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Hotel San Carlos in Phoenix, AZ

Hotel San Carlos in Phoenix, AZ

Specialties

In the heart of downtown Phoenix, 6 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor airport and a few blocks from the Convention Center, Chase Field, U.S. Airways Arena, Dodge Center, The Orpheum and Herberger Theatres. Hotel San Carlos is the premier choice for those needing access to downtown hot spots for sports, theater, and convention services. We are proud to be the only historic boutique hotel in downtown Phoenix offering boutique rooms and suites with the following features-

- Unique and charming décor honoring the history of the hotel
- Wi-Fi access
- Serta™ sleeper mattress
- Coffee makers
- Cable television & HBO
- Ceiling fans In addition to our world-class service,

Hotel San Carlos offers these amenities and features:
- Rooftop pool/sundeck
- Laundry valet
- Gift shop
- Seamus McCaffrey's Irish Pub
- Ghost Lounge & Restaurant
- Bistro 202
- Business center
- Barber shop
- Valet & self-parking
- Security

We look forward to having you as our guest!

History

Established in 1928.

From the penthouse that stands on the roof of the seven-story tall Hotel San Carlos in Phoenix, one can get a unique perspective on Copper Square. Downtown Phoenix has changed radically since the hotel was built in 1928. When the hotel opened, it was a luxurious oasis in the desert, featuring air-cooled rooms, a predecessor of modern air-conditioning. At that time it was also the tallest building, which featured the first elevator in Phoenix.

All told, the Hotel San Carlos is a wonderful break from the bustle of Downtown Phoenix. It is still a well-appointed hotel, with fine amenities, including a sun deck and swimming pool on the third floor. It has recently been added to the charter of hotels listed by the Historic Hotels of America. Its Italian Renaissance-influenced architecture, and original antique fixtures, put it in a class by itself

-- Haunted History: The Hotel San Carlos, by Dan Shaurette

 

Company Info:

Rating: 2.88

Address: 202 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ, 85004
  • Mon: Open 24 hours
  • Tue: Open 24 hours
  • Wed: Open 24 hours
  • Thu: Open 24 hours
  • Fri: Open 24 hours
  • Sat: Open 24 hours
  • Sun: Open 24 hours

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Comments (75):

1. christina a.
My husband and I stayed here over the weekend. We loved it! Our room was very clean which is most important to me in any hotel. Beds were comfy with plenty of extra pillows. I did not get some of the complaints I saw with others for size of the room. I would say pretty standard to most hotels. You can generally expect rooms and bathrooms to be smaller than modern places in historic hotels.I love that they keep things original as they can.Staff was really friendly. We felt very welcome and relaxed. We took the ghost tour. Our guide was very nice. She let us roam around as we wished to take pictures. We stayed in 218. On this night all the suites were unavailable. I would like to go back and try one of the suites next time.I forgot there was a pool so I did not bring a suit.Very nice pool. We did go check it out. Next time. I thought the room was priced very well. There is a bar in the hotel. We did hear the music until 2 am however, I did not find it to be so loud I could not go to sleep. Everything was completely quiet past 2 am. Sadly we did not find any ghosts. Maybe next time!

08/08/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
2. Kelly W.
Hotel San Carlos is known for its hauntings. Twenty-two year-old
Leone Jensen jumped off the hotel's rooftop in 1928 and rumor has it that she's one of many spirits that haunt the historic downtown Phoenix hotel. Guests often say that she can be spotted around the hotel in a white evening gown.

According to the staff, Jensen is one of many ghosts who haunt the hotel. Guests have also reported hearing children's laughter late at night and phones often wake people up in the middle of the night and no one is on the line.

Want to decide for yourself if the hotel is truly haunted? Check in if you dare and look for one of the late night security guards. If you ask nicely, they'll give you a tour of the hotel and its allegedly haunted basement. Just be sure to tip them for their time.  And if you're looking for something more G-rated, the hotel usually has ghost tours around Halloween.

27/08/07 | Link | Rating: 4.0
3. Carmelo W.
Wanted to ghost hunt but was too drunk and had a blast with naked chicks in the pool. Walls are paper thin...

14/08/10 | Link | Rating: 3.0
4. Jon K.
Not so rad.

08/09/10 | Link | Rating: 2.0
5. Andee D.
I was able to get an excellent rate through hotels.com . $58 a night. Yes the room is small. But there were no bed bugs! A woman that was going to the same convention stayed at an upscale hotel near by and had bite marks all over her arm. :P

I didn't get a chance to swim in the pool, but I checked it out and it was nice up there.

The staff was very friendly and helpful.

The bathrooms are small. For some reason I had to keep the hot water turned all the way off. Otherwise the water would be scorching HOT!

The cable needs to be upgraded to digital.

Didn't run into any ghosts. Thank goodness!

07/05/09 | Link | Rating: 4.0
6. Peter M.
Do NOT stay here.  Small, old rooms, paper thin walls, old pluming, unimpressive. No AC - this is Phoenix!  While this hotel was big in the 50's, they haven't renovated it since.  The only positive was the roof deck with the pool.  Next time I would stay at a nearby hotel from a national chain.  We had a group for a weekend and ended up renting a suite at the Holiday Inn for a party room one night.

28/03/12 | Link | Rating: 2.0
7. Michael F.
Classy old hotel in downtown Phoenix.

There is little to do in the area after dark and the room we were in did not have air conditioning. How the hell can a hotel in Phoenix not have air conditioning?

The charm of the place is that they kept much of the original decor and fixtures of this once famous Phoenix institution.

20/09/08 | Link | Rating: 3.0
8. Tony R.
A little pricey for the lack of amenities but the history of the hotel made it worth one night stay.
Tiny room.
Simple bathroom.
Did have a bar with food open late so that was great.
I didn't get to their pool but heard it was nice.
Room seemed clean to me.
Great location! Walking distance to everything downtown.

Beware! I was quoted one price on the phone but when I went to use the yelp promo they bumped it $10 bucks. Not Cool!

29/03/11 | Link | Rating: 3.0
9. Tim D.
Stayed here 3 nights. What people say good/bad seems accurate. Depends on your taste and budget. Some would find it gross, others would find it enchanting. It's more enchanting than gross. It is an old hotel. It's not decrepit. My room was clean and nice. Maid service was very good. The staff was polite and attentive and gave some good advice on eating nearby that checked out. Many eateries close by. The rooms are small by todays standards. I was a single, a double might feel pinched if in it much of the day. Bathrooms are old fashioned and simple, but OK. No granite counters, in fact, no counters, which, when you don't have one, you realize is pretty important. A/C was good, but you don't control it except to open/close the vent. That worked OK for me to my pleasant surprise. The room was cool on a 110 day. My biggest complaint was the WiFi. Yes, wireless, but it is "turtle-slow" ... dial up slow. Pages were slow to load. If you plan to work online, this wouldn't be the place for you. Otherwise, Internet access worked, but 1 star for that. The restaurant downstairs was very good. Modern. Pleasant. Vietnamese menu. I enjoyed 3 meals there. Fresh and well presented. Ahi tuna salad was very good. Healthy food for travelers. Yes, overall, the place is a little tired, but the room was AOK. It's a little adventuresome, which will fit some well. Kind of a 40's-50's feel. Nothing gross or dangerous or dirty. Convenient location downtown and clean. If you want a decent place  to stay downtown in PHX it meets a traveler's needs. I'd recommend it. I'll come back. The neighborhood is OK for downtown. Not in a ghetto where you're afraid to venture out the door without a cop. Nothing like that. Go for it. You'll remember it more than the Embassy Suites or Holiday Inns.

12/06/13 | Link | Rating: 3.0
10. MIchael D.
I didnt spend the night but I would. I went for the entertainment that was advertised. The club down stairs was dead. Went to the pool they had some bands pretty cool vibe. I ordered two drinks tasted like warm flat soda there goes $20 but the door guys were nice enough to give me my cover back.

Im going to give this place another shot soon.

13/08/09 | Link | Rating: 3.0
11. Kori B.
So... I'm a sucker for ghost stories, I'll admit it.

When the boy and I decided to a day of wandering around Phoenix before making our way out to the Grand Canyon for a wedding, we had a hotel choice to make. There's a number of offerings downtown, and in August, let's face it,  not a whole lot of people are visiting this 107-degree town so the options in our budget range were pretty open.

What got us to bypass the fancier, but on sale, hotels with their shiny lobbies, fake-scent-pumping ventilation systems and flat screen TVs? The idea that we might wake up to a bump in the night.

As the story goes, in 1928,  a woman, desperately in love  (and possibly preggers) with a bell boy from a neighboring hotel, took a flying leap from the roof and became a part of the hotel's history. Supposedly the room in which she stayed, 720, is still alive with her presence, as she plays with the TV and glides in shadows across the room.

We did a little ghost hunting while we stayed, though  Room 720 wasn't
available, we were still able to wander the 7th floor and take pictures of the hallways and stairs. Alas, there was no ghost sightings.

Nor did we hear the giggles of children who spent their days as students here when an Indian school occupied the property.

However, the hotel was still fun, it was like taking a step back in time with pedestal sinks and mosaic floors. And who doesn't like a bottle opener in the bathroom? It was easy to imagine the silver screen movies stars partying until the early hours, even in our no-view room.

If you're here, make a stop at the pool, where Marilyn Monroe once swam. It's beautiful at night adorned with multi-colored bubble lamps. But you can't swim after 10! (Who's looking ;-P )

04/09/08 | Link | Rating: 4.0
12. Holly S.
We stayed here for the recent Phoenix Rock and Roll marathon.  The hotel itself is "boutique" as the website says, yet it has paper thin walls and we could hear the drunk people come home at 2am the night before our 8am race.  In addition, this hotel was listed on the race website as a good place to stay, YET when we returned back from the race (which ends in Tempe and requires a 45 min train ride back), our hotel room door was locked with our stuff inside.  We were then charged an additional "1/2 day" fee in order to get our stuff out and shower rather than having a late check out.  There is a Hyatt and a Westin near by ...stay there!!!!

20/01/11 | Link | Rating: 2.0
13. Lori M.
I stayed here once in July (didn't know the fan was what would keep us cool at the time) because it was close to an event at the Orpheum that I was attending very early the next morning and I got a super cheap deal.

I thought the place had charm and was told of the about the ghosts who haunt the place and all the celebrities who had once stayed here at check-in. Fun place to stay if you're doing something downtown, but not anywhere I would stay if I was looking to book a nice relaxing weekend.

24/03/09 | Link | Rating: 3.0
14. Dee M.
I love a funky hotel and this is one of them.  It's 1920's Europe meets the Old West.  Yeah, the rooms are a tad shabby but clean and neat.  Love the Alfred Bierstadt prints and the Remington style statues, gilt frames and as someone said, vintage Hollywood feel.  Hey, some neat celebs stayed here (Marilyn, Spencer, Mae West!).  It even has ghosts!!!  The Ghost Bar was closed (damn!) and it looks like they're trying to find someone to take it over.  Hope they succeed.  It's a cool place.  the pool is lovely and relaxing, the maid service is prompt (I had to run back to my room late morning and it was already cleaned), desk staff is very accomodating.  It's a quick walk to the convention center and other places.  Get your coffee at Cartel Coffee Lab (see my rave review) which is only a couple blocks away.  If you don't need "luxury", try this place.  I had no complaints at all (well, I didn't see the ghost but I'm actually kind of glad).

14/09/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
15. Bri D.
My husband and I booked the Mae West suite to retire to after we finished hosting our wedding festivities across the street at the Arizona Club.  We couldn't have been more happy with the place.

After a very long and full day of wedding activities, we were instantly charmed and wrapped up in the history of this gorgeous building the second we walked through the doors.  We stuffed ourselves, and my huge dress, into the very old elevator and whisked ourselves to our floor on the 4th level.  Keep in mind, this is a very old building, so the doorways are quite small.  The room inside was gorgeous and full of old school glamour.  Check out the website to see photos of the room.  We soon discovered that we both forgot to bring our toothbrushes and toothpaste and the front desk had some sent up to us right away.

If you appreciate historic buildings, old school charm, and ghost stories, you have to check this place out, it really is cool.  The value for our room was incredible too!  We only paid 99 bucks for a very large and comfortable two room suite.  A great experience.

22/03/09 | Link | Rating: 4.0
16. William G.
It is old.  Walls are paper thin, it's almost like the noise from the hall and other nearby rooms is amplified.  Is that even possible?  The room did appear clean.  No security at all, just a young girl behind the front desk.  Doors to both streets wide open and vagrants milling around the openings, lounge, and lobby.

The worst part is the "manager".  Shortly after checking in (mid-afternoon), we decided this is not going to work.  We took our luggage back downstairs and turned in the key, leaving the room exactly as it was when we arrived.  The desk clerk called the manager, who said we would be charged one nights room + a $50 early departure fee.  We asked to speak with the manager and were told she would not talk to us.

Everyone else says this place is cheap, but a $170 charge for not even staying there seems a little pricing to me.  We are no having to dispute the charge with the CC bank.

19/01/12 | Link | Rating: 1.0
17. Nadia C.
I went to an event  hosted at Hotel San Carlos and found the appetizers tasty, nothing special but basic.  The drinks were made well, the room was clean and relaxing, the service was nice and personable.  I think it is a great spot in downtown Phoenix for a social party/gathering!  

I have never stayed in the hotel, so this review is strictly in the event category.  

Hotel San Carlos, has great charm and attentive employees.

03/04/09 | Link | Rating: 4.0
18. Ron M.
SO, DON'T STAY HERE IF YOU HAVE OPTIONS. WHY U ASK???  
OK, let's just say I LOVE history and architecture, but 3stars equals one faucet for hot AND cold water, a shower bigger than 2ft x 2ft, more privacy via better insulation (lets just say I know when both of  my neighbors were having moments of "intimacy", one just got done, that's why I'm writing my review, because it's like I WAS THERE!!!!!!)
3stars = furniture that was made before 1965. OK, then lets recap.. No thermostat, so you have ZERO control over your temp for your room, TV was old school, as was the furniture, carpeting, bathroom (2 faucets 1hot and 1cold, not both under 1... Shower being ICE cold one second and SCAULDING HOT the next second without warning, the terrible internet connection (which did not work the first night, then I told the front desk clerk and their response was to use the internet on the 1st floor even though I was located on the 5th floor, TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE)
The valet parking attendant who tried to pick up my friend, or well, why don't u enjoy ur stay here and write a review for me to ENJOY?? Location is the only thing this hotel has going for it, unless u live in a tent, are homeless, or can afford to spend cash on a terribly overrated hotel. IF this is 3 stars, I'm a millionaire, by reading this review, you know Im not, and this hotel is a joke... Ok, check the swimming pool and tell me how you're going to get a tan... 3stars my A**

04/05/11 | Link | Rating: 1.0
19. Allison L.
I really like this place. Historic, well located, plenty of character. Love the ghost legends whether they're true or not. Docked one star for the pool which, although nice, was freezing and had leaves and other assorted junk floating in it. Yuck! Also, there's no off-street parking, but I suppose that's common for downtown, even in Phoenix.

18/05/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
20. Wayne M.
The bar was okay but the comedy show was horrible.

27/10/11 | Link | Rating: 1.0
21. Adam L.
I'm not sure what other people on here have been smoking, but I want some!

Perhaps I just had a bad room. I can't really name many good things about my stay at the San Carlos. But I can name a few bad ones!

Good -

Staff is friendly and helpful. Room service is impeccable.

Bad -

Rooms and bathrooms are small. It's like being in a closet. Don't be fooled by their pictures on their site... those are the suites.

Paper-thin walls: I can hear the guy in the next room over having a conference call... and I can fully understand what he's saying. Can also hear him farting in the bathroom. Not much privacy!

Irregular water heat: Shower works well as long as no one else in the building is flushing a toilet. You'll be standing there and then all of a sudden it's scolding hot. Happened about once every 30 seconds. Water was also cold in the mornings since everyone else was showering as well.

No control over AC: I know it's Phoenix, but come on. My room was basically a refrigerator at all hours of the day, with no control over it. Vent actuator was broken.

----

Overall opinion: Not worth the money. For a few bucks more I could have stayed at the Hyatt or something. I know their selling point is the whole historical aspect, but c'mon guys; time for a renovation! Will probably not be staying here again the next time I'm in town.

21/10/09 | Link | Rating: 2.0
22. Steve T.
The hotel has an incredible amount of charm.  You get the feeling that you just stepped back in time when you walk into the lobby.  The elevators still have the classic rotating needle that shows what floor the elevator is on.  We stayed in the Governor's Suite, and it too was eking of nostalgia.
Unfortunately some of the staff members did not have the same amount of charm to match the hotel's architecture and styling.  In particular, everyone we encountered at the front desk did not provide service you would expect at a classic establishment as this.  
On the other hand, the Valet Attendant exceeded my expectations.  He was very personable and helpful.  Furthermore, the bartender at the Ghost Lounge was equally personable and made us feel welcome each time we returned.  It appears that he recently purchased the lounge/bar.  He has a great personality and attitude.  I wish him the best.
The hotel is known for it's haunted nature.  I was not pleased to hear this.  Some may be attracted by this.  My over active mind kept me thinking of ghosts in the middle of the night. That's just my fault.
Overall, a historic hotel with a lot of personality.  The hotel might benefit by training the front desk in proper hotel etiquette and professionalism.

15/11/11 | Link | Rating: 2.0
23. Joe C.
Friendly staff, independent hotel with a nice cool pool even on the heat of June...oh, and ghosts!  Perfectly charming place to stay.

26/06/12 | Link | Rating: 4.0
24. Darlene R.
My husband booked the hotel because it was listed as one of America's Historic Hotel.  It's in need of some TLC.  Bathroom tiles chipped and dirty grout made it seem dirty.  Small room facing the main street (quiet though).  Unless you're going to a baseball or basketball game (both stadiums are within walking distance), downtown Phoenix is dead.  Hotel also mentioned by Travel Channel as being one of the most haunted (Ghost Bar).  Even during the day, little activity in the area.

01/03/12 | Link | Rating: 2.0
25. Tani B.
Coming into town for a trade show, we looked up hotels.  The suggested hotel was much farther from the convention center, and cost quite a lot more.   Hotels.com found the Hotel San Carlos for us, and we jumped on it.

Historic? Quaint? Affordable?  Check!

But "quaint" got old pretty quick.  

We arrived from the airport, and the valet parked our rental car.  We checked in, unloaded our stuff, then walked to the convention center (naturally, the hall we were in was on the FAR side of the center from where we were staying...).  We got set up, then headed back to the hotel to wash up for dinner.

I stepped into the shower, and was happy that it was plenty hot.  But what's this?  The water isn't draining?!  Seriously?  No, it's not plugged, it's just not draining!  I ended my shower with water about 3" over my ankles...

Okay, done with the shower - what's that noise?  Oh, wow, the walls are thin, I think that's a SAXOPHONE I hear from another room somewhere!

Next, we went down to get the car so we could go to dinner.  The valet, while trying to do a 3-point-turn, didn't notice a car backing out of a space behind him (the car backing out apparently didn't notice the valet, either).  Not a huge collision, but both cars ended up with new paint on them...  The poor valet looked like he was scared to death that we were going to eat him alive.  

We negotiated for free valet parking the rest of the weekend, but were never able to be assured whether the hotel would cover the damages to the rental car - the General Manager was the person to speak to, and she was apparently not available the entire time we were there...

Bed was comfy, but I would have liked an option for something in between "just a sheet" and the "full comforter", especially since there was no way to adjust the room temperature.

Saturday, we once more walked to the trade show.  Early afternoon, I came back to the hotel for a little while, to find the elevators were not working.  After being on my feet for a while already, this was just about the LAST thing I wanted to deal with.  Well, at least we were on the 4th floor and not the 7th!  I hoped they'd be running again by the time we got back in the evening, but they weren't.

About those thin walls?  Yeah, we got to go to sleep Sat. night with the booming and thumping and loud laughter from the club downstairs.  By the time we left Sun. morning, we were ready.  We were almost afraid that we'd accidentally stumbled onto the inspiration for the Eagles' Hotel California - "you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!"

29/09/10 | Link | Rating: 3.0
26. Bianca A.
We went up to Phoenix for a Tom Petty concert last year and were excited to check this place out.  I absolutely loved it!  I love old hotels like this and this one was great.  Rooms are small due to the fact that this hotel is old but still comfy and cozy.  The staff was very friendly and breakfast was very good.  The hotel was within walking distance of a few bars we visited and it turned out to be a good trip even though our concert was cancelled.  The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars is because they lost our reservation on the first night we were supposed to stay BUT then they paid for a night at the Mariott around the corner.  Great customer service!!

24/07/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
27. Sunny B.
Don't have a pool and looking for a place to cool off in the hot summer months? Look no further, this is the place.
Hotel San Carlos has a pool on the third floor. It has a bar and a spot for a dance floor that quickly fills up as the DJ's pump in house music, and the drinks start to flow. They do "Adult Swim" on Saturday's and Sunday's - you don't have to be a guest at the hotel to go. Everyone is welcome and you can bring your own booze~ It is a lot better than other places (say the Mondrian) as the people are chill and you don't have to be a supermodel or look like one to go there. I would recommend this spot to anyone (out of town or not) as a nice place to cool off and relax during the weekend.

27/07/08 | Link | Rating: 4.0
28. Had R.
Very cool place, great architecture, friendly staff, good food, good selection.  Very unique piece of history.

Valley is $20
Parking garage 1 min walk $12 max rate. If don't leave until after 10pm no charge (gates are open)

Did the ghost tour.  Was fun

29/10/10 | Link | Rating: 4.0
29. Tony Z.
As budget conscious hotels go, the San Carlos is not bad for travelers who don't mind the thin walls, small rooms, intermittent wireless, and yes- a fairly large roach in the bathtub.

I stayed for three nights over St. Patrick's Day, without the knowledge that one of the oldest and most popular Irish bars is located in the hotel. While the hotel has a lounge, it's dimly lit and looks like a run down lounge, rather than an upscale destination.

On St. Patrick's Day, both the lounge and the Irish bar next door throw a big St. Patty's Day party. If you're there for important business, it's not really where you should be staying. If you're there for a sports trip to go to a Suns or Diamondbacks game with a bunch of guys, then it's fine.

The wireless signal in room 607 was non-existent most of the time, unless you positioned yourself near the window or in a very specific spot on the bed.

The first night I brought my MacBook Pro down to the lobby to see if I could get a signal. While I could get a signal, there was no where to sit and plug-in, so that option was out. I went over to the brand new Westin Hotel across the street and used the free wi-fi in the lobby lounge. Truth be told, I'd rather have stayed at the Westin, but I was trying to save the company a few dollars. That's a decision I will think twice about in the future.

The second night, frustrated, I called downstairs to the desk and the woman told me that I should bring my laptop downstairs to see if I could connect, then go back upstairs. What she didn't know is that I've been in the Internet industry for 16-years. When I pleaded to switch rooms, she continued to try and tell me to come downstairs, even though I'd already tried that the night before. When I insisted that she find me another room, she told me the hotel was overbooked. She also started down the road of blaming the customer, saying "why are you yelling at me?" I said, I am not yelling at you, I am frustrated because your hotel advertises free wi-fi, now you're telling me I have to come downstairs (which I did the night before) and try to connect, then go back upstairs.

After that call, I took my laptop over to the Sheraton, another Starwood Hotel, which is a bit longer of a walk, but it was nice out. I sat in the lobby on their free wi-fi while watching a bit of March Madness on the big screen and enjoying snacks from their convenience shop.

If you need a wi-fi connection, then stay far far away from this hotel.

Now to the roach. So, I went to take a shower the morning of my departure and found our not so little friend in the bathtub. Gross. I called down and that sent a bell man up to check it out, but it had scurried somewhere by the time he arrived. I took a very quick shower (which took some time to warm, maybe because of the age of the hotel and it's old water system), checked out, and will never go back.

Sorry Hotel San Carlos. While you are a charming little old hotel, you're not for me. I can't recommend you.

I will say that the only benefit to this hotel is the barber shop on the ground floor. They were really nice I got a great haircut, but it was $18. And, the hotel is directly on the path of the light rail from the airport, so it's pretty easy to get to. Although the Westin is now right there too, so I'd prefer to stay at the new Westin in the future, given it's proximity to ASU Cronkite School.

22/03/11 | Link | Rating: 2.0
30. Nora V.
Hotel San Carlos is packed full of charm, clean & the staff is helpful. Thanks Hotel San Carlos for letting me take a peak into the past via my stay. Great place with lots of history.

19/09/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
31. Stanley H.
This is a one star hotel if you're looking for a swank place.  However, all we needed was a place to crash for a few hours, and this was fine.  HISTORIC, in this case, equals crappy remodel job.  The only nice thing about the rooms is the new Samsung TV.  The staff was friendly, and it's walking distance to a lot of bars and the arena.  I'd stay here again with guy friends, but would never bring my girl here.

31/01/13 | Link | Rating: 3.0
32. Joy T.
Blah...Very disappointing. I ended up at the San Carlos when it was the only hotel downtown that wasn't sold out. I don't think it was worth the $200 a night, but I didn't have a choice.

The shower was amazingly tiny. I felt like I was being frisked up against a wall just to wash my hair.

The walls are super thin. I could hear snoring from one room, coughing from across the hall and the TV on the other side....just awful.

The staff wasn't very helpful---forgot to program a wake up call, refused to assist when an alarm had been going off in another room for over an hour in the middle of the afternoon, etc.

The ghost lounge was very cute...I went down and it was a swing night which seemed to be fun.

I'd be willing to come back to the lounge, but not the hotel for sure.

18/10/11 | Link | Rating: 2.0
33. Joe I.
The Yelp Deal that pops up when you check in was not honored when I presented it, and the staff person made it sound like I was an idiot for presenting it as they had stopped that promotion so long ago.  Perhaps they forgot to tell Yelp?  The valet parking guys work hard, and are good, but the front desk help is just so-so.  Rooms were clean, their soaps and shampoos were great smelling.  Funny sign in shower "sudden drops in water pressure will result in a temporary increase in water temperature".  Free wi-fi.  If the service at the front desk were a bit better, it would be four stars, easy.

01/10/11 | Link | Rating: 3.0
34. Marcos R.
I stayed at this hotel for a conference and it was terrible! I understand it is an old building but old buildings don't have to be dirty and falling apart. Poor, poor, poor, terrible value for what you pay (on this occasion a "special" conference rate of $199). Tiles in the bathroom were chipped, dirty, and in need of repair, the "art" on the wall was falling apart inside the frame, the pillows smelled like they were washed in beer, furniture and doors had chipped paint, you can hear your neighbors coughing and taking showers, your skin is scalded in the shower whenever someone flushes the toilet in your wing of the hotel, and there is a story and picture of a rape and murder line up next to the elevator. If that run-on sentence doesn't detract you then look at the rest of the reviews on here-- more than half of them seem like fake 4* ratings and the rest tell the true story and echo my complaints.

31/08/13 | Link | Rating: 1.0
35. Steven P.
It's definitely cheap compared to other hotels in DT Phoenix.  We weren't in the hotel much anyway because we were traveling.

As with any hotel - you get what you pay for.  The hotel is old.

-The shower water was cold the first night that we got there.  Interestingly they give you Rusk body lotion, shampoo, body wash, and soap.  Maybe it's to make up for everything else in the bathroom being so old.

-There's a nice little pool with chairs and space on an open air roof.

Overall a good experience and I would highly recommend it to the budget traveler.

25/09/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
36. Nikki F.
I am a sucker for antiques and historic anything - one night after a heavy boozing session in downtown Phoenix, I decided that rather than risking a DUI or calling a friend to babysit, that I would find the most affordable hotel that wasn't a shit hole. Hotel San Carlos had sweet rates, so this was the spot.

Before coming here I knew nothing about the history of it.. so I wasn't in it for the ghosts, although my wallet went missing, so could it be the spirit of Leone Jensen that was to blame? I will never know. I ended up getting the King Suite, for the same price as a regular room. Blame it on my abilities to get whatever the hell I want is up to you, but the guy at the front desk was more than happy to upgrade. Score.

Once inside the room, I was taken aback by the beautiful crown molding, Victorian decor, original radiators heating the room, vintage bed canopy and of course, the antiques that were scattered about. It reminded me of one of my old apartments in Boston, plenty of history to give me that sweet sweet feeling of being back in New England. This was what I dug most. I am not sure how big a normal room is, but the King Suite was pretty spacious. A loaded bar, with stools and all, living room area with a pull out couch, tv and footrests,  an armoir for hanging my clothes, which I didn't use obviously..  I snooped through every nook because it was all so old and interesting and mostly because im nosey. The bed was friggin' huge.. assuming they named the room after the bed would not be totally out of the question.

Here come the complaints...
The pillows.. my god, they were so hard and gigantic (that's what she said). I ended up having to use a throw pillow from the couch to rest my head comfortably for I am a small human being with a tiny neck. The bathroom entrance has a step up that is about 10" high which I am surprised I did not stumble over and fall face first into the toilet followed by a broken nose and bleeding knees in the middle of the night. And lastly, had I of slept in 10 minutes more than I did, I would have been awoken by the sound of the maids vacuuming through the paper thin walls.. There is very little privacy in that sense.

Other than that, the staff were so nice, and it was decorated beautifully for the holiday season. I hear the pool is rad, and how can it not be when Marilyn Monroe herself took a dip in it once upon a time? Other celebs have shacked up here as well.. Mae West, Jack Dempsey, John F. Kennedy and one of my faves..  Clark Gable. How cool is that!

Come to think of it.. I did hear the sound of little children talking and laughing as I was leaving that morning, which I blamed on something outside not knowing the story about it being built on the first schoolhouse in Phx and over some sacred wishing well? Maybe I did experience a little paranormal activity, without even knowing it!

I will certainly be back!

14/12/09 | Link | Rating: 4.0
37. Courtney K.
I know a lot of people have complaints, but I was here for a convention in January and it was a perfect place to stay.  I had a small room with an adorable bathroom, all of which had character.  The bar had great beer, the staff was friendly and my hot water was just fine, unless the room next door flushed.  :)
It's an old hotel, with character, so if you want sterility book somewhere else.  I loved it.  It was the only good thing about downtown Phoenix as far as I could tell.

17/02/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
38. Mindy A.
Love the history - architecture and original finishes (copper elevators!) are awesome. Outdated finishes (old carpet, really small bathrooms, shower water that randomly changes from cold to scalding) are not
.
Location is excellent - walk to anything you want downtown, train stop is a block away, adjacent to Seamus McCaffrey's and Ghost Lounge.

We stayed one night and didn't have any problems with thin walls or cleanliness.

Pool is up on the 3rd floor, which is cool.

Price is really good.

Overall, if you ever want to stay downtown and save some bucks, I totally recommend the Hotel San Carlos.

Hotel San Carlos, if you are reading this, please please modernize the hotel somewhat (see Hotel Valley Ho) and I guarantee you will immediately draw a crowd.

04/04/11 | Link | Rating: 3.0
39. Carlos H.
Was just there last week 11-4 to 11-6.  The hotel may have personality as a historic building but that is it.  Had a room in the 7th floor.  About 4:00 am all kind of vibration started. Called the front office and was told "Oh yes,  sorry that is the A/C system on the roof, it does that everyday..." - I was transferred to another room at the other side of the 7th floor.  No vibration from A/C there but the noise from the pipes was  the "ghost" that keep me awake.  In addition every room has a transom over the doors that is a ventilation grill that also allows light from the hallway to pass through.

Other points, be ready to duck out of the shower as the water temperature can change minute to minute.  Forget about eating at the hotel, they have no restaurant and or course no room service.

Don't waste your money

16/11/12 | Link | Rating: 1.0
40. Jennifer D.
We stayed at the Hotel San Carlos this past Memorial Day weekend during the Phoenix Comicon and not only is the hotel beautiful and rich with history but the staff is AMAZING!

There were 5 of us checking in and we had a small room that was going to be tight but we were going to make it work when the girl behind the counter let us know that the suite was available and it had more room. She offered us a good deal compared to their normal pricing but we were all a little tight on funds so we were nervous about upgrading. She asked the manager to come over and after chatting with all of us for a few minutes (she was so super sweet and informative about the history of the hotel and an absolute pleasure to speak with) she worked some kind of wonderful magic and brought the room down to a killer deal that was completely mind blowing. All of us were so excited because not only did each of us now have a bed to sleep in, but it was going to save us money so that we had a bit more to spend at the Con.

The room had a separate living room with a couch bed, desk, chair, and foot stool. The bedroom had 2 full-size beds and a nice desk. The view was of downtown PHX and it had 2 nice-sized closets and 2 bathrooms! This was perfect for 3 girls and 2 guys since we all had to get ready at the same time.

The hotel is beautiful. The lobby is quaint and well appointed. Obviously being a historical landmark it is older and smaller than the gigantic contemporary resorts that many of us are now used to, but it's so much better in many ways. It was warm and friendly and felt like a loved one's home. Honestly I would stay there again anytime.

There is talk about it being haunted but I didn't get a scary vibe from the hotel at all. I will say that without knowing anything about the haunting history I did step onto the elevator by myself to go up to my room and all of the sudden I smelled some sort of fruity  perfume smell that was not present when I first got into it and the elevator which was set to go up took me down to the basement even though the B button was not pushed and my room was on the 5th floor. The doors opened revealing the basement and I said "Hello?" There was no one around. It kind of creeped me out a little bit later when I found out more about the history of the hotel and it's haunting stories.

I highly recommend the Hotel San Carlos for those of you who appreciate history and don't mind a hotel with character.

Oh and the parking isn't awful. It's just a little jot up the street which for those of you who don't mind walking a short ways, is just fine. If you do mind walking, they have valet.

29/05/12 | Link | Rating: 5.0
41. Ali C.
I stayed at San Carlos May 19th - 20th. It was merely "okay".

I liked:
Historic old school hollywood feel. It was chic. I dug it.
The place had character and I particularly liked the outside of the rooms more than the in. We were in walking distance to the places we wanted to go.

How about no on these items:
Surprise! No hotel parking. You can pay the Valet 20 bucks or pay 15 over at chase's parking lot.
Surprise! They hold an extra $25 on your card in case of room damage.
Ghost lounge? It was Saturday night and the dance floor was empty. It wasn't the plan to go there but it was kind of depressing to see that....
Ghosty goodness? Nope. There was a somewhat weird vibe about the place but nothing really standing out. My house has had more ghosty vibes and action that I received here.

It has the potential to be pretty awesome but the surprise extra money you end up spending seems like it makes up the difference of what you save.
I will probably avoid going here again, including the club.

21/05/12 | Link | Rating: 2.0
42. Thepmala S.
I love this place because it's affordable, has classic glamor, original chandeliers, copper elevator doors, cute pool, great location, and comfortable beds.

Yes, I am a fan of this place and see myself staying here again in the future. I knew it was an historic hotel and I wasn't sure what to expect and I kept an open mind. My friend booked us a room with 2 double beds. The room was fairly small, and so was the bathroom. Honestly, nothing very special. The beds were very comfortable, no weird smells, and clean. The walls are thin and it was annoying to hear the neighbors "enjoying," their stay. Ha! And it didnt help that we were staying there the night of a pub crawl so there were some loud neighbors and the thin walls didnt help.

06/06/11 | Link | Rating: 4.0
43. William L.
They get a two only because the valet staff was stellar.  The front text lady was cold and extremely rude. One instance was after returning from breakfast and about to enter the elevator to go back to our room, she very rudely stopped us to ask us if we were actually guest of the hotel AFTER seeing us leave to go to breakfast in the first place.  After telling her how unprofessional she was she said, "I know, but this is private property!"  Disgusting!  
The rooms are outdated and and extremely small.
I could go on, but don't feel like continuing to think about this place.
Recommendation.. go somewhere else.

09/11/13 | Link | Rating: 2.0
44. T D.
Touristy and overrated. Run-down and overpriced. The guests don't seem happy and  the staffers are sour. I guess someone jumped off the roof a long time ago and that's a kind of... tourist attraction?

It is dated, with old fixtures and lots of character. While I am a fan of the older historic buildings, it can only be pulled off with good maintenance and attention to customer service, both of which this hotel is lacking. I jokingly mentioned to someone that maybe someone else will jump off and bring it back to life. Well apparently that happened in 2004 and it's still suffering. (It wasn't someone famous.)

Now that I think about it, the person who insisted I stay there is a little, um, tacky, the kind of guy who is impressed by Carrabba's and falls for ghost rumors. Shheeesh, I should have known better. Then again, there are lots of people in this world like that, so maybe they will keep this place alive. It's sad to see it suffer.

I enjoyed the rooftop pool.

21/04/13 | Link | Rating: 2.0
45. Charles L.
Not fancy like a major chain hotel in the area.  Room a little cramped, and has an old style feel in the bathroom.  So if you are expecting a high end hotel room, you will be disappointed.

On the other hand:

- easy to make a reservation last minute.
- bargain priced for downtown.
- service by staff was excellent.
- clean.

24/05/13 | Link | Rating: 4.0
46. Sandi Y.
Great service and such a great place to stay! This place has a lot history and great stories behind it! The security guard Dennis is so incredibly nice and knowledgeable about the history of the hotel as was very happy to take the time to share it with us. The rest of the staff was very helpful as well.

26/12/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
47. Rand H.
= = = = =  WEEKDAY LUNCH BUFFET  :-O  = = = = =

Ok, the old Hotel San Carlos here is serving a weekday lunch buffet, so of course I stopped in to try it.  Today was Mexican food day, & they had a small setup of 16 items, which might be ok as long as the food is good.

I started with some of what they said was Tortilla Soup, in a styrofoam bowl.  Next, there was a bit of salad, & then it was on to the refried beans, which were cold, tasteless, & the consistency of the clay we had back in grade school.  They also featured nearly tasteless chimichangas, enchiladas, & tacos.

Over at my table there was a pitcher of WARM water to drink!

The service was awful, & so was most of the food.  Factoring in price ($7.99), it was worse than Taco Bite!     :-O

05/10/11 | Link | Rating: 1.0
48. Tommy S.
TONS of historic 1920s charm. When looking for a historic hotel I usually want something that is historic inside too, and this delivers.  So often hotels are victim to insensitive remodels that remove or cover up charm - not the San Carlos!

This place's glory days are behind it, but there's still tons to love.  Old molding, original bathroom fixtures and tile (original pipes too, the water pressure can sometimes be an adventure).  Anyone from Phoenix knows that faucets with Cold and hot knobs deliver hot and warm water, respectively.  No longer functional but still present, there is a knob in each room for refrigerated water - something I'm sure travelers appreciated in decades past.  There are no individual room air conditioners - but this is typical for hotels of this era.  Instead the ventilation system uses central air with manual louvers controlling the air flow.  

The roof top pool was a fun find, and the surroundings seemed to be well preserved '50s vintage.

There was no parking garage, but the hotel valet parks your car in the garage of the bank across the street.  They don't valet park motorcycles though!

Although slightly worn if you look really close, I love this place because is so original and authentic.  It is my favorite place to stay in Phoenix.

11/06/13 | Link | Rating: 4.0
49. Frank G.
Gross, just gross. Historic should have higher standards than noisy cramped rooms, smelly hallways, tiny ancient bathrooms and staff who look right thru you. Broken tile in the bathroom, shower heads that sprayed everywhere but on me, a 5 inch step-up guaranteed to take out a toe nail if you are not careful.
I bailed after one night, complained about the grinding sound the AC made and it seemed like I was speaking a forgein language to those people, no action, no follow-up and still had the balls to charge me an extra $50 for running away from the place in horror.
Somebody should bulldoze the place or buy it and give it the attention a "historic landmark" deserves rather than pretending this rundown sh@thole is anything other than sad sad shadow of its former glory.
STAY AWAY!
I will say the new Vietnamese/French fusion restaurant on the ground floor will be the only loss to the community if the San Carlos were to collapse under the weight of it's own self delusion....

05/05/13 | Link | Rating: 2.0
50. Jennifer C.
This place is ehhh.

The rooms are realllllly small and the beds are teeny tiny.  If you want to fit 4 people in a standard two bed room is a TIGHT squeeze.

When we stayed, I hopped in the shower before I had a huge event to go to and the shower faucet fell out of the wall!!!!!  I swear it was the ghost haunting me because I wasn't afraid of her.  The management was not too nice about the situation or understanding and did not try to help make our stay better.

We were coincidentally in town during halloween, and we thought that staying at "one of the most haunted hotels in america" we would have a lot to do and there would be an amazing party or something, OR ANYTHING.  They were giving tours, and when we tried to get one, the tour guide just kind of left, guess he knew a better place to go to than the hotel "party".  The party had a $10 cover, and judging from what I saw, the hotel probably brought in a total of $40 that night.  It was completely dead and nothing was going on.

All in all, I do not recommend this place.

02/04/13 | Link | Rating: 2.0
51. Morgan D.
Hated it! Remember the In Living Color sketch, Men on Film? No? Basically just say "hated it" in a sassy gay voice and that is exactly how I feel about the Hotel San Carlos. Maybe snap your fingers too.

I thought it would be fun. I thought it would be cool. I drove by a million times and said to myself, "I wanna get a room there one of these days." Unfortunately, when that day arrived I was severely disappointed.

I knew it was old and I thought that would be part of the charm, but it wasn't. That's the problem. It's just old and crappy, not historic and charming. There is a difference. Maybe it would have been more charming if the staff knew what they were doing. Not a single basic question I asked could be answered by the girl working at the front desk. The vallet guy was NEVER around. NEVER. So that made it a little hard to, you know, vallet my car. The king bed we upgraded to was just two small beds pushed together. Man, I love sleeping in the crack! So comfortable. Want a late checkout, no problem ... oh, wait, problem. The night person and the morning person seem to be on different pages.

Bottom line, someone needs to send their employees to a class on customer service and maybe even give them a print out of their job descriptions. Oh, hey, you know what ... that someone is you, Hotel San Carlos management.

(Disclaimer: I might be PMSing as I write this review.)

(Yes, that is a legit excuse.)

(For me, not the hotel staff.)

06/01/12 | Link | Rating: 2.0
52. Jason O.
DON'T STAY AT THIS HOTEL

If there was a zero star it would be more appropriate.  Made a reservation through hotels.com for $200 for one night stay.  Arrived at 1am and there was nobody at the desk for a good 5 minutes.  Finally the host comes out with the worst attitude ever.  Then as we are checking in she wants to charge an extra $60 for "late check in".  Needless to say I was irate and only needed the room for about 7 hours of sleep (for $200).  I complained and instead of resolving the issue, she called the police to have me removed from the premise.   When the police got there they realized it was a complete waste of their time and were laughing at the situation.  They still had to do their job and make me leave.  

Today I am trying to contact the hotel to get a refund, as they have considered me a "no show" and charged my card.  I have called three times to speak with the manager who is "too busy" to take my call.  She also won't call me back.  

Entire lack of professionalism and courtesy.  If I pay $200 a night for a hotel I expect to be greeted at the door, and provided with friendly staff.  They were very combative and inappropriate.  Neglected to have a conversation and try and resolve the issue - resorted to aggressiveness because the staff wasn't intelligent enough to cooperate.

24/03/13 | Link | Rating: 1.0
53. Mario R.
This hotel is horrible!! The customer service has to be as old as the hotel because they have no understanding of what is like to treat a customer correctly! The front desk has attitude, the valet are airheads and the overall atmosphere just sucks! I regret ever staying here and would like to advice anyone on thinking about staying here to STAY AWAY!!!!!!!!! Rooms are small bathtubs have roaches, paint is chipping off the walls.... Ugh just a bad experience! I paid 178 for one night and regret it! I've stayed at motel 6 that are way better than this!

27/01/14 | Link | Rating: 1.0
54. Amber C.
First of all, this hotel is really cool with its historical history and pictures it has on the walls. I'm sure they try to keep things on the "antique"  side to stay with the theme...but come on! The bed I slept on was literally the most uncomfortable bed I have ever slept on in a hotel. The walls are paper thin, which isn't their fault, it was built that way, but you can here everything! One of my biggest complaints is not having black out curtains. In fact, the curtains don't even close all the way. Reading other posts, I have to say the front desk staff was very nice to me.

15/03/14 | Link | Rating: 2.0
55. T E.
I checked in and as I was checking in, I found out that this place was haunted. I would have appreciated it if they had written it in the description of the hotel, but they didn't, and it made me feel a bit uneasy - especially since I found out that the ghost of the woman staying there had a room on the floor I was staying on. Anyway, I tried getting over it and in the night was definitely visited by something - but not a ghost, bed bugs. I woke up to huge welts across my arms and face and got up and caught one. I called down to the front desk and then took the bed bug downstairs to show the hotel, and they moved me to another room. I asked to speak to the manager but she wasn't there and I was told that she would call me when she got into the hotel the next day. I checked out around 7:30 am and was told she would be in at 9 and call me then, but she didn't call. I called her twice, but she didn't respond. In addition, I called the people that I booked with and asked for a refund but they said they had to clear it by the hotel, but the hotel wouldn't respond to them and I'm out the cost of a night when I didn't sleep, and scratching all over from bed bugs.
In other news, the bathrooms were tiny and dirty, very narrow and the kind you can't actually dress after you get out of the shower. The internet cut in and out, and I called the front desk to tell them and they directed me to the business center. Except the business center was in a really creepy part of the hotel (lights were off, it was behind a door in a separate wing and I didn't feel safe in it), and the water was warm in the shower rather than hot. When I told the front desk about these issues they were like, 'well no one else has complained'. Don't stay here!

02/04/14 | Link | Rating: 1.0
56. Sera B.
Front desk was helpful and polite, with bright smiles. Rooms were fun because of the historical aspect, as well as the pictures and newspaper articles posted around the hotel. Clean, too :)

09/08/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
57. Amy P.
So impressed with this hotel!   I live in Scottsdale but have always been very interested in historic buildings.  I decided to stay at the San Carlos just to check it out.  The San Carlos make you feel like you are stepping back though time!   The decor and room are well kept while the historic aspects are left intact.  The lobby and rooms were beautiful!

The pool was surprisingly modern. It was lite with cobalt blue lights which added a very relaxing feel for our night swims.  

The staff went out of there way to make sure we enjoyed our stay.   While we were swimming the security guard----I think his name was Denis ---checked on us.   He answered many questions we had about the hotel and things to do in downtown Phoenix!   The staff (Bob at the front desk was super nice too) was very friendly and knowledgeable which really added to out overall experience :)

I can't wait to do another staycation at San Carlos!!!

03/08/13 | Link | Rating: 5.0
58. Rebecca S.
What a fun and affordable hotel in downtown Phoenix! The beds and linens were nice, a pretty view of the city and a lovely rooftop swimming pool. If you like historic hotels with ghost stories you'll love it here. So many restaurants and nightclubs to walk to and it's right next to the light rail. Also, a lot of celebrities stayed here back in the day including Marilyn & Elvis. The air conditioning was also nice which was great since it's so hot outside.

07/09/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
59. Miranda B.
All I have to say is, should've listened to the reviews before staying here. Lol.

FIRST of all, the front desk service was OK. Though they didn't explain much and basically just said sign here here here. Umm ok.
SECOND, the rooms are  small but not too small--except the shower.
THIRD, the bed was super comfy and a lot of pillows  

Ok, now the bad part.

I was asleep (well trying to), THEN I  heard moaning. Then it got louder. The people next to us were having sex all night and all morning, TF? That's how thin the walls are btw.

2 stars. Never again.

16/03/14 | Link | Rating: 2.0
60. Melanie S.
People at front desk are not friendly, borderline rude. Its a "historic hotel" but mostly just no attention to detail as far as cleanliness and finesse. Rope-esk shower head mount (not the piping) is at a whooping 5'5 (could be relocated with no plumbing cost). Exhaust fan in restroom has no removalable top and had about 3" of dust.

Gave 2 stars because the pool deck (level 3) and Thai restaurant downstairs are great, otherwise would be a 1 star. For $189/night x 10 nights I was disappointed, if Palomar would have been available this would have never even occurred, needed something within walking distance of work for the week (2 blocks away).

12/03/14 | Link | Rating: 2.0
61. CJ A.
What a wonderful experience!  Don't believe the negative reviews... Those are from spoiled like kids with "first world problems".., look it up on Youtube. This place has old world charm in the heart of bustling downtown, and a spirit of a yesteryear we could all learn from.

29/03/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
62. Mike F.
Place was decent enough with their historic feel, but their fitness center was severely lacking. In addition the bathroom in my room had about a foot high step up and with the standard doorframe, I hit my head many times. The shower gets scalding hot or not during your shower, whatever it feels like giving you to help wake you up. The staff were generally nice overall. My biggest complaint here was after paying 20.00 per night to park, my iPhone charger went missing from my rental car. While I know I shouldn't have left anything in my car, I would have expected my car to be secured in their garage. The kicker was when hotel staff tried to tell me that I did not leave it in the car!?! The manager finally relented and did offer to remove one night of parking for my "trouble" I just found it to be too little too later after having her staff act like I was being dishonest. Next time, I'm staying at the Westin across the street.

26/03/15 | Link | Rating: 3.0
63. Mariko L.
Hotel rooms were very outdated and the shower was awful (temp went from warm to scalding randomly), very cramped, and the shower head was not high enough to wash my hair without squatting (I'm 5'9"). The walls of the rooms were so thin that you can hear people talking in the halls and flushing toilets in neighboring rooms. That, combined with random knocks in my rooms and the knowledge after checking in that this was one of the top ten haunted hotels in the US, made for a fitful night of restless sleep.

Giving it a 2 star bc while it was one of the worse places I've stayed room quality wise, I'm highly entertained in hindsight at how scared I was in the "haunted" hotel and have some good memories to show from it. Also, historic hotel that had housed stars like Marilyn Monroe so it was cool to see (although thankfully for only a night, I don't think my nerves could have handled a second)!

04/02/14 | Link | Rating: 2.0
64. Tracy D.
This is hands down the dirtiest hotel I have ever stayed in. The bathrooms were filthy and the people across the hall complained of bed bug bites. I couldn't leave fast enough - a completely disappointing experience.

The hotel also claimed to have room service and cable. There was no room service of any kind and the staff said it had been that way for months. We only received 2 TV channels and when we called down to ask for service on our TV, they said that just happens some times and there wasn't really anything they could do.

Gross old hotel - not charming in any way.

18/10/14 | Link | Rating: 1.0
65. Molly S.
If you are a lover of historical places and supernatural haunted stuff, then this is the hotel for you.

The Hotel San Carlos has been around since 1928 just when the Great Depression was starting. To think it survived all that and is still around today just shows that this hotel knows what it's doing. On every floor, they have a little bit of history that happened to the hotel. My friend and I stayed on the 7th floor and our little bit of history was the whole Miranda rights started.

When it was time to check out, we told the concierge that we were in room 721, and she told us the haunted room was right next to us (room 720). Next time we go there, we will try to request that exact room.

The hotel room itself is updated but still has that nice "old school feel." The bathrooms were a tad bit small but the bed was very comfty. The rooms aren't spacious and huge but I feel the not so large room gives it a more intimate feel. The furniture really helps make it feel like you are staying in that hotel back in the good old days.

The Hotel San Carlos will always be my first choice of hotel now. There's so much history and it's pretty cool to think you walked in the same lobby that Marilyn Monroe and so many other stars walked through.

30/09/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
66. Emily B.
My stay at Hotel San Carlos was mostly based on price and lack of availability at more well known chains, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  I really wasn't impressed and I wouldn't stay there again.

Upon arrival at about 2:35pm, I was told my room wouldn't be ready until 3pm.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute to clean it up!  I asked for the wifi password and got some work done in the tiny lobby while I waited.

If you're looking for old world charm, this is the place for you.  Priding itself on having hosted Marilyn Monroe, and that it is one of the most haunted hotels in America, somehow this hotel wins guests over despite the small old rooms with tiny bathrooms and musty smells.  

To be fair, the hotel was a place to lie my head, and I did have a good sleep.  However, it wasn't as comfortable a stay as I would have had at a newer hotel.  The shower was a tiny stall with a curtain, which wasn't sufficient when the shower head started spraying all over the bathroom due to a slight leak.

I will also say that the rooftop pool was okay.  It had a lot of seating and was better than some others in the city.

If you're looking to step back in time, this is the hotel for you!

14/03/14 | Link | Rating: 2.0
67. Heather N.
Suprised my husband with a night away from home. We had talked about staying at this hotel for years but had never actually done it. So glad we did! Staff was friendly, hotel was clean and well kept and the surrounding area was great it as nice to venture
We especially loved that they hotel has kept it's 'old' and classic feel.

16/12/14 | Link | Rating: 4.0
68. Brianna Y.
I booked a stay at Hotel San Carlos for one night through Groupon for $76 after taxes. Most other hotels in the area go for $120-300, so finding this deal was awesome. My boyfriend and I live in AZ and he wanted to celebrate his birthday by having a staycation downtown so we could have fun with family and friends without worrying about a way to get home at the end of the night. Originally, we were going to book a night at Hotel Palomar but like I said, we weren't looking to spend a lot of money.

I started reading reviews before we checked in and was feeling nervous that I hadn't made a good decision because there were more bad than good things being said. From the moment we got to the hotel to the time we checked out, our stay was anything from dissappointing. The staff was nice and let us check In early. Before we parked we talked to the valet service and asked for advice on parking. They could have given us excuses to use their service but instead, they pointed across the street and let us know that on the weekends, parking in those spots were free. Awesome! Free parking.

Once we got to our room, everything was clean and the room was a nice temperature. The rooms are small and the bathroom is even smaller but I didn't expect anything else. Its a little ridiculous how many people complained about the raised up part of the floor you have to step over to get in the shower. Wahhh. I barely noticed it, and anyone with a brain should have no problems stepping over it. Also, the shower does fluctuate in temperature when someone flushes a toilet, but it was never an unbearable cold or heat. Once we got settled in we went to the pool, its a cute little pool but by the time we got out there the sun was covered by the building surrounding it, so that was a bummer.

For lunch, we went next door to McCaffery's. They have great food and our bartender was great.

Honestly, I have no complaints about our stay. Its a cute little hotel and for staying on a Saturday night, there were no dramatic noises going on and I didn't hear anyone talking in another room, having sex, or going to the bathroom. I heard a couple of door slams but I think at any hotel its typical. All the bad reviews are obviously from people who have a case of first world problems. Wahhh, "no room service", Wahhh "the rooms are too small", Wahhh "I couldn't control the room temperature", Wahhh "there's something I have to lift my foot up 5 inches from the ground to get over in to the shower", Wahhh,  Wahhh,  Wahhh.  Get over it people. Take your spoiled attitudes over to the Hyatt.

27/07/14 | Link | Rating: 5.0
69. Bonnie L.
No stars- cheap you buy, cheap you get. Paper thin walls so I could hear the neighbors sports scores on the tv and even clear his throat and cough. I was happy he wasn't on his honeymoon or I would have heard every sigh and grunt. The chipped bath tile and unglazed bathtub made me wonder how they were keeping it clean. The pool had cushions floating in it and probably only has sun for 15 minutes a day and when my roommate touched the water she got shocked. Are they sure the resident ghost leaped to her death and wasn't electrocuted in the pool. There is old and classy , then just old and ghetto. We are not talking shabby chic. You can't control temperature in your room either.Good luck getting your money back after the $50 cancellation fee on a prepaid room. I heard from a local that the area used to be the prostitute area.Nice family resort.

16/04/15 | Link | Rating: 1.0
70. Ross A.
I love historic buildings and the unique experiences that come with them.

That said, there's a right way to do historic and a wrong way to do historic.

This was the wrong way.

Historic bathrooms are never going to be the most convenient but there is no excuse for fluctuating water temperature.  Going from ice cold to scalding hot is not acceptable no matter how old your plumbing is.

I like antique furniture but there's a difference between classy and shabby.  The furniture in my room was beat up with nicks and dings.  A coat of paint would have done wonders on making classic pieces look great instead of sad.  It really speaks to the lack of effort put forth by the staff when simple, low cost fixes are ignored.

I expect old buildings to be noisey.  What I don't expect is to be awoken at 6 am by the staff talking on their phone outside my room.  Again, it's another example of the management being lazy and out of touch with their customers.

On top of this the front desk was rude when questioned about the billing.  Again, poor management and customer service.    

Here's the bottom line, historic hotels that get it, put their guests first.  They do everything they can to make the stay enjoyable because they know that the accommodations aren't the most convenient.  

The Hotel San Carlos does not do that.  I really hope that they get their act together because the historic building deserves better.

11/03/15 | Link | Rating: 1.0
71. Paul R.
I'm staying here now for Super Bowl weekend, and this hotel does not meet the low expectations I had for it.  I would leave if I could snag a room at a different hotel -- alas, no vacancies on Super Bowl eve.

The cons:  General dinginess, the paint on the walls of my tiny room is chipping, there is rust in sink of my tiny bathroom (which has bottle opener next to the toilet -- very odd), the water in the shower goes from cold to scalding for no apparent reason, the walls are paper thin (heard my neighbor watching a porno earlier -- charming), the place smells like mold, it's way too hot (no individual thermostat in room), and the staff can't be bothered.

The pros:  It's haunted (which could be a con if you're not into ghosts), centrally located, they have an entire floor decorated with posters of air force fighter planes (which could be a con if you're not into fighter jets), free Wi-Fi.    

It was built in 1928, and it feels that way--and not in a good way (e.g., Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston built even earlier).    

Would not return.

31/01/15 | Link | Rating: 1.0
72. Marcia B.
It's a beautiful old hotel.  It's not fancy but its historical.   Very clean.  Friendly staff.  In the middle of the night some kids came barreling down the hallway screaming and laughing and then had a party in the room next to me.  When I called the front desk he was already in the process of moving them.  That is very rare.  Great location as well. I recommend this hotel and I would stay there again. Sadly I did not see any ghosts but certainly could have used her assistance for the wild kids next door.  Luckily the manager was swift in taking care of them.

22/02/15 | Link | Rating: 5.0
73. Brian H.
Stayed here for 5 nights on business. The front desk staff were friendly and attentive. The rooms were clean and comfortable. It's got a fun decor with lots of cute artwork and nice stories to read about its historical significance.

No ghosts. If you believe in that.

The only "cons" would be:
- HVAC system. No individual control (I personally like my rooms cold) and one vent above the bed that's pretty loud when shut. Strange hissing sound from the radiator.
- The shower would suddenly get scalding hot for no reason. Fine for adults as we can "jump back" but if my child were in there, I'd be pissed if she were burned.
- Wireless internet is ssssllllloooooowwwww. Not even worth using. Bring a hotspot.

Rooms were pretty quiet despite the reviews of the "thin walls". Elevators were small and cramped but that's what you'd expect from an antique hotel. Decent area, lots to eat around you especially Seamus McCafferty's Irish Pub downstairs.

12/01/15 | Link | Rating: 4.0
74. Elizabeth T.
Let me start by saying it pains me to leave a poor review for such a beautiful building!

I adore historic buildings and choose to stay in independent/historic hotels as often as possible. In fact, I live in a 112 year old home with mostly original fixtures.  The accommodations and staff of the San Carlos failed to live up to my excitement about staying in a hotel with such a storied past.  The decor of the rooms isn't just dated it is downright tired.  The furniture was chipped and the walls were dingy.

At home I'm used to a cramped 100 year old bathroom.  However, the peeling paint on every surface including the tiled shower walls felt unclean. Taking a shower was a truly horrible experience with defective plumbing switching the water temperature between scalding hot and freezing cold without warning.

I understand it is an old building with little insulation and the hotel cannot control the noise level of it's guests.  However, being awoken by the cleaning staff's very loud walkie-talkies just outside our door and banging around cleaning the room across the hall was unacceptable. The staff should make every effort to be unobtrusive and quite.

EDIT This was all capped off by being over-billed for each of our two rooms. When I called to correct the billing  the manager was incredibly rude and unhelpful.

I can only hope the hotel is able to survive this horrible management  and staff long enough to see improvement, it would be a tragedy if it were one day closed because the owners just don't care about service.

09/03/15 | Link | Rating: 1.0
75. Jay Infamous L.
My first hotel stay in Phoenix Arizona. Booked here the day of actually flying in after trying to find a decent, clean place to stay in the downtown area for not that expensive. I lucked out with finding this place online and booked right before I went to the airport. From the pics, ratings and reviews, it was pretty much a good sell.

Wasn't looking for anything too fancy cause I knew I would barely be at the hotel in the first place but it did have a pool eventhough I didn't go in while staying there for 2 nights. Overall though, nice staff, mostly clean but could use some updated carpeting in the rooms and hallways as you can tell stepping off onto one of the floors that they were a bit outdated and not heavily upkept. The bathtubs although not filthy could of been maintained a little better as well. Beds (which to me are the most important) were clean. Nice flat screen TV units. Decent cable and local channels, free Wi-Fi and located right in the heart of downtown Phoenix in walking distance of City Center mall, United Airlines arena and some cool lounges, bars and restaurants.

Would I stay here again...well if my budget was better probably not, but that's just me being high maintenance when it comes to vacations but if I am on a tight budget as I was on this vacay then sure I would most likely stay here again if needed.

15/03/15 | Link | Rating: 3.0