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“Cute older motel, sweet staff, great location, dirty carpets”

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Americas Best Value Inn
Ranked #18 of 20 Hotels in Berkeley
Reviewed September 12, 2011

Staff could not have been nicer and more helpful, unless they could have persuaded management to get in a carpet cleaner sooner. We were there over a week, prepaid on Orbitz so couldn't afford move to another motel. The mattress in the first room was old and saggy, so I asked for a room with a better mattress. The clerk said the mattresses were in the process of being replaced and looked on the room chart for an available room with a new mattress. So we moved and had a good night's sleep. In the morning we discovered the bottoms of our socks were black from the filthy carpet. Staff was apologetic, said the carpets were cleaned every two weeks and we were moved into another room. The carpet was cleaner but still dirty and I asked that it be cleaned. So the next day it did get cleaned but that night when we got back we found it was only marginally better. The next morning we were told that their regular cleaner had been unavailable and the maid had cleaned it, but the professional would be there the next day. And so he was. This time there was improvement, but not really clean. Otherwise the rooms are clean and fine. Location is great--across the street is Acme Bakery with real baguettes, croissants, and a slew of other delicious breads. Also Kermit Lynch, a great wine shop; and Cafe Fanny for breakfast, if you like to stand in line to order at the counter and eat outside. A few blocks south on San Pablo is Cafe Leila, with really good food and a nice outdoor patio. I'd stay at Golden Bear again for the pluses, if I could be assured that the carpets would be clean.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank aubri9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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75 - 81 of 129 reviews

Reviewed September 6, 2011

We stayed at the Golden Bear Inn on San Pablo Avenue while I attended a yoga workshop for more than a week in Berkeley. My partner was along for the trip to and from CA. The Inn provided us with a quiet room in their clean and well organized Motel. The courtyard is attractive with planters, red tiled roofs and covered walk ways.
The rooms are spotless and well maintianed.
One night we had anoisy neighbor and the Motel staff intervened for us and we were able to sleep.
We had a billing confusion and were overbilled but that was quickly corrected. All in all we were delighted with our stay.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Kelly M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2011

Old fashioned motel. Charming. Very clean. Great prices. We will stay there anytime we're in Berkley or even if we just want to visit SanFrancisco.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank TJ P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2011

This is another case of the owner finding people to write positive reviews. The Golden Bear is somewhat run down with average facilities--your basic shabby motel. Not bad, but certainly not "quaint" or "cute." The microwave is very tiny and so is the fridge. The remote didn't work right--we had to stand two feet in front of the television to turn it on. One bedside light didn't work. There were used coffee grounds in the coffee maker, so the cleaning job wasn't the best. On the plus side, they're pet friendly--there's a narrow strip of grass in the back for a dog to use. Ample soap, shampoo, and lotion were provided. The office manager was very helpful and friendly.

Room Tip: If you're looking for charm, look elsewhere
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank BetsyJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2011

I just have to say, it was quite refreshing to find a place with good character, well priced, friendly, clean and well located. The rooms are cozy, and a breath of fresh air from the dull white on white hotel rooms that pronounce themselves throughout the country. The staff mailed me my phone charger sever weeks after I had left, without blinking an eye. It's a great place to stay, and worth every penny!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank Brian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 25, 2011

For $80 a night in Berkeley CA, you can't expect to get a great night's sleep. This hotel has typically thin walls and is located close enough to a train track to hear nighttime train whistles. Otherwise, it met our needs. It is cute, quaint, clean and the staff is friendly and helpful. It has a nice California Spanish vibe, with hand painted ivy vines twining the pilasters and charmingly hokey interior decoration. The bathroom was clean and the bed was made crisply and sharply. The best asset is the very helpful front desk clerk who provided a map and the local cab dispatcher's number, gave directions to restaurants, and printed my boarding pass. It was a disappointment not to even have bagels or cereal available in the morning, but there is an excellent bakery (expensive, like everything in CA) across the street.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank CKtravellor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2011

Off and on, I've stayed many times at the Golden Bear. It is an older motor lodge --- witness the great old-school neon sign in the courtyard / parking area reading "QUIET PLEASE". In the past, it was always the cheap "good enough" alternative in the area. But now, it's still a great price, but they've upgraded considerably. Still, obviously, an older property. But some good updates, clean, very nice landscaping. No a/c, but usually not an issue in this region! (During my August stay, room warmed up a bit in the day, but cooled quickly in the evening.) This stretch of San Pablo is also much nicer and much safer than 5 years ago. Across the street is Acme Bread (extraordinary bread bakery) and Cafe Fanny (a breakfast/lunch outpost of Alice Waters, Chez Panisse founder), although the neighborhood does deteriorate somewhat a few blocks to the south.

All the various desk staff were quite friendly and efficient.

Anyway, a great value!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled on business
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Thank Yamhillbilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Americas Best Value Inn

Address: 1620 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702-1318
Location: United States > California > Berkeley
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 20 Hotels in Berkeley
Price Range: $112 - $146 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Americas Best Value Inn 2*
Number of rooms: 40
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our hotel was built around 1946 with classic Spanish architecture in mind. The Golden Bear Inn remains a part of the Berkeley landscape and is a well renowned place for travelers from all over the globe. With its unique style and comfortable facilities the Golden Bear Inn has kept guests returning year after year. Check in starts at 2 PM and ends at Midnight. For special arrangements please call the Front Desk. Check out is at 12 Noon on the day of departure. All cancellations must be made 24 hours prior to the check-in date to avoid penalties. We appreciate your understanding and we look forward to your stay. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Americas Best Value Hotel Berkeley
Golden Bear Hotel
Golden Bear Motel

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