I stayed in this hotel as part of a group business trip to Stanford in Dec 2011.
The hotel is well located, just off of University Ave in Palo Alto, easily within walking distance to Stanford and close to a number of good restaurants and coffee shops.
The Cardinal Hotel is a boutique hotel stuck in the 1920s, when it was originally built.
This means that the hotel has a beautiful sweeping lobby that welcomes people into the building and is perfect for meeting friends. There is also a single elevator servicing the hotel, with an old-style double door (you have to manually slide the outer door open yourself when the elevator appears). While the elevator is quaint and adds atmosphere, it is slightly inconvenient if you are trying to maneuver large bags into the small entrance. Unfortunately, this hotel has more problems than advantages. My major concerns:
• Some of the rooms have a shared bathroom. Further, they don’t tell you in advance whether you will get one of these rooms. If you are looking for a dorm room or a budget hotel, that is ok, but for those of us who expect privacy given the prices this is totally unacceptable. As a business traveler, I have never stayed in a hotel that expects me to share a bathroom.
• The windows are single pane windows that do absolutely nothing to block either sound or outside temperatures. You can clearly hear every conversation or vehicle on the street below, which can interfere with a good night’s sleep. Given the hotel is at the corner of two fairly busy intersections, this is a major problem if you actually have to get up in the morning.
• There is a single source of heat in the rooms (and no cooling) – a water radiator. While I don’t really care whether the heat is from air or water, I am concerned that there is no thermostat associated with the radiator. That means that you have to get up in the middle of the night to manually turn the heat on and off to adjust the temperature within the room. Unacceptable.
• There is no parking. None. At all. There is a public lot a half a block away and street parking a couple of blocks away, but the hotel has absolutely no parking associated with it. When I asked about this, I was told, “We are downtown.” Well, having stayed in hotels in downtown San Francisco, Washington DC, San Jose, Seattle, and many other cities, this is an excuse not a reason. For whatever cause, the hotel has chosen not to develop any parking or provide a valet service for their guests. Unacceptable.
• The hotel uses keys instead of card locks. While this is not, in and of itself, a problem, the fact that the doors do not close – much less lock – behind you is a significant security and fire concern. It has been so long since I have been in a hotel that does not have this basic security feature, I thought it was code. Apparently not. Combine that with the fact that other than a single, extremely old deadbolt, there is no way to secure the door from the inside and you have a place that you want to avoid if you are security conscious.
Other minor inconveniences:
• The rooms are small. Not horribly small, but having to shoehorn yourself into a small room, with a double bed, is not what I would expect for a decent business-oriented room. For example, there is a single small shelf in the bathroom that is not sufficient to hold all standard toiletries, and if you sit at the desk, you back into the bed.
• The internet does not work reliably. Some members of our party had significant problems maintaining a connection when trying to email moderate sized files. This was ultimately resolved by using a different network connection at a different business..
• The hotel staff appeared hurried and disengaged when we tried to obtain information. It is almost as if they felt they have better things to do than answer customer questions. They also don’t have a concierge available at any time during the day to help address questions / concerns.
In my mind, any one of my serious concerns is reason enough to not stay here – unless you are trying to save money (although the hotel is not particularly inexpensive)- and I would strongly encourage people to consider alternate accommodations.
- Also Known As:
- Cardinal Hotel Palo Alto
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience Old World charm in vibrant downtown Palo Alto. Built in 1924, the Cardinal was Palo Alto’s premiere Hotel. Today the ambiance remains; the gracious lobby still provides a delightful glimpse of Old Palo Alto. Enjoy the hotel’s warm atmosphere and proximity to world class dining, shopping and Stanford University. ... more less
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