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“Good luxury hotel in central Berkeley”

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Hotel Shattuck Plaza
Ranked #1 of 20 Hotels in Berkeley
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed August 21, 2013

We stayed in a relatively large and spacious room facing west at the south end of the hotel. We had a huge king bed, which was very luxuriously provided for by way of high count sheets, a beautiful comforter and comfortable pillows and bolster. The room had an ethernet connection and a USB port - could've used more, but the alarm clock could also be used to charge a 30 pin iPhone, which was helpful. The room itself was decorated in an updated, modern look in earth tones and was very attractive. There was a large bathroom with marble flooring and wall covering - the fixtures and decoration were all nearly brand new. Whether by design or luck, our room was very quiet and we slept well both nights.

We found the staff helpful and attentive, especially the gentleman who brought up our luggage and checked us out. There is cheap covered parking across and down the street a short way away in a city parking garage. We paid $12 one night and $15 the second, when we parked a little longer. The garage opens relatively late, however, 8 a.m., which wasn't completely convenient for us.

The only element which was a bit jarring was some of the decor, which uses high contrast wallpaper, particularly the black and white prints found in the lobby/bar/restaurant area on the ground floor and in some of the hallway areas. On the other hand, our twenty-something daughter and friend loved the prints and the high energy feel of the ground floor areas. Our room could also have used some kind of mini-blind or other device to control and filter the sunlight - the window was covered with sheers and very heavy black out curtains. The sheers did nothing to moderate the sunshine and glare, while pretty much eliminating the view out to the Bay. We ended up using the black out curtains, but that felt a bit claustrophobic. The black out curtains, however, were perfect in the morning to keep the room dark and comfortable until we were ready to get up.

Overall, we enjoyed staying at the Shattuck Plaza and would enjoy doing so again on a return stay. The hotel is within a few blocks of campus and many excellent restaurants such as the new Julia's in the Berkeley City Club.

Room Tip: The rooms on the south end of the hotel seem to be larger. We enjoyed our west-facing room, though...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Crescentan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 18, 2013

Location is ideal for Berkeley and our room was very nicely furnished, albeit closet sized with three tiny draws, barely large enough for socks. Bathroom was remodeled but small and towels small and thin. Street noise very intense. Fitness center is tiny with only three machines, two of which had broken TV's. Front desk staff is somewhere between disinterested and surly. They really project a we don't give a damn attitude. On check in, when we asked about a fitness room they directed us to the YMCA across the street, no mention of the in house fitness facility When we returned from a work out, our bathroom had been cleaned, but there were no towels. A phone call to the front desk, promised towels, which never arrived. A trip to the front desk (semi wet) produced a grudging apology and I suggested they comp us breakfast, which they agreed to do.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank NJsuperdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greg M, General Manager at Hotel Shattuck Plaza, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2013

Dear NJsuperdad,

We do regret that your stay did not meet all your expectations. We deeply regret that you felt our team was disinterested and that we fell short on follow up. While your experience is not one that we are used to learning of, we will share your feedback with the team and make improvements. Your feedback is important to us and we do hope that you will stay with us again.

Kindest regards,

Greg

Greg Mauldin | General Manager
Hotel Shattuck Plaza | FIVE, Restaurant and Bar
2086 Allston Way | Berkeley, CA 94704

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2013

Stayed 3 nights as the guest of a local company who put a group of us up at the Hotel Shattuck. The hotel's location is central to walking in the neighborhood. Given its history and recent renovation, the interior design is lovely. Not overly "boutique hotel" but tasteful and colorful. Thank goodness it wasn't all beige & dark chocolate! Kudos to the design team and the Berkeley Alum owners. Only had one meal (breakfast) in the hotel's restaurant and it was delicious. Room itself was decent. Not very large - in fact, the room I was in should only have a queen-sized bed not a king, since the closet doors don't open fully. And it's a room where you need to keep your key in the wall "switch" to turn the lights on. Only found this out after the fact since the young gentleman who checked us in failed to explain this necessity. Another detriment to the room is the dark (black) carpet - wore white socks while padding around packing and they weren't white after that. Don't know if it was the carpet yarn dye or carpet dirt! Elevator is not large and there is only one. It's definitely better to take the stairs. Would stay here again if we ever make it back to Berkeley.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled on business
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Thank candeux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

Based upon the reviews, I expected our overnight stay at Hotel Shattuck Plaza to be a carefree getaway, but unfortunately, that didn’t turn out to be the case. When I made the reservations a month prior I’d put in a request for a room with a quiet location on a higher floor. We arrived at the hotel about 45 min. before the official check-in time of 3 p.m. and were told by a congenial staff member that the upgraded room which had been specially assigned to us in order to meet the requested criteria was not quite ready. Not a problem since we planned to have a drink and a bite to eat in the hotel lounge. We were told that the room would be ready at the very latest at 3:00 p.m., the “guaranteed check-in time” and someone would alert us as soon as it was available. The table where we were seated in the lounge could be clearly seen from the reception desk. We had a delightful, relaxing time, including savoring some of the very best olives and frites I’ve ever had. But at 3:00 p.m. we were more than ready to get to our room and since no one from the reception desk had come over, we went there to inquire. Once again, a reception staff member called housekeeping to check on the room’s status and once again, we were told it would be “just a few more minutes”. We sat in the small but pleasant lobby area which was within a few yards of the reception desk and within clear view and waited... and waited. At 3:45 p.m. my husband went to ask about the room and this time the clerk handed him a key card. I was irritated that no one had come over to let us know the room was finally ready. It wasn’t until we tried to use the key that we realized the room we were given after the lengthy wait wasn’t the one that had originally been assigned to us--and no one had bothered to explain that. Too tired to complain at that point, we just decided to make the best of it, altho’ it was obvious that this room (#542) with windows facing the street wouldn’t be as quiet as the other one (#501) across the hall which was an interior room, but at least both were located on the same floor (5 of 6).

After getting settled into our room, my husband wanted to watch TV, but the remote was nowhere to be found. We looked everywhere including between furniture and under the bed. I called to report the missing remote and someone delivered another one about 20 min. later.

Our Deluxe room was fairly small as one might expect in a historic (circa 1910) hotel. But the floorplan and placement of furniture allowed for unhindered movement throughout the room. The room was well maintained and everything looked fresh and clean. The King bed dominated the area and there was space for only one bedside table. Other furnishings included a desk (with mirror above) and ergonomic chair, upholstered club chair, and console table with 2 upholstered cube stools under it. Lighting consisted of a floor lamp, desk lamp, lamp on bedside table, and adjustable spot lights on the headboard at each end of the bed--a very practical feature.

The room had deep-pile carpeting with dark colors and a geometric pattern. Walls were a warm peachy-beige and burgundy colors; the ceiling was off-white and dark woods predominated. Artwork on the walls was understated, with black and white photographs of local scenery.

A tall, divided window (screened and openable) provided a view over Allston Way to Shattuck Ave. with a peek of the Berkeley hills in the distance. The window had attractive floor-length faux suede drapes, when drawn provided complete blockage of light.

Amenities included a phone, iPod dock/clock radio, 42” wall-mounted Philips TV, Keurig single-serve pod coffeemaker, iron/ironing board, hairdryer and bathrobes. Computer connection and Wi-fi were complimentary and the connectivity was quick and efficient. There was no in-room safe.

The bathroom was a decent size and had marble flooring, tub surround and counter. Textured wall coverings with a subtle design and one of the black and white photographs added some visual interest to the room. The tub/shower combo had an oddly steep step out of the tub. Water pressure and temperature were both good. A deep vessel-type sink was nice, but lacked a soap rack. The soap was on the counter instead and the tiny bar always stuck to the soap dish. A very narrow glass shelf on the wall offered just a little more storage space to the otherwise very limited counter surface. There were no hooks at all to hang towels, robes etc.--not even the usual one on the door. Lighting was very good with a fixture above the mirror and one on the ceiling which provided bright illumination. But the fan also came on at the same time as the ceiling light and there appeared to be no way to turn them on separately. The fan worked efficiently enough to prevent significant steam buildup while the shower was on. A motion sensor triggered lighting to come on--very convenient at night.

Especially in older hotels, rarely does one find enough electrical outlets to adequately service one’s electronic devices--but our room had a bounty of them with one conveniently located above the desk, plus FIVE more accessible outlets on walls.

The closet was a fair size and had adequate hangers, but the useable space was significantly limited by the 3-drawer chest placed inside the closet. A full-length mirror was across from the closet. There was a large A/C-heating vent panel on the ceiling and a digital control on the wall, but the temperature in the room remained very comfortable throughout our stay and so we had no need to even activate the system.

The decor of the public areas (lobby, lounge and restaurant) was bright, lively and playful with many of the embellishments reminding me of one of the Kimpton hotels. There was a small area adjacent to the reception counter that contained computers for guest use. A fitness center on the 2nd floor was available but we didn’t check it out. No valet parking is available and the $30 overnight parking fee at the private garage across the street was about $10 higher than I thought it would be. Apparently, the parking garage around the corner on Kittredge is somewhat less expensive.

In the evening we walked to Chez Panisse, about 10-11 blocks north of the hotel and had a superlative dinner experience. It made the entire trip worthwhile!

Altho’ I had come prepared with earplugs, my sleep was definitely not restful that night. Honking horns, yelling and other urban street noise kept me awake along with some very loud and inebriated guests in the hallway. The hotel’s lack of sound proofing as reported by many reviewers was evident with the bellicose guy next to us being heard even after he left the hall and went into his room. The sound of the shower from the next room was quite a roar as well. I couldn’t help but think that had we been staying in #501, the cacophony may have been mitigated. The bed was not as comfortable as I’d expected and my back was stiff and sore the next morning.

First thing the next day I was horrified (not an exaggeration as I NEED my caffeine) to discover that housekeeping had left 3 coffee pods of decaf and 1 black tea pod--NO regular coffee! That represented just one too many lapses in services for me.

We enjoyed a basic but good quality, tasty breakfast at FIVE, the hotel’s restaurant. Before we got ready to pack up, my husband went over to the reception desk to report the fiasco with the switched rooms. He spoke to the original staff member (Josh) who we’d talked to when we first arrived at the hotel. He was genuinely shocked and apologetic that we were given a different room and said he’d left explicit instructions to put us in #501. Josh comp’d our $38 breakfast so at least that was a good thing. I was totally prepared to love my experience at the Shattuck and altho’ it’s a superbly restored historic hotel with attractive (albeit noisy) rooms and a great location, I am still incredulous at the multiple lapses in guest services--and all could have been easily avoided with just a little more care and attention. Frankly, at this point I’m not sure if I’ll ever return there--except for those wonderful olives, frites and a Palomar cocktail in the lounge.

Room Tip: You can request a room on a higher floor and one that faces the interior rather than the street if y...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Forestvillian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greg M, General Manager at Hotel Shattuck Plaza, responded to this reviewResponded August 21, 2013

Dear Forestvilian,

Thank you for your detailed review of your experience. Needless to say, we are disappointed that we did not follow up as we should have. It is certainly not the experience and service we pride ourselves in delivering to our guests. I was glad that Josh did attempt to turn things around, however the missing remote and decaf coffee and lack of follow up on your room availability are areas that we will improve upon. We are in the process of adding more hooks to the rooms based on feedback such as yours.

We are delighted that you enjoyed our olives, frittes, and the Palomar cocktail. Our new executive Chef Stephane Tonnelier has more additions to the menu that we know will delight the palate and provide another reason to travel to FIVE and the hotel Shattuck Plaza. We look forward to welcoming you back and wish you best in all your travels!

Kindest regards,

Greg

Greg Mauldin | General Manager
Hotel Shattuck Plaza | FIVE, Restaurant and Bar
2086 Allston Way | Berkeley, CA 94704

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2013

We stayed a single night to catch a concert at the Greek Theater and couldn't have been happier with our choice. The rooms, while immaculate in their condition, may have been a touch small. This is a non-issue in my opinion because of the historic nature of the building. But if you cannot deal with cozy quarters, get the biggest room available. Everyone was so friendly and courteous and when I asked for a blanket to take to the show, fully expecting to be turned down with a laugh, the manager produced one immediately and wished us well. The staff were excellent and when we found ourselves riding the elevator with a man who introduced himself as an upper level manager, I was disappointed that we were only a couple of floors up because I didn't have enough time to tell him what an excellent hotel he was running, in my opinion. The next day, however, we asked if we could include a poster from the show in the outgoing mail, which would need the addition of a shipping tube, we were told this was outside the realm of all things possible. We were on our way to the airport very early to depart for Mexico for a week, otherwise I would have just mailed it myself once the post office opened. So I guess the only thing I can point to as a negative in order to balance this review, is the fact that a hotel is not a shipping company.
Fantastic stay. No need to do further research for a hotel within walking distance to the Greek in the future. I would book at Shattuck Plaza again if in need.

Room Tip: If you need sprawling quarters, choose the largest room available.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank nate b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

We needed a hotel for four nights, and when we booked, they said they could not accommodate us for the fourth night. By the time that night arrived, they were able to courteously accommodated us and when we had to extend our stay even longer, they allowed us to stay in the same room for a lower rate. The room was spacious, quiet, and clean, and the staff was very friendly. We will definitely plan to stay there whenever we go back! What we especially appreciated was the bottled water and WI-FI and NO EXTRA COST! This is very unusual these days. The public parking right across the street at $30 or so a day was almost half of what we were charged in downtown San Francisco. All small savings that really add up for a week's stay.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Deb M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Stayed because a cousin was getting married in Berkeley very close by. I like the East Bay as well as SF. Have stayed at the Marriott in Oakland, 12th Street, and now have 2 really nice places to choose. Then I went over to the foggier side, paying the same price for much less, but that's life in the big city!

I believe I was upgraded to a Superior King. I caught a glimpse of what I think are regular King rooms and they were smaller, lacking the space I had for a loveseat and large chair. But OK.

The Keurig coffee maker worked really well, even for a quasi-Luddite like me! Good coffee.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
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Thank Gail W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Shattuck Plaza

Address: 2086 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-1430
Location: United States > California > Berkeley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Green Hotel in Berkeley
#1 Business Hotel in Berkeley
#2 Best Value Hotel in Berkeley
Price Range: $148 - $387 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Shattuck Plaza 4*
Number of rooms: 199
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

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