Silicon Valley doesn’t need a beach or big city energy to be a destination. Home to tech giants like Facebook and Google and conveniently located near the San Francisco Bay, the area—where a number of medium-sized cities come together like an intricate puzzle—has been enjoying an unprecedented design hotel boom, with appearances by big names and smaller boutique chains alike. With work-related travel slowly resuming, we’re taking a closer look at the most recent Silicon Valley openings. Taking inspiration from innovation and envelope-pushing creativity, these new Silicon Valley hotels showcase what it takes to create hospitality experiences for the sophisticated tech crowd.
The Ameswell, Mountain View
Spitting distance from Google, Facebook, and NASA, the brand-new Ameswell features 225 rooms, a swimming pool, and plenty of outdoor areas to get lost in. Designed by San Francisco–based BAMO, the hotel pays homage to its environment by incorporating touchless technology throughout, and offering innovative space perception. “The design of the hotel was initially inspired by German artist Kurt Schwitters, whose permanent exhibition I saw years ago at the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, Germany,” says Michael Booth, principal at BAMO. “I was drawn to the idea of this kinetic relationship between horizontal and vertical surfaces, and the layout of our building attributed nicely to this concept.”
On the ground, this means suspended, floating panels in the hotel restaurant, exposed ceilings, and textured walls. Smart fitness mirrors in the rooms and space-themed exhibits in the common areas remind guests further that they’re in tech territory.
Hotel Citrine, Palo Alto
The latest addition to the roster of Silicon Valley hotels, Citrine is the talk of the town. Brought to life by the L.A-based Beleco Design and part of Tribute Portfolio, Citrine is airy and elegant, aiming to tick all the current trend boxes. Curvy bouclé armchairs? Check. Artful lighting? Check. “There was no built history that would have provided inspiration to a lifestyle hotel in the immediate area,” says Christian Schnyder, principal at Beleco, referring to the curious challenge Silicon Valley hotel designers inevitably face. “Instead, the design brief focused on sustainability and socially responsible aspects of the building and its programming.” The design team didn’t want the hotel to be “high tech” for the sake of innovation itself, but rather to offer functionality and comfort. The result, says Schnyder, is “modern and clean design” that “doesn’t take itself too seriously”—think whimsical art, printed pillows, and the occasional burst of bright green and orange.
Park James, Menlo Park
Situated on a busy corner, Park James, nevertheless, is a quiet oasis, thanks to a generous courtyard and a number of clever amenities—an outdoor gym and a selection of accessible rooms to name a few. Open since early 2019, the hotel draws inspiration from Menlo Park’s past life as an equestrian ranch, with natural hues and history-evoking art. “There’s a lot of preconceived opinions about what Silicon valley looks like,” says Parisa O’Connell, the founder of Parisa O’Connell Interior Design. “We wanted the hotel to feel like a break from those stereotypes by avoiding techy-looking bright modern spaces with multicolored furnishing.”
Instead, O’Connell opted for highly tactile wood paneling and studded velvet armchairs, tufted leather headboards, and soft lighting. At the on-site restaurant, Oak + Violet, firepits and plaid blankets convey a similar sense of warmth.
Hyatt Centric, Mountain View
The most recognizable name in the game, Hyatt Centric, which opened in 2019, takes cues from regional nature. “Subtle touches across the property emphasize the locale, such as the front desk space, which includes modules angled toward the entry, reminiscent of the peaks and valleys of the Santa Cruz Mountains,” explains Marisol Fisher, a regional vice president of design services at Hyatt. Behind the front desk, a backlit panel highlights images of nearby forested slopes, and in the guest rooms, the corridors are flanked with photographs of the Santa Cruz mountain peaks and valleys.
Not to be forgotten, the computer chip—an innovation that put the area on the map—is featured throughout the hotel; in the bar area, for instance, the ceiling is made from steel-edged planes and modular wood, inspired by the silicon chip’s architecture.
Nobu Hotel, Palo Alto
It was only a matter of time until Silicon Valley got its own Nobu. Opened in late 2020, the Palo Alto location preserves the chain’s signature Japanese design language, with the most luxurious ryokan-style rooms located on the top floor. Through the hotel, floor-to-ceiling glass and natural wood dictate the tone, and the color palette is perfectly suited to calm the nerves of the busiest of VPs. “Our objective was to create a moment of pause in the midst of an urban setting,” says David Montalba, the founding principal at Montalba Architects. “It was all about a subtlety of contrasts between the warmth of materials and the urban core of downtown Palo Alto.”
In addition to high tech touches—smart lighting, Alexa at your service, and even slick hair straighteners—the hotel wouldn’t be complete without a Nobu restaurant, which was a Silicon Valley fixture before the hotel was built above it.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest