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“Saw no ghosts”
Review of Hotel San Carlos

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Hotel San Carlos
Ranked #95 of 174 Hotels in Phoenix
Reviewed October 16, 2011

First of all, if you are a high maintenance type of person, you'll hate this hotel. It is old, and its charm is in that it isn't a polished gem. And unpolished it is!

However, it is a historic hotel, with a history, and a unstated beauty that I, for one, was quite fond of. Throughout the hotel, different vignettes of former yesteryear guests and celebrities are situated on walls by the elevators. There is even a tour the hotel gives (for a small fee) of the ghosts also cohabit the hotel.

Some small distractions. The water vacillates between hot and cold, the room are not very sound proof, there is a limited selection of channels on the television. On the upside, the staff is courteous and professional. The mattresses are outstanding. Even the housekeeping staff are polite, and respectful. Rooms are small, but adequate.

Hey, I liked this hotel. See it for what it is and not for what it isn't. I only regret not taking my wife. It would have been a fun stay over.

Room Tip: On the third floor, but the ice bin, is a purified water dispenser. It tastes much better than the t...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank Pereirra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela H, General Manager at Hotel San Carlos, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2016

Dear Guest,
Your review is greatly appreciated ! we hope to see you in the near future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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237 - 243 of 345 reviews

Reviewed October 10, 2011

I am a young businesswoman, and I stayed at the Hotel San Carlos because it was conveniently located. That's about the only good thing I can say about it, other than it truly was historic. I loved the history, but there is a line between historic and filthy. When I reached my room at 11pm after a late check-in, there was an extensive puddle of brown water on the ledge under my mirror. The sink was covered in black filth. The standards of cleanliness are subpar at this establishment, and are in need of drastic improvement before I could possibly recommend it to anyone.

It is also above a pub, and I heard drunk people yelling into the night as I was trying to go to sleep that night, even though it was just a Wednesday and downtown Phoenix is usually pretty calm. They do not serve breakfast, and the nearest Starbucks isn't within easy walking distance if you have a morning appointment. Overall, I maintained a sense of humor about everything, but I wouldn't recommend it if you aren't willing to do that.

My second and thankfully final night at the Hotel San Carlos, my neighbors were apparently roped in to getting an extremely drunk, loud woman back into her room, which was right across the hall from mine. It felt like my college freshman dorms all over again! Unlike the filth of my room, this situation was not the management's fault, but it's a result of the location that should be kept in mind. There are other, better hotels in the area.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled on business
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2  Thank Ajspinney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela H, General Manager at Hotel San Carlos, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2016

Dear Guest,
Thank you for your review, it has been noted and improved upon since your last visit.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2011

I loved the historic nature of this hotel, and my room was beautiful, clean, and very comfortable. I loved the old-fashioned light fixtures, chandeliers, and "oddities" that were period-related. The hotel is well maintained and you can see evidence of the upgrades that have taken place over the decades (in wiring, cable, fixtures, etc.). The only downside to the hotel is due to its historic nature: 1) plumbing: when someone in another room flushed, my shower temp changed (just like at home!) 2) there are no individual climate controls in the room. The hotel heats or cools and you can open or close your vent. (This was not a problem for me; I was VERY comfortable) 3) There are open "transoms" on the doors which means you can hear your neighbors more than usual. One night it was loud; the other was quiet. Overall I loved the charm and beauty of this property!! And I enjoyed the newspaper articles on the walls discussing famous guests or ghostly rumors.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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Thank HistoryNutCalifornia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela H, General Manager at Hotel San Carlos, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2016

Dear Guest,
Your review is greatly appreciated ! we hope to see you in the near future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2011

We stayed here last New Years Eve. We found the hotel to be wonderful; a rare find in that this is a historic hotel that has not had the charm remodeled out of it. The location is great, downtown in the middle of much of Phoenix's best night spots. The area was a good place to be for New Years Eve (for Phoenix). Hanny's is a lovely bar/ restaurant in walking distance to the hotel... it's a renovated mid-century department store. This would be a convenient hotel for a downtown pub crawl as well. The rooms are indeed small, and the bathrooms are tiny, with period fixtures. I found these facts charming; if you want a giant bathroom counter, this isn't your hotel. We found the restaurant downstairs to be inadequately equipped for the huge crowd that showed up wanting breakfast New Years Day....but that is probably just due to the holiday. We had to walk to breakfast elsewhere. This place was also loud at night...but it was New Years, so that is understandable. We would absolutely go back if we have the chance. This was a rather glamorous spot to spend New Years, a very "old hollywood" feeling. Recommended!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank Cinnamontoastgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela H, General Manager at Hotel San Carlos, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2016

Dear Guest,
Your review is greatly appreciated ! we hope to see you in the near future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2011

My husband and I have stayed at this hotel a few times. We are locals so we stay here whenever we go out drinking in the downtown area (it is cheaper than cab fare home). This hotel is very old and because of this the rooms are very small and the bathrooms have antique fixtures. Don't let this scare you, the hotel has always been very clean and safe. The staff is very friendly and helpful. This hotel is also very close to the lightrail that you can easily take to Mill Ave. in Tempe. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone. They say the seventh floor is haunted, I have stayed on that floor and haven't seen any ghosts yet :)

Room Tip: If you book directly with the hotel ask them to throw in breakfast and drink coupons. :)
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  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank uniquemo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela H, General Manager at Hotel San Carlos, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2016

Dear Guest,
Your review is greatly appreciated ! we hope to see you in the near future.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2011

The Hotel San Carlos is a hidden jewel in downtown Phoenix. It's one of the city's most historic buildings, rich in history, and staying there is a unique and wonderful experience.

In its heyday, the Hotel San Carlos was a favorite of the Hollywood set. You can stay in Marilyn Monroe's suite, Mae West's suite, or rooms where Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and other icons stayed while in Phoenix.

The owner of the hotel is a Phoenix history buff and published author; the hallways on all 7 floors are filled with old photographs and news clippings about the city and its history.

We got a kick out of the story about the hotel being haunted by the ghost of a girl who threw herself from the 7th floor.

I couldn't help but rave about this hotel to the manager as I left. She showed her appreciation by giving my son and I a tour of the entire place. Everything about this hotel makes you feel like you're living the life of luxury in the '30s, which is a fantastic experience. You won't get that at any of the more modern hotels in Phoenix. It's historic, but it's clean and well appointed and has all the conveniences of a modern hotel.

The only negatives about the Hotel San Carlos are parking (valet parking is $20/day, but not easily discovered; but the parking problem is typical of all downtown hotels) and the restaurant, the Ghost Lounge, which is a separate leased operation - it doesn't fit the character of the rest of the hotel. There is an adjoining coffee shop, however, which serves breakfast and lunch.

I won't stay anywhere else when I'm in Phoenix.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Diane Laney F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hotelsancarlos202, Director of Sales at Hotel San Carlos, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2011

The New York Times December 1 2008 Hotel San Carlos was spared as a jewel from construction in the down town Phoenix for new condominiums, hotel and the convention center expansion.
Staff enjoys sharing the history of the Hotel San Carols with guests.
You feel taken back into time of luxury with the 1928 Renaissance décor with all the modern twist of 2011.
We welcome our valued guest next visits to the Hotel San Carlos. Thank You!

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Reviewed August 17, 2011

More than any hotel I've ever seen, the San Carlos seems to inspire a "love it" or "hate it" type response; no one seems to be neutral. Well, put me down in the "LOVE it" category!

My wife and I spent 4 nights there back in June while we were in Phoenix for a convention and would gladly have made it 4 WEEKS if we could have! We loved everything about the hotel!

Having read the reviews on here, we were braced for the worst--but were pleasantly surprised in every regard!

From the moment we arrived, the staff could not have been any more helpful or accommodating! After one minor mix-up, they more than compensated for that by giving us complimentary breakfast vouchers for the duration of our stay. When we expressed interest one night in trying a particular restaurant elsewhere in Phoenix (several miles away), the staff printed out directions for us & were eagerly awaiting our return later that night to hear our impressions of the restaurant; on another occasion, they took care of arranging a cab for us, etc. Extremely helpful and accommodating in every regard!

Our room was far more spacious than the reviews here had led me to expect--and beautifully decorated and appointed! The central air (which you almost never find in newer hotels) was an especially nice surprise. There was a brief period one night when my wife complained of hearing noise from the neighbors (I myself was out at the time) but that was it; neither of us ever noticed any disturbance whatsoever the entire rest of the time. In fact, everything about our stay at the San Carlos was about as restful, tranquil, and peaceful as could be imagined!

As others have mentioned, the location of the hotel is ideal: not only is there a light rail stop right outside the doors, we were within easy walking distance (5 min. or so) of the convention center and MANY fine restaurants! We didn't have a bad meal the entire week! Also walked to an AZ Diamondbacks game one night.

If you enjoy getting away from the cookie-cutter sameness of modern chains and are up for a place with a real history, vintage feel, distinctive character, and loads of charm--then the Hotel San Carlos is just the ticket! We have nothing but warm and wonderful memories of our week there and would gladly have stayed far longer if we could have!

Our convention will be meeting in Phoenix once again in about 5 years and we have every intention of staying at the San Carlos next time around also if there's any way possible; we're already looking forward to a return visit!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled on business
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1  Thank Burchpastor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hotelsancarlos202, Director of Sales at Hotel San Carlos, responded to this reviewResponded August 19, 2011

Hotel San Carlos is pleased that you enjoyed your stay and, look forwards to your next visit.
The history of the Hotel San Carlos is awesome from 1928 to 2011 we have accommodated movie stars. In 1996 Hollywood horned us with the Starwalk.The locations is wonderful for conventions, game night, dinning and much more... Close to all that the down town Phoenix area has to offer. We look forwards to your return visit to Hotel San Carlos. Thank You!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel San Carlos

Address: 202 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004-2201
Location: United States > Arizona > Central Arizona > Phoenix > Central City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #95 of 174 Hotels in Phoenix
Price Range: $193 - $251 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel San Carlos 3*
Number of rooms: 128
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel San Carlos is Phoenix's only historic bouitque hotel and has been since 1928. Each of our 128 guest rooms has been individually decorated. Hotel San Carlos is convenietly located in the heart of downtown Phoenix's financial,goverment,and entertainment distric, just steps away from many fabulous local Phoenix Attractions.Walking distance of the convention center. We look forwards to having you stay with us and experience a touch of Phoenix history during your stay at Hotel Sand Carlos.The Hotel San Carlos is Registered with Green Chambers of Commerce! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
San Carlos Hotel
San Carlos Phoenix

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