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“Great stay, clean, close and comfortable.”
Review of Cardinal Hotel

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Cardinal Hotel
Ranked #14 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great stay, clean, close and comfortable.”
Reviewed 8 September 2013 via mobile

The Cardinal Hotel is a historic building very close to Stanford University and perfect for our college visit. The lobby was very warm and welcoming. Great to read the available papers or magazines with a cup of tea or coffee. Felt like Gramma's parlor from way back when. The rooms were very clean and spacious. Our particular room had a sink but no shower or toilet. We used a shared one down the hall. Interesting, took a time or two to get used to the idea but it put me back to my college days so it made it fun. Not all rooms have this configuration. Walking distance to Palo Alto's shopping strip and awesome eateries! We would stay here again.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MMRaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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202 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
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English first
Northern California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 3 September 2013

The Cardinal Hotel was an affordable charmer. I think the design and decor would especially appeal to an older crowd. The rooms have recently been upgraded (to a boutique style) and are clean and offer all sorts of places to plug in electronics. We had a room with two double beds and a private bath, although cheaper rooms are available (if you don't mind sharing a bathroom and shower located in the hallway). There's lots of places to eat locally, many within walking distance. The hotel is located on a busy corner, so there is some street noise and late night activity that can be heard from the room (we were on the 3rd floor). We plugged in the fan that we found in the closet and drowned much of it out. As far as I can tell there is no air conditioning. Not a problem most of the year in Palo Alto. Free coffee/tea in the AM down in the lobby. The original elevators are a bit scarry ~~. They remind you how old the building really is. I would recommend it, unless you are a super light sleeper.

Room Tip: Third floor rooms are further from the potential street noise.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kelli H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
worcester
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 August 2013

Yes indeed, less can be as satisfying! I was attending a tennis tournament during the week and meeting up with my son. I was booked for 4 days in an upscale, deluxe hotel, but since I was arriving in Palo Alto in the evening - I decided to book an affordable hotel for one night. I selected the Cardinal Hotel and the inexpensive shared bathroom style of room.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder- the small room with the new ceiling fan was cozy - the view looking out my window left a lot to be desired( so what!); the inconvenience of a shared bathroom was not an inconvenience, especially since the rooms were clean and well taken care of - but once I walked out the door- the town was bustling
I did observe a contrast - I left my renovated room with the comfy bed and 37 inch flat screen TV, walked down the hall where I observed a maintenance man installing a classy fan in a room - then hopped on this ancient elevator which took me down to this historic, classy lobby.
During my short stay - I spoke to 4 desk clerks. Three out of four were quite amiable and friendly - one young gent observed me looking at the Cardinal Hotel postcards and invited me to take some and then offered to meter the postcards. One older gent was a bit on the serious side and seem to lack some patience when I asked an inadvertent "dumb" question. Maybe this gent is the man who was referred to by another reviewer as the "grumpy" one. No problem... so what if he possesses an old school managerial style, although, I do believe that the old-time approach may clash with the warmth and beauty of the new and improved Cardinal Hotel.
Love the Location: Walk to Cal Train and Stanford University; Old Pro Sports Bar across the street, Coupa Cafe- next door for coffee and light breakfast,etc.
Admittedly, I can appreciate the luxury style of hotel with all the amenities, but please do not sell short the quaint Cardinal Hotel cause sometimes less is more!

Room Tip: Reserve in advance! Do not hesitate to reserve a shared bathroom style of room- price is right. Also...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank coach11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Irvine, California
Level Contributor
131 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 August 2013

Super clean room, right in the middle of the dowtown, one queen bed for two of us. Clean shared (separate) toilet and shower. We were in the third floor but coud hear the noise (if light sleeper, this may not be the perfect lace). We arrived after 6 pm and lucky to get onstreet parking (free until 8 or 10 am depending on the area). Weather was not hot so the absence of AC was not a problem. Nice receptionist, very pleasant visit.

Room Tip: Room 318 is facing the street so could hear noise from street level restaurant. Toilet is (almost) a...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank simpangratis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chichester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 July 2013

As other reviews have emphasised, the Cardinal Hotel offers an ideal location in the heart of downtown Palo Alto. It is very close to the Caltrain station making connection to SFO airport relatively effortless. i was staying in Room 227 which was great during the heatwave that was taking place during my stay, nestled in the shade of the hotel buildings it remained at a bearable temperature. In the absence of air-con, the hotel provide an additional fan to the multi-speed ceiling fan. As the heat meant that windows were always open, I did become conscious of noise during my stay. I wasn't staying with the 'European Style' facilities (which are like in the Chelsea Hotel NYC!) and I certainly didn't suffer from the complaints of noisy neighbours and the room is set away the street. I do however have a confession that during the heatwave and in my extreme jet-lagged state I did take a shower at 4.30am. I think the problem was that the water draining away made a loud gurgling and although I put my foot over the plughole to curtail the sound, this clearly did not prevent me disturbing another of the guests (see below).

The staff were really friendly and I don't agree with comments that they are unhelpful or unfriendly. I think Lisa is awesome - so accommodating and friendly during my bout of insomnia. Both Jeff and Bob were commendable. My initial reception was warm and friendly - with great recommendations on choosing from the plethora of restaurants surrounding the hotel.

The hotel offers everything that it makes claim to.

Room Tip: 227 is on the first floor but well shaded and away from the street. Not Euro-style.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Andrew W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2013

Pros: Lovely historic hotel, nice rooms with comfy beds, the shared-bathroom rooms are the cheapest option in the area, and a fantastic location - if you want to be in downtown Palo Alto. Cleaning staff was very friendly and helpful. I would give it a 5 out of 5 based on the hotel itself, but...
Cons: we dealt with four separate desk clerks, and three of them were grumpy, short to the point of rudeness given simple questions (such as "do you have any information on the free shuttle?"), and obviously reluctant to converse beyond handing over a key and taking payment. Also, no air conditioning - depending on the direction of the room window, it could get quite warm in July, though it was a nice cool temp outside. Noisy at night until well after midnight due to the central location and lots of restaurants and bars all around the hotel.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank katsuadashinomoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lawrenceville, New Jersey
Level Contributor
29 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2013 via mobile

The hotel is in an excellent location near shopping and restaurants. The entrance is dated and narrow, which would give it a "flophouse" feeling if it weren't in such a welcoming neighborhood. The hotel seems to be recently renovated, with the money spent on upgrades to the rooms, which are clean and comfortable, with plenty of USB power available to charge your devices, even if you left the charge adapter at home. If you need WiFi, that is free, and has a stronger signal than I am used to in larger-name hotels.

The rooms do not have A/C, and the neighborhood does have restaurants and bars, so if you are sensitive to noise, it may be a problem (it wasn't for me). However, even in July, the temperature is in the 50s overnight and I slept well.

On the down side, the rooms are a bit smaller, as would be expected with an older property, and there are some rooms that use a shared shower (it is a separate shower, not a "gang" shower. However, the prices are reasonable, especially considering the location, and the staff seems to be very friendly.

Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank Ben M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cardinal Hotel

Property: Cardinal Hotel
Address: 235 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, CA 94301
Region: United States > California > Palo Alto
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Palo Alto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2 star — Cardinal Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 59
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

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