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“By far our worst experience in the US ...”

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Historic Cary House Hotel
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Placerville
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 11, 2008

Let's start by stating that this appeared to be a charming boutique hotel with a lobby filled with stained glass. From the reviews we had read, it looked light a great place to unwind after a day’s skiing. Oh, how wrong we were.

Come midnight, the hotel turned into party central. On almost every floor, it appears, the locals had descended on the place and decided to continue their celebrations well into the night. Our neighbours arrived just after midnight and couldn't help but share with us through the walls all the sounds you don't want to hear from the room next door. Yep, the walls are paper thin.

I phoned the concierge from the lobby (which is unattended out of hours) and asked for another room away from our inconsiderate neighbours. She was happy to do this and informed me that I was not the first to ask to be relocated that night. In the end, the noise was all too much for us plus my wife was subject to unsolicited verbal abuse from another guest as we shifted rooms. Come 3am, we had had enough and decided to head home to SF.

The concierge apologised for the noise and the abuse my wife had received did say that she would contact Expedia and have them arrange a full refund. We never received the refund nor heard from the hotel.

Bottom line, look elsewhere and maybe even outside Placeville. This boutique hotel isn't worth it. We won't be staying here again and advise others to stay away.

  • Stayed: February 2007, traveled with family
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2  Thank AlexAndKirsti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
caryhouse, General Manager at Historic Cary House Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2008

We’d like TripAdvisor to post the management response to the TripAdvisor review posted on 04/12/08 by Alex and Kristi.

I am the General Manager responding to the Trip Advisor review posted on date 04/12/08 by alexandkristi. We have had nothing but good reviews on TripAdvisor and are very disappointed by the review we received from this guest.
This guest stayed in February and we 1st received his e-mail request at about the same time as he posted the TripAdvisor review around April 11th, without even a chance to provide him a refund. The guest was immediately refunded upon his email request and we informed him of this via email.
I have contacted Expedia and authorized a refund. I have tried to contact the guest to try to find out where the miscommunication was on our part. I have had no response.
Our night manager tried to calm the situation that this guest describes. We offered to move him to a quiet room away from the others but he declined
When he left at 3 a.m. in the morning he did not ask us to contact Expedia to have his room credited for that evening. Also, the guest booked this thru Expedia, and if he had expressed his dissatisfaction with Expedia in February, Expedia would have contacted us and asked us for approval to refund this guest.
We pride ourselves at the Historic Cary House on outstanding customer service and rarely have issues that escalate to this point of criticism of our hotel. We would appreciate posting this as a management response.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (257)
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231 - 237 of 257 reviews

Reviewed February 22, 2008

My wife and I stayed in this hotel last weekend to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary. My in-law's booked the hotel and told us that it was a great place to stay; as they have stayed there themselves while looking for a house to purchase in the area.

I was a bit skeptical of the hotel upon pulling up to the front door. When we walked inside, I was very impressed with the cleanliness and the (almost overbearing) friendliness of the front desk clerk!!! We were checked in and were told our room was on the 2nd floor. We were told that we needed to watch our step when getting on the elevator, as it doesn't always stop level with the floor - as it is supposedly the 2nd oldest elevator West of the Mississippi! It ran fine and we didn't trip, so I can't complain! Oh - and we were also told that they offered FREE WIFI internet in all rooms with no passwords required!!!

When we checked into our room, we noticed that the television looked like it was from the early 80's and the decor was from the 70's. I was a bit disappointed that such an old hotel in a town full of antique shops couldn't decorate their room to look it's age. Unfortunately, when turning the TV on, it looked like we had very poor "rabbit ear" reception. We also didn't have a couch to sit together (we instead, had two very old and uncomfortable chairs).

We called the front desk to ask if there was another room available and were immediately called back down to the front desk to get the keys to our new room. This room was on the 4th floor and were assured that we would not be disappointed! We were surprised when we got to our door that it said, "Bridal Chamber." Walking in, we were astonished at the size of the room! It, too, seemed a bit dated in it's decor, but nonetheless, it was MUCH nicer than our first room.

This room had a main "living room/kitchenette" with a mini-fridge, and sink. There was a much newer television in this room than our previous room. The other main room was the bedroom with one of the most COMFORTABLE beds in a hotel I have ever slept in! This room was spacious enough and had a very nice television with cable (don't know what the deal was with the one from our previous room).

The next morning, we were treated to a full continental breakfast that was included with the stay. It wasn't anything to write home about, but it fit the bill much better than some hotels I have stayed in that offer continental breakfasts. Unfortunately, about the only choices, for those who are on diets, was in the form of carbohydrates! What the heck - we were on vacation!

We also noticed in the flier about the hotel, that it was supposedly named the 2nd most haunted hotel in California by the Travel Channel. I pulled out my laptop to do some research on this topic and came up with pretty much NOTHING. Not that I'm disappointed, but it would have been nice to have a lot of information on the hauntings!!! About the only thing I found was from past guests posting in various forums talking about the same topic. Being the investigators we are, we asked the front desk clerk the next morning about the hauntings. He said that he has never seen anything, nor has any guests that he knows of. He said that in old towns with old buildings, people make up stories and, unfortunately, this hotel had a haunting story made up about it... so there it is! NOTHING!!! Oh well...

In all - I would definitely recommend this hotel to a friend with the warning that they shouldn't expect the "Ritz Carlton." It has charm and history in a very nice, very historic town. It is right smack-dab in the middle of town, which is walking distance from everything!

As for our first room, there wasn't anything "wrong" with it... we were just hoping for a room with more personality for our anniversary.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with family
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2  Thank briguy73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2008

After reading a few reviews on this site, I was confident in booking this hotel for a two night stay. While en route, I received a phone call from Hotels.com telling me that the hotel would like me to contact them regarding my arrival time. So, call I did.

The kind night manager wanted to know what time I would be arriving as the hotel desk closed at 8:00pm. I told him around 9:00pm, and he said he would leave the registration card and my key behind the desk and to just go ahead and check myself in. I must admit that the thought of checking into a reportedly "haunted" hotel all by myself was a little bit daunting, but it went off without a hitch.

The stay was wonderful! If you like historical hotels, then you will love this place. The staff was kind enough to tell my all the stories, and even show me some "non-public" areas. Rooms are kinda dated and a bit worn, but very comfortable and clean. And the only thing that might possibly be haunted is the shower, as the temperature liked to change a bit while occupying it.

Be sure to visit the Hangman's Tree across the street; one of the oldest bars west of the Mississippi. Heather makes a mean Caucasian. There are also many cute little shops and restaurants in town.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled solo
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1  Thank Sleeper-Keeper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2008

Talk about a cool bit of history. This hotel was not my first choice as I was looking for an inexpensive place to stay during a weekend trip to Placerville. I couldn't find one so I decided to stay at the Cary House for not much more than the name brand hotels. Am I glad I did.

Just walking down the alley at the side of the hotel felt like walking through a bit of history. The building was 4 stories of solid brick and sits right on Main St of old town Placerville. The lobby was full of cool little period artifacts (ok, the piano was not so little) and almost felt like a museum. The elevator is extremely old and won't hold more than a few people but it's all part of the experience.

The rooms are apparently all different and decorated in Gold Rush era furnishings. I got a small room in the front corner of 4th floor. It was more than adequate for me but probably small for 2 people or more.

Now for the spooky part. Apparently this place has guests that never quite left. A quick websearch will tell you more about this. The building originally only had 3 stories so I guess none of the unexpected guests made it to my floor but there was definitely a bit of a creepy vibe when I took the stairs to the lobby.

All in all, a great place. Lots of antique shops and restaurants within walking distance. Wineries and apple orchards just a short drive away. I would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: December 2007
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4  Thank javadrinker68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2007

In the Gold Rush days this was the Wells Fargo stop. If you had just hit GOLD this was your place to stay. I would say that ending up at Cary House is still your reward. When you walk in through the front door you will see Manager "Chester," or "Amy" or "Joel" sitting 'in the window' at the end of a long glass display case, which contains the original guest book (signed by Mark Twain +). The place is full of papable history (an 1853 Chickering Square Grand Piano) The elevator is the "second-oldest west of the Mississippi" and yet, speedier than most today. My room had a kitchenette, a sitting room! and King Bed. I spent three nights in this friendly and fun historic town on business. I plan to return there for fun and look forward to staying at Cary House. by the way they have a Continental Breakfast which breaks the mold—the size and variety of the 'food groups' could be a training table for a sports team. For any other meal, aand a Latte, just step next door to The Courtyard Cafe—owned by Dave Morrill—a former "Computer Guy" who gave up that life to create a wonderful cafe with delicious fresh soups, salads, sandwiches—with more to come, as he is expanding from the front of the building all the back. I live in Redondo Beach, CA—I kept fogeting where I was 'up there.' I think that is a compliment to all involved. Thank you. Brian

Stayed: December 2007
3  Thank bbbraintrust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 22, 2007

The Three Rivers Travel (48 people) recently stayed 2 nights at The Cary House Hotel in Placerville CA. Hotel Mgr. Chester Webb and his assisatant Liz Millstine are absolutely fantastic! The Cary House Hotel is located on main Street in the middle of everything and the service and rooms are exellent. Each room is furnished differently with antique furniture in a style guarenteed to take you back in time, Comfort, price, location and personality, Cary House has it all. Chester graciously allowed us to play his 1870 Chickering Grand piano. We shopped main street, toured Apple Hill, wineries and museums. We dined at the Posh Sequoia House Resturant and lunched at High Hill Ranch which is a must see in apple season. Main street is loaded with resturants to fit every taste and the prices are very reasonable and it's all just out the front door. Our tour bus was able to park right in front of the hotel. We plan on returing to see more of California's Gold Country and we will most certainly stay at The Historic Cary House Hotel.

  • Stayed: October 2007
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1  Thank bobto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2007

The Carey house was the perfect launch pad for our ski trip to Tahoe. After a 5 hour drive , and in order to avoid black ice and darkness we planned on making the drive into Tahoe at mid-morning the following day. The hotel was rustic and the staff out-going and very friendly. We did not expect nor did we want any 21 century amenities. Had we wanted modern, we would have stayed at a Holiday Inn. The Carey house afforded us ( My girlfriend and our two kids) the opportunity to tell ghost stories in our old room and walk the halls of a historic building. The Main street fronting the old hotel had a coffee shop within spitting distance and a scrumptious bakery. We took our dinner at a nice Italian restaurant where the spagetti was delicious and the wait staff friendly. That afternoon we walked the main street and enjoyed browsing in the old mercantile shops and the "must see" Military surplus store WHAT A TREAT!..we plan on staying "Carey" again. Thank you Carey house for scrap book material and an enjoyable memory. Joe and Mardel

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled with family
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1  Thank snowchasers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Historic Cary House Hotel

Address: 300 Main St, Placerville, CA 95667-5606
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Placerville
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Placerville
Price Range: $93 - $585 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Historic Cary House Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 38
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Also Known As:
Lexington Historic Cary Hotel
Lexington Historic Cary Placerville

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