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“Restaurant needs new chef. City needs to relocate transients & riff raffs”
Review of National Hotel

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National Hotel
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Nevada City
Reviewed June 3, 2011

Ate at the National Hotel restaurant. The atmosphere was very charming and historic except for the oil lamps gave off strong odor that some might find noxious. I'm surprised that they could legally have them on the tables since they are an extreme fire hazard especially in such an old building. Extremely limited menu. Soup was good and the food was ok and abundant but not distinctive in the least. I had prawns but they paired it with mashed potatoes instead of the usual rice pilaf which I thought was pretty odd. They didn't even give a choice of starch side. So all in all, it was way overpriced. We were the only people there in the entire restaurant the entire time we were there except for one older gentleman in the corner. I guess that should be an indication that they need a new chef and/or management.

Our meal was disturbed by a group of loud obnoxious bar customers who came in and messed around with the lovely (I think) piano which the waitress asked them politely to not touch. They ignored her and in fact one of them came back through later when she wasn't there and banged on it some more. Maybe they should lock it down or move it to a more obscure location.

We loved the old buildings of old downtown Nevada City but why they can't relocate their transients, homeless, panhandlers and riff-raffs to another location, I can't understand. We saw more of them in just two hours within the few blocks of Broad street than any other city, big or small that we've been to. We saw them every five minutes, either panhandling us, blocking sidewalks and entrances with them sitting there with their dogs, (yes, lots of dogs) or taking up bench space that should be going to shoppers and tourists. So much more of their building space was left vacant more than in Placerville or Auburn, and I am suspecting that the transients are scaring valuable tourists and shoppers away. The city should take a lesson from the others on how to handle them. We live in Santa Rosa and our city aggressively deals with them by enforcing No Loitering laws and partnering with local charities to move and serve them in quieter areas.

Room Tip: Our mistake was not doing more research.
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Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
2  Thank lucyb2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 - 85 of 119 reviews

Reviewed May 25, 2011

Stayed here with friends for a wedding.
The hotel is cute and kitschy - in concept. In reality it's a scary scary place (and not just because 3 rooms are haunted). Our room hadn't been re-furbished since like 1975, if that. None of the linens matched, the pillows were flat, and the mattresses were somehow sproingy and impossibly hard at the same time.

Thank goodness for the bar downstairs. The drinks are super strong. If you drink enough you may forget to worry about catching something from your bed.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled with friends
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2  Thank bunny_travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2011

My boyfriend and I stayed here for a couple nights in early March on our way to some off-roading adventures in Death Valley. The public rooms are very charming with their period furnishings. While the bar area is a great place for a drink if you want to soak in the ambiance (I almost expected to see Lola Montez and Lotta Crabtree stroll by!), you have to decide what your priorities are if you consider this hotel. If your priority is historical charm and you can put aside the worn look and lack of updates, you may want to consider this hotel. Our first room had major ongoing water damage along the outer wall, thus giving the room a musty smell. It had a queen sized bed and a double. Both mattresses were worn out and uncomfortable. We requested a change of rooms, which was readily accommodated, and found our second room pleasant with a spacious sitting area and kitchenette (but without any dishes or utensils). The mattress was acceptable. Hallways are in dire need of fresh paint and wallpaper and signs of water damage are omnipresent.
I'd strongly advise not to eat here. Our breakfast was horrific. (opt for the fabulous Nevada City Cafe across the street). Pancakes were rubbery (someone went a bit overboard on beating the batter!) and jams were served in jars that cried out to be cleaned and filled to the brim with fresh contents. The decaf coffee was thick and tasted like instant. This COULD be a fabulous hotel- a real destination point- if managed by someone with an attention for detail and the vision and finances for transformation! Great unrealized potential is such a shame.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank PattysPeregrinations
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2011

This was, by far, the worst hotel experience i've ever had... in my entire life.

* Terrible, dirty, old, rotten bed - Gross sheets, rickety bed... completely hideous.

* The rudest staff on earth - By far the most unforgivably rude people run this place.

To top it all off, I got a call at 830 am saying I need to let repair people in to fix a broken pipe. I asked them if I get a discount on my room since I was still sleeping, the guy laughed and said "NO WAY"... I told him "then they can't come in" they continued to call and call, but refused to offer any kind of compensation. To clarify, i was looking to be compensated for: being woken up 3 hrs early, no hot water, and the invasion of my privacy... not to mention the exorbitant price I paid for the tiny old, dirty, room.

I had read the bad reviews and thought it would be different for me... Don't make the same mistake I did, look elsewhere, this place is a complete nightmare!!!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank lennoxbuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2010

Just in case you not dissuaded by all the hotel reviews and are still tempted to eat at their restaurant, DON’T. I had the misfortune of being taken there on three different occasions by well-meaning friends and relatives. They were all suckered into eating there because of the “historical” atmosphere. My first two lunches were overpriced and barely edible, but I didn’t complain because I was brought there as a guest and I wanted to give the restaurant a fair chance.

When I was brought there the third time, I expected the food to be at least be edible because this was their even more expensive “Christmas Dinner”. (Note to earlier potential diner: be grateful that they were so rude that you decided to leave… At least you didn’t end up having to eat their horrible food!!)

To make the long story short, the food was even worse than my two earlier meals. All the “fresh” ingredients were clearly past their prime, and the “puff pastry” was flat, soggy, and tasted worse than cardboard. All the stale ingredients were made even worse by the cook’s incredible lack of skill. Apparently the only seasoning in the kitchen must have been a giant canister of ground black pepper, which was liberally dumped onto everything! All the guests tried to be polite, but no one was able to finish their meals. We all passed up the desserts (why make things even worse??) I felt badly that our host actually had to pay for it all. This is the final straw…My husband and I refuse to ever go there again! I just wish that that someone who knows what they are doing would buy this old hotel and give it the major renovation that it has so long deserved!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled with family
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3  Thank bargainhunter45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2010

The worst part of our stay was the bed...hard as a rock, and did not get a wink of sleep. The room was freezing when we arrived, and didn't heat up for quite some time. The furniture appeared to be the original furnishings from the 1800s, but were not, and instead just filthy antiques. NOTHING has been updated, and was a complete rip off. They require a 2 night minimum stay, but that is only because they know people wouldn't want to spend a 2nd night there if they had the choice. The live entertainment in the bar downstairs was awful too, and so were the drinks they made. Wish I would have read all the reviews on here before we booked this one. DONT STAY THERE...you will regret it!!!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank hayley1604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 6, 2010

Never...never..never stay in this hotel....We only ended up here because everything else was booked in Nevada City...I'd sooner slit my wrists and drink my own blood than ever stay here again...We took a suite that happened to be over the bar...No one forewarned us that there would be karaoke until 1:00 a.m....and absolutely horrific karaoke at that; and so loud that it made our bed vibrate(and not in a good way!)..By midnight, I had all I could take..I used to like Elvis, but now I will certainly vomit the next time I hear any renditions of his songs....The staff offered to move us to another room...This room was so disgusting and smelled so awful that i would not house an animal in it...We left the next morning, and they had the audacity to charge us for two nights, which they claimed was "standard practice"( we are contesting this on our credit card)..I've traveled all over the world, including major cities with their share of noise, but NEVER have I had such a repulsive experience...My recommendation...If the National Hotel is the only hotel available in Nevada City, consider sleeping outside, across the street with the homeless folks..you'll get a better nights sleep...I promise!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank gonecycln
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about National Hotel

Address: 211 Broad St, Nevada City, CA 95959-2501
Location: United States > California > Nevada City
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Hotels in Nevada City
Price Range: $79 - $89 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 43

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