I stayed in this hotel while attending a conference at the U of California. I must say that given the challenges of being in Berkeley, they do a great job. The hotel is right next to the main street and the Bart station and one block away from UC, so you cannot beat the location. Do keep in mind though that this location means noise: an active student community, a bunch of random Hare Krishnas, homeless people roaming around, lots of party (one of my nights there was a football game). So if you truly need quiet, stay somewhere else in the Bay Area and take the Bart. It also means there will be a lot of noisy guests and a lots of jerks acting up in the bar and the rooms (I suffered a few of those during my stay). The lobby is always packed, and definitely not for the use of guests. It rather seems to be completely subservient to the bar, which looks like a place a lot of people like to frequent every day. If you can put up with this (which is not at all the fault of the hotel) I do not think you can do better.
The accomodatiosn were the best. I stayed in a luxury king room and it was wonderful, lots of space, comfortable bed. The shower is small (and I am a tall and probably bigger guy than most people in Berkeley) but I fit just fine. Internet is free, speedy and very reliable, which is great news. The cable package is too limited, and it could be upgraded further, but most hotels of this star level tend to have limited packages. The room is equipped with a Keurig and coffee (tea would have been nice, but I bought some pods and it was OK). The toiletries are very Berkeley (labeled as to how you are saving the environment by using them, which is adorable or annoying depending on the person) but there is a Walgreen's right across the street if you want your regular, chemical-laden stuff.
Some friends stayed in the business rooms and I found them a tad too crammed, the upgrade to luxury is worth the money.
The desk staff was generally good, with one exception. During my arrival it was very courteous, but the departure day the person in the front desk was a little disinterested in me or the other guests. More importantly, the printers for boarding passes were not working and the guy did not even bother when he saw I was struggling with it. The only other complaint (and this is why I gave a four rather than a five in the rating) is that every single time I came up and down the stairs I found dirty dishes from room service. I reported it the first time (and they were promptly removed) but I just desisted afterwards.
Having said this, the restaurant and the bar in the hotel are stellar. We had food in the restaurant and it was Americana food served with local ingredients. Nothing too creative, but everything delicious. The bar serves mean cocktails. A friend of mine and I ran a 90 dollar tab with the cocktails and it was worth every penny. They make excellent pisco sours and I tell you it's packed with good reason.
So all-in-all, if you have to stay in Berkeley, this is the absolute best hotel: fun, quirky, centrally located, good services, great rooms. But Berkeley is Berkeley. Don't blame the hotel for it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hotel Shattuck Plaza reopened in June 2009 as the jewel of downtown Berkeley, California. After a multimillion dollar renovation which combined the building’s historic charm with modern technologies and amenities, this landmark, boutique hotel provides an upscale haven for business or leisure travelers. Located two blocks from the UC Berkeley campus and next to the Berkeley BART station, the hotel is perfectly positioned for guests visiting the San Francisco Bay Area. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shattuck Plaza Hotel
- Shattuck Plaza Berkeley