Step back in time and experience the ambiance and “cool jazz” feel of one of America’s most iconic hotels. Originally planned to be called “The San Jose Hotel”, the hotel’s name was changed to be named after explorer Juan Bautista de Anza. Construction began in the Roaring 20’s with the hotel officially opening on February 27, 1931. The event was presided over by San Jose Community Hotel Corporation president Alexander Hart and many of San Jose’s most prominent citizens.
It didn’t take long for word of San Jose’s cool new accommodations to get out, and Hotel De Anza soon became a favorite destination for visiting celebrities and political leaders, including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, boxing great Jack Dempsey and jazz icon Cab Calloway. With its downtown location near the SAP Center, commitment to excellence and storied history, American icons have continued to stay at the luxury boutique hotel over the years. The De Anza is a favorite of pop stars and politicians.
Throughout the 1940s, Hotel De Anza remained a popular destination for not only the rich and famous, but for couples who wanted to waltz and jitterbug to a live orchestra. It was no surprise when the top floor of the hotel became home to one of San Jose’s most popular radio stations. United Broadcasting’s KEEN Radio made its inaugural broadcast from the Hotel De Anza on June 21, 1947.
The first broadcast featured comedian Red Skelton. Years later Golden Globe award-winning actor and famed stand-up comedian Eddie Murphy stayed in the De Anza’s top floor penthouse during the filming of Beverly Hills Cop III.
In 1951, the beloved 25-foot “diving lady” was originally painted on the West side of the hotel. The beautiful artwork has become a tourist attraction and local favorite. The building’s rooftop neon sign also remains. As a significant part of San Jose’s identity, the Hotel De Anza was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
The hotel’s ambiance, Art Deco charm and jazz age energy exists to this day. In fact, every Friday and Saturday night (8:30 – 11 pm) you can hear live jazz performers at the De Anza’s Hedley Club.