We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Not thrilled with the San Carlos”
Review of Hotel San Carlos

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 11 more sites!
Hotel San Carlos
Ranked #96 of 174 Hotels in Phoenix
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Not thrilled with the San Carlos”
Reviewed 9 November 2005

Stayed at the Hotel San Carlos for 5 days/4 nights while attending a trade show at the Phoenix Convention Center. It's definitely old and has a unique character if you like that sort of thing. Personally, I'd prefer large, clean, modern rooms with working plumbing and computerized reservation systems that work. It's supposedly haunted, but nothing seemed supernatural while I was there.

Our company had contracted for about 60 rooms at $89/night well in advance, but the hotel overbooked and quite a few of our staff were told that we had no reservation and would have to go to another hotel. Fortunately, our event planner was there and she threatened lawsuit since we had a contract. She had to spend about 4 hours in the lobby taking care of details, but most of our staff were given rooms eventually. I'm sure they had to bump quite a few other travelers. The desk staff seemed confused by their own computer system and didn't really know what was going on.

One positive of the hotel is the location. It's only 3 blocks away from the convention center and easily walkable. But the entire downtown area seemed to be under construction and was quite noisy round the clock. The downtown area is populated by quite a few homeless folks and while were were in town, there were two reported muggings between the convention center and the hotels. I wouldn't recommend walking alone at night around the area.

The Hotel San Carlos is a very old hotel (1928), and while it appears to have been renovated, there are still quite a few things that need updating. Very tiny shower with cracked tile and old fixtures. The plumbing is questionable (scalding water from the showers every time a toilet flushes, no water pressure on my cold sink faucet). Really enjoyed the 2 inch dead cockroach (well, twitching and on its back anyway) that showed up in the tiny bathroom on my last day. Rooms are very small, no thermostat in the room. Since the entire building has a central air system, you either open or close the room vent. I could swear I smelled cigarette smoke coming from the vents. Quite noisy as well. My 7th floor room (the top floor) must have been directly underneath the main air conditioning unit which vibratated the walls and hummed very loudly around 1:00 am and 4:00 am. Foam earplugs are a great thing to pack with you, but I left mine in my other suitcase. Bed was small but comfortable. TV only had about 14 DirectTV channels working, a couple of HBO channels were snowed out.

Continental breakfast was included, which consisted of Raisin Bran, a few bagels, muffins and OJ. Nothing to write home about. We were there for 5 days and didn't find too many dining options within walking distance. Arizona Center (about 4 blocks away) has a Hooters, Lombardi's (Italian) and Sam's (southwest). Saw a Quiznos and Subway near the hotel, no sign of a McDonalds or other fast food. A Circle K gas/convenience store is 3 blocks walk from the hotel, but don't do the walk alone at night.

One other note, our Director was given a suite which turned out to be just two regular small rooms with a door in between. At least his bathroom had a tub, but there was a 12" step up into the bathroom for some reason.

I have no problem with quaint old hotels that try to take you back in time to a golden era, but this one is using age as an excuse for low grade accomodations. I doubt that Gary Cooper would have put up with this hotel back in the glory days. Invest in some modern upgrades like better plumbing and modern computers; just keep them hidden away if you really want to give that historical feel.

Next time, I'll gladly pay the difference to stay at the Hyatt.

  • Stayed November 2005, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Chocochef
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 review, 12 November 2015
Dear Guest!

We are very sorry for the poor experience and we wish that we have done a better job.
We appreciate your review even it is hurtful and we will try to learn from your experience and improve our operation continuously.

Best Wishes!

Angela Hentz
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

337 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    68
    80
    68
    51
    70
See reviews for
27
85
34
142
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tempe, Arizona
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2005

I stayed here with two of my friends in mid-August of 2005 and had a blast. This hotel is in a GREAT downtown location. You can WALK to America West Arena. Hotel staff couldn't have been more friendly. You must understand that this is not the Holiday Inn or the Comfort Inn though, it is a HISTORIC hotel so things are going to be old and show wear and tear but it is not a shack by any means. On the weekends you can park at the parking meters for free but on the weekdays you must park in a parking garage nearby and the one I stayed in was $14 for overnight parking but the hotel offers a $9 pass and the parking garage is half of a block away. San Carlos has a cute mid-level pool where you can swim with city views. They have suites for different stars that have stayed there in the past such as the Marilyn monroe suite, Clark Gable, West etc..very cute. The only thing that keeps it from being a "excellent" review was the hotel staff messed up the reservation in a few different ways but when I pointed it out they fixed it immediately and did not have any problems with it. They also offer great packages for baseball etc...you MUST check it out because I didnt and realized afterwards that I could have had free parking, 2 Diamondback tickets and 2 free drinks at the restaurant for the same price as just a room reservation. Also had ghosts and a ghost book where you can read about other guests experiences.

  • Stayed August 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PhxFemme21
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 review, 12 November 2015
Dearest Guest!

Thank you so much for your review and I wonder if you ever was back tot the Hotel San Carlos.
We love to meet you on your next revisit and please let us know if and when you are planning to be in Downtown?

Looking forward to hear from you!

Best,

Angela Hentz and the staff
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palm Desert, California
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2005

I like this place. I travel alot on business, but stay here when the bearby Hyatt and Wyndham are booked. You can get GREAT rates here. I foud it to be a plaesant place to stay. IF you need to stay downtown. I usually am here when I go to a ballgame. Parking -----, and the neighborhood can be a bit rough, but if you are looking for a room on a buget, this is your place. Pool is nothing special. Rooms are cute, and staff is nice. BUT, I do stay here--and it is FINE if you just need a room. You can walk to ballpark, basketball arena, and convention center. During the summer you can stay here as low as $60 when Hyatt and Wyndham are 2-3 times that. IF you get a good rate--stay at Hyatt first, Wyndham 2nd. But I think this is a great value and I do not hesitate to stay here.

  • Stayed May 2005, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Danni0005
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 review, 12 November 2015
Dearest Danni,

Thank you so much for your experience and the review.
We love to see you back and we promise to surprise you!

Please contact me directly angela@hotelsancarlos.com
or (602)393-5083 direct line

Wishing you the Best Weekends and I am really sorry for the very delay respond to your comments.

Best,

Angela Hentz
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 May 2005

The Hotel San Carlos is located in downtown Phoenix. It was very easy to find, and it is in a great location. Restaurants and theatres are within close walking distance.
The hotel is about 75 years old. It has a lot of charm but you may not like it if you prefer modern facilities. I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone visiting Phoenix because of its great location.

Helpful?
3 Thank MarianCPA
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 review, 12 November 2015
Dearest Guest!

Thank you so much for your wonderful review your wrote many years ago.
We really trilled that we made your stay comfortable and welcoming.
I am certainly sorry for the delay response real delay the Hotel these days is 87 years old back then on your visit was 75.
We are still alive and still have our doors opened for dearest travelers!
We hope to see you again!

Best Regards,

Angela Hentz
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 20 March 2005

This is a nicely restored historic old hotel in central Phoenix - safe neighborhood for walking and to get to various restaurants and parks.
Staff was very helpful and the establishment was clean and neat.
Did not eat at the restaurant, so cannot review that.

Helpful?
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 review, 12 November 2015
Dearest Guest!

Thank you so much for your wonderful review and encouragement to continue keeping doors open since 1928 to present for our dear guest and the travelers!

Wishing you the Best Holiday Season!

Kindness Regards,

Angela Hentz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 1 February 2005

I can't say this place was as horrendous as previous reviewers, but I was quite disappointed. I came over from frosty Pennsylvania, and absolutely loved the warmer weather of the city ... until I came to my small room at the San Carlos. It's really not beneficial when you can't adjust your own temperature, particularly when warm air comes out of the vent. Yes, the "beware of hot water when pressure changes" sign was odd -- reminded me of college dorms. And my sheets were somewhat stained, and the bathroom floor was dirty. But the major issue was that I could hear everything going on in other rooms. Sleep wasn't that easy to achieve in the beginning, so I had to change hotesl ... onto the Hyatt. The continental breakfast was nice, however, as the pricey Hyatt didn't offer any of that.

Helpful?
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 review, 12 November 2015
Dearest Guest!

Thank you so much for your time and the review and we regret that we disappointed you.
We hope that you will give us another chance and Wishing you the Best Holiday Season!

Kindness Regards,

Angela Hentz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Phoenix hotels

A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 25 January 2005

My husband and I stayed for the first time in the Hotel San Carlos this pass weekend. The rooms are quite small but not as small as the bathroom. The hotel has charm and takes you back to years gone by. The staff was friendly and the rooms clean. It wasn't a 5 star resort but we also didn't pay 5 star rates- which was nice. The ambience of being downtown next to cool shops, sports and dining made it worthwhile. A group came through searching for ghosts during our visit which made the whole hotel a bit more intriguing.

Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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 review, 12 November 2015
Dearest Guest Of the Hotel San Carlos!

Thank you so much for your time while writing the review and sharing your experience with others. We can see you like the history and understand the difference between modern and historical.
We wish that the travelers will make their choice prior booking the reservations. We really try to not mislead our potential guest and we certainly not perfect. As you noticed we try hard and still have that charm that we are very proud.
Thank you again and we hope you are well will visit us again!

Kindness Regards,

Angela Hentz
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Travellers also viewed these Phoenix hotels
Central City
Courtyard by Marriott Phoenix Downtown
Central City
Residence Inn by Marriott Phoenix Downtown
Hyatt Regency Phoenix
#26 of 174 in Phoenix
1,969 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
Westin Phoenix Downtown
#7 of 174 in Phoenix
828 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Hotel San Carlos? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Hotel San Carlos

Property: Hotel San Carlos
Address: 202 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004-2201
Region: United States > Arizona > Central Arizona > Phoenix > Central City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #96 of 174 Hotels in Phoenix
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Evoline ltd, HotelQuickly, Cancelon and getaroom.com so you can book your Hotel San Carlos reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
San Carlos Hotel
San Carlos Phoenix
Hotel San Carlos Phoenix, Arizona

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing