetizer, we each tried their wonton poke nachos. I know what you’re thinking, wontons aren’t’ gluten-free! Lucky for me, Lisa recommended them on top of their salad. It turned out to be just as hearty, and a bit healthier. The fish, again, was just so fresh and flavorful.
Plan Your Visit
The Clement was hands down one of the most unique and incredible hotel stays my husband and I have ever had. You can even bring your dog! You’ll be just steps away from Stanford University and under an hour from San Francisco, yet be prepared to not want to go anywhere else. Learn more and make your reservation HERE.
(*Disclosure: I was a guest of the Clement Hotel on behalf of this feature. All opinions are my own.
Photography: Michael Farah unless otherwise noted. )