San Jose’s new Signia by Hilton hotel has upscale vibe

Penni Schewe


Very last 12 months, I wrote that the closing of the Fairmont Resort was the stop of an era for downtown San Jose. Well, it is time to commence a new one particular, with the opening this week of the Signia by Hilton.

Yeah, it is going to take a although to get applied to “Signia” instead of “Fairmont,” but appropriate now we can be happy to have a place to get all through large downtown functions like San Jose Jazz Summer time Fest, Xmas in the Park, the Veterans Day Parade and Cinequest.

With the exception of some signal changes, the Sector Road lodge — which initially opened in 1987 — appears to be like the identical on the outside. But it’s a entire new planet inside with the renovated reception region and the lobby lounge, which is now called Aji Bar and Robata. The cream columns and dance ground of the Fairmont — a look charitably explained as “old elegance” — has been changed by wood-paneling, arched entry approaches and a horseshoe-shaped bar in the centre total with discreet retailers to cost your cellular phone.

SAN JOSE, CA – April 26: An inside view of the key entrance area of Signia by Hilton San Jose is photographed on April 26, 2022, in San Jose, Calif. (Dai Sugano/Bay Location News Group) 

The old two-top tables have been replaced by teams of comfy chairs and couches. There are tables where by the business-minded can break out a laptop computer, a fashionable “conversation pit” with a sofa that could seat a occasion of 20, and a couple of massive display screen TVs tucked absent. Taken jointly, it’s like a relationship amongst late ’70s layout and 21st century features.

The foods menu — devised by Government Chef Hans Lentz, who earlier labored in Dubai and Hawaii — is infused with Latin and Asian flavors, from the rooster wings cooked in a yuzu kosho honey glaze to the Wagyu beef sliders topped with fried avocado and queso fresco. The exact goes for the cocktails, like the mezcal-primarily based Negroni Rosita, the Margarita Picante (garnished with wasabi caviar on a plantain chip) and the Eastern Martini, a consider on the Vesper that consists of sake, citrus miso and chive oil.

You could be in for submit-pandemic sticker shock as all the cocktails on the menu are $17-$18 (and even a draft beer goes for $10-$11), but that seems to be starting to be the new usual at larger-finish joints. Also, it would be excellent to include a craft brew or two from just one of the locals like Camino, Narrative Fermentations or Clandestine. Definitely, that would be more intriguing for an out-of-town visitor than a Blue Moon or a Stella Artois.

SAN JOSE, CA – April 26: An interior see of Fountain Restaurant is photographed within Signia by Hilton San Jose on April 26, 2022, in San Jose, Calif. (Dai Sugano/Bay Spot Information Group) 

The modern renovation matches correctly with the vibe Hilton would like to generate with its elevated Signia manufacturer, but it truly began again in 2019 and was really a great deal finish when the pandemic shut every thing down in March 2020. The area was dark and unused for a lot more than two yrs, as the lodge went into and out of personal bankruptcy in excess of the past 12 months.

But probably opening Aji now in its place of then was definitely a blessing. We can preserve different our fond recollections of great instances at the Fairmont and start creating new ones at the Signia.

Surprise COMMENDATION: The San Jose Town Council presented a commendation Tuesday to the Bay Space Home furnishings Financial institution, a six-12 months-previous nonprofit that provides family members in need with a bit made use of furnishings donated by motels, higher education campuses, tech providers and other resources. The nonprofit, founded in 2016 by retired tech product sales person Ray Piontek, has diverted about 23,000 items of home furniture from heading to the landfill — about 1,400 tons that would fill up 56 garbage trucks.

Bay Place Household furniture Financial institution board member Joe Noonan was at the conference for that item, and when it concluded, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo advised him to stick around. Noonan was offered with an unanticipated commendation for his get the job done as an advocate and winner for San Jose. (It was unforeseen for Noonan, but I’m guessing not for the dozen followers, such as his father, Joe Noonan Sr., who confirmed up at the council chambers.)


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