We just spent on night at the General Palmer (GP), after having spent a nice at the Strater Hotel down the block. This hotel was nearly perfect. The location was perfect, right along main street. The train ran behind the hotel, so we got some great pics but were never bothered by the whistle.
The queen room was perfectly appointed and much bigger (perhaps due to less clutter, too) than at the Strater. We LOVED the vanity area and separate bathroom. As trivial as it may seem to some, one thing we loved were the amenities. The soap/shampoo/etc. were great, as were the fuzzy robes. The flat-screen TV was a nice addition. The CD alarm clock was a bit fancy for me, and I couldn't figure out how to turn it off in the morning! Other details, like the ceiling fan and stained glass transom, were just great.
The common areas were nearly as nice as at the Strater. There always seemed to be cookies, hot chocolate, cider and lemonade available near the counter. We all but skipped the continental breakfast, as there was nothing enticing.
Yes, the elevator is small. It is gold-plated and gorgeous, with a heavy iron retractable door, so I'd ask for help if I were a little old or frail. It just fit two adults and two suitcases, and we rarely waited for it. In fact, aside from transporting luggage, we just used the stairs.
The only fault we can find -- and it was enough to make us think again about coming back -- was the front desk help. One young girl who checked us in was wearing something like jeans and a hoodie and had some questionable-looking guy friends hanging around the desk. That and her casual attitude immediately set the tone. It was a world of difference from the Strater, where even the youngest receptionists were absolutely polite and polished. Not to be discouraged, we blew this off and enjoyed settling in our room. However, when we returned that night to sit in the lobby and enjoy some cider, she didn't acknowlege us at all as we walked through. We sat in a sitting room for a few mins. but couldn't enjoy our own conversation, as she was having a rather loud private conversation on her cell phone. Since this went on for a while, we retired to our room, sorry to have not been able to enjoy the lobby more.
Aside from the front desk staff and the continental breakfast (which, who comes for the food, anyway?), we loved the GP. Between this and the Strater, it's a hard choice. If you like solitude and don't mind possibly encountering sub-par staff, this is the place to be!