The Cardinal Hotel was built in 1924 and has carefully maintained its period appeal. The lobby is magnificent - check out the picture on their website.
As you might expect in a building of this era, the rooms are a bit on the small side, but they are well-appointed, clean and comfortable. High speed internet access is in every room and in the lobby. There are some rooms with shared bath at a stunningly reasonable rate. Most rooms have private bath. The front desk staff is friendly and knowledgeable, the clientele sophisticated and international.
The hotel allows dogs, a huge plus in my book, even if I'm not travelling with my dog.
This is my favorite place to stay in Palo Alto. However, there are a couple of negatives. You have to find your own parking which can be tricky in Palo Alto. And rooms with windows on the alley can be pretty noisy.
The hotel is right in downtown Palo Alto (as opposed to the many chain motels along El Camino, the highway). There are numerous good restaurants within easy walking distance, including Osteria, the Italian restaurant in the hotel. Interesting shops and a drugstore are also close by.
There is a free shuttle called "Marguerite" from downtown Palo Alto to and around the Stanford University campus. You do not have to be affiliated with Stanford to use it. (See separate transportation tip, under construction.)
Rates from $55 double with shared bath, from $115 double with private bath.
Directions: Right downtown, corner of Hamilton and Ramona, one block south of University.
520 Cowper Street, Palo Alto
2050 University Avenue, East Palo Alto
4164 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
675 El Camino Real, Palo Alto
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Address: 235 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto, California, 94301, United States