We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“great location--but needs love and attention” 2 of 5 stars
Review of French Hotel

French Hotel
We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Berkeley
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
French Hotel
Save Saved
You added French Hotel to your Saves list
1538 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94709   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #17 of 21 Hotels in Berkeley
Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“great location--but needs love and attention”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

Wonderful location--everything you need is within walking distance. However, have to agree with other reviewers that the hotel itself is in serious need of some updating. As for cafe/coffee shop, it's busy and apparently popular with locals as well as travelers.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

45 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    6
    9
    10
    4
    16
See reviews for
7
11
8
12
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    2.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2012

I'm in this hotel now, trying to sleep. Instead of curtains in our room, we have a pull-down metal security gate (what storefronts use when they close for the night). The bathroom window has duct tape on it to securely hold it in the frame. The mattress and bedding must be a minimum of 20 years old, and the carpet even older. Carpet and furniture are faded and ripped. Bathroom floor is 1970s linoleum, peeling up at baseboards, patched with faux butcherblock linoleum in spots, with wood rot around the base of the tub. The television is small and very far across the room. I've heard this used to be a great place, and I honestly cannot believe anyone could say that who has been in this room within the last 20 years. The wireless works well. Other than that, it is llike something out of a Coen brothers movie.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Berkeley, California
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2012

Felt much more like a 'no-tell motel' than a quaint property in a great location. They had those 'shiny/slippery' bedspread that seemed like it belonged to the 60's and may not be too clean, very thin blanket, not a very clean bathroom, and very thin walls. It was cheap but not a deal or worth it. I note the other reviews comment on the area, and cafes, not much on the actual hotel experiences.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Florence, Italy
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2012

My only choice when staying in Berkeley. Great location, and the cafe alone is worth the stay. Rooms are comfortable and quiet. Very few hotels in this area but plenty of great, mostly inexpensive restaurants.

Room Tip: I've stayed here many times and found the rooms to be consistently pleasant. However, the 1st f...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
new york city
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2011

The French Hotel is centrally located in the strip of great restaurants along Shattuck Ave in Berkeley, just across the street from the landmark Alice Waters destination restaurant, Chez Panisse. The hotel is reasonably priced and quite comfortable, with a NYTimes carrying newstand across the street, and a superior cafe with excellent coffee and pastries to start your day. If you want a more refined and extensive breakfast/brunc, we recommend La Note, further south toward the university on Shattuck, its beautiful garden a great place to enjoy California weather and cuisine. There is also a large supermarket, Andronica's, next door to the hotel, a Bank of America a few doors down the other way, and a large drugstore about two blocks away ( a new Walgreens opening soon even closer) among the many conveniences nearby the hotel.Just a block away is Cheeseboard, a pizza destination, which also carries a huge selection of cheeses, cured meats and pates, olives, breads and rolls to add to your AM and lunch list of must places to go. A New York Style Delicatessen, Saul's, is only a block away.
We went to Chez Panisse on this trip and more recently again this summer, first dining in the main dining room, and also in the cafe which is a bit less expensive but just as wonderful. The food and service are both extraordinary, and the selection of wines complements the high standard set by this excellent restaurant.
There is another great eating and shopping area in West Berkeley known as the 4th street area with some fabulous restaurants ( O Chame is our favorite splurge), and the nearby wonderful Indian eatery, Viks.
We recommend too a short trip to northern Oakland, just past southern Berkeley to try the markets and restaurants around the most widely known one in the area, Olivetto.
My favorite thing to do is to browse through the great variety of bookstores (Black Oak is my fave but there are many).

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2011 via mobile

Good location and friendly staff make up for what else can be only described as a run down old hotel. Thick old carpet needs vacuuming badly and if you suffer from any kind of dust allergies, don't stay here. No AC, so windows need to be opened to noisy outside Shattuck Ave.
Downstairs coffees shop makes very good coffee!

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2011 via mobile

We had stayed at a decent, clean hotel farther from Shattuck, and also at the Durant, but wanted to be more in the middle of the gourmet ghetto, so this is really the only choice. It does remind me a bit of less expensive pensiones in Europe, as one reviewer mentioned. My husband and I are middle aged travelers, in Berkeley visiting our son, and had fun staying at the French Hotel. If you are looking for a fancy hotel, or a pristine one, don't stay here. If you are fussy or very sensitive to a bit of grime, don't stay here. The sheets are clean, the location is unbeatable, and it's old. It costs more to be in a fantastic location, something many of these reviewers don't seem to appreciate. Have a glass of wine, eat the great food in the neighborhood, and enjoy the funky side of Berkeley.

  • Stayed March 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to French Hotel? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about French Hotel

Address: 1538 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94709
Location: United States > California > Berkeley
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 21 Hotels in Berkeley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Also Known As:
French Hotel Berkeley

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage French Hotel, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.