Pacific Hotel Management is set to open The Clement Palo Alto, a luxury hotel, at 711 El Camino Real in late October.
$1,000 A NIGHT ... This city's smallest and most expensive hotel is preparing to open in late October. The Clement Palo Alto, a 23-room, four-story luxury hotel with a rooftop pool has taken over the former site of Palo Alto Pet Hospital, 711 El Camino Real. The nightly rate at the Clement, including a service charge, will be approximately $1,000, according to owner Clement Chen. As president of Pacific Hotel Management in San Mateo, Chen says he knows the market well. While a student at Stanford University, Chen worked as a bellboy for the Holiday Inn, which later became the Sheraton, at 625 El Camino. "My dad built that Holiday Inn in 1973," he said. "Rooms were going for $19 a night." Now, more than 40 years later, Chen's company owns and manages the Sheraton and its next-door neighbor, The Westin, 675 El Camino Real. The Clement is next to the Westin, creating a trio of adjacent hotels for Pacific Hotel Management. Chen is the first to acknowledge the new hotel is not typical. "What we'll be offering is exclusivity," he said. "We expect to have a lot of high-end guests. We want them to feel like they're a guest in the home of a very kind and well-to-do friend." The approximate nightly price covers not only the room; it is all-inclusive. Guests receive personalized concierge service and meals at any time they choose. Wine, beer, cocktails and a fully stocked guest pantry are available around the clock. Plus, the in-room mini-fridge will be stocked with the guest's favorite items. "Our goal is to know what our guests want and like," Chen said, adding that when they enter the hotel, they will be greeted by a Guest Experience Manager, who will have pertinent information on an iPad about the guests. The inspiration for the Clement came when Chen and his wife were vacationing at a small hotel in Bali. "Everybody knew our names ... they were so warm and personable," he said. "We didn't feel like we were customers at a hotel. It was like being at home, only better." Of the 23 rooms in the Clement, 21 of them are 650-square-foot, one-bedroom suites; the remaining two are normal-size hotel rooms. There are a few other luxurious hotels nearby, said Chen, which may be considered competition, such as Garden Court, Four Seasons and Rosewood, but, he noted, "We only need 23 guests to fill up our hotel."
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