I grew up in Palo Alto, from 1963 to 1979. So my review may be colored somewhat nostalgic. I remember many, maybe hundreds of times walking or driving or bicycling past the Cardinal Hotel in my youth, not knowing anything about it. I had never set foot inside the doors until my recent visit to stay with family (11/28/2013). This year, there were no extra family rooms, so I had to reserve my room in a hotel. I had considered the typical chains (Motel, 6; Best Western; etc), and Dinah's, but I went online to see about downtown PA hotels. The Cardinal looked appealing: an old-style classic hotel from the last century, well-kept and open for business. My stay was from Wednesday through Monday morning. I was smitten by the Cardinal's vintage architecture, construction, looks, atmosphere, and charm as soon as I walked in the front door. The Cardinal is a hotel from the old days, or "European style" as some others have said. So, don't expect a swimming pool, gym, massage rooms, tennis courts, underground or room-side parking or any other accoutrements that the modern commercial "Hotel/Motel" chains offer. This is an authentic old-world downtown hotel, and the experience is of another era. For instance, the entire hotel, including your room, is heated by old-fashioned steam radiators. You will have a radiator in your room -- no central heat or air. If it's too hot in summer, please find a table fan in the linen closet to set near the outside window. Downstairs in the period lobby, please find a large fireplace and comfortable couches to sit on. The old-fashioned manual elevator is also a well-preserved touch from the past.
In or near Palo Alto there are cheaper hotels to stay in, and there are other hotels with more modern amenities, but I will be returning to the Cardinal for its charm. And by the way, I found the rooms 5/5 for cleanliness, the sleeping is mostly quiet, the beds and pillows comfortable, and the service is excellent. I am now a Cardinal client who will return again many times.
- 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