Stayed San Jose Marriott Hotel, review

As you might know from my blog, I’m a budget traveler. Or maybe I should say, a miserly traveler.

So why am I reviewing the San Jose Marriott? Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those phantom posts about places the writer has never been to.

I had the chance to stay at this hotel chain during my business trip in May to San Jose. I clocked five luxurious nights among the soft bed and fluffy pillows, then I went back to earth in San Francisco.

Anyway, let’s head to the review:

Two beds for one person and her luggage

I’m not sure why they always give two beds on business trips for a single traveler. Even if I do invite someone to stay over, the other bed wouldn’t be too useful, would it? ;)

The bed was very comfortable and I spent a ridiculous amount of non-work hours propped up my pillows watching TV (The kids show in the morning were really fun but the shows at night were scandalous!).

Bathroom with a tub!

I do not have a bathtub at home so whenever I see a bathtub, my heart swells with joy. But when taking a bath, I would feel guilty about wasting so much water. Dilemma!

Bath and Beyond’s great smelling set

The thing I liked best about the room was the bath set. The orange-ginger combination smells really heavenly. I kind of regret not buying a whole bottle from Bath and Beyong.

Every morning, I would hide the tiny bottles in my suitcase and hope the room service tips I left were enough to pacify the chambermaids.

My non-view

I had a relatively low floor so my view wasn’t great. I’m not the type to open my curtains anyway so it suited me well.

My room also had a coffee machine that only accepts its own coffee bags. The coffee was really good stuff though, not like the limp coffee found in Southeast Asia. (Heck, even the conference coffee was awesome!)

Now that I’ve finished all my praises, the bad news comes.

I had to pay a lot of money for Internet (well, the host paid for the Internet but the fact that the guest needs to pay for Web access makes me really angry).

Not only was the Wi-Fi expensive, it drops off very often. I would need to relogin Marriott’s page again and again because it cuts me off too often.

A good thing that came out of this was that I had a story idea to work on when I was back at work.


Stayed: San Jose Marriott
Pro: All the stuff a four-star hotel has, lovely bath toiletries collection
Cons: Not for the budget traveler, the Internet fee is too damn high!

Other accommodation reviews (for the budget travelers)

Do you know the way to San Jose?

All guide books seem to have a line about how asking, “Do you know the way to San Jose?” would lead to stinkeye from the locals.

Anyway, by the time this post is lived, I will be on the 18-hour flight from Singapore to San Francisco. (OK, a 1 hour 45 minute stop in Tokyo Narita in between.)

It will be a week of work in San Jose, covering a very cheem (Singlish lesson: cheem=profound) event, then a week of being a tourist in San Francisco.

You know what will be the first thing I do after I toss my luggage into my room? Toiletries shopping!

Anyway, since this is really a work trip, most of my time in San Jose will see me stationed at the convention center and my hotel room, busily taking interview notes and typing out–what I hope is–brilliant articles that would make Hemingway proud.

But since this is a travel blog, I’ll share some of the interesting San Jose sites which hopefully I would get to visit after typing out the brilliant articles mentioned above.

  • Winchester’s Mystery House

Official site: (Creepy music on the site. Blah.)
Nice tour room-by-room description:

When I first saw the house in a TV program about scary places, I was very intrigued. Doors that lead to nowhere? Wealthy widow who keeps on building her house so spirits will be pleased?! WOW.

But then it’s not really that haunted so I’m not very impressed. I think I should get this off my list on Day 1.

Also, I’m really disappointed that I won’t be able to go on the Flashlight Tour which happens only on every Friday the 13th and on Halloween. Imagine a night tour of the mansion!

  • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium

Official site: Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium

Ancient Egypt has been a fascinating topic for me, although I haven’t read as much of their legends as I do Ancient Greek stories.

But a chance to see artifacts from that time period means a “must go” on my list.

Unfortunately, a lot of the Yelp reviews of the museum are negative.

  • The Tech Museum

Official site:

My hotel is really near the Tech Museum. Think it’s a must-drop by since I am working in tech (sort of).

  • San Jose MOMA

Official site:

I’m a fan of old art more than modern art. If I have time, I might drop by.

  • Gilroy Premium Outlet

Ok, a premium shopping outlet is not supposed to be even on the indie traveller’s list. But it’s been recommended by a lot of my work acquaintances who, come to think of it, probably earns 5 times my salary.

Even though it’s on my list, the place is very out of the way. I’ll have to change trains and everything. Plus, I need to visit here before heading to San Francisco or else I’ll need to put in 4 hours of return trip and $52 for the Greyhound bus.

Yucks! (Maybe I should get the bags at the airport.)

First time in US of A

This will be my first trip to the US and I’m not very sure what to expect. Too much TV makes me think that I actually know the place and the people.

I’ll need to do a couple of American things while there:
–eat burgers at McDonald
–eat hotdogs from hot dog stands
–run for cover while super aliens destroy the city
–drink soda (what flavor is it?)
–buy Old Spice
–watch Mad Men on TV
–watch Game of Thrones on TV
–drink lemonade

What else should I do?