Shop Talk: The Clement Hotel to open in October

This week's retail news

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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4 people like this
Posted by Carol Giilbert
a resident of University South
on Jul 22, 2015 at 11:13 am

I am happy for this man's success, but $1,000 a night? Ridiculous.

6 people like this
Posted by AlexDeLarge
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 22, 2015 at 11:57 am

How about naming the bar "The Cougars Den"? ROWWL!

5 people like this
Posted by low-end citizen
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 22, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Delighted to live in the country where "high-end" guests can throw a grand/night. What are we, the rest of us? The "low-end" garbage?

American dream ....

12 people like this
Posted by The rich get richer.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Ugh. Investing in the ostentatious self-indulgence of the filthy rich. It is a special irony that this hotel is a block away from the Opportunity Center which struggles to raise money to maintain its services to the poor.

I hope Mr. Chen will at least pay his staff a decent (Bay Area level)living wage with benefits.

3 people like this
Posted by Uglification
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 22, 2015 at 12:10 pm

Will the hotel be another cheaply designed and built Palo Alto commercial building? Will it have cheap windows like the Westin Hotel next door?

2 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Forward
a resident of another community
on Jul 22, 2015 at 12:43 pm

"I am happy for this man's success, but $1,000 a night?"

The law ofsupply and demand will naturally make those rates come down when more hotels are built near by.

6 people like this
Posted by unhappy
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 22, 2015 at 12:45 pm

What is the reason the Palo Alto Government decided we needed this eyesore in our town? It's creepy and reduces our small town-atmosphere.

10 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 22, 2015 at 1:11 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@unhappy - What makes you think the city decided we needed it? They didn't conceive, design, or build the hotel.

@The rich get richer - how many jobs was the derelict vet building generating for the last decade? How much tax revenue. Everyone wins here..

21 people like this
Posted by StopCrying
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 22, 2015 at 1:38 pm

$1000 = $140 per night to the City of Palo Alto...geez, is there anything people in this city wont whine about? If you don't like the hotel, don't go there. 23 rooms, how much added traffic is that? Everyone wants the best of services, but they want to complain about where the money comes from for those services. Honestly, thankfully there are still people willing to invest in a city where the masses have worked hard to chase people away. This guy was here before HP, Facebook, all the rest, and he still wants to invest in Palo Alto.

5 people like this
Posted by in favor of
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 22, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Those who know Mr. Chen say he is a standup guy. And he is community minded.

6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2015 at 2:20 pm

$1,000 a night seems a bit steep to me. But, like everything else in town if there is a market it will do well. Like a gourmet $15 hot dog, if there is a market, fine, if not it will close and leave an empty shell for something else to move in. It is the Palo Alto way.

13 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 22, 2015 at 2:26 pm

"Those who know Mr. Chen say he is a standup guy. And he is community minded."

Cut the man some slack. He's a nice guy and he's only fleecing people who can afford it.

As for the building's design, he needed something our ARB would approve.

5 people like this
Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 22, 2015 at 4:31 pm

The hotel will provide jobs and tax revenue, and how is that a bad thing? Best of luck to Mr. Chen!

Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North

on Jul 22, 2015 at 7:15 pm

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

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3 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 23, 2015 at 10:04 am

Given the rental market it's no surprise that this place is opening. It's nice that it's small - less traffic. With an all night kitchen they don't need Dominoes delivery or late night Jack in the Crack runs.

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