The Sainte Claire Hotel (302 S. Market St., 408/295-2000, www.thesainteclaire.com , $155) offers big-city-style accommodations, starting with the elegant block you approach on the street. Inside, luxury fabrics and upscale appointments follow you up to your room. Standard guest rooms are small but attractive, with carved wood furniture and rich linens and draperies. The suites are more luxurious—if you can afford to rent the top floor, you’ll get a suite much larger than the homes most locals can afford. Amenities in all rooms include a flat-screen television with DVD player, a CD/MP3 player, free Wi-Fi, plush robes, and turn-down service.
For a taste of true Silicon Valley  luxury, stay at The Fairmont San Jose (170 S. Market St., 408/998-1900, www.fairmont.com/sanjose , $150–180). With a day spa and a limousine service, it’s no surprise that the 731 guest rooms at the Fairmont, though plentiful, are something special to behold (and sleep in). Even the standard guest rooms have plenty of space, elegant fabrics and appointments, and a marble-clad private bathroom with a separate shower and bathtub. Of the two towers that comprise the Fairmont, the South Tower has the more luxurious rooms (not that it matters much).
Consumer culture takes a turn for the absurd at the Hotel Valencia Santana Row (355 Santana Row, 408/551-0010, www.hotelvalencia.com , $225). This top-tier hotel sits right in the midst of the prestigious shopping mall incongruously named for a local musical legend. Walk into a guest room at the Valencia and you’ll wonder if you’ve somehow been teleported into Los Angeles . Ultra-modern elegance and convenience includes everything from Internet-enabled phones on the desks to fuzzy black throw blankets on the beds. The lavish bathrooms with upscale toiletries help to make the hotel experience pleasing to all the senses.