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“Cute old hotel, bit chilly though.”
Review of Hotel San Carlos

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Hotel San Carlos
Ranked #95 of 174 Hotels in Phoenix
Reviewed April 10, 2013

Stayed here for a Conference & the locations couldn't be better if that is why you are choosing it. Literally only a 5 min walk to the Convention Center. Perfect. Very endearing 'old fashioned' charm/decor that you definitely wouldn't find in the surrounding big 'cookie-cutter' hotels.

However, the rooms do seem to be on the small side (mine & a few of my colleagues who were also staying here had the same comment) & the air is all centrally controlled. The a/c was set to 'bone-chilling' & there was no way to adjust it or even open the windows to warm the room up. The only thing I could do was close the air vent to stop any air at all coming into the room which took the chill off but didn't exactly warm the room up. Thankfully I was staying in a 2 bed room so I just took the bedding off the other bed & bundled up to get to sleep.

The Vietnamese restaurant downstairs was amazing (recommend the Ahi Tuna & Mango wrap) but I was also a bit dissapointed that the 'Ghost Lounge' was closed for all 4 days that I was here. Hopefully this opens again soon as I had been looking forward to enjoying a drink there after a day of lectures.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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Thank IslandDragon
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,
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.
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177 - 183 of 342 reviews

Reviewed March 25, 2013

I'm not one to post a bad review, especially when there are redeeming qualities. But as someone who comes to tripadvisor to look for advice on where to stay and values the opinions of other travelers, I will be honest.

Pros: Couldn't be nicer staff. Really pleasant, never had a line at reception, always helpful. Really good bathroom amenities, not the best packaging but they give you a make up remover towelette and actual lotion, not just the watered down stuff. Loved the charm, location was unbeatable. I stayed for two nights during the set up for a trade show which will lead me to the....

Cons: 159 a night plus tax on a Saturday, really? Maybe in downtown LA, or San Diego, or a city that isn't Phoenix. Should have been about 105. Why? My main problem was the air, there was a constant stream of air conditioning into the room, which there is no control of, it is all centralized. To their credit when I mentioned it to the staff they turned it from frigid to a slight chill. The plumbing also dates back, I had a shower that was both hot and cold. No time to wash my hair and use the nice amenities. The phone didn't work to call down to the front desk. Bed was less than comfortable. I didn't sleep well.

Three stars given as I wouldn't rate this hotel as poor, but definitely a step or two under average.

What this hotel could use is an upgrade. Change out the plumbing, air con, carpet and a fresh paint job and this hotel while leaving the charm, chandeliers and great staff and you got a real winner of a historical (while haunted) hotel in Downtown Phoenix, worthy of the 159 a night.

Note: For my last night in PHX the hotel was booked solid due to the conference. I happily escaped to the Clarendon Hotel a few miles from Downtown, a desert oasis after two nights at the San Carlos and worth the taxi into the city.

Room Tip: If you really want to stay in downtown Phoenix and be a couple blocks from the convention center and...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank jessbug58
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,
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 March 17, 2013

The San Carlos has a lot of charm. Old chandeliers, old pictures of Phoenix in its earlier days. So much charm that they left the electricity (wiring) dated by to 1928 when the place was built. We actually have extension cord after extension cord for wiring in our room (room 603) and old pipes sticking out of the bathroom walls where plumbing use to be. If this is charm – I must be missing something.

I must say though, despite these strange elements of charming patina, our sleep has been fantastic. The beds are firm and surprisingly comfortable. This is the main reason for staying here. Unfortunately, I am writing this on Sunday Morning (St. Paddy’s Day) and I wanted to get breakfast to bring to my wife in bed. The hotel does not have breakfast; the fastest option is at Subways across the street. I went over, and the doors are locked (they don’t open until 9AM), oh well, I will write the review while I wait!!

The area of Phoenix is great, central to everything. There are great restaurants well within walking distance. We have yet to try the pricey French Vietnamese on the first floor of the hotel (did I mention that they don’t serve breakfast?).

The place overall is clean (except the wiring and some stains on the rugs). Housekeeping is excellent. Front desk is excellent. It’s just too bad that they were given little to work with.

The state of the art fitness center was laughable.

Oh, and the place is suppose to be haunted. We haven’t seen any aberrations as of yet (we are here for two more night, will keep you posted). Though one woman we met in the elevator told us that she did smell sulfur on two occasions. (I think that this may go beyond ghosts)!!

Room Tip: Maybe the Marilyn Monroe Suite?
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank wmcguire
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,
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 March 16, 2013

We were in downtown Phoenix to catch Eric Clapton in concert this week and chose to stay with the Hotel San Carlos.

This historic hotel is located in the heart of the business district just a few minutes walk from the US Airways center and Chase field. The metro line runs right in front of the hotel and the area is full of restaurants and bars.

The downtown area is full of modern generic franchise hotels like the Westin, Sheraton and Hyatt. The Hotel San Carlos ain’t that. If you want something different with character and charm this is the place for you. The hallways are appointed with photos, artwork and articles providing a glimpse into the history behind this gem.

You may enjoy your stay more if you take a few minutes to read the history from their Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_San_Carlos_(Phoenix). How many hotels have their own Wikipedia page? I thought it was cool that the front of the hotel is seen briefly in Hitchcock’s Psycho.

The downside for that historical charm is that fact the rooms are small, the bathrooms are very small and some of the furnishings are showing their age. The ensuite bathrooms are so small one can sit on the toilet and rest one’s head against the wall you are facing. If I stood in the shower and put my hands together both elbows touched the shower walls. The bath did have all the requisite accessories shampoo, cream rinse and a hair dryer.

The room was equipped with a nice flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi a small coffee maker. The A/C and heating system is controlled by opening and closing the single air vent or offsetting the A/C by cranking the knob on the old fashioned radiator to turn on the heat. (The heat wasn’t on when we were there in March).

The hotel had a very nice pool area with pool towels as well as a shaded lounge area.

We would go back to this property for sure. Again, if you want bland, sterile franchise hotel experience, look elsewhere. If you want to step back into history and stay someplace more affordable and unique, the Hotel San Carlos may be for you.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Lee H
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 ,
Thank you so much for your review! We are pleased to see you had a wonderful time and we hope to see you again soon .

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 27, 2013

Stayed in this hotel for 5 nights while attending a conference. Location for conference was within an easy walking distance. Not a great location for walking to anything after conference hours as the core of Phoenix basically shuts down after office hours. Hotel staff were friendly but not particularly knowledgeable about cities venues and transportation systems. The room itself was small but what was unacceptable was the bathroom. My estimate would be that it was less than a yard wide. This presents problems while using the bathroom. While using the sink you had to be careful not to bend over to far to brush your teeth so that you didn't hit your head on the wooden shelf above the sink and couldn't back up to avoid the wall behind you. Getting up off the toilet was also problematic because you easily could hit your face on the toliet paper or your head on the wall, This room is super tight! The shower was equally as small. There was no tub. The shower was it. Other folks had commented on the random temperatures of the water and this was also my experience. This hotel is overrated in it's description. I went to use the state of the art fitness room as it is described online and found it to be severely lacking. I saw three machines for use. Each was reasonable but certainly not in my experience what I would call state f the art.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Campfiregirl1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela H, Manager at Hotel San Carlos, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2013

We thank you for staying with us while you were in town for a conference. Our accommodations are original from the late 1920's so compared to a modern hotel about we do come out looking smaller. Sorry for this inconvenience and I hope you overall had a lovely trip. Safe travels wherever you end up next and we hope to see you again!

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Reviewed February 25, 2013

Did not stay at the convention hotel. Just 1 1/2 blocks away the Hotel San Carlos is a lot less. It dates to the 1920's and has cool history on every floor. Was in a Hitchcock movie! All the stars were there at one time or another. The rooms are retro. But they are comfy and I love the pillows. The Vietnamese resteraunt downstairs is top notch. Great service from everyone. (OK the directions were not always the best but close enough). Walking distance to every thing.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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Thank averagehuman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela H, Manager at Hotel San Carlos, responded to this reviewResponded February 26, 2013

We thank you so much for being a guest here at the Hotel San Carlos. You walked the halls of old Hollywood, ate at the tasty Bonjour Vietnam and hopefully had a great convention! Safe travels and we can't wait to have you as a guest again.

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Reviewed February 19, 2013 via mobile

Loved the ambiance! Marilyn Monroe stayed here, and many say it is haunted by a patron who committed suicide decades and decades ago. My husband was awakened by footsteps in our room (I think it was the power of suggestion)! The room was extra small, but we prefer boutique hotels as opposed to chains.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank SleepyGypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Angela H, Manager at Hotel San Carlos, responded to this reviewResponded February 23, 2013

Dearest Hotel San Carlos guest - thank you so much for your stay. I like to hear you enjoyed your stay and that you like to give boutique hotels a try. We hope to see you again soon!

Report response as inappropriate
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
Phone Number:
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: $141 - $265 (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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