I was in San Carlos for an afternoon meeting, and decided I didn't want to sit in traffic for over two hours trying to get back to my house in San Jose on a Tuesday evening. I decided to stay in town at the last minute, and Hotel San Carlos was one of the cheapest hotels on Kayak that looked decent. I read reviews on Yelp and they were mixed. I have to say that most of the reviews on Yelp and other sites are out-dated and have unreasonable expectations for a hotel in this price range. First of all, the property is family owned. The man who checked me in at the front desk was the owner and he was very nice and welcoming. This is not something you would get at a chain hotel. The property has been remodeled very recently at what looks like substantial cost. My room which had a single king, (and is one of their smallest) was huge. It came equipped with a desk, fridge, microwave, and coffee-maker. There was plenty of space for me to unpack and do some work. The wifi is blazing fast. There was a new flat-screen TV, but I didn't use it--when I wanted to relax I streamed Netflix on my iPad--always a good test of hotel wifi since it takes a lot of band-width. Worked perfectly. New carpet, new bed, all new bathroom including slate tiles and new faucets. The bed was supremely comfortable and the sheets were soft and seemed new. Everything was spotlessly clean. I am a very light sleeper and sensitive to noise generally, and I was concerned about noise for two reasons: the property is on El Camino, and the commuter train tracks are about 1,000 yards away across the street, with a train going by every 30 minutes or so. I can say categorically that noise is not a problem. The train does not blow the horn as it passes through San Carlos station, so the noise it generates blends in with the traffic on El Camino. Once I shut the door of my room, that noise was reduced so substantially that it served more as white noise. I turned on the air-conditioner and that basically cancelled out all noise. I was able to take a nap at 5 in the afternoon. I had the owner put me in a room upstairs toward the back, and its unique position on the property, (far back, left, and at the end of a hallway) meant I only shared one wall with another room. All my other walls were exterior-facing. I heard nothing from the other rooms. In the evening and early morning, my room was like bank-vault. In the morning there is fresh coffee and bagels in the lobby. Nothing fancy, but definitely better than the plastic-wrapped garbage they pass off as "breakfast" at Best Western (which costs more). I checked-in on a Tuesday during an off-week when there were no conferences or anything in the area. I would imagine that this property will get fairly busy during conference season. All the guests I saw there were obviously business-people. The proximity of the hotel to San Carlos Caltrain means its only a few minutes to SFO and a bit longer to the city itself, so using it as home-base for visits into the city is feasible, but I think it works better as a commuter lodge than as a base for tourism. I say this as a Bay Area native. If you have a set schedule with meetings in San Francisco or on the peninsula then this hotel will be perfect. If you need a place that allows you to drop in and out of the city at random hours because you are traveling for pleasure or with children, then the distance might be a factor. I find it unfair to judge a value lodge as if it is the Ritz. Considering the price I paid, there is no doubt in my mind this is the best deal in town because the other chain hotels cost more and are not as friendly or in as good of a condition, typically. In this regard the Hotel San Carlos is truly excellent. What more can you want from a budget inn except peace and quiet, cleanliness, and comfort? I will be having meetings in San Carlos about once a quarter, and will be staying here again in the future. I highly recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- When you stay at our small, boutique hotel in San Carlos, CA, you can count on a warm welcome and a pleasant stay. We are proud to give personal attention to each of our valued guests. No other hotel in San Carlos, CA, can offer our level of comfort and service at such affordable prices. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Days Inn San Carlos
- San Carlos Days Inn