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“Tired,Old and Dumpy”

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Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel
Ranked #2 of 20 Hotels in Berkeley
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Tired,Old and Dumpy”
Reviewed October 14, 2012

When you read the website you think you will be going to a classy old resort. Truth is this hotel was bought out of bankruptcy so they have obviously fancied up the lobby and common areas but that is it. If you book a classic room ,what you get are rooms that have maintenance problems,broken shower doors, faucets that fall off, windows that don't close, dirty carpets and noise. I have stayed at Hampton Inns and Best Westerns that are much better than this place. If you have a room with a hillside view what you may end up with is a view of the garbage disposal and receiving areas. Noisy delivery trucks and smells from the restaurant. If you are lucky enough to get a room on the 700 level what you get is a noisy corridor with constant people walking by to get to the 800 and 900 level rooms. This place is overpriced and in my opinion very bad value for money. I travel a lot and stay in over 100 hotel nights a year so I am not some cranky angry traveler with an axe to grind. When you complain or fill out their customer survey they will send a form letter saying they are sorry and next time you visit, and (If Available) they will upgrade you to a suite! I tried really hard to find something nice to write about this place but frankly it is tough. Many of the staff are friendly and nice but generally this place is below average for what you pay.

Room Tip: Bay/city view rooms are best but if you want a good room find another hotel
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank celia c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CLAREMONT_H0TEL, Manager at Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
It is truly disappointing when a guest leaves feeling they did not have their expectations met, nor does it reflect the high standards of service that we have set. We will take this an opportunity to share your comments with our maintenance and housekeeping staff to ensure that the room is in its best condition. Someone from our management team is always available to all our guests should they have any concerns and it is disheartening to know that we were not given that opportunity to provide you with a better experience while you were here, when it would have mattered the most. While we never like to read that one of our guests was not fully satisfied, we are always grateful for the feedback. Thank you for sharing your opinions and thoughts.
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1,409 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (382)
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Pontefract, West Yorkshire
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2012

I was lucky enough to stay at the Claremont on several occasions on business (I live in the UK). On each occasion (4 in total) I got a different type of room, all of which were very clean and well appointed. This hotel will not be for you if you want somewhere ultra modern - one of its best features in my opinion is its charm and relatively old fashioned decor.

On each occasion that I stayed here the staff were fantastic. I cannot stress this enough. On one occasion I visited in May, and returned in September. The maitre de in the restaurant actually remembered me and asked if I wanted the same table! Absolutely outstanding!

The food is glorious and I genuinely just loved everything about it. The only downside (which isn't the hotel's fault) is its proximity to San Francisco - it is quite a trek into the city but actually on an evening it's rather lovely sitting on the verandah and looking out over the bay.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank brundholme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CLAREMONT_H0TEL, Manager at Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
We are so glad that when you have stayed in the U.S. your journeys have brought you to The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa so often. Built in the early days of the Gold Rush, our hotel is certainly filled with history and we are honored to know that you enjoy the classic charm that it brings. Everyone here truly loves to make our guests feel welcome and well cared for, thank you for sharing your appreciation for our associates. We will be sure to share your feedback with all. We hope that your travels bring you back to us again for another great stay, thank you for your review.
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California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Claremont at the end of September for a wedding at the hotel. The property is absolutely amazing and filled with so much history and character while it still has modern amenities.
Unfortunately, due to being so involved in the wedding, we weren't able to take full advantage of the pool or spa amenities. So needless to say, we will be back to have a day of exploring the resort and spa!
We ate at the Paragon restaurant for lunch the day after the wedding and really enjoyed our meal and the amazing view of the bay area and SF.
If you are looking for a place to stay in the East Bay, you should book this place! Enjoy!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kgrom2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CLAREMONT_H0TEL, Manager at Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, responded to this review, October 15, 2012
Weddings at The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa are like no other experience and we are thrilled that you had the opportunity to visit us for your friend's special day. Thank you so much for sharing your appreciation and high recommendations for our hotel. Did you know our spa has been named among the 10 best spas of its kind in the country by Vogue, Elle, and Shape magazines? We would love for you to visit again and take advantage of everything you missed the first time, as it would be our pleasure to welcome you back.
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Oakland, California
1 review
Reviewed September 30, 2012

My friend and I checked in for our girlfriend getaway package stay at the Claremont in Berkeley and were so blessed to have James Mays as our contact. His warmth and smile were genuine and infectious as was his determination to make our stay wonderful!! We were celebrating our birthdays which are both in September and he took it upon himself to gift us with a few surprises. First he upgraded our room to one with a beautiful view and then the real stunner......he had delivered up to our room two molten chocolate cakes with raspberries and ice cream. On the edge of the plate written in chocolate was "happy birthday" !!! We were in disbelief that he would go out of his way to arrange these surprises for us. What an angel this guy is....the Claremont is so lucky to have such a thoughtful and kind person working for them!! He really made our trip so much more special and we are grateful for him!!! Thank you James ......you rate a perfect 10 in our book!!! Kate and Pam

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Kate D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CLAREMONT_H0TEL, Manager at Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, responded to this review, October 8, 2012
On behalf of everyone here, Happy Birthday! What a fantastic way to share a celebratory weekend with your friend. There is no greater pleasure than to hear from one of our guests and learn how much they enjoyed their stay. Our associates truly love what they do and it is always our hope that all of our guests enjoy such a positive experience. Thank you for providing such a lovely review of The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, we hope to see you again soon.
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Lake Forest, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2012

I stayed at the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa from 09/21 to 09/23/2012 and the service and staff were fabulous. The room was spectacular and the food at the restaurants was great. The view from the hotel is spectacular! The pools & spa facilities are marvelous! I will definitely be staying at the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa the next time I am in Berkeley.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank truffles1354
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CLAREMONT_H0TEL, Manager at Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, responded to this review, October 2, 2012
Thank you for providing such a glowing review of The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa! We are truly touched to know that you were left with such a positive impression of everything from our service, accommodations and amenities all the way to the beautiful views from our property. It would be our pleasure to welcome you back again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2012

We had a reservation for a wedding in Berkeley. We showed up after landing in SFO at 9PM. The room we were given smelled like bug spray. We ask for a King with a view. We got a twin with no view and "eau de bug spray". We ask for another room. Steerage on the Titanic. No bug spray but a 1970's era heating air conditioning unit that sounded like a pickup truck full of beer cans. We left. I can not recommend the Claremont Hotel. I can recommend the Fairmont in SF where we finally ended up.

Room Tip: Go somewhere else
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CLAREMONT_H0TEL, Manager at Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, responded to this review, October 2, 2012
We couldn't be more disappointed by your review nor is it the type of experience that we would hope for any of our guests. It is truly regrettable that we were not able to provide you with accommodations more to your liking and apologize for any inconvenience you may have encountered. Thank you for your feedback.
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LA
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2012

I stayed in this hotel a number of years ago for one night and remembered that I didn't like it but could not remember why. So as soon as I checked in and got to my room, the memories returned.

This hotel reminds me of those turn of the century (the 20th century) French Riviera hotels that have a nostalgic, easy going, old school luxury feel to it. Located on top of a hill and dominating the landscape, it promised just that. So from the outside and in the lobby, the hotel lives up to the expectation. But as soon as you go up in the elevator and step out, the interior changes to a sad, tired look. The hallways are not ventilated enough and have a lingering smell of old and wet. As you walk into a room, the scene becomes even more depressing (and the smell continues to linger). The rooms are fairly large with a very small window for the room size, the furniture seems small and disjointed - there is no harmony to it and the overall look is spartan. This hotel is described as luxury on its website and I honestly did not see anything luxurious about it. My room was a standard one in the middle of a (very) long hallway. The TV could have been larger and the bed was not overly comfortable. A few standard amenities in the bathroom, the sink water takes a while to warm up that I felt guilty about wasting so much water while waiting (the shower was OK). There was no bath tub, only shower. The A/C was very loud and I was happy that the night was cool so it only got turned on a few times, otherwise, it would have been difficult to sleep. The room was clean but not overly clean. I had no sense of freshness, only that it would be OK for one night. When I spoke to a colleague about it the next day, she said that she had heard that you have to ask for a room in the "new" wing and that they were truly nice. However, she did not know this from a personal experience, so I don't know if it's true. What I do know is that I asked for a room with a view and did not get it (my room was looking over a parking lot) and I asked for a room on a higher floor and did not get it (my room was on the 1st floor, which was sort of like the second floor) and nobody was apologetic about it. 

I ended up having a quick dinner in one of the two restaurants, Paragon. The other, more upscale restaurant is closed on Mondays (the day I was there). Paragon was OK - nice cocktail (Jamaican old fashioned with rum instead of bourbon - yummy!) and tasteful food. The seating area is not impressive at all - it seems to be just as unimaginative and utilitarian as the rooms. There is some seating available on the balcony and it seemed to be if not nicer, at least sort of matching the decor of the hotel, but it was too cold to sit there.

The staff was nice and concierge very helpful with restaurant tips (I first contemplated about going out for dinner, but decided against it because it would have been quite a walk up the hill on the way back and the restaurants are too close to take a cab - at least in my estimation). 

Anyway, I do not plan on staying at Claremont again, hope this time I will remember why.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ann7544
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CLAREMONT_H0TEL, General Manager at Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel, responded to this review, September 26, 2012
We couldn't be more disappointed to learn that your stay was not positive in every way, however we do appreciate your candor. Our historic property dates back to the early days of the Gold Rush with no two rooms exactly the same, and often as unique as each guest who walks through our doors. While we are glad to know you found our associates to be so nice and helpful, we regret that you did not find your accommodations more to your liking, as it is our hope to provide an excellent stay for everyone. Thank you for providing your feedback.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel

Property: Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel
Address: 41 Tunnel Rd, Berkeley, CA 94705-2429
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Berkeley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Business Hotel in Berkeley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 276
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opening its doors in 1915, Claremont Club & Spa has been revered as one of America's iconic luxury hotels. As it celebrates its 100th anniversary, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts is proud to unveil our newest member of the Fairmont collection, ushering in a new era of luxury for the next 100 years! Overlooking the San Francisco Bay, Claremont Club & Spa in Berkeley sets new heights in service, amenities, and accommodations. For the past 100 years, Claremont has been recognized as an icon in the Bay Area. Conveniently located in the heart of Berkeley, the hotel is only a 20-minute drive from downtown San Francisco. Private parking is available. Its 276 beautifully appointed rooms offer a mix of old world charm and California comfort, many boasting breathtaking views of San Francisco. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Claremont Hotel Club And Spa
Claremont Hotel Club Berkeley
Claremont Resort Berkeley
Claremont Hotel Berkeley

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