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“Faded but functional glory” 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 26 Hotels in Palo Alto
St Paul, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Faded but functional glory”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012


We stayed at the hotel while attending wedding functions for a niece. The hotel was small and charming altho a little worn around the edges. However, it was in a very lively area of restaurants and bars which we enjoyed with other guests. The personnel at the hotel were very accomodating and friendly. I would certainly stay there again.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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132 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    56
    48
    13
    8
    7
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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 (36)
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English first
New YOrk
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

Hotel is very well located and it is charming. The staff seemed weary and less than pleased to greet us, which later made sense.

When I got back from dinner, I noticed that it was very loud outside my window. I looked out and realized that the room faces an alley lined with dumpsters used by the nearby restaurants and bars. Noise from the street, bars and alley ricochet around the alley all night. At midnight I went down to complain and saw in the poor woman's face that she deals with this on a regular basis. She mechanically offered me free earplugs.

I was awoken multiple times throughout the night - trucks backing up in the alley, barbacks throwing bags full of bottles away, etc. Someone's drilling as I write this at 6am.

Definitely recommend staying somewhere else while in the area.

Room Tip: Make sure you do not face the alley
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Davis, California
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

We spent Saturday night at this vintage hotel in downtown Palo Alto. The hotel is beautifully restored. Our room was small but really comfortable. We spent a few hours reading in the comfortable lobby. Lisa, the friendly desk clerk, made us feel very welcome. Because it was the weekend, we were able to park our car for free in the city garage across the street. The hotel is not air-conditioned and it was a warm day, but we left the window open and were comfortable. Our room faced Ramona street and the noise bothered me a little. I could have closed the window. It was so nice to be right downtown with the restaurants and shops.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Conyers, GA
Top Contributor
170 reviews 170 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
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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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
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:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Palo Alto
#5 Romantic Hotel in Palo Alto
#7 Business Hotel in Palo Alto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Cardinal Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 59
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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