Silicon Valley Retreat: The Clement Palo Alto Hotel & Shopping

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Silicon Valley is renowned for its hard driving economy, long work hours, astronomical hotel rates and high housing prices.  As a new comer to the valley’s tech community, I can firmly say that all these things are true. Hotel rates escalate with abandon, with rates regularly going over $800 for one night—and not at luxury hotels.  In this environment, The Clement Hotel in Palo Alto is a welcome find whether you seek a “stay-cation” or a place to stay while traveling to California’s high-tech capital or Stanford University.

Clement Palo Alto Hotel

The exterior of the Clement Palo Alto Hotel.

Before the holidays, The Clement Palo Alto invited me in for an amazing lunch and some shopping at the nearby Stanford Shopping Center. For power shoppers like myself, the hotel offers an exclusive shopping experience designed to help you find the best fashions, beauty products and accessories.

I was pleasantly surprised by both  the shopping and dinning experiences.  The Clement is a small intimate boutique hotel, nestled in an upscale area of Palo Alto near the freeways and the train station.  Although there is plenty of hustle and bustle around the hotel, once you step inside, you feel that you have escaped from the pressures of the city.  The atmosphere is quiet and relaxed, the hotel staff welcoming and the food is simply amazing!  Although the hotel rates may at first seem pricey, hotel guests need to consider that the hotel rate includes everything.  The means that all  food, beverage (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), valet parking, internet access, etc. and tips are included in the room rate and the 5% service charge.  If you’re not a guest of the hotel, you can still enjoy dinning there if space is available, and you call in advance to reserve your spot.

Foie Gras The Clement

Hudson Valley Foie Gras Torchon with Roasted Apple, Brioche and Pistachio Butter is one of the delicious offerings at The Clement Palo Alto.

Dinning at The Clement is a very special experience.  The Clement offers an open kitchen where you can see your food prepared, and even talk to the Chef about your special food needs. If you are a guest of the hotel, you can enjoy the open pantry in the kitchen area where you can go to get coffee, tea, beverages, toast or the hotel’s delicious home made potato chips.

Poke Nachos at The Clement

Poke Nachos at the Clement featuring Raw Ahi Tuna, Avocado, Serrano Pepper, Wakame, Sriracha Aioli on Wonton Chips.

As a gluten free diner, I was pleased to find that once I made the hotel staff aware of my diet, they were able to tailor the menu to meet my needs.   I splurged on the delicious pumpkin soup, the gourmet grilled cheese sandwich made with gluten free bread and the fresh salmon. My dinning companion, my sister, enjoyed the non-gluten free items like the Poke Nachos.  Each item was exquisitely prepared, freshly made and absolutely delicious. The Chef even prepared a special gluten free dessert for me of bananas foster flamed in the open kitchen. We received excellent service from our server Roarke and the Chef.

Pumpkin Soup and Pinot Noir at The Clement hotel

Sugar Pie Pumpkin Bisque with Crispy Parmesan and Pinot Noir at The Clement Hotel in Palo Alto.

Finally, The Clement offers a small, but very well curated, selection of wines  and cocktails to go with your meal.  Because the room rate includes alcoholic beverages, you can can sample as many of the wines as you like with various courses.  It is truly a fine dining experience.  You can book at The Clement via the hotel’s  website, or many hotel consolidator websites like Expedia to TripAdvisor. If you read the reviews on the travel sites, you’ll see that visitors to The Clement typically give the hotel very high ratings for accommodations, service and food.

Now, let’s talk about the shopping experience at the Stanford Mall.  I spent the afternoon at Bloomingdale’s exploring designer fashions with a personal stylist.  If you choose the shopping package at The Clement the package includes the following services at Bloomingdale’s in the Standford Mall:

  • Complimentary Style Advisor (personal shopper) appointments and beauty consultations (advance reservations required)
  • Little Brown Bag welcome amenity
  • 15% off Savings Certificate (see in-store for details and restrictions)
  • Exclusive event invitations
  • Car pick-up service (you don’t have to worry about parking at the mall, as the hotel arranges for you to be dropped off and picked up at your convenience.)
Bloomingdales personal Stylist

The Bloomingdale’s Personal Styling experience is a great way to explore new designers & fashion trends.

My personal stylist at Bloomingdale’s was the fabulous Mollie Mahoney.  If you choose the shopping experience package, or if you want to shop at Bloomingdale’s with a personal stylist,  I highly recommend Mollie.  She introduced me to some brands that I haven’t been shopping that looked amazing on me, which is what a good stylist should do.  I really splurged, because I found quality pieces, with a great fit.  I used the 15% discount coupon offered with the shopping package to get Hugo Boss jackets, blouses from Hobbs of London, and some beautiful boots from Zadig and Voltaire. Mollie also reintroduced me to one of my favorite designers, Rebecca Taylor.  I ended up buying a great Rebecca Taylor blouse and jacket for work.   My biggest splurge was the Zadig & Voltaire Women’s Laureen Roma Round Toe Leather Low-Heel Booties that I bought.  They are so comfortable and super stylish with both lace up ties and a metal side zipper for easy on and off.

For work, I bought two Boss jackets, a Hobbs of London Blouse and a great Elie Tahari jacket from the clearance rack.  Mollie spent some time with me before she choose clothes and accessories for me and I felt she had a good feel for my personal style. She was able to pick items that actually suited my body shape–something that I feel that not all stylists do.  Sometimes stylists may try to sell you the latest trends that may or may not look good on you. I was so pleased with the personal stylist experience, that I bought my sister into Bloomingdale’s to shop with Mollie. My sister has a very different body shape and style than I do, and Mollie was able to get her style in an instant and pick out some great picks for her including pants from Nic & Zoe and a gorgeous Eileen Fischer sweater.   We will both be back to Bloomingdale’s to shop with Mollie.  The pieces I picked with Mollie, may have cost a bit more, but they are investment pieces that I am confident I will get lots of wear out of.

A good stylist is an invaluable asset to a fashionista and the best thing about the Bloomingdale’s experience is that there are no additional fees for shopping with a stylist.  For busy work professionals, especially in Silicon Valley, it’s great to save time shopping by having a stylist “pull” clothes for you to try on so you don’t have to spend hours browsing through the racks to find things.

See below for a look at some of the curated picks my Bloomingdale’s stylist choose for me.

If you’re looking for a bit of pampering, do check out The Clement Palo Alto’s Shopping Experience.  This is a great package and a perfect way to refresh and reboot in the New Year.

Note: In the interests of full-disclosure, I’d like my readers to know that I was not compensated by The Clement or Bloomingdale’s for writing this post.  I paid for my own shopping at Bloomingdale’s. I did receive a complimentary lunch from The Clement Palo Alto in order to review the food a the restaurant for this article.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.


  1. Target-Addict

    January 27, 2019 at 8:16 am

    Oh Mary! I wish you had told me about your trip. I live a stone’s throw from there. It would have been fun to meet you IRL 🙂

    • Mary Hall

      February 14, 2019 at 12:16 pm

      I will email you so we can meet IRL:)