Il Fornaio at the Hotel Sainte Claire
302 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113
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Why We Like This Place
In 1992, when the stately Sainte Claire was undergoing a major refurbishing, workmen broke through a false wall and stumbled onto something that had been completely forgotten for years: an exquisite little Mediterranean courtyard with graceful arches, hanging terracotta planters and intricate, jewel-like geometric tile work that an Italian noblewoman would envy. The crowning achievement of the multi-million-dollar project was enclosing the courtyard with a vaulted atrium ceiling. The restoration of this beautiful 1926 hotel returned the registered National Historic Landmark to its former glory.
Today, the hotel is called the Sainte Claire, and the dining and event rooms are operated by Il Fornaio. Together, they have resurrected the nostalgic glamour of the historic rooms. The most spacious is the luxurious Grande Ballroom, which features wrought-iron chandeliers and candelabras that complement the hotel’s Jazz-era sophistication. French doors topped with arched cutaways open to the Courtyard, the pinnacle of the hotel’s vintage majesty. Leafy saplings thrive in the dappled sunlight, while narrow arched leaded-glass windows add Deco flair. A curved marble-topped bar is shared with the adjacent Palm Room, named for the potted palms spread throughout the lounge-like space. Decked out in dark wood, gold-leafed moldings and velvet furnishings, the Palm Room is reminiscent of the high-society clubs from the Roaring Twenties. With wrought-iron chandeliers hanging from a hand-painted leather beamed ceiling and a fire blazing in the hearth, the Palm Room makes a gracious setting for a cocktail hour. The Sala Del Vino, named for its rows of wine racks, is a stylish private dining room framed in glass. In the Sala Del Fornaio, the chef’s personal dining room, culinary accouterments are on display, and a wall of windows looks out to the boulevard.
Such appealing and diverse spaces present a variety of wedding scenarios. One possibility: Imagine saying your vows in the sunlit Courtyard. An opaque skylight casts a diffused glow, subtly highlighting the room’s rich granite floor. Follow the ceremony with a champagne toast, then serve cocktails and tasty appetizers in the Palm Room. Perhaps hire a pianist to entertain guests with old-time tunes on the Palm Room’s black baby grand. Continue the festivities with dinner and dancing in the Grande Ballroom. Finally, gather once more in the pretty Courtyard for that favorite wedding ritual—cutting the cake. If you’re staging an entire wedding weekend, why not have the rehearsal dinner and post-wedding brunch in the Sala Del Vino or Sala del Fornaio?
Flexibility and understated elegance are also in evidence when Il Fornaio hosts business events in any of their well-appointed, state-of-the-art conference rooms on the second floor.
Il Fornaio is a full-service restaurant/caterer, offering packages at price levels for every kind of event, business or pleasure. And eating the authentic Old World dishes brought to you by Il Fornaio is a pleasure all its own. Their culinary creations blend the fresh bounty of seasonal foods with Italian flavors, accompanied by their award-winning, fresh-baked bread and olive oil. The Sainte Claire can also accommodate all your out-of-town guests, while you and your new spouse lounge in the Jacuzzi tub in your own junior suite. If you’re looking for an all-in-one facility that can handle everything with a touch of class, Il Fornaio at the Sainte Claire could be the place for you.
Max. Seated Indoors: 300
Max. Seated Outdoors: 160
Max. Seated Indoors: 350
Max. Seated Outdoors: 80
Max. Standing Indoors: 350
Max. Standing Outdoors: 80
|Max. Seated: 350|
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Courtyard holds up to 160 seated guests; other indoor arrangements can be made to accommodate up to 300 seated guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: Various rooms hold 120–350 seated without a dance floor or 80–300 with one. The courtyard seats 80 outdoors.
MEETING CAPACITY: There are 8 rooms which hold 35–350 seated theater-style or 24–165 seated classroom-style.
Fees & Deposits
For weddings, a $1,500 nonrefundable deposit is required 2 weeks after making reservations. The estimated event balance is payable 3 working days prior to the event; the balance is due at the event’s conclusion. The Courtyard rental fee is $750. Three all-inclusive wedding packages include hors d’oeuvres, champagne toast, wine with served meals, cake cutting, tax and service charges. Wedding packages start at $85/person. Menus can be customized. Luncheons start at $20/person and dinners start at $30/person. Tax, alcohol and a 20% service charge are additional.
For other special events, deposits range $250–1,500 depending on the room and services selected. Meals and cocktail/hors d’oeuvres parties vary in price. Meeting packages include a continental breakfast, lunch and 2 mid-meeting breaks and room rental; call for more details.
Year-round, daily, anytime until 1am. Saturday weddings in the Grande Ballroom usually take place 10am–4:30pm or 6pm–1am.
BYO w/ Corkage Fee
Special Events, Parties
Catering: provided by Il Fornaio, no BYO
Wheelchair AccessWheelchair Accessible
Site ViewsNo View
Venue TypeBanquet Hall/Events Facility
Alcohol: provided, or wine and champagne corkage CBA
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