Recently, when my regular spot (Hotel Durant) was sold out, I trusted the mostly positive reviews here and booked. At first, I was a little apprehensive because the proprietor seemed lost when booking the reservation, and later when I called to confirm a few days before my stay she had difficulty finding it -- but on the actual weekend of my stay, there were no problems.
The pluses: the hotel is 2 blocks from the south-west corner of Berkeley campus and maybe 3 blocks from Downtown Berkeley BART. It would take the average person ~15 minutes to walk to Sather Gate if that means anything to you. The neighborhood is okay – I never felt unsafe and the stairways only open if you have a keycard. The furnishings look quite new (and some rather chic) and provided you can figure out the remotes, there is a large plasma TV. My room had a coffee maker and the internet hookup was basically plug and play. My only, tiny complaint is that the lighting was dim and the desk space somewhat narrow. On the other hand, I didn’t hear my neighbor’s every cough and sneeze like I ordinarily would at the Durant.
So close to Berkeley, there are tons of restaurants from upscale, ethnic, pizza-by-the-slice, etc and more (2 movie houses, Pegasus Bookstore, etc). The staff were efficient if not particularly friendly but as I didn’t experience any issues I don’t really know how good they would be in problem solving.
For the minuses: if quiet is a priority, know that the west facing rooms look onto Berkeley High School where the student body can make quite a racket in streets during the afternoons. Also, I notice that the on-site parking (complimentary) is basically limited to about 12 cars so if you don’t get a space … good luck!
As others have noted, the hotel is a small scale affair so there’s no sense comparing it to the Ritz, etc. I would definitely stay here again if my regular wasn’t available. Also, I noticed when I checked in that at least some of the clientele were repeat customers (Cal parents).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Downtown Berkeley Inn is the newest lodging facility in Berkeley. Located just two blocks away from the University of California, Berkeley and a short five-minute walk from public transportation, our 27 rooms feature contemporary platform beds with TempurPedic-like foam mattresses, 42 inch High-Definition plasma TV with nearly 70 DirectTV channels, large desk and chair, in-room coffee machines and phone lines with data ports. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Downtown Berkeley Hotel Berkeley
- Downtown Hotel Berkeley