clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Saudi Crown Prince is headed to Silicon Valley. One of its fanciest hotels is closed to the public. Coincidence?

Why can’t you stay at The Four Seasons this week?

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman
Fayez Nureldine / AFP / Getty Images
Shirin Ghaffary is a senior Vox correspondent covering the social media industry. Previously, Ghaffary worked at BuzzFeed News, the San Francisco Chronicle, and TechCrunch.

One of Silicon Valley’s most luxurious hotels is closed to the public for six days this week to make room for a VIP.

It’s a good bet that very important person is Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his entourage.

The Fours Seasons Silicon Valley, located in East Palo Alto, isn’t accepting reservations from Monday, April 2, through Saturday, April 7, according to the hotel’s director of rooms, Ehab Mekhael. Some guests who had previously reserved rooms are being moved to rival hotels in the area.

Hotel management is telling those relocated guests it needs the rooms to accommodate a “large VIP delegation” at the request of the U.S. Department of State, according to an email from the hotel staff obtained by Recode.

Here’s an excerpt from the email: “The State Department has approached the hotel for a large VIP delegation next week. Due to the hotel’s layout and location they’re adamant that we are the best fit for their high security needs which will be restricting the hotel and all outlets from other guests.”

This move comes at the same time that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Salman is visiting the West Coast area and meeting with tech leaders including Tim Cook, top Google executives and VCs.

A press rep for the State Department and the spokesperson for the Saudi Arabian Embassy did not respond to requests for comment when asked if the Saudi Crown Prince and his entourage were staying at the hotel. Four Seasons PR rep Malia O’Connor said the hotel wouldn’t disclose the names of individual guests.

The Saudi delegation effectively closed down the Plaza Hotel in New York this week, where they signed a memorandum of understanding with SoftBank to invest up to $200 billion in solar power development in the Crown Prince’s kingdom. The delegation was so big that they reportedly had to book additional rooms at the Four Seasons and St. Regis to host the group in its entirety.

This article originally appeared on

Sign up for the newsletter Today, Explained

Understand the world with a daily explainer plus the most compelling stories of the day.