After our last stay, I decided to book another room for our stay during our daughter's CalSO orientation at Berkeley. Because there were going to be 3 of us in a room this time (my other daughter stayed in the dorms), I decided to book at Shattuck suite. I thought it would be bigger and it was, to a certain degree although the rooms at this hotel, with the exception of the presidential suite, just seem to be on the small side due to the age of the building. That said, I can't really complain, as I know this from the get-go.
Always greeted at the door by the doorman, can't remember his name but he was very friendly. Check-in was easy, we were on our way up to the suite in no time. Upon entrance, I was a little let down, considering the price we paid for the night. ($285/night). The room is bigger in that it has a bigger bathroom than the first room we stayed in and just a king size bed in the bedroom and there is a living room attached with a very cramped couch set up with 2 wicker chairs and a coffee table all placed close together. Not a big deal, except I wish they would perhaps put a fold-out couch/bed instead of the small velour (and VERY worn) couches they have in the room. There is a small second 1/2 bath off the double-entry doors that was helpful getting 3 girls ready in the morning. I was able to get a roll-away bed brought up to the room for an additional charge of $25/night, which put our room rates over $300 a night each night.
Our room once again faced over Shattuck Avenue, I was hoping that perhaps this time since we were getting a suite, we'd get one of the higher up rooms with this elusive "view of the bay" I hear some reviewers rave about, but alas, once again my room overlooked the Shattuck side with about 20 homeless people congregating directly below our room (536). At night they sang, screamed, yelled, played drums (I kid you not!) but it did seem to settle down around 11-12pm. My oldest daughter said it kept her up, but after I fell asleep it didn't wake me up during the night. When I left early in the morning, as I headed out the door and rounded the corner on Shattuck we were greeted by another person sleeping on the ground, sprawled out with his blanket and a sign asking for money so he could..errr..pay for some lady company. (use your imagination as to what it actually said.) The homeless population in Berkeley is to be expected, so this isn't Hotel Shattuck's fault either. But again it boils down to paying over $300 a night for a hotel above homeless people, when I pay the same for a beautiful ocean front room on Maui too. It just feels bad. Sigh... But I digress.
The room had an awful smell when we first arrived. I couldn't place it but my mother in law said it smelled like some type of cleaning agent. I just felt it smelled a bit caustic. I did get used to it and it didn't bother me but at first, it was quite strong. Room was clean, bedding great, but as I mentioned the furniture was looking a bit shoddy, especially for a $300 a night suite. (see pictures) Presentation is what helps you feel good about your purchase, whether it be the food on your plate or the amenities of a hotel room and the stains (slightly crusty and white) on the couch and the arm chair's shoddy and worn armrests could be attended to. We actually turned the cushions over and sat on the backsides...For lack of a better word, it's just "icky."
I was excited to see that there were actually liquid creamers left out by the Keurig machine this time. In my last review, I mentioned it was a great idea to have the Keurig but it was ruined with the cheap run of the mill motel 6 creamer packets and sugar. There were indeed 2 small liquid generic creamers on our arrival! Wonderful! HOWEVER...I used them the first day and they were NEVER AGAIN replenished our entire trip. I was always just left the plastic packet and no more liquid creamers. So I guess for $300/night you get 2 creamers, and the rest of the nights stays you get nothing. Not a deal breaker, but again..it's the little things. I did find it interesting that they did not ever replenish the creamers, which I used...but left duplicates and extras of the shampoos and conditioners in the bathroom each day, even though we never touched the originals ones.
Would I spring for a Shattuck suite again? Certainly not for the price of $300/night. I found our first room, which wasn't a suite, to be nearly as large, but with 2 beds, yes a smaller bathroom but it just felt like I was getting what I paid for versus a suite that seemed a bit disappointing. I booked rooms here a second time because it was "close" to U.C. Berkeley and it is...but when you have to walk up there 3-4 times a day, you realize it's actually 1/2 mile to the dorms from there, and I was walking 3 miles a day in sandals. I found a parking garage directly next to unit 3, where I parked for 5 hours and they charged me $2.50. The parking garage across from Shattuck is much more expensive and the time there starts at 2am. So when you drive in at 8am, that's $17. Then at 2am, it's $17 more dollars, so for one night you're clocked for $34. We spent too much on parking this time for sure.
Overall, the stay was "ok." The doorman was extremely kind. The second day our key cards were "de-activated" and I got stuck trying to figure out why my key wouldn't work the elevator and before I knew it, off it took me up to the 3rd floor. Well my key still wouldn't work and I was stuck on the 3rd floor, so I got off and had to walk up 2 more flights of stairs to get to my room, where...my key didn't work either. Went back downstairs and he remade me two keys, although he wasn't sure why both of our keys had been deactivated. (we weren't checking out that day.)
It is by far one of the nicest choices IN Berkeley, however, you pay dearly for it and I am not sure the experience is really worth the price. I feel bad saying that, but the second time just made it clear I guess.
- 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