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“Only reason to stay here is to fish, maybe not even then” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Cardinal Village Resort

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Cardinal Village Resort
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321 Cardinal Road, Bishop, CA 93514   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Bishop
San Diego, California
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Only reason to stay here is to fish, maybe not even then”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

Stayed in Topsy Turvey in Late Sept 2012. These are housekeeping cabins, as in you do your own housekeeping. I've stayed in housekeeping cabins before, but this was the first with threatening signs about cleaning up and what it will cost you if you don't. It's not like the cabin was pristine when we checked in, everything about it was dingy. The cabin lived up to its name, it is so dilapidated and out of square that the front door will hardly close (difficult to lock) and we could not get the screen door closed at all. Overall the cabin is shabby and run down. I like to stay places with character, but this cabin had inferior character. For what you get it is significantly overpriced.

Outside the cabin is a fire pit and charcoal BBQ (bring your own or buy wood and charcoal at the resort store). The main room has a twin bed, a table/chairs to eat at, a wall heater (works just fine) and an arm chair. The kitchen appeared original 1900's except the applicances and was perhaps the most interesting room in the cabin. It has a decent electric stove, a full size frig, a kitchen sink with a wooden drain board and a collection of old pots, pans, dishes, and glasses (all of which were marginally clean), a coffee maker (bring your own coffee and filters, but how you are suppose to know which filters the coffee maker will need before you get there is mystery to me) and a toaster. You should also bring your own pot holder(s) if you expect to cook. I could not find any and used one of the bath towels instead. The bedroom has a double bed and a chair. There is a single overhead light above the bed, which along with the antler light above the twin bed in the main room, are the only lights in the place bright enough to read a map. The bathroom is not beautiful, it has a sink with separate hot and cold taps with a shelf beside it, a toilet that is tempermental, a drop-in single shower and the hot water heater. At least the shower delivers quick hot water. The cabin has limited electricity (I don't recall seeing any 3-prong plugs).

I chose Cardinal because it was off the beaten path and hoped for a quiet, restfull two night stay. Having no TV, no wifi, no in room phone, no cell phone service was ok with me. Unfortunately I did not get a much sleep the two nights spent there and was truly thankful to leave. The folks in the cabin behind us spent half the night outside playing cards, games and talking. The walls and windows (even closed) do nothing to block the noise from the adjacent cabins,. The guests in the cabin next to us debated through the night whether to stay or go, going back and forth between their cabin and their vehicle, slamming doors of both. Eventually about 1 or 2 am they decided to go. Can I blame the cabin because the people next door were noisy? Yes! Our windows were closed, but we heard everything like it was happening inside our cabin.

But my real complaint is with the bedroom and the bed. The bedroom was so small I could barely sqeeze between the bed and wall to get into the bed, as a matter of fact the filmsy window curtain usually came with me. By the way, I am a size 6 and can fit through small spaces. The mattress on the bed slopes to the center. The bedsprings creak so loudly that every time either my husband or I rolled over, the NOISE FROM THE BED WOKE ME UP.

The grounds of the resort consist of a collection of cabins and trailers, which appeared to be semi-permanent. The owners seem nice enough and the cafe does a booming business. There is a small pond where people were fishing. The gounds don't invite exploration. No pets are allowed, but be aware that at least two large dogs roam freely near the entrance.

Lastly, the trees that overhung our parking space by the cabin dripped sticky sap all over our car. The first thing we did upon leaving was to stop at a gas station in Bishop and clean the windows so we could see out.

Cardinal Village is an interesting location, and I was hoping for an idylic location, however if this "resort" was a movie, it would be "Deliverance" rather than "A River Runs Through It".

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
auntiemamahead, Owner at Cardinal Village Resort, responded to this review, January 21, 2014
Dear sdtravelertoo,
First, We would like to apologize for an extremely delayed response to your review. We have only today signed up with TripAdvisor as a business. Now we are authorized to respond.
Secondly, we would like to apologize on behalf of Cardinal Village for your unpleasant experience on your 2012 visit.
The cabin you chose for your stay is a gold miner's summer cabin built in 1903. We have done renovations on many of the cabins and can fully understand why you can hear through the walls. Their construction methods were void of insulation and quite different from what today's building codes would require! The cabin originally had no electricity and no plumbing. Everything has been retrofit over the years in an attempt to make them more comfortable to modern day travelers.
Hungry Packer might have been a better choice for you as it was built according to current building codes in 1995.
Running a multifaceted family business, as we do, is a tricky thing. We do the best we can with what we've got to work with. Because we are unable to be everywhere at once, it is very helpful to have guests let us know when they find things missing, unclean or out of order.
The kitchen is generally equipped with (flat bottomed) coffee filters as well a a hot pad. That was a housekeeper's oversight that I regret.
The double mattress has since been replaced with a new mattress in Topsy Turvy. (Thank you for pointing that out.)
I am sorry that the housekeeping sign read as a threat to you. That is surely not our intention and in 15 years has never been described to us as such.
The dripping from the aspen trees occurs when there is an aphid attack on the tree. Just part of being in the mountains.
The semi-permanent trailers at the far edge of the property are where we house our employees in the summer months.
Generations of families have returned again and again--sharing stories of their forts and adventures and their first fish caught at Cardinal Village! And many people return happily to Topsy Turvy year after year and love it as if it were their own.
While a river does, actually, run through Cardinal Village I can see that we did not even begin meet that measure of a movie for you. But Deliverance is a mean spirited and unfair indictment to make against a decent family that pours their collective heart and soul into seeing to it that their guests enjoy a delightful summer holiday in the mountains!
I'm sorry you were disappointed with your stay. But I am more sorry for memories missed by our would-be guests that were turned away by your bitter assessment of our family run business.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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32 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, CA
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

For dedicated fishermen or photographers, this is the place, however I think at $170 a night ( tax included) it was overpriced. As a photographer, I was only ten minutes away from North Lake as well as finding great shots of the aspens right on the property.. You couldn't ask for a more idyllic location with the cabins situated amongst the aspens. The cafe (now serving only breakfast and lunch) and small store is conveneint. Breakfast and coffee was good and fair price though the hash browns were way too salty. The cabin we stayed in, named Topsy Turvey, had a full kitchen (no microwave) supplied with pots and pans, dishes and silverware, oven and full sized fridge with good freezer. Since there is no garbage disposal, the food waste goes in the waste basket whiich isn't emptied until you leave. The carpet was badly stained, pretty shabby. The bedroom was so small that there's barely enough room for the bed and no bedside tables and no reading lamps though it does have a wonderfully comfortable rockng chair. The single bed is in the main living area and does have a reading lamp. Both beds were comfortable. Each cabin has there own BBQ and fireplace. There is WiFi in the cafe area only. No cell phone reception, no TV. All in all, I loved the grounds and location, owners are friendly but next time I'll put up with fifteen or twenty minutes of driving and stay in Bishop for half the price.

Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Encinitas, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

Very friendly and helpful. I just needed a few things at the store but if in need they have just about everything you'll need for your trip..groceries to fishing gear to bundles of wood. I didn't stay at the lodge but would not hesitate to.

They have WiFi too!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

This place is great. A family run business and it shows. Great owners, friendly, accomodating, went out of their way to make you feel welcome and at home. Very service oriented. Great place to turn the kids loose and let them explore. Great little cafe and general store meets all your needs from tackle, gifts, to the basics. Rooms are comfortable, well stocked and maintained. Fishing impound pond is a wonderful spot to teach kids to fish and wander. Bishop Creek nearby is challenging and excellent fishing for both fly and bait fishing. The historical context of the old mine nearby and this site originally being the mining camp is right up our alley if you like to explore old mines on your daily hike. Great spot to fish, hike, explore, or just relax. A good jumping off point for day trips to Mammoth, the high country, the town of Bishop, and other streams and lakes nearby. If you don't care about fancy hotels, and want to pile the kids and grandkids all aong for a great outdoor experience with the comforts of home (and no TV), at a reasonably priced resort, this is the place. Highly recommend.

Room Tip: All the cabins are located to give you your own deck or outdoor space and a certain amount of privac...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2012

We have stayed here in this vintage gold-mining settlement turned cozy-cabin retreat over the years many times and have only experienced amazing hospitality, cool scenery, lovely memories, great hikes, fantastic cafe breakfasts, and so much more! This is THE place you'll get the best hamburger you've ever tasted! The rustic cabins are full of character, charming windows and perfect, cozy rooms. Best place to take kids, or hide away in a romantic one-room cabin. Love the potential for multiple family gatherings and quiet fishing spots, horseback rides, and your own fire pit. Amazing, sweet, rustic, charming!

Room Tip: We've been in almost all of the cabins. Tell your needs when you call and they'll suggest t...
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yorba Linda, California
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2011

Kinda lengthy, but hope it helps. I have been traveling throughout the Eastern Sierras ever since I was in my Moms belly. It is a very special place for me and my family, in fact we named our son after the main town in the valley, (yes we are a little nutty and no it’s not Mammoth!). Anyway, we had planned on camping but with temps in the 20s at night, we (my wife, daughter [4], and son [1]) decided it was best to have a little more substantial shelter than a tent. After much debate we settled on Cardinal Lodge. Having passed it literally hundreds of times (driving and hiking) I knew the location was awesome. We stayed in the two bedroom "Moonlight" cabin. It was, as the plaque stated on the wall, built in 1906 and used as a bunkhouse during the Mining days of the lodge. Situated no more than 20 feet from Bishop creek (caught a nice 10" trout right in front), with a small meadow all our own, the location was to die for. Bishop and I took an early morning walk to the nearby waterfall coming out from North Lake above, and Gianna loved fishing in their private pond. The service was great as well. Everyone was nice, made us feel welcome and they even let us borrow a highchair from the restaurant for Bishop. Out front, we had a fire pit, Weber charcoal grill, picnic table, and chairs on a level gravel bed about 15ft square with a nice porch to sit under next to the cabin. Inside, the cabin was, well, I guess rustic would be the word to describe it. Really, it just seemed kinda old, not dirty though (as I recall, my first comment to Janelle was that it was down right dumpy). There were two bedrooms separated in the middle by a living/dining room. The kitchen is kinda squeezed in the the back of the cabin. One room had a queen sized bed and the other has two twins. Janelle and I took the queen bed, which was adequate, in that it didn't prevent sleep (Bishop did that), but not super comfy either. The twin beds in the other room however looked like torture devices. They must have been left overs from the bunk house days, with squeaky old school springs and thin mattresses. One was like being in a hammock! Gianna had the room too herself since Bishop was with us, and the bed was actually perfect for her. It bowed just enough in the middle that it kept her from rolling out (it was 4.5 feet high!) yet she was as cozy as a bug. For a grown up sized person though, I think it would be a back breaker. The kitchen was fine, though the dishes, glasses and silverware were all miss matched and there was only one large plate (not a problem since we used paper plates anyway). The bathroom was kinda dingy,again, not dirty just old, but everything worked as it should. The heater did its job well, though it is a beast that is fully exposed so we had to be diligent with the little one. One other thing of note was the cabin seemed to be sinking on one side. Literally, one half of the cabin was sloped a good six inches. it was like walking on a roof. Bishop was just learning to walk at the time and he would glide sideways like a drunken sailor (quite funny looking back now). All in all we had a great time and like I have mentioned, everything worked as it should. We paid over $200 a night to stay there and, really, that seems like too much for the condition of the cabin. I am conflicted here, because the location couldn’t be more perfect, and despite the old, dingy feel to it, everything worked fine, we had a great time and would consider staying again. I would definitely recommend it, just know that you will pay for the location and don’t expect the Ritz. What you can expect is breathtaking scenery, clean mountain air, friendly staff and who knows, since I released the fish I caught, you may catch dinner right out your door.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, CA
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2011

We spent two nights in the Bottleneck cabin last summer. First, the good - the setting was AMAZING - very private, surrounded by aspen, creek running a couple feet from the cabin. The bad - well, I was expecting no frills (it's the cheapest cabin at $85, and has no bathroom - and the owners are straightforward on the phone and website about what to expect), but good lord, those mattresses were awful. We're talking 30 year old summer camp mattresses. If I return to that cabin I'll bring my own sleeping pad. Their other cabins are out of my price range at $200+, so I can't comment on their condition. The pancakes at the restaurant are legendary, and worth a trip even if you don't stay the night there.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Cardinal Village Resort

Address: 321 Cardinal Road, Bishop, CA 93514
Location: United States > California > Bishop
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Bishop
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We offer 11 housekeeping cabins. Each cabin has a full kitchen equipped with kitchen utensils as well as bedding, towel sets and unique bars of glycerin soap. Easy access to stream and lake fishing. The cafe is open 8-3 seven days a week. Very kid friendly! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Cardinal Village Hotel Bishop

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