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“Berkeley Gem that Didn't Quite Fit” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Claremont Hotel Club & Spa

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Claremont Hotel Club & Spa
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, CA 94705   |  
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Ranked #2 of 21 hotels in Berkeley
Sacramento, California, United States
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Berkeley Gem that Didn't Quite Fit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

As an alum of U.C. Berkeley, I've always wanted to stay at the "white castle" on the hill. It certainly wasn't an option as a student, and their rack rates of over $200 per night still don't make it an option for many of us regular working stiffs. However, when we saw a Living Social deal for under $200 for a Spa Elite room, including the $28 overnight parking, $26 facility fee, $50 food and beverage credit and free pre-spa ritual at the renowned spa, we jumped at the springtime deal.

Back in 1916, this grand dame of a hotel with the beautiful San Francisco Bay views had more of a tudor look and style about it. Over the years, she has aged gracefully, and closely resembles the Hotel del Coronado in the San Diego area, with its all-white turrets and towers.

By far, we enjoyed the room the most. It was spacious, quite, well-appointed, and had a lovely sitting area, with three windows and a view of the tennis courts, hotel and bay. The drawbacks were the very spotty wifi, and a cooling system that did not seem to go lower than 68.

By contrast, the exercise facility with its three pools, workout rooms and whirlpool/steam/spa area felt more like a fancy California Fitness, than a urban oasis of a retreat. The area was packed with families and children, a product of the "Claremont Club," which caters to local families in the area. While we applaud that community connection, it does NOT make for a tranquil poolside experience. It also makes it a challenge for a hotel guest even to find a chaise in the sun. Our facility fee was included, but if you've paid $26, I think you really need to have better pool and amenity access. The pool are bar offers $7-8 beers and $10-11 well drinks, and the Bayside Cafe offers cheaper sodas and a few dining options. Too bad, we didn't notice the fourth pool at the lower tennis court area until we were leaving.

We dined at both the Paragon and Meritage restaurants ( see my separate reviews), and did experience the "pre-spa ritual," which is really just a self-governed steam room, shower and whirlpool dip area. The deluge shower is fun, though, and the cucumber ice water and other spa amenities are pleasant. Not worth paying for separate though, we think, especially if you've already paid your $26 facility fee.

Overall, the service everywhere was pleasant and helpful, though the bell people were overwhelmed around check-out time. If you'd like a smaller, lower-key, but still classy, historic setting in the area, you might want to opt for the Julia-Morgan-designed Berkeley Club. If facilities and a retreat-type atmosphere are not that important to you, and you want access to some great food and rooms, style and history, then you'll enjoy the Claremont.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CLAREMONT_H0TEL, Manager at Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa is filled with rich history and all of the charm of years gone by. Thank you for sharing your impression of our hotel. While we are truly delighted to know you enjoyed your comfortable, spacious and well appointed accommodations, it is disappointing that your entire stay was not all that you had hoped it would be. A sunny day at The Claremont certainly is appealing and while our aquatic center and Club are open for membership to local area residents, we apologize if you found anything lacking. Please know that one of our associates is always available to help in providing anything you may need to make your stay more comfortable. We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back again and provide you with the type of experience you deserve.
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776 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (226)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
New York, New York, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2013

I stayed at the Claremont recently for a conference. I had an excellent stay at the hotel and would highly recommend it. It is a beautiful old building but it is kept up well. The staff were very friendly and helpful. The room I stayed in was small but very comfortable and clean. I would definitely recommend this hotel if you're staying in the Berkeley area.

Room Tip: I faced the back of the hotel but it was still sunny and quiet.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CLAREMONT_H0TEL, Manager at Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
It always delights us to hear about a guest's positive experience while staying at The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa! Conference events here are truly an occasion where business meets pleasure and we are so glad you enjoyed your stay with comfortable accommodations. Next time, be sure to treat yourself to a relaxing spa treatment, as you certainly won’t be disappointed. Thank you for your feedback and recommendations, we look forward to your next visit and hope it’s soon!
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San Francisco, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Claremont in December and even though the hotel is beautiful the service is terrible. All the way from the check in to the bartender to the waiters they all lack customer service skills. We gave the hotel another chance in march as we thought that just maybe it was an off day for everyone. Not such luck. It was still bad. For such a classy hotel, the service truly doesn't match the premises. Very disappointed. Will stick to the Fairmont or Mark Hopkins. Their service is outstanding.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
CLAREMONT_H0TEL, Manager at Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Thank you for sharing your candid feedback. We must offer our most sincere apology if you were in any way disappointed by experience as what you have described is not what we would expect for any of our valued guests. Please know that someone is always available to speak to in the event that you are having any issues as providing the very best in service is of utmost importance to us. We hope to welcome you back again so that we can impress you with all that we have to offer.
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1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

We wanted a last minute get away and booked a room at the Claremont. We had stayed before and loved it! This time we were very disappointed. Our room had a view of the garbage bins and we had to listen to garbage being rolled to the dumpsters the entire night. (Photo will be attached). We called to the front desk and they told us, "we are sold out, there is nothing we can do". They made it clear that since we had booked it online on a travel site, this was why we were receiving a subpar experience. This felt like a motel 6, not a luxury hotel & spa worth the $350.00 dollar rate. Even the clock radio was out of the 70s. The room was large but the furniture was old and dated. It was not dated in a classic way, but more a thrift store way.

The bed had stiff sheets and the comforter was so old and thin there were no feathers left in it.

I would not recommend this hotel to online shoppers especially since clearly the hotel gives the subpar garbage bin view rooms to online travel site booking guests.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013 via mobile

What a treat to stay at the Claremont! A big, beautiful room with a view of SF, delicious food from the Paragon, the spa hot tub & showers & poolside service! Couldn't ask for a better weekend! Sandie, the concierge, made great dinner reservations for us and went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we needed. What attention to detail! Can't wait to plan our next girls trip there!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CLAREMONT_H0TEL, Manager at Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
We couldn’t ask for a better review! A girls’ getaway trip can be such an exciting time and we are thrilled that you chose The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa for your getaway. We love to go, as you put it, above and beyond for our guests to ensure a great stay is had by all. It will be our pleasure to welcome you again for your next visit, thank you!
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Sacramento
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

Very positive experience. Shabnam...(I am sorry if I spelled wrong) at the front desk is FANTASTIC! Excellent customer service skills and fantastic with helping us get something special for our special occassion.I think she was instrumental in making our stay so fantastic. She is personable, reliable and willing to go the extra mile for the customers. She should be a head manager at this hotel because of how wonderful she is! If a Claremont Manager is reading this review...that girl needs a promotion and raise!!!

I originally spoke with Makevia (spelled wrong I am sure..sorry) who is also at the front desk, and she too had excellent customer servcie skills and was very willing to help. We checked in had a gorgeous room over looking the bay and San Francisco. We had a wonderful time at the pool and enjoyed walking the property. The spa was nice to relax and enjoy some pampering. I suggest you purchase Spafinder coupons from Costco to save yourself some money. The Claremont Spa accepts Spafinder coupons which will help cover the costly spa treatments. (Tip...you can use spafinder coupons for gratuity too)

Also, hotel guests received 3 hours of complimentary kid care. While I did not use this service...it is an added bonus for parents wanting some childless r&r.

Room Tip: I would suggest Bay View.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CLAREMONT_H0TEL, Manager at Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
We love to help create special memories for our guests! Thank you for sharing your review of The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa as well as your appreciation for so much that makes our resort unique. From your enjoyment of the beauty of our grand hotel to our pampering spa treatments and more, we are thrilled to have made your weekend so special. What really stands out is your mention of our associates and the service they provided to you. We all thoroughly enjoy creating special memories for our guests and will be sure to let everyone here know how much you have valued their efforts. It would be our pleasure to welcome you back again.
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California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

Perhaps I'm wrong, but the Claremont hotel is probably the best kept secret in California. My family loves this hotel, which feels like something out of the "Somewhere in Time" era. Just driving up to the hotel, you know it's special. Not only does it have a classic era look, but once inside you realize that it is a hotel on the level of all the great hotels in California from the Del Coronado in San Diego, and the Fairmont Hotel is SF.

The rooms are extremely comfortable, the help is extremely friendly and the food is very good (although the weekend brunch is expensive -- we usually take a short walk through the hotel grounds and go to a quaint restaurant next to the hotel grounds called Rick & Ann's (another hidden jewel).

From the bar in the Claremont you can see the entire SF bay area. One of the best views you can get in the entire bay area.

One of the things we really enjoy at this hotel, is it's a true resort with a very nice fitness center, pool, tennis courts, and fitness classes that are included for free in the resort fee.

If you're staying in the Berkeley area, or entire east bay area, there is just no comparison to other hotels. If you're staying in the SF Bay Area in general, there are more famous hotels, fancier hotels, but the Claremont really has no equal in my opinion.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CLAREMONT_H0TEL, Manager at Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, responded to this review, April 22, 2013
Thank you for sharing such a lovely story with us. We are truly honored and humbled by your glowing review and love knowing that you can find no equal comparison! How wonderful that your time at The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa is such a special time for you and your family. Reading your review brought us a great amount of joy as we learned of your appreciation not only for our hotel but also for all of the amazing activities and amenities we offer from our pool, fitness center, tennis courts and more! It would be our pleasure to welcome you back and we hope that we can do it again soon.
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Additional Information about Claremont Hotel Club & Spa

Address: 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, CA 94705
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Berkeley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 21 hotels in Berkeley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Claremont Hotel Club & Spa 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Since 1915, the Claremont has pampered guests at the level expected of a AAA Four-Diamond award winning hotel. With stress melting spa treatments, a wide range of fitness options, special events, live music, and endless culinary delights, you’ll find the Claremont engaging - even if you choose to simply engage in quality time alone. We deliver attentive service with a gracious hospitality casual enough to make you feel right at home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Claremont Hotel Club Berkeley
Claremont Hotel Club And Spa
Claremont Resort Berkeley
Claremont Hotel Berkeley

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