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“Blast from the Past...except in the summer” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cardinal Hotel

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Cardinal Hotel
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   235 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 24 hotels in Palo Alto
Conyers, GA
Top Contributor
149 reviews 149 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
“Blast from the Past...except in the summer”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

As long as you don't stay here in the heat of the summer, my wife and I find The Cardinal a great place to stay in Palo Alto. The place is a bit dated but that is part of the charm. the staff is warm and friendly. We have been coming here on and off for 28 years and have never had a problem.

We always stay somewhere else in the warmer months though...we are just too used to A/C.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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127 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    54
    47
    11
    8
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19
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
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English first
Reno, Nevada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2012

I'll agree that it's a step back in time, but not in price, just amenities. It reminded me of a motel out of the 60's. And I'll admit the staff was professional, but far less than warm and welcoming. The room was clean and tidy, but the furnishings were cheap and dingy. The lack of air conditioning made it necessary to open the window at night(visited during late spring), but the noise from the adjacent pub was still going strong well past midnight. And worst of all was the parking situation. They'll tell you about ample "free public" parking behind the hotel, but it's a small lot so you'll have to hunt for space in or around that lot or on the street. This can be difficult during the school year, and you need to be out of the space by 9am the next morning. And if you stay there, don't pay for the breakfast. They'll give you a voucher for the restaurant next door. You'll be much better off going to the Peninsula Creamery. You're paying for the location, but for the price you might consider the Sheraton or staying a little further away like in San Jose or Santa Clara.

Room Tip: Get a room away from the bar noise. The cheapest rooms have communal bath facilities.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Lutry, Switzerland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2012

My Thursday night stay was brief but absolutely charming. Like a step back in time. Nicely refinished bathroom and a very comfortable bed. The noise from the adjacent pub was gone by 11pm and I had no trouble sleeping with the window open. You can't beat this price for an excellent central Palo Alto location. And breakfast at Peninsula Creamery next door is also a treat. I will be back.

Room Tip: Ask for a room looking inwards for a quieter room.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2012

We went to a soccer game at Stanford Statium and needed to find a place to stay for the weekend and what luck, we found the Cardinal, It's a great place to stay, the rooms are very clean and the staff are very nice. It reminds me of a european style hotel, some of the rooms have to share a shower and bathroom. We did not as it was clearly stated which rooms had private facilities and picked one of those. A very convienient location, close to everything and the surrounding neigborhood has great places for food and drinks. During the week parking can be very tricky but on the weekends free parking is available at a nearby parking garage. We will certainly stay here again.

Room Tip: Higher corner rooms are quieter and if you are a couple try the deluxe room. It's located at the...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Palo Alto, CA
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

I would say I had an acceptable week-long stay at the Cardinal. The room was affordable and had everything I needed for a business visit to the area. However, there was nothing stellar about the staff or rooms that is worth noting. Plus the charge for the wifi was freaking annoyin......

Here is a summary of what I liked:
- Fun, historic hotel.
- Simple but well equipped rooms.
- GREAT location in downtown Palo Alto, near Caltrain, shopping, restaurants, etc.

And disliked:
- $5 for wifi access is redic in Silicon Valley, come on.
- Desk staff seems annoyed when you ask to store your luggage, check-out, check-in, whatever. It's just not welcoming.
- No AC (though they did have a ceiling fan), which was fine for the week I was there. I imagine it would be rough on the 3rd floor on hot summer nights - though I know that those are fairly rare on this part of the peninsula.

Anyway, I would stay again just because of the location and the great rates.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Reno, Nevada
2 reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2012

Clean, but minimal amenities. Staff was professional, but less than friendly. Lack of air conditioning required open window, but outside noise from adjacent pub made sleep difficult. Don't pay extra for the breakfast. Restaurant (Maxine's) is not part of hotel and the food is very poor. Parking requires searching for an open space on the street or one of the nearby public lots, and is limited to 2 hour increments between 8am and 5pm.

Room Tip: Make sure room includes bath.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2012

This was by far the cleanest hotel, with so much charm and character.
I liked being able to walk all over Palo Alto - I suspect on the weekends it could be loud, but we were there mid-week and it was fine.

A very cool hotel.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Cardinal Hotel

Address: 235 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301
Location: United States > California > Palo Alto
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#5 Romantic Hotel in Palo Alto
#8 Business Hotel in Palo Alto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Cardinal Hotel 2*
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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Also Known As:
Cardinal Hotel Palo Alto

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