Calling THE San Jose Expert

Old Mar 7th, 2004, 09:45 AM
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Calling THE San Jose Expert

Hi there!
I know you're out there, and really do need some info on San Jose.
Our flight leaves at some crazy early morning hour out of SJ, and we must return the car the night before... SO:
For our last night in California, which just happens to be my birthday, where should we stay close to the airport? A 2 BR suite hotel would be prefered.
And, where would be a nice place for my birthday dinner? We are two adults and two teens who like just about every cuisine. We will be seeking elegant atmosphere without breaking the bank! Something unique without being too noisy would be fantastic.
And finally, after we check out of our San Fran hotel, what would you recommend we do that afternoon before checking into the hotel and returning the car. Visit Big Basin? Tour Stanford? Shop somewhere cool for last minute souvenirs/gift?
Thanks in advance for your help.

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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 11:41 AM
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For a hotel near the airport, we like the Doubletree Inn. Rooms are big, service is first rate, and the hot chocolate-chip cookies are a great start to your stay. We turn in our rental car the night before and take the hotel shuttle in the morning. Another possibility is the Embassy Suites.

I can't remember the name of a very good Chinese restaurant in the area but will post it if I can find it.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 11:45 AM
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Oops! Just realized you're flying out of San Jose.

In that case, I would recommend staying at the Garden Inn in Los Gatos (about a 20-minute drive to the airport outside of commute hours) and dining at Steamers, which has wonderful seafood and grills. For Italian food, I Gatti is right across from the Garden Inn, and the food is excellent.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 12:43 PM
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La Fondue in Saratoga would make a fun birthday dinner. I think they have a web site. Reservations a must. I would second the Doubletree as a nice place close to the airport.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 12:49 PM
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Hmm. And if you like the idea of Saratoga, there are wonderful rooms and suites at the Inn of Saratoga, right along the pretty little stream and set back a couple steps from Big Basin Way, the main restaurant row and shopping street of the area. You could do Big Basin and then spend the night there.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 02:33 PM
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Thanks so much everyone!
I think we'd probably stay right close to the airport, so the Double Tree or Embassy Suites sounds good.
La Fondue in Saratoga sounds just like what I'd love and I'm going to find their website to see if they are open for lunch. I think if we leave San Fran in the morning, we could visit Big Basin and go to Saratoga mid-afternoon. Then check-in to ES or DT, return the car, and get ready for a 4:am check-out, and 6:am flight home!
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 10:19 PM
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I don't know whom you are referring to when you say "THE San Jose Expert", but it's certainly not me!

I'm just a resident of Silicon Valley.

On Priceline, you can bid for the Doubletree Inn at the San Jose Airport and get it for something like $35. Check biddingfortravel.com for the latest prices. Try for 3* only. This would the best hotel for your needs. It's just a skip, hop, and jump to the airport and they have an excellent hotel shuttle that goes to the airport.

The best place for a celebration? Something not too far from the airport... although the suggestions of Saratoga and Los Gatos are for nice restaurants, they are a bit far to drive.

I would suggest Santana Row, which is not too far from SJ Airport and has a number of restaurants to choose from. I'd recommend Maggiano's Little Italy. You can do the four person special (believe that's about $22 or $25 per person) which allows you to choose two appetizers, two pastas, two main courses, two desserts and eat as much as you can of those choices. I've seen a lot of families go to Maggiano's and have a great time.

Also downtown San Jose has a few nice restaurants, such as AP Stump's, Eulipia, etc. but these are expensive.

If you want Chinese, I would recommend that you drive a bit north to Milpitas and try the ABC Seafood Restaurant.

You might suggest a few types of cuisines (French, Italian, Mexican, Chinese), so that Fodorites can zero in on their recommendations.

As for what to do, I wouldn't suggest visiting Big Basin. Try the Tech Museum and/or Stanford University, depending on how much time you have. What are the ages of your children? The activities will depend a lot on how old they are and whether they are boys or girls or both.
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Old Mar 7th, 2004, 10:32 PM
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Let me just pipe in that I use to stay in SJ on business all the time and Santana Row is a FABULOUS place to shop!! Oh my, the stores they have. mmmmm, I miss that place. There were a few nice upscale restaurants in the Row too.
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 09:08 AM
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Downtown or Santana Row would be my choice of places to stay. Both are a short cab ride from the airport and have plenty of restaurant choices.

As for things to do the day before you leave, Big Basin and Stanford are good options as is the Tech Museum. It really depends just depends on what you and your family want to do.



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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 09:33 AM
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Why would anyone stay in SJ when SF is just up the road? SJ is a bit of a dump!
 
Old Mar 8th, 2004, 10:03 AM
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Mrs Kal made a SJ shopping run to Santana Row last year and stayed at Hotel Valencia and may have dined at "Citrus". First class, even for San Jose.

She really enjoyed all 3...wish our check book did, too. #39;(
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 10:30 AM
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Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Priceline worked like a charm:
$35 for the Doubletree!
I can't beleive the deals I'm getting.
And we'll be right by the airport for our early morning departure.
Plus the shopping on Santana Row sounds like a blast! It will make for a fun "last" afternoon. Hopefully dinner at either Citris or Maggiano's.
Thanks again, everyone!
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 10:42 AM
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In case you don't know, Maggiano's Little Italy is a Chicago based chain. The food is good, at least at the home port in Chicago, but it is a chain.

I don't know about you, but when I travel, I prefer to eat in local restaurants.

Curious
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Old Mar 8th, 2004, 12:07 PM
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Even better for Chinese food, especially dim sum, is the Mayflower restaurant in a Milpitas shopping center. That's the place our Chinese friends always take us when we're in the area, and it's terrific.
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