No pool? No problem! The heat of late summer has hit the Bay and most of us have no A/C and no pool. When the local swim spots are packed, it’s a good time to get (slightly) out of town and head to the South Bay. Just under an hour drive from Berkeley you can have an affordable, long weekend in this tech-focused corner of the Bay Area. My husband and I piled our fourth grader and Kindergartener into the car to squeeze out one last bit of summer fun for a staycation weekend.
Thank you to the Santa Clara Marriott for hosting my family. All opinions and tips are mine (and my kids').
Tip #1 – make sure there is no event happening at Levi’s Stadium and the rate will be half (or less!) than usual weekend cost.
The Santa Clara Marriott just finished an extensive renovation to turn it into the largest resort hotel in the area. It’s also walking distance to Levi’s Stadium. While the hotel stays booked and busy during the week – the weekend presents more of a challenge unless there’s a big game in town. This is why they typically drop their rate on the weekend and offer perks for families to make it attractive for locals like us.
Location is everything, and this place has it. In addition to the stadium, we could see the coasters and hear the screams from Great America. We walked around the corner to see a movie at the AMC Mercado, which is a great theater in a shopping center that also houses an In-n-Out Burger and a Krispy Kreme. The Tech Museum and The Winchester Mystery House are 15 minutes away by car.
Tip# 2, download the Marriott Bonvoy app before you go. I was impressed. This app adds a layer of efficiency that is clutch when traveling with small kids – I don’t actually have to talk to anyone but my family at the resort (unless I want to). I can check in from my phone, get a mobile pass that is the hotel room key (no need to try and quiet down squirmy kids at a front desk) along with directions to our room. Mobile chat is on it for any issues AND we can order food to be sent to anywhere in the hotel from it. Literally. Need a plate of chicken wings in the hallway hangout because I've left my spouse to watch another episode of Boss Baby on Netflix with the kids? Done. Sparkling rose' for me and quesadillas for the kids by the pool? They’ve got me.
Tip #3 – for an extra $30 flat you get access to the M Club during your stay. M Club is a secret space typically only open to Platinum Marriott members (folks who stay 25+ nights a year) at most of their properties. Access means free breakfast buffet until 10 am on the weekend and a happy hour spread that is enough for the kids (thanks mac n cheese!) for dinner. The savings on this is key because we'd otherwise spend about $25 – $30 per person on any meal in the restaurants on the hotel property. If your kids are as picky as mine that can sting a bit. We can also have your food from the other restaurants brought to us inside the M Club if we want, meaning we splurged a bit for a nice dinner for us at Parcel 104 while the kids ate free-ish and split a dessert.
Highlight for the kids? The new pool and hot tub deck. Not too crowded with a nice wide shallow area for our youngest and a 5 ft. deep end perfect for cannonballs for our nine-year old. It also has a dedicated wide swim lane if one of the adults wants to get some laps in.
The kids declared the bed the fluffiest and most comfortable ever, and their 5 star review was likely influenced by my letting them jump and dance on it for a bit. A Smart TV with Netflix on it guarantees they can watch their favorite shows. Good to know: there wasn’t a table to eat at in the room (just a desk). If you dine in like we did the first night be prepared to feel guilty about the kids getting ketchup on the white comforters.
Bottom line on the Santa Clara Marriott
For a low key, budget friendly staycation in the burbs, the Santa Clara Marriott is an easy last-minute trip. The proximity to family-friendly attractions and resort amenities at a discount make it a win for everybody.
Plan your own staycation at Santa Clara Marriott
Address: 2700 Mission College Boulevard, Santa Clara, CA
Remember to download that Bonvoy App for iPhone or Android.
Thanks again to the Santa Clara Marriott for hosting my family to experience the redesigned space.