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“Older world on a budget” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cardinal Hotel

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Cardinal Hotel
Ranked #13 of 27 Hotels in Palo Alto
Europe
Level Contributor
121 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Older world on a budget”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2012

Well located in central Palo Alto and offering good value accomodation if you go for the shared bathroom option ( communal bathrooms were perfectly adequate and very clean). Good decor and older world feel with helpful desk staff.

Room Tip: If you want value for money and don't need a personal bathroom go for this option.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Enophil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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195 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (53)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cambridge, MA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2012

This hotel is a gas! Lots of twenties-to-forties decor and ambiance in a great location, funky alternative to the modern cookie-cutter hotels on El Camino and 101. Welcoming staff, comfortable lobby with fireplace and good free coffee. This hissing radiators are one slightly-too-authentic features, but easily forgiven. Don't miss this.

Stayed February 2012, travelled on business
Helpful?
Thank lieber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spain
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2012

I spent 3 weeks at the Cardinal Hotel. My trip was both for business and holidays.

EXCELLENT LOCATION. I needed to be close to Stanford, and the location is excellent. Less than 5 minutes walk to Margherita Shuttle, the free Stanford bus. Same to Caltrain, so that you can easily go to SF, the airport and travel in Silicon Valley. The hotel is also in the best place in Palo Alto, surrounded by lively streets and all sorts of ammenities. Very close to shopping centers.

SHARED BATHROOMS ARE FINE. I chose not to have a bathroom inside, and I did not regret it. There are maybe 3 shared showers and 3 shared toilets per floor. It was never busy when I needed it. Always close to rooms, extremely nice and clean.

ROOMS. I stayed at 3 different rooms, since I spent 5 days/week at the Cardinal, for 3 weeks in a row. I felt in love with my first room, in the first floor if I remember well. At the end of an aisle. Spacious, sunny, big closet inside, well decorated, great flat and big TV, such a comfortable bed, great desk to work... The second week, I was initially assigned a room facing the inner courtyard, because I had asked for quiteness. It was very quite, though smaller and darker, and afer I asked for a change I was given another great, spacious room on the street side (not Ramona, the opposite side). True, not all rooms are the same, but I was also paying full price (no Stanford discount) and staying for a long enough period. Just keep in mind that Friday and Saturday night can be noisy days (there are a couple of popular bars/restaurants close to the hotel); Ramona Street side might be noisier.

HOTEL SERVICES. I found them great. Laundry, free hot drinks in the lobby, a living room with a library and 2 new computers with free Internet access. There was also a fridge where you could store your own food. Plus comfortable sofas and tables with a great selection of magazines close to reception. Never busy. A relaxing atmosphere. You can get Internet in your room for a reasonable price (5 $/day I believe?). It worked well for me.

GOOD VALUE FOR MONEY.

OVERALL IMPRESSION. I felt home. I felt the owners were not profit driven, but instead cared about making guests feel home. Even the smallest details. They had printed church addresses, mass and services times...

EMPLOYEES. They were always really nice and willing to help.

GUESTS. People visiting Stanford, the Hospital or Palo Alto. Nice to meet people.

CLOSE RESTAURANTS. OSTERIA, ITALIAN RESTAURANT. Try it! It is next door to the Cardinal Hotel. The manager and waiters make your day shine. Very good, healthy food. They took good care of me during the trip. Inexpensive. Great value for money.

Room Tip: I had a room with shared bathroom. Among those, if you prefer a spacious and sunny room, choose the...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank MyrTrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kennewick, Washington, USA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 January 2012

I stayed in this hotel as part of a group business trip to Stanford in Dec 2011.

The hotel is well located, just off of University Ave in Palo Alto, easily within walking distance to Stanford and close to a number of good restaurants and coffee shops.

The Cardinal Hotel is a boutique hotel stuck in the 1920s, when it was originally built.

This means that the hotel has a beautiful sweeping lobby that welcomes people into the building and is perfect for meeting friends. There is also a single elevator servicing the hotel, with an old-style double door (you have to manually slide the outer door open yourself when the elevator appears). While the elevator is quaint and adds atmosphere, it is slightly inconvenient if you are trying to maneuver large bags into the small entrance. Unfortunately, this hotel has more problems than advantages. My major concerns:

• Some of the rooms have a shared bathroom. Further, they don’t tell you in advance whether you will get one of these rooms. If you are looking for a dorm room or a budget hotel, that is ok, but for those of us who expect privacy given the prices this is totally unacceptable. As a business traveler, I have never stayed in a hotel that expects me to share a bathroom.

• The windows are single pane windows that do absolutely nothing to block either sound or outside temperatures. You can clearly hear every conversation or vehicle on the street below, which can interfere with a good night’s sleep. Given the hotel is at the corner of two fairly busy intersections, this is a major problem if you actually have to get up in the morning.

• There is a single source of heat in the rooms (and no cooling) – a water radiator. While I don’t really care whether the heat is from air or water, I am concerned that there is no thermostat associated with the radiator. That means that you have to get up in the middle of the night to manually turn the heat on and off to adjust the temperature within the room. Unacceptable.

• There is no parking. None. At all. There is a public lot a half a block away and street parking a couple of blocks away, but the hotel has absolutely no parking associated with it. When I asked about this, I was told, “We are downtown.” Well, having stayed in hotels in downtown San Francisco, Washington DC, San Jose, Seattle, and many other cities, this is an excuse not a reason. For whatever cause, the hotel has chosen not to develop any parking or provide a valet service for their guests. Unacceptable.

• The hotel uses keys instead of card locks. While this is not, in and of itself, a problem, the fact that the doors do not close – much less lock – behind you is a significant security and fire concern. It has been so long since I have been in a hotel that does not have this basic security feature, I thought it was code. Apparently not. Combine that with the fact that other than a single, extremely old deadbolt, there is no way to secure the door from the inside and you have a place that you want to avoid if you are security conscious.

Other minor inconveniences:

• The rooms are small. Not horribly small, but having to shoehorn yourself into a small room, with a double bed, is not what I would expect for a decent business-oriented room. For example, there is a single small shelf in the bathroom that is not sufficient to hold all standard toiletries, and if you sit at the desk, you back into the bed.

• The internet does not work reliably. Some members of our party had significant problems maintaining a connection when trying to email moderate sized files. This was ultimately resolved by using a different network connection at a different business..

• The hotel staff appeared hurried and disengaged when we tried to obtain information. It is almost as if they felt they have better things to do than answer customer questions. They also don’t have a concierge available at any time during the day to help address questions / concerns.

In my mind, any one of my serious concerns is reason enough to not stay here – unless you are trying to save money (although the hotel is not particularly inexpensive)- and I would strongly encourage people to consider alternate accommodations.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled on business
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank CityEscapesPhoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
49 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 December 2011

This hotel is really a gem and I'm at loss as to why some reviews are negative.

Location: one block off University Avenue, which is the main drag of silicon valley chock full of boutiques and restaurants.

Hotel: gorgeous lobby retaining many of the original 1920's details.

We had a two room suite. It wasn't huge, but large enough. Fold out bed in the living room. Bed was comfortable. Heating was by means of an old fashioned battery, which required a call to the lobby to learn to operate. Some rooms share bathrooms. I've looked in these shared bathrooms and were very clean. Few hotels in the area offer suites, and this one at $200/nite was a good deal.

  • Stayed November 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WhirlwindTravel
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 (per night): ₹ 8,771 - ₹ 12,960
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 
Also Known As:
Cardinal Hotel Palo Alto

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