San Jose Landmark: Hotel De Anza's Refresh

The 85-year-old property's buff-up is now complete.

DIVE INTO HISTORY: Many eyes will be on Santa Clara come Feb. 7 -- the date of Super Bowl XIX, natch -- which means that many travelers will be bedding down in area hotels ahead of the big game. One of the most historic of the region's hotels is the built-in-1931 Hotel De Anza, a downtown icon that's not only known for its vintage mien but two distinctive outward features: The neon-glowing sign on top and the painted diver on the side. If you've strolled the downtown at any time over the last few decades you likely have seen one or both, while locals count the quirky visuals as part of that San Jose vibe. So when a fan of the sign and/or swimmer heard that Destination Hotels, the owner of the historic property, was going to treat the hotel to a refresh, there surely had to be some pause regarding what might happen to the pair of building-based icons. Take heart, adorers of all things historic as well as travel-sweet touchstones: Both are in place still and the refresh of the property, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is complete. 

ROARING '20S: This was one of the principal aesthetics that design firm HFS Concepts4 kept in mind during the update, while keeping in mind that the Hotel De Anza's 100 rooms should come with the expected modern conveniences (they do). Art Deco, as a notion, arrived on the timeline just a pinch after the Roaring '20s, and it, too, has a place in the look of the hotel, which keeps a contemporary character even with some nods to the past. So let's get down to it, jazz babies: Where can you get your Jazz Age cocktails, and, on occasion, actual jazz? The hotel's Hedley Club Lounge.

THE DIVING LADY, by the by, has been a fixture at the hotel's west-facing exterior wall since 1951. Have a guess as to what she initially promoted? The property's heated pool, which was all the rage back in the day. The pool has vamoosed but the 25-foot diver remains. Remains, of course, as a retro avatar of the hotel, but also of the downtown itself.

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