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“Vintage gem of a hotel”
Review of Graduate Berkeley

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Graduate Berkeley
Ranked #4 of 20 Hotels in Berkeley
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed June 28, 2013

We lucked out at the last minute with a $189/night stay at the Durant. Although renovated, it maintains its charm, especially in the lobby and the very spacious rooms. Note there is not yet A/C - they say they plan to add that in a year or so, but we found it completely unnecessary. The room was huge, great mattress and bedding, an overhead fan, and the decorating is in keeping with Berkeley's biggest claims to fame. The reception staff advised us that their par.king lot ($30/night) was full but told us where street parking might be had for $1 on the street! It worked beautifully and the hotel is well situated so we could tour Berkeley on foot. The in-house bar and restaurant was good too and we will do a separate review on that

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank JandSNyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 26, 2013

Let me count the ways...

Our family spends a fair amount of time in the East Bay, and we've stayed at a number of hotels in the vicinity. We spent a long time looking for one that was the perfect fit for us, and we finally found it -- the Hotel Durant in Berkeley.

The hotel is a historic property, built more than 80 years ago. It was renovated in 2008 and was the first boutique hotel in Berkeley to be green-certified.

First, the location: ideal for anyone visiting Berkeley. The hotel is a stone's throw from campus, and just one block up from Telegraph Avenue. It's within easy walking distance of restaurants, movie theaters, bookstores, drugstores, and more. We visited in early June, and the area was very quiet. I imagine the timing made a bit of difference here.

The hotel itself is chic, welcoming and well-appointed. Renovations were clearly done with care and respect, preserving many features of the beautiful old building. Our room was on the fifth floor and had a commanding view of the Berkeley clock tower. Amenities included high-quality bedding and iPhone/iPod docking stations, which my husband appreciated.

I guess I'll need to fess up to a couple of potential demerits. One is the parking situation. Unless you valet park (it was full when we arrived), parking in the area can be a bit of a challenge. I used to live in San Francisco, however, so I'm used to that. Berkeley is a dense urban environment, after all.

Second, a few reviewers have commented on the size of the accommodations. It's true that the room and bathroom were a bit more cozy than some. But hey, it's an older building, so that's to be expected in this case. For us, the beautiful decor more than made up for any issues we might have had about the room size.

In short, we had an absolutely fantastic stay, and will definitely return to the Hotel Durant on our next visit to the area. Highly recommended.

Room Tip: Ask for a room on a high floor, facing the Berkeley campus -- we had a nice view of the Berkeley clo...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank 321Blastoff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

Great location for visiting Berkeley but also a substantially less expensive alternative to staying in downtown San Francisco, which was my case. The downtown Berkeley BART station is 15-20 minutes walk or 5 minutes on a frequent bus. Door to door from hotel to SF building is a 40-50 minute commute.

Pros:
Location adjacent to campus, Telegraph St. and not far from central Berkeley. Very lively area.
Clean.
Comfortable.

Cons:
Bad noise insulation from adjoining rooms and floor above - seems like quite an old building.
Can be noisy outside too sometimes.
Service is not too good:
- I was not notified of packages delivered.
- You are charged for printing a page on the computer in the lobby. Seriously. You are also charged for using the computer for more than 15 minutes per day.

Note: being green, the rooms have no air conditioning . They have a ceiling fan and a floor fan. This is no problem given the climate (I was there in summer) but might be a problem on exceptionally hot days.

Room Tip: Lower rooms might be more noisy.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Moshe-xxxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

We stayed for one night and received a complementary upgrade because we were staying only one night. We were on the 6th floor that had a nice view of campus, but unfortunately, it was pretty noisy because of street noise. I couldn't imagine staying here when college is in full swing because it's right next to frat/sorority houses. I can't fault the hotel on the outside noise because there's really nothing you can do about it.

The room was pretty warm and leaving the window open at night was problematic because of the street noise. The ceiling fan did help, but it still was very stuffy in the room.

The continental breakfast was ok, there were no plates or bowls for fruit or oatmeal. I guess they don't refill the breakfast stuff after 8 a.m.

The good stuff: the room was very clean, the bed & pillows were comfortable & the staff was very friendly & helpful.

I think we would stay there again, but request a room away from the street.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the street to hopefully dampen the noise.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank jediannie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2013

Hotel Durant has a wonderful staff and the building and rooms have been redone beautifully. My family stayed from Wednesday thru Saturday nights. Each night the street noise got progressively worse. So, if you plan on partying until 3 am, then this is the hotel for you. Because there is no AC and the 6th floor was incredibly hot, we had to sleep with the windows open. This won't be a problem in winter. However, we stayed in June with pleasant weather. I cannot warn you enough about the noise. It was incredible.

The breakfast in the lounge was good and fresh orange juice and cappuccino was a pleasant surprise. If it wasn't for the heat and noise I would fully recommend the hotel. If you have kids or want to sleep at a decent hour, then think twice about staying at Hotel Durant.

Room Tip: Don't stay on the top floor unless you love a hot room.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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Thank DPCharger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2013

From the moment we set foot on to this property, we just fell in love...

We found this place online while looking for a pet-friendly hotel near the Oakland Arena to see a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert last summer. :) It's not quite that close to the arena but within a 15-minute drive. What a treasure this place is - Hotel Durant epitomizes Berkeley!

The building is charming tucked away in the college dorm neighborhood, you almost feel like you're staying in one of the chic'er dorms. :) The decor has so much character - if you grew up in Northern California or went to college in the Bay Area, it will take you back to those college years...and smile! The details that they put in to the decor is very impressive - the door hangers with the room service menu is shaped like a sock, the room key card looks like a student ID, the lamp in the room looks like a gigantic bong... :)

The rooms are small but it is expected in these older buildings. There's no A/C but there's a ceiling fan (most Bay Area homes do not come with an A/C unit).

This hotel is within walking distance to Telegraph Ave. and of course UC Berkeley. It's on a quaint, tree-lined street with little restaurants and shops.

My dog and I enjoyed walking around the residential neighborhood dotted with fraternity and sorority houses.

The service was wonderful - from my initial contact with reservations to the front desk clerk who checked us in, I can't find anything to complain about.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LJ M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

All staff were very polite, helpful, warm & welcoming.
I felt like royalty, and like they enjoyed serving me !
Each time we returned to the hotel we were cheerfully greeted,
and immediately offered assistance.
I love that we never had to wait in lines.

Room Tip: Ask for a large room and you shall receive it if available.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank January H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Graduate Berkeley

Address: 2600 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704-1711 (Formerly Hotel Durant)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Berkeley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Berkeley
#3 Business Hotel in Berkeley
Price Range: $155 - $363 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Graduate Berkeley 3.5*
Number of rooms: 144
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
WELCOME BACK TO THE GLORY DAYS OF COLLEGE LIFE, WITH A FEW OF THE NEW COMFORTS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T HAVE THE FIRST TIME AROUND. Graduate Berkeley—where your intellectual curiosity meets your favorite place to stay. Located one block from the nations' top-ranked public university, UC Berkeley, the Graduate Berkeley, is a full-service, 144 room boutique hotel. Graduate Berkeley is a one block walk to campus at the corner of the city stir and game day buzz. Steps from Telegraph Avenue shops and stops. A quick five-minute walk to entertainment at Cal Memorial Stadium, Cal Performances or the Greek Theater. The hotel is a virtual post card from its counterculture past, Graduate Berkeley now resides in the historically renovated Hotel Durant, making it the most storied place around. The lobby invites nods to the arts and academia, the well-traveled local and Berkeley’s Bohemian roots. Collegiate plaids mix with a faraway but familiar feel, like a home away from home. Thousands of “Nat Geo” magazines journey across the front desk walls, dressing them in California gold. Curl up with a book amidst Ikat patterned easy chairs and printed velvet sofas in deep blues and burgundy with a vintage vibe. Sweeping wood floors are layered with hand-woven rugs from India, while graphic street art mixes with chinoiserie accessories offset by original millwork and moldings. Gather some Golden Bears for a post-game bite at the restaurant Henry’s or convene at a communal wood table; it’s the perfect hub for conversation, camaraderie and robust exchange of ideas and intellect. So whether you’re in town for a meeting or meet up, cheering along with Oski on The Hill or enjoying a show at the Greek, the Graduate Berkeley is here to make it memorable. You will feel like a local, at home again even if it’s your first time in town. Graduate Berkeley rooms are ready for a night like you’ve never had before, where little moments of surprise and discovery will meet you down every corridor and around each corner. This is Graduate—be ready to be inspired. Rooms amenities include complimentary wireless hi-speed internet access, flat screen TV, refrigerator, in-room laptop safe, triple-sheeted linens and designer bath products. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Durant Hotel Berkeley

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