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“Not convinced it was worth the money” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Cardinal Hotel

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Cardinal Hotel
235 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #7 of 26 Hotels in Palo Alto
oregon
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Not convinced it was worth the money”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2008

Spent three nights in a suite over Stanford graduation weekend.
Pros: convenient location to downtown Palo Alto and Stanford University, friendly staff, clean accomodations.
Cons: bathroom door would not shut (this problem was quickly resolved the following day with a replacement doorknob), horribly uncomfortable bed and sofabed, extremely noisy street (apparently the windows to our suite opened up to a couple of bars), stuffy and hot (non-airconditioned) room when we first arrived (but fortunately the evenings were cool so we kept the windows opened--unfortunately that meant lots of street/people noise until 2:30 in the morning). Fortunately I brought ear plugs with me. Iron did not work. Parking could be a challenge. Sometimes we got lucky with finding parking at city hall, sometimes we didn't. Funky elevator--we had to use it because my elderly parent could not manage her luggage on the stairway. We avoided the elevator as much as we could.

  • Liked — proximity to university
  • Disliked — street noise
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
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135 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
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binghamton, ny
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2008

you will look at the website and think ...oh historic hotel in downtown palo alto, very nice. but don't do it. there is no parking nearby (no matter what the website says -- there is a daily parking structure 3 blocks away, and street parking only, most of which is restricted to two hours). the front desk personnel are surly, bordering on depressed. my room smelled very strongly of mothballs. the food out of the vending machine was rancid (it tasted about 3 years old). even the free pen didn't work. Whatever updating the hotel did, they didn't do it on service or room decor. I would much rather have been at a motel.

  • Liked — didn't like anything...
  • Disliked — room stank of mothballs. horrifyingly.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2008

I stayed here for two nights recently (January 2008) in a "European style" room--shared bathroom and shower. I was REALLY worried about the idea of not having my own bathroom and shower. I spoke to the front desk before I booked, and they said that they don't ever get complaints about people waiting for the bathroom, etc.

I liked the Cardinal. The hotel has been around a long time--but it was clear that they remodeled...the elevator is still an old style one...I used the stairs. The room was clean and was finished in kind of an upscale, Marriott way. The room wasn't huge, and the bed was on the *firm* side. My room looked out over an alley, not too scenic, but I wasn't going to be looking out the window alot anyway. The garbage trucks came by both mornings at about 8am when I was on my way out. The room didn't have an iron, but I got one at the front desk and kept it in my room for the rest of my stay. During the time I was there, I never had to wait for either the bathroom or the shower, so that was good.

The location was awesome...half a block to University where all the shops and restaurants are (check out Tomo Sushi...I was really impressed). I would stay at the Cardinal again.

  • Liked — The location and the casual upscale style
  • Disliked — Old elevator
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco Bay Area, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2007

This place is a terrific bargain, and right in the center of downtown -- you can park your car (or walk from the CalTrain stop!), and then never drive again during your trip to Palo Alto. It has what's called "faded elegance" -- the hotel world has moved up while it stayed the same -- but for the price you pay it's a fantastic bargain. Nice rooms, well kept, and a beautiful lobby. We stayed in a room with a shared bathroom, something that would drive some people nuts but which I thought just added color to the trip. Besides, there was never anyone else competing with us for the bathroom!

The negative reviews of this place seem to come from people who expect it to be a suburban-type, sterile, insulate-yourself-from-the-outside-world hotel. The Cardinal is a city hotel: it's in the center of town, you can hear bar crowds, etc. But if you like that (or at least don't mind it), and you like walking, this is a great place and a great bargain.

  • Liked — walkable access to Palo Alto downtown
  • Disliked — ? for the price I loved it.
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2007

I am quite surprised about the negative reviews on this page. This is a very nice quaint hotel in the downtown area - perfect if you want to be close to restaurants and shops. On the other hand, If you prefer the sterile atmosphere of a hotel chain, you should not stay here. But if you look for an authentic european style hotel restored to its original splendor, this is the right place for you. The hotel has undergone extensive renovations and I cannot confirm the negative comments on this page. My room was very clean and comfy, the staff friendly and attentive and the overall stay a real pleasure. There is also a great italian restaurant just next door which can be recommended for dinner.

  • Liked — location, entrance hall
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2007

if you like staying in town, which I do, as a city planner, then this is a great deal and a great place. You can walk everywhere including the Caltran station to take you to and from SFO. No car needed! I found the hotel charming. It you want cookie cutter hotels on the freeway, don't stay here. I love the lobby and the coffee and found the staff to be just right: helpful if I had a question, invisible otherwise. Oh, and the price is great.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — fee for internet
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2007

I am from Palo Alto and live in Washington DC now, but whenever I return to the bay area to visit, I stay at the Cardinal Hotel. It is beautiful and serene, and the staff are helpful. The location can't be beat, right downton with every amenity at your door. I didn't even need to rent a car because it was so convenient. I love the fact that they have European-style rooms with shared baths (but each room has its own vanity with sink & mirror). It fits in well with my environmental philosophy: Also, they have bicycle parking in an alcove in the lobby - how more bay area can you get?! The elevator is old-fashioned style with a door you slide closed. It's a real gem of a hotel and an asset to the city of Palo Alto. Stay here and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

  • Liked — The ambiance: very old-California elegant
  • Disliked — No easy chair in the room, just an uncomfortable straight-backed chair
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Palo Alto
#5 Romantic Hotel in Palo Alto
#6 Business Hotel in Palo Alto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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