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High-Tech Flourishes Help Hotels Thrive in Silicon Valley

Jasmin Rosemberg

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To thrive in Silicon Valley, hotels must be up to par, technology-wise. “The Nobu brand marries the east and west to create something entirely new — it’s approachable luxury,” says Andrew Tilley, VP of hotel openings. Nobu Hotel Palo Alto (180 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, 650-666-3311, nobuhotels.com) is the latest retreat from chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and producer Meir Teper.

The 73-room hotel, with a two-story restaurant opening in 2020, resembles Nobu Ryokan Malibu with its wooden tones and Japanese-minimalist approach. “We’re focused on innovative design: Our guest rooms have Alexa to adjust the light and blinds, and 82-inch TVs with streaming capabilities.” There’s also 24-hour Nobu room service, a high-tech gym and in-room massages.

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“We’re a very innovative area with a lot of startups,” says Isabelle Matter, general manager of Yotel San Francisco (1095 Market St., San Francisco, 415-829-0000, yotel.com). “That Yotel is such a technology-focused company makes great sense.” The brand is the brainchild of Simon Woodroffe, who wanted to bring the compact efficiency of first-class air travel to hotels. The new aviation-inspired California branch boasts 203 “cabins,” a self-check-in kiosk, digital concierge, super-fast Wi-Fi, adjustable smart beds, smart TVs with Chromecast for mobile streaming and a communal workspace with charging stations.

Palihotel San Francisco (417 Stockton St., San Francisco, 415-400-0500, palisociety.com) is the newest “design-forward, neighborhood-centric” property in Avi Brosh’s Palisociety portfolio. “What boutique hotels do well is they reflect what’s cool about the location,” says Brosh, who’s created a “retreat for people in the know” in Union Square. The 82-room boutique hotel features the eclectic artwork and “urban zen” atmosphere characteristic of Palisociety. Fisher Loft restaurant-lounge debuts in December on the second floor. “Every night will be as if someone’s throwing a dinner party at their loft in San Francisco.”

The smaller size also serves 29-room Kenwood Inn & Spa (10400 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood, 707-833-1293, kenwoodinn.com). “We really focus on the romance,” says spa manager Brooke Carter of the revamped property, which just reopened following the 2017 fires. The Mediterranean-style space has a couple’s treatment room, two-person shower, outdoor terrace, marble tub overlooking the vineyard and three pools. A new CBD massage featuring a cream made in Santa Cruz can also be done in-room. “CBD can penetrate your epidermis and get down into the bone and muscle and relieve a lot of pain.”

CBD treatments are “flying” at The Spa at Estate Yountville (6581 Washington St., Yountville, 707-948-5050, thespaattheestate.com), according to executive director of spa and wellness, Terry Prager. “It creates a balance equilibrium in the body, but it’s also great for skin flare-ups,” she says. “We even have CBD pet drops.”

The spa at the 22-acre estate — home to Hotel Villagio, Vintage House, shops and restaurants, including Adam Perry Lang’s new eponymous steakhouse — just received a multimillion-dollar makeover. The space flaunts a lighter palette and new locker rooms, plus seven treatment rooms and five reservable spa suites with soaking tubs. A tasting menu of treatments nods to Napa’s wine culture.

Wellness is a priority at the Westin Verasa Napa (1314 McKinstry St., Napa, 707-257-1800, marriott.com). “We provide access to running and yoga concierges, as well as the New Balance gear-lending program for guests to borrow workout apparel,” says general manager Don Shindle.

The Downtown Napa resort, a longtime sponsor of the Napa Valley Film Festival, is planning a multimillion-dollar expansion to add 32 guest rooms, a rooftop restaurant from chef Ken Frank and a spa with six treatment rooms, workout studios, a beauty salon and a juice bar. “Napa is an ideal destination for relaxing and treating yourself to the pleasurable things in life.”

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