In a nutshell: The Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley is not the nicest 4-star establishment, but it made for an excellent award stay. This business-centric hotel is pretty much dead on the weekends and busy during the week, depending on the nearby technology companies. Dinner at the RGB Restaurant was very good, made better by the very friendly and engaging bartender/server. I was surprised to know that my business rate both booked me into a suite and also included breakfast, although the breakfast offered is a bit sub-par compared to similar quality hotels. However, I’d certainly opt for the Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale again if in the area, given its award value.
I have quite a pile of Radisson points. After getting the Club Carlson Visa (now the Radisson Rewards Visa) a few years ago, I sat on it for a couple renewals, earning 40,000 points per year on top of the sign up bonus. In that time I think we used a whopping 30,000 points for two hotel stays. A year ago I picked up the business Radisson Visa card, earning another 85,000 points in the process, and this one just renewed as well. Plus, my wife has one of the cards, too, which means we’re sitting on over 400,000 points between the two of us.
What all this means is, I’m terrible about hoarding points. In the case of Radisson Rewards, there always seem to be better value hotels in other chains that I book instead. Using the points as part of a Europe trip has long been an idea, but it simply hasn’t worked out yet. So, when I had the chance to burn some points for a stay a couple months ago in the Silicon Valley, I jumped at the chance.
Hotels in the San Francisco Bay Area are horribly expensive. Marriott and IHG have increased their rates year after year, and Hilton’s can be quite high as the points cost tends to rise with the cash rate. Hyatt is my go-to, but even their properties are expensive. However, I was fresh out of Hyatt points (and without a way to transfer Ultimate Rewards), so I turned to Radisson. The Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley turned out to be an excellent deal for 44,000 Radisson Rewards points.
Oddly, I was able to book a one bedroom suite rather than a standard king room for the same number of points. The cash rate for the room type was $219 after taxes, netting me nearly 0.5 cent per Radisson point. This might not sound all that great, but for Radisson points, I consider this excellent value. More typical value is ~0.3 cent per point.
Arrival at the Hotel
I was vehicle-less for my couple days in the Bay Area, which might sound a bit crazy. It can take a while to get from A to B, but it can also be so much less hassle. I took the Caltrain to Mountain View, hopping on the VTA light rail for several stops to get as close as I could. The Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley is about a 10-minute walk from the Crossman transit stop.
The staff at the front desk were very pleasant when I arrived to check-in. The hotel seemed completely dead. I didn’t see another person in the entire lobby. Given that it was a Sunday evening, there must not have been anything really going on the next day. I talked with the bartender later, and he said that the occupancy varies wildly depending on what is going on with the nearby tech companies.
I was given a welcome bag as a Radisson Rewards Silver member. The lady at the desk even asked which floor I wanted. I selected the 5th, the top floor.
The other surprise was that my rate included breakfast. This wasn’t clear when I booked the room, but it is apparently included in the rewards rate for a suite. I’d seen a “business rate” option that included breakfast, but it didn’t appear to apply to normal suite bookings. Something to keep in mind if you stay at the Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley.
Key in hand, I headed up to my room. Along the way I noticed there were complimentary snacks available on a small table, in case you need to grab something. The hotel also has a market with a number of food and non-food items, but a small touches like this are greatly appreciated.
One Bedroom Suite
A one bedroom suite at the Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley is sizable, with a living and work area separated completely from the bedroom. The living room features a couch with a sofa bed and a work desk. I thought the setup was nice and the couch comfortable, although the TV placement is a bit awkward for watching from the sofa. I was in the middle of a good book, so I spent my down time that evening mostly reading.
The desk and chair provided a comfortable work space. Things were made even easier by the convenient power and USB panel installed in the middle of the desk. Fortunately, the Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley wasn’t charging me extra for the convenience of a work desk like this hotel did. My only gripe was that there was no trash can next to the desk. There actually wasn’t one in the entire living area, which surprised me. The only one in the room was in the bathroom, which is a bit inconvenient.
A one bedroom suite features a small coffee maker, a microwave, and a mini-fridge. The market does have some microwaveable meals. But do you really want that when the hotel has a restaurant?
I thought the bedroom itself was very nicely appointed as well. The suite featured a king bed and ottoman. With the sofa bed and the end of the sectional sofa both available for kids to sleep, we’d be able to easily fit two adults and two kids in the room (although it is rated for three adults online). It would still be a bit cramped if my whole family needed to stay here. The Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley also has extended stay suites available which are rated for up to six guests.
I appreciate the convenient power panels installed in the headboard/nightstand as well. I’m going to guess the European outlet converter is typically not included.
The bathroom in the suite was nice as well, featuring a large sink and a tub/shower combo. The bath amenities were still individual-sized, something that will be phased out in California in the next couple years.
I opened the welcome gift given to me by the front desk to find a bottle of sparkling water, some Radisson-branded snack mix, and three of the chocolates available at the front desk when I checked in. There was also a survey requesting feedback, which I filled out for 500 points (worth ~$1.50).
Overall, I was very happy with the suite. Besides being able to book it for the same number of points, I was ecstatic that the rate included breakfast as well. The stay wasn’t just arrive-sleep-and-go, as so many of my Bay Area stays are, so it was nice to have some extra space.
Dinner and Breakfast
After getting settled into my room and working for about an hour, I headed down to the RBG restaurant for dinner. At first glace, I didn’t think it was open, as there was literally no one around besides a single agent at the front desk. The bartender arrived within a minute, though, and invited me to sit wherever I wanted.
The burger and cocktail I enjoyed were both good. I ended up chatting it up with the bartender for the next half hour, as I was literally the only one in the restaurant for nearly the entire time. I asked about how slow things were at the hotel. He responded that this is pretty typical over the weekend, with Sunday evenings only being busy if there are a high number of travelers headed into the Silicon Valley from overseas, as they tend to arrive on the weekend rather than on Monday like most domestic business travelers.
I enjoyed the buffet breakfast is a second restaurant area in the morning. There were a number of hot options, including pancakes, eggs, hash browns, and sausage, as well as cold cuts, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, cereal and some pastries.
While the selection wasn’t all that bad, the quality was a bit sub-par for what I expected for the brand. I’d liken it to a decent Best Western breakfast, which isn’t saying a lot. The restaurant itself was nice, but the service was nonexistent. After pouring my coffee, the server literally disappeared for a few minutes. Generally, this wouldn’t be an issue, except that there were other people waiting to be seated.
Overall, dining at the Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley was a mixed experience. I really enjoyed dinner, but breakfast wasn’t quite up to what I’d expect for a select-service brand.
Other Property Features
The hotel features an exercise room and pool in a courtyard outside the first floor. The pool is generally a make-or-break amenity for a stay with kids, but I almost never swim when traveling by myself for either work or leisure.
The Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley also features a small market near the front desk with a good number of snack and drink options.
As a heavily business-centric hotel, there are also multiple meeting rooms available if needed.
The Verdict: Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley
Radisson Hotels are considered upscale, but as a select-service brand it falls on the lower end of the spectrum. I’d liken it to Hilton’s DoubleTree or Marriott’s Four Points. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect as my only other stays within the Radisson family of hotels have been Country Inn & Suites and Park Inn by Radisson. Country Inn is a fine limited service brand, but the Park Inn was one of the worst stays I had in 2019.
After my stay at the Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley, I’d happily stay with the brand again, and definitely at this particular hotel again. The staff were great, my room comfortable, and dinner enjoyable. The only thing that could use some significant improvement is the breakfast quality and service in the morning. Other than that, the Radisson Hotel Sunnyvale – Silicon Valley gets high marks in my book.