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“Little Hearst Castle in Berkeley” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Berkeley City Club

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Berkeley City Club
2315 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 21 hotels in Berkeley
GreenLeadersBronze level
Berkeley, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Little Hearst Castle in Berkeley”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

As a member of the City Club, I frequently send my guests there and have stayed there myself.
It is the only Julia Morgan designed hotel in Berkeley, and an architectural jewel. (Julia Morgan restored the Fairmont Hotel in SF after the earthquake and designed the Hearst Castle on Highway 1). Nowhere else in Berkeley can you live architectural history. Hope you get a room there!

Room Tip: Get here before construction starts and the rooms with bayview will be obstructed.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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164 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012 via mobile

Got a steal of a deal on Living Social and stayed for an anniversary getaway. Enjoyed our 3-night stay very much! Staff was extremely pleasant and helpful. We spent most of our time exploring San Francisco during the day and I was initially concerned about the travel back and forth from Berkeley, but the amazing public transportation system was a close walk, it was no hassle at all. It was very quiet at night in the hotel and we even had a view of the Golden Gate Bridge from our room! Would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bayfield, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

The Berkley City Club is a bare bones hotel, but clean and super cheap in a City that is pretty expensive. Walking distance to the BART if 1/2 mile seems doable. The service also was good, and the free full breakfast was a pleasant surprise since they call it continental breakfast. Pool too if you want it.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern Calif
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

I very much enjoyed a two-night stay in this charming hotel when in Berkeley for a 40-year Boalt reunion. My room was spacious, and anyone who loves history will be blown away by the accomplishments of Julia Morgan (first licensed woman architect in California and architect for Hearst Castle among dozens of other projects.) Several of my classmates joined me for breakfast one morning; the buffet was good (Peet's coffee), there were lovely flower arrangements on the white tablecloths, and all enjoyed looking around this historic hotel. I agree it is not a hotel for one needing office services on a business trip. There is a computer to print out boarding passes but no room service and no tvs in the room (which I considered a plus, but some might miss.) Free wifi is available. For a visit to Cal, we all agreed we might stay here for our 45th!

Room Tip: Room 302 overlooked Durant and had a partial view of San Francisco on the clear days I was there. N...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wakefield, RI
Top Contributor
165 reviews 165 reviews
103 hotel reviews
Reviews in 110 cities Reviews in 110 cities
291 helpful votes 291 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

My sub-par rating is entirely based on its business hotel qualities. If you’re there for other reasons, this property may be more suitable. I stayed here for three days and would not return. I think they might be better off calling this place a Hostel or maybe convert it to senior living. Although it’s a historic building with some nice interior architecture, it doesn’t offer much value. Rooms are small, no TV (they say because their guests prefer quiet, I think it is an economic choice), no A/C, old radiator heat, rusty faucets. No screens on the windows so if you open them you risk the admittance of flying creatures. They will give you a fan if requested. Also no ironing boards. Internet is slow in the rooms, mine had a small student desk and plugs were poorly located, lighting was poor. On the plus side the bed was comfortable. They have signs asking you to re-use the bed sheets, re-use towels, even one requesting you take a short shower. Geez, so many dissuasions, how about I just pay you and not show up? There is no help with bags and if you lose your key, they charge you $50 which is outrageous. $20 daily parking. Breakfast is free but somewhat skimpy- scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit. Coffee was excellent. Overall not a good choice, prices are way too steep for what’s offered.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Springfield, Missouri
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

We stayed here for one night. It is a historic building, which means it's old but well maintained. I could see how you could call it charming, but it's also kind of creepy, in a "The Shining" kind of way. Weird paintings depict things like a group of children standing together, with one girl a step away holding a hammer and looking at them ominously.

It's also on busy streets and there is no A/C, so you have to open the window and deal with street noise. Any time a hotel provides earplugs by the bed, you know it's not going to be a quiet night.

On the other hand, they provide breakfast, the front desk was very nice, and we got a very cheap rate. They also had a list of classes and meetings you could attend if you were there at the right time. So, overall, I wouldn't recommend it highly, but I didn't hate it either. If you're looking for a charming, historic experience, it might be perfect for you. If you're looking for a quiet, normal place to stay, I'd look elsewhere.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Campbell, CA
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2012

I stayed with my sister at this lovely historic property that is beautiful and charming, though a little worn around the edges. I am very forgiving of less than perfection, however, when the architecture, history and atmosphere are as enchanting as this hotel. From the staircase to elevators to gardens to hidden alcoves, this hotel is a step back in time. (I should say, however, that my young nieces said it was a combination of Disneyland's Tower of Terror - set in a hotel from the 1920's - and the Haunted Mansion!)

Though not advertised, there is tiny kitchen/laundry room with a washer/dryer that guests can use, a microwave (which had the odd sign "no popcorn" on it), and (best of all, for leftovers from all the delicious nearby restaurants) a refrigerator. Instructions say to label with your name, date and room number.

There are many activities at the hotel/club from singing lessons to guest speakers to aqua exercise. Weddings are VERY common on weekends. We had one the Sunday night we were there and saw the ceremony on the second floor patio. The reception music was definitely audible but ended promptly at 11 pm when the "quiet time" starts (until 9 am).

Come enjoy this hotel and feel like a debutant descending the staircase, or a 1940's couple on their honeymoon during World War II. Embrace the delights and endearing flaws of this historic landmark.

Room Tip: Higher may be better (quieter) if there's a wedding while you are there
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Berkeley City Club

Address: 2315 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
Location: United States > California > Berkeley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 21 hotels in Berkeley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Blending Romanesque and Moorish architecture, the Berkeley City Club was elaborately crafted by Hearst Castle designer Julia Morgan. Carved archways, vaulted ceilings, an indoor mosaic tiled swimming, and leaded-glass windows overlooking lush courtyards give the building its unique old world charm. The Berkeley City Club boasts six floors of classically designed standard, junior suite and suite size hotel rooms. Experience breathtaking views from each room, whether its the iconic fog rolling in over the San Francisco bay or the beautiful sunrises over the Berkeley Hills. Enjoy complimentary breakfast in the dining room, including fresh fruit, toast, bagels, pastries, hard-boiled eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, and juice. For entertainment, check out special member events, fitness classes, theater performances, salon services, lounge hours and dining in the restaurant, Julia's or visit local Berkeley attractions just steps away from the Club. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Berkeley City Club Hotel Berkeley
Berkeley City Hotel

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