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Berkeley City Club
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Reviews (286)
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All reviewshearst castlejulia morganarchitectural gemtwo floorsindoor poolserved in a lovely dining roommorning swimsan simeonhistoric hotelguest rooms arecontinental breakfastpeet's coffeestepping back in timegorgeous buildingswimming lapsrooms are smallfew blocks
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Reviewed September 24, 2012

I very much enjoyed a two-night stay in this charming hotel when in Berkeley for a 40-year Boalt reunion. My room was spacious, and anyone who loves history will be blown away by the accomplishments of Julia Morgan (first licensed woman architect in California and architect for Hearst Castle among dozens of other projects.) Several of my classmates joined me for breakfast one morning; the buffet was good (Peet's coffee), there were lovely flower arrangements on the white tablecloths, and all enjoyed looking around this historic hotel. I agree it is not a hotel for one needing office services on a business trip. There is a computer to print out boarding passes but no room service and no tvs in the room (which I considered a plus, but some might miss.) Free wifi is available. For a visit to Cal, we all agreed we might stay here for our 45th!

Room Tip: Room 302 overlooked Durant and had a partial view of San Francisco on the clear days I was there. No A/C, but the windows opened and there was a nice breeze.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled solo
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1  Thank KDsMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2012

My sub-par rating is entirely based on its business hotel qualities. If you’re there for other reasons, this property may be more suitable. I stayed here for three days and would not return. I think they might be better off calling this place a Hostel or maybe convert it to senior living. Although it’s a historic building with some nice interior architecture, it doesn’t offer much value. Rooms are small, no TV (they say because their guests prefer quiet, I think it is an economic choice), no A/C, old radiator heat, rusty faucets. No screens on the windows so if you open them you risk the admittance of flying creatures. They will give you a fan if requested. Also no ironing boards. Internet is slow in the rooms, mine had a small student desk and plugs were poorly located, lighting was poor. On the plus side the bed was comfortable. They have signs asking you to re-use the bed sheets, re-use towels, even one requesting you take a short shower. Geez, so many dissuasions, how about I just pay you and not show up? There is no help with bags and if you lose your key, they charge you $50 which is outrageous. $20 daily parking. Breakfast is free but somewhat skimpy- scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit. Coffee was excellent. Overall not a good choice, prices are way too steep for what’s offered.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
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6  Thank edtoby007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2012

We stayed here for one night. It is a historic building, which means it's old but well maintained. I could see how you could call it charming, but it's also kind of creepy, in a "The Shining" kind of way. Weird paintings depict things like a group of children standing together, with one girl a step away holding a hammer and looking at them ominously.

It's also on busy streets and there is no A/C, so you have to open the window and deal with street noise. Any time a hotel provides earplugs by the bed, you know it's not going to be a quiet night.

On the other hand, they provide breakfast, the front desk was very nice, and we got a very cheap rate. They also had a list of classes and meetings you could attend if you were there at the right time. So, overall, I wouldn't recommend it highly, but I didn't hate it either. If you're looking for a charming, historic experience, it might be perfect for you. If you're looking for a quiet, normal place to stay, I'd look elsewhere.

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
3  Thank raph105
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2012

I stayed with my sister at this lovely historic property that is beautiful and charming, though a little worn around the edges. I am very forgiving of less than perfection, however, when the architecture, history and atmosphere are as enchanting as this hotel. From the staircase to elevators to gardens to hidden alcoves, this hotel is a step back in time. (I should say, however, that my young nieces said it was a combination of Disneyland's Tower of Terror - set in a hotel from the 1920's - and the Haunted Mansion!)

Though not advertised, there is tiny kitchen/laundry room with a washer/dryer that guests can use, a microwave (which had the odd sign "no popcorn" on it), and (best of all, for leftovers from all the delicious nearby restaurants) a refrigerator. Instructions say to label with your name, date and room number.

There are many activities at the hotel/club from singing lessons to guest speakers to aqua exercise. Weddings are VERY common on weekends. We had one the Sunday night we were there and saw the ceremony on the second floor patio. The reception music was definitely audible but ended promptly at 11 pm when the "quiet time" starts (until 9 am).

Come enjoy this hotel and feel like a debutant descending the staircase, or a 1940's couple on their honeymoon during World War II. Embrace the delights and endearing flaws of this historic landmark.

Room Tip: Higher may be better (quieter) if there's a wedding while you are there
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Sharon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2012

We had a two night stay at this lovely historic hotel for a family wedding. The building dated back to the 1920’s and we loved the architecture and the old fashioned feel to the reception and all the rooms. The atmosphere was more like an old academic institution rather than a hotel and was calm, and quiet. There were signs around for local events which added to that feel. We had a small room, clean and simply furnished but very adequate. It had a little walk in wardrobe, complete with iron and ironing board (essential for wedding preparations) and a tiny but well appointed bathroom. The view was lovely, onto a nursery playground with the sea in the distance. We were close to Berkeley University and my husband went for a run in the grounds the next morning. He also used the hotel’s magnificent swimming pool- quite a surprise in an old building. The shops and main street were within walking distance.
A very good cooked breakfast was served in a delightful dining room and service was really excellent by very pleasant waiters.
Not suitable if you want air conditioning and a television or other mod cons but perfect for a quiet restful stay. And reasonably priced.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank 5hampshirehogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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