A year ago I stayed at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza for the first time and my experience then was not the best, as there were a few service lapses. The hotel’s general manager Greg got in touch with me afterwards and was very concerned and responsive. He extended an offer to personally oversee any future reservations that I might make. Almost exactly a year later my husband and I made plans to stay overnight in Berkeley and I again chose Hotel Shattuck Plaza due to its unrivaled central location and also because I wanted to have a second look at the hotel. I did contact Greg to let him know of our reservation and he immediately upgraded our room from a Deluxe King to a Bay view Suite, which I thought was extremely generous. We had nothing short of an exceptional stay this time. From the time we arrived until we departed the next day, all members of the hotel staff from doorman to reception desk personnel to housekeepers were flawless. All genuinely seemed to enjoy working for the hotel which I believe is strong testimony to a well-run business. It was a pleasure to talk to the young man who checked us in and to the young woman who came over to offer us refreshments as we waited a few short minutes prior to going up to our room.
Upon walking into Hotel Shattuck Plaza you enter what is essentially one expansive, light-filled area that houses the reception desk, lobby, and adjacent FIVE restaurant and lounge. The decor throughout is very colorful, creative and at times whimsical—just looking around makes you smile! The hotel has a key-card operated system that one needs to remember in order to take the elevator up to the room levels and also to activate the power in your room. A couple of times we forgot to put our card into the wall slot which brought momentary puzzlement and then amusement once we remembered what needed to be done.
Hotel Shattuck Plaza has a fine restaurant and bar that we’ve enjoyed during both of our visits. FIVE restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as offering a great bar menu. The hotel also has a fitness center and provides guest computers in the lobby. There is parking close by in private lots not affiliated with the hotel. During both of our stays we chose to park in the Allston Way Garage which is right across the street from the hotel. At $34 per day, one would surely be able to find less expensive options, but you can’t beat the convenient location.
Photographs of architectural details from the hotel and local buildings adorn many of the walls throughout the hotel and we enjoyed looking at these images as we walked (slowly) down the corridors to our room.
Our suite #510 on the 5th floor was bright and spacious and we felt at home the moment we walked into it. There was a “welcome tray” awaiting us—truly a wonderful surprise! Included was a very nice note from Greg the general manager, along with an incredibly delicious assortment of dried apricots, figs and dates; 3 different types of cheese, crackers, a box of chocolates, bottles of still water, and Vignette Wine Country Pinot Noir sodas (which I loved and will try to find near our home).
Furniture in our suite was well placed to maximize the space and provide unencumbered movement. Most of the furniture was a deep chocolate color which provided a nice visual contrast to the cream-hued walls and moldings. The carpet was a soft brown with a geometric pattern in blues and greens. Attractive, sueded floor-length drapes also served a practical purpose of effectively blocking out light if one wanted to sleep in.
There were 3 sets of wall-spanning windows in our suite: 2 in the living area and 1 in the bedroom. Views were of surrounding buildings with the very notable exception of the largest windows in the living room which afforded a panoramic view out to the Bay that included Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge in the distance. Being able to view both bridges at once is always impressive. Watching a beautiful sunset above the Bay was a huge treat, especially being able to experience it from our room!
Furnishings in the bedroom included an extremely comfortable King bed with a tall upholstered headboard, a narrow desk and desk chair adjacent to the bed with a mirror above it, a nightstand, (2) club chairs and a small pedestal table between them (with the coffeemaker atop it). In the living room was a small sofa with (2) end tables— each with a drawer, (2) cushioned chairs next to a table that had neat scrolled legs and a top imprinted with an “inlaid” design (I wanted that table!) which could be used for dining or as a work space, an oval shaped 3-drawer bureau near the entry, and a console table with glass top and (2) padded stools.
Amenities included a 2-line phone on the bed stand, an iPod dock/clock radio, (2) Philips wall-mounted flat panel TV—one in the bedroom and one in the living room, Keurig pod coffeemaker, iron/board, hair dryer, (2) comfy bathrobes and complimentary Wi-Fi and connected Net service. The Wi-Fi connection was quick and remained mostly responsive throughout our stay (there were a few times when it became momentarily sluggish).
There was a good size walk-in closet with plenty of hangers, a luggage rack and a small 3-drawer chest. The room had enough electrical outlets to satisfy even me and there were (3) conveniently placed right at the desk. Each area of our suite had ample lighting; either table top lamps or floor lamps. That allowed us to sit anywhere and still have decent reading light.
There were separate temperature controls in the bedroom and living areas. The digital settings were responsive and the system was efficient and fairly quiet. All areas of our suite stayed very comfortable during our stay.
Our bathroom was a comfortable size with a standard combination shower/tub, marble (or marble-type) flooring, tub surround and sink stand top. The wall covering had a very attractive design which reminded me of paper Japanese lanterns—loved that look! Colors (white, charcoal, soft grey) were so well coordinated that even the boutique box of Kleenex matched. The vessel sink’s faucet seemed a bit too close to the edge of the sink, allowing water to splash over the side if one wasn’t careful. The sink rested on a very limited area of countertop—just enough space for a glass and a toothbrush. The only other surfaces to place toiletries and cosmetics were the top of the toilet tank and a very small, narrow glass shelf. It would have been helpful to have had a deeper shelf or an additional shelf/surface to place items. As it was, we had to keep our toiletry cases outside the bathroom. It took a while for the shower’s water temperature to reach a comfortable level but once it did, it remained constant and didn’t fluctuate. Water pressure was also good. The bath had good, even lighting. The fan worked efficiently in preventing steam from accumulating when one took a shower.
At night during our previous stay there was noise from the street and from the hallway, but this time all was very quiet throughout the night. I believe I only heard one door close and a single instance of some sounds in the hallway—and that was early in the evening when I was in the living room. The peaceful environment in the bedroom combined with an incredibly comfortable mattress provided me with the most restful night’s sleep that I’ve had in ages. It was wonderful!
The main mission of our Berkeley visit was to have dinner at Chez Panisse, which is a leisurely, interesting 20 min. walk north on Shattuck Ave. from the hotel. For a 24-hr. get-away that’s 100% relaxation and enjoyment, I can’t imagine a better combination than dinner at Chez Panisse and an overnight stay at the Hotel Shattuck Plaza! I hope to do both again before too much time elapses. I’m already looking forward to 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