The 2016 award for best auto repair shop goes to Portola Valley Garage, a specialist in the repair of European vehicles, including the exotic. The garage now has diagnostic and programming software for European makes such as Bentley, Rolls Royce and Aston Martin (from England) and Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati (from Italy), owner Tom Ramies said. A Ford owner called the place "an excellent neighborhood garage that can fix or upgrade anything from a WWII Willy's Jeep to a vintage Ferrari to an expedition-ready Landcruiser or just a plain Honda Accord."
4170 Alpine Road, Portola Valley | (650) 851-7442 | pvgarage.com
Spend a few hours at Watercourse Way and you'll leave in a luxurious haze of relaxation and rejuvenation. The spa is clean, inviting and quiet and the masseuses friendly and expert. The prices are somewhat high, but the experience is well worth the splurge. Private rooms with bubbling hot tubs and showers are an excellent place to steal away from the stressors of Silicon Valley.
165 Channing Ave., Palo Alto | (650) 462-2000 | watercourseway.com
The Menlo Park Barber Shop may be less than a year old, but its vintage barbershop decor and familiar faces lend it an old-school, nostalgic vibe, as if it's been around town much longer. Started by Golden Shears veteran Sam Valero in November 2015, the shop recruited several barbers who were longtime local barbers at the Golden Shears on Santa Cruz Avenue, including Woody Jackson and Yvonne Soliz, before the shop shuttered in January 2016. "We really came up with a barbershop that people want to be in," he said. People often have open conversations between chairs as they're getting their haircuts, and this summer, several youngsters will get "cool lessons" by helping out around the shop. "It's just a fun environment," he said. "Everybody comes in and leaves in a better mood. That's our goal."
2100 Avy Ave., Menlo Park | (650) 391-9008 | menloparkbarbershop.com
For the second consecutive year, Ladera Cleaners, located in the Ladera Country Shopper mall, has won the Readers' Choice award. Dry cleaning is the category, but Ladera Cleaners also makes alterations, including wedding dress alterations, and provides mending and reweaving services. One-day service is available.
3130 Alpine Road, Ladera Valley | (650) 854-2291 | laderacleaners.net
FITNESS CLASSES, GYM, YOGA
Catering to clients of all ages and skill levels, Studio Rincon offers classes for beginners to advanced students. This year, Studio Rincon won the Readers' Choice Award in three categories: fitness classes, gym, and yoga. Rincon stands for "nook" as the owners of Studio Rincon sought to create an inclusive community, where everyone can feel welcome. From Boot Camp to Zumba and gentle yoga, Studio Rincon is a favorite with its customers for the large selection of classes it offers everyday. Owner Bill Petrin says Rincon offers "a good variety and a good value" in "a warm and welcoming community of staff and guests."
3536 Alameda De Las Pulgas, Menlo Park | (650) 861-0242 | studiorincon.com
Ladera Garden and Gifts is the 2016 winner in two categories: favorite florist and nursery. Mercedes and Juan Navarro have owned the business since 1981, and recently opened a second location in Belmont in the Carlmont Village Shopping Center. Juan's experience as a nurseryman is complemented by Mercedes' unique floral arrangement skills. The full service nursery has a variety of stunning flowers, plants and related wares while the gift section has items for the home ranging from art pieces, dishes, and glassware to candles, soaps and lotions.
3130 Alpine Road, Suite 380, Portola Valley | (650) 854-3850 | laderagardenandgifts.com
Habibi's Hair Salon won for the favorite hair salon because of its excellent customer service. Whether you're there for a trim, color, or special hair treatment, the family atmosphere at Habibi's Hair Salon makes customers consistently comfortable. Many customers return because of owner Ines Acosta and her team, who provide quality care at an affordable price. They offer free consultations before any hair treatment to ensure customers get what they want. Ms. Acosta says that Habibi salon also works for the community, and volunteers by styling the hair of veterans in rehabilitation services.
1925 Menalto Ave., Menlo Park | (650) 847-1815 | habibissalon.com
Stanford Park Hotel is the winner of the 2016 Readers' Choice Award for best hotel. People who stay at the 162-room Menlo Park hotel often say that they "don't feel like customers, they feel like guests," said Patrick Lane, the hotel's vice president and general manager. The hotel boasts in-house entertainment, including a guitarist who plays most evenings. Patio fire pits offer hotel guests a warm outdoors spot to relax even when nights get chilly. Recently, the hotel expanded the hours of the fitness center to be open 24-7, a boon for some of the hotel's jetlagged East Coast business folk known to work out at 3 a.m. California time, Mr. Lane said. In the future, the hotel has plans to upgrade its pool area to feel more like a "luxury resort," complete with a loggia offering a big-screen TV, poolside food and beverage services and an enhanced whirlpool.
100 El Camino Real, Menlo Park | (866) 241-2431 | stanfordparkhotel.com
A Touch of Elegance offers clients a sanctuary for relaxation while providing high quality manicures and pedicures. This year, it won for favorite manicure/pedicure. Customers rave about its customer service: the staff consistently ensures that customers are comfortable and pleased with the service provided. Manager Hanh Ly says that people think of A Touch of Elegance as "the happy salon," and that the difference that sets the salon apart from others is that "we really care about the health and results of the client's nails and don't just try to get them in and out."
1150 Crane St., Menlo Park | (650) 321-0679 | touchofe.com
Since 1948, Guy Plumbing has been providing local families and businesses with plumbing services and supplies. "We have grown out of a small garage in West Menlo Park into a company that offers quality plumbing and a part supply store for professionals and homeowners nationwide," owner Dave Guy says. The company has won this Readers' Choice Award many times, including the last three consecutive years. As a family-run business for four generations, Guy Plumbing has been helping loyal customers and their descendants for nearly 70 years.
1265 El Camino Real, Menlo Park | (650) 323-8415 | guyplumbing.com