|By Tim Simmers, San Mateo County Times,
Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 23, 2007 - MENLO PARK -- Stanford University is building an ultra-luxury hotel on Sand Hill Road that's designed to attract high-rolling venture capitalists who can plunk down $400 or more a night.
Complete with a full-service spa and a posh restaurant, the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel is well into construction just off Interstate 280 at the top of Sand Hill Road, sometimes referred to as Venture Capital Row.
Set to open in 2009, the 120-room hotel/spa is being built on 21 acres owned by Stanford University.
The resort is being compared with the county's top luxury hotels -- the Ritz-Carlton, which sits on the cliffs overlooking the ocean in Half Moon Bay, and the new Four Seasons in East Palo Alto.
It will be the biggest hotel in Menlo Park, creating a lucrative flow of hotel occupancy taxes to the city's coffers.
"We're delighted to have such a classy new hotel here," said Kelly Fergusson, Menlo Park's mayor. "The tax revenue will certainly be a big boost."
Hotel occupancy taxes from the new facility are expected to be about $1.5 million a year for Menlo Park.
The $200 million hotel/office complex aims to attract executives coming to town to visit some of the nation's top venture capital and private equity firms.
The venture capital companies along Sand Hill Road are among the most influential in the world, and have helped fuel the buildup of Silicon Valley tech firms over the past 40 years.
"All the rooms will be in high demand," said Steve Elliott, managing director of Stanford Real Estate. "We're trying to capture travelers looking for a really high-quality hotel."
Stanford will own and operate the hotel as an investment, Elliott said.
He anticipates luring travelers who otherwise might stay in San Francisco. The low-profile hotel will be a series of one-and two-story buildings with a Spanish-tile motif.
The rooms will be 550 square feet and up, with suites of 1,500 square feet and five luxury villas of 2,500 square feet.
The five-star hotel will have a 15,000-square-foot spa and offer top-of-the-line cuisine at Madera, its signature restaurant, Elliott said. It will also offer 8,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
"Our goal is to bring the Rosewood standard of luxury to the beautiful natural landscape that surrounds the Stanford campus," said John Scott, president and chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotels and Resorts.
He said the low-rise design will lend itself to views of sunsets over the hills.
The project is being built by Devcon Construction.
Business writer Tim Simmers can be reached at 650-348-4361 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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