Ask a concierge: San Jose, California

Tips for business travel to the heart of Silicon Valley.

At the Fairmont San Jose, concierge Tavis Lampman taps into 10 years of experience to suggest what to do and where to dine when visiting this tech-centric city in the heart of California’s  Silicon Valley. Here he offers advice for business travelers.

What’s the most important thing for business travelers to pack when they’re heading to your city?

When you’re in the heart of Silicon Valley, you definitely want your technology devices to be ready for action. Pack cords, chargers and adapters. You’ll also want to take advantage of our phenomenal weather, so bring along outdoor and exercise attire.

What are your top restaurant recommendations for a business lunch or dinner?

Scott’s Seafood (185 Park Ave.; Ph: 408-971-1700) is a great restaurant in downtown San Jose. It has the right atmosphere for a refined business dinner, including a beautiful rooftop patio with views of downtown. For lively atmosphere, choose an eatery in San Pedro Square Market (87 N. San Pedro St.). The two-block market is packed with local restaurants and has a vibe that’s perfect for a relaxed business lunch or dinner.  The Grill on the Alley (172 S. Market St.; Ph: 408-294-2244), inside the Fairmont, has excellent service and elegant décor—perfect for a business dinner or special occasion.

 What’s one thing that always surprises guests about San Jose?

They’re surprised by the variety of shopping options in San Jose’s Westfield Valley Fair and Santana Row retail districts, which offer everything from luxury shops to popular brands.

If business travelers only have a few hours for leisure, what must they see?

Visit some of the Santa Cruz Mountains wineries with their variety of award-winning wines. Our hotel offers tours for enjoying an afternoon of wine tasting.

What’s the best place for outdoor exercise in your city?

We average more than 300 days a year of outdoor-worthy weather, so plan to get some fresh air and exercise during your stay. Biking and running trails in and around San Jose make it easy to get out and get moving.


Business know-how

Tavis Lampman

Concierge Tavis Lampman’s top tips for getting business right in San Jose:

  1. Be prepared for short meetings. Silicon Valley business culture moves fast, and that includes meetings that may last 30 minutes or less.
  2. Punctuality matters. Plan to arrive a few minutes early for meetings and appointments.
  3. Think twice before renting a car. San Jose has an extensive public transportation system; ride-sharing services and taxis are prevalent; and parking can be a challenge in some areas. Plus, Amtrak and Caltrain stations are within half a mile of our hotel—easy access for guests who want to go to San Francisco or other areas in Northern California.

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