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“Beautiful building!” 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
washington state
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Beautiful building!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

Me and my husband took a road trip to Fresno to visit family. I have always wanted to stop In San Francisco and tour the area But we were on a budget so when we are o na budget the first places I check are living social and groupon to see if there are any deals going on in the area we'd like to go stay in! there were none in SF but we found this place in Berkeley! and so glad we did :) we also had a living social credit do to referrals and a refund so all in all we stayed here for $5.00! LOL GREAT deal if you ask me! I'd like to start by saying I can be a "hotel snob" and typically like to stay at modern hotels with modern conveniences . I've never stayed any place historic like this so was a little scared I wouldn't like the room itself. I knew I'd appreciate the architecture from the pictures but was leery about the room itself. My husband on the other hand was SO excited to stay here as a history buff and hobby photographer. I'm happy to say I'm glad I decided to try some place like this! it was a very unique and cool experience! It goes with out saying the building itself and architecture is STUNNING! learning the history was really cool too! The room itself when I first walked in I was like hmmm... it's small... and old... lol... But as I cozied into our tiny little room something made me start appreciating it.. the way they have preserved the "oldness" as I called it...lol it's like taking a step back in time... It reminded me of staying at my grandmas house in some way.. but in a good way!.. it was cozy and quaint.. and made it kind of... romantic :) sort of like a bed and breakfast..

the room we had, had a fantastic view of the golden gate bridge .. it was a little hot and stuffy in the room at first but once you open up all the windows it gets a wonderful breeze flowing, as a matter of fact we slept with the windows wide open all night! the outside noise didn't bother me at all.. I actually enjoyed the "sounds of city" there were ear plugs there for people who are bothered by city noises but I wasn't. the rooms have no TV's, fridge, micro's, etc.. nothing! it really is like stepping back in time.. but that added to the whole experience of staying there! Me and the hubby had time to just lay in bed , cuddle and enjoy the view :)

we didn't have a chance to use the pool but I wanted to soooooo bad! Looked awesome!

The breakfast in the morning is included and nicely set up.. you sorta of feel like your going to an actual restaurant they even bring you a ticket at the end you sign for with a zero balance.. it is nicely set up but it really is just a typical continental hotel breakfast.. muffins, toast, pastries, yogurt, boiled eggs, fruit, oatmeal and that was about it. It would be nice if they could add some warm dishes like scrambled eggs or sausage or waffles like other hotels.

I'd never been to Berkley before and it's definitely a hippie little college town/ city. with no main type of chain restaurants around not that that is a bad thing but after a long day of sight seeing in SF we came back to the hotel around 9:30 pm and nothing was open and there was no even drive through fast food type places in Berkeley just some pubs that were filled with rowdy college kids.. so we found a walgreens that happened to carry food there so we jsut bought some pre made sandwiches and brought them back to our room to eat for dinner that evening.. the roads there are really tight and kinda hard to navigate through luckily we had GPS.though. the area itself is close to the university and we could even see the football field from our room view.. there is a free clinic next dorr so there were some homeless people in the area hanging around.. we parked our car in the lot right next door to it which was convient i was a little worried because it's not a secured lot with a guard or anything but it was fine and our car was fine no issues there it was $20 to park there though we came and went as we wanted with our car and it still was only the $20.00.. all in all I'd stay again! I really have no complaints.. other then they could spruce up the breakfast options a bit

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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182 reviews from our community

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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 (60)
Date | Rating
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English first
Hartford, Connecticut
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 27, 2013

This is a lovely historic hotel located a few blocks from the Berkeley campus. The rooms are clean and the staff is very helpful and kind. For instance, we had a late flight and they were nice enough to store our bags for us so that the day wouldn't be wasted. As others have noted--the rooms are on the small side. The complimentary breakfast is nice, but simple. The hotel is fairly convenient to get into SF. It's about a 10 minute walk to the downtown Berkeley BART station.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
white hall
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

We needed to stay on the Berkeley campus so this was one of few choices. It is very historic but almost creepy. My daughter thought it must be haunted. It smells like a grandmothers house in public areas but the rooms are very clean, but SMALL. you just need to know what to expect. Parking $20 per day although Expedia said was included, but is right next door and secured

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013 via mobile

My daughter gave us a night here as a gift knowing our interest in Julia Morgan and historical architecture. It was a delightful stay. The hotel itself is very well preserved and meticulously maintained. We were "upgraded" to a suite on the fifth floor which was delightful but, unfortunately faced the street and was very noisy. Lots of young, rowdy partiers at all hours. The last ones settled down around 2:30 am. Guess I should have taken advantage of the earplugs provided on the nightstands. Breakfast was very nice and staff friendly and accommodating.

Stayed June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Columbia, Canada
Top Contributor
221 reviews 221 reviews
72 hotel reviews
Reviews in 96 cities Reviews in 96 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

This place really has an old gentleman's club feel (I understand it was a women's club, though). Lovely old building, tiny rooms of days gone by, few electrical outlets. If you're going for old and charming, this is your place. If you're looking for more of a hotel feel, stay at Shattuck. Price, I felt, a little steep for what it was. Pool was lovely; however, my hair, which was just below my ears, was deemed too long to swim without a cap, so I bought one (only $4) at the front desk. Felt like a place gentlemen would retire to a separate room to smoke cigars and play billiards.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Encino, CA
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

...you are stepping back in time. I was so in awe of the general atmosphere and architecture that I made others in my travel party (who were staying elsewhere) come and take a tour. And they were in awe, as well. But they weren't the ones that didn't have TV in their room. They weren't the ones who could barely turn around in their bathroom that had the older-style "short" toilet bowl that had clearly not had the toilet seat changed out in over 30 years.

But... everything was spotlessly clean and charming, the staff all as friendly as could be. The private parking lot was VERY convenient. It's not some mega-lot that is, itself, a block and half away. Yes, even the parking lot was kinda charming and old-school.

Just remember that this was designed almost a century ago and NOT as a luxury hotel. The rooms (or at least the one I was in) are small and antiquated. I don't think mine even had AC. But it did have a 90-yr-old fold-down wood-plank ironing board in the bathroom.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Haverford, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
538 reviews 538 reviews
106 hotel reviews
Reviews in 137 cities Reviews in 137 cities
370 helpful votes 370 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

If you are at all interested in history or architecture The Berkeley City Club is a MUST for your Berkeley stay (or at least dinner). It's well worth seeing.
The building was designed in 1929 as the Berkeley Woman's City Club. It was a private club and a hotel for women on the UC Berkeley campus. In later years it simple became the Berkeley City Club.
Outside of San Simeon I think this is one of Julia Morgan's best works. It has a lot of the feel of San Simeon in it. The minute you walk through the front the door the architecture speaks to you that this is someplace special!
The piece that can NOT be missed is the arched indoor swimming pool. I consider this to be of the greatest hotel swimming pools in the world.
The restaurant called "Julia's" is well worth a meal (see separate review).
The down side of the hotel are the rooms. They are pretty much the same type of rooms women stayed in the 1930s here. They are tiny, they do offer a small bathroom and overall they are in need of repair. The hotel has tried to soften them up a bit with a kind of B&B feel, but overall the rooms need a lot of work. The real magic is not in the guest rooms but in the lobby and public rooms.
The second thing that is not up to first class standards is the staff. They sit behind the desk and have the attitude of government employees. You pretty much have the feel that they can't be bothered. I wanted to buy a Julia Morgan book that they offer at the front desk and the woman told me I need exact change, the front desk does not have cash. What hotel does not have cash at the front desk? There is not bellman, so you are on your own with your luggage.
There was building going on next door and every morning at 7:00am the jack hammers started outside my window. Hopefully they will get this building up next door and that noise will only be temporary, however be warned that right now there is major construction happening next door.
However overall, this is a must see. One of the best buildings in the bay area and even with the problems mentioned I would not have missed staying here and letting Julia Morgan's magic make me feel like I was staying somewhere very special!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
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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): $$
Number of rooms: 35
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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