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“horrible experience - horrible hotel”
Review of The Berkeley Hotel

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The Berkeley Hotel
Ranked #8 of 82 Hotels in Richmond
Certificate of Excellence
Newport News, Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“horrible experience - horrible hotel”
Reviewed January 4, 2009

We checked in to the beautiful, European-style hotel to the smell of the 4 course fishy-seafood smell of the New Year Eve dinner. The small foyer is accross from the restraunt in the hotel. I thought it odd that we were checking in to the aroma of that night's dinner. I should have taken it as an omen.

The small room was very clean, but the paper thin walls were immedietely noticable, even with us at the far end of the back side of the building. We were placed over the outside dumpsters, which were being filled noisely every couple of hours.

Getting back in from our New Year celebaration, we plopped into the comfy bed and were awakened by a horrible argument and altercation being held in the room across the hall from us. This was more than a small argument or dispute.

After calling the hotel front desk three times, we are extremely disappointed and traumatized with our stay.

A woman was clearly being assaulted in the room next door and the hotel would do absolutely nothing about it. We stepping in, and were close to calling the police over the incident.

I can't imagine anyone wanting to stay in such an unsafe, unfriendly, uncarring, anti-family, anti-femininst place!

While no "criminal activity" occured, we are horrified and traumatized by everything we overheard. We are shocked at the apathetic security gaurd and front desk staff at this hotel. We really thought that this man was going to kill this woman and can't forget the sounds of the incident that occured.

This is not a family friendly or romantic or safe place to stay.

We did not even get an apology from the front desk or manager. We have never stayed in such a place and hope no one will ever go through what we went through.

  • Liked — clean room and clean bathroom
  • Disliked — the unsafe feeling we expeirenced and high noise level
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank fakee2717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BerkeleyGM, Manager at The Berkeley Hotel, responded to this review, January 23, 2009
I am most disturbed to hear about your stay at the Berkeley. I assure you we take everyone's safety very seriously. Our security guards are through a national company that does extensive and thorough training before anyone is placed at our property. Once assigned to the hotel they shadow a senior officer for 3 nights before taking over a shift on their own. We maintain daily logs that record any disturbances or complaints and what actions that were taken to resolve the incident. In addition the guards then go through our own 4 diamond training. I take your comments very seriously and I have done much investigation to get to the bottom of this event that occurred during your visit to the Berkeley Hotel, I do hope you will consider the Berkeley in the future or at the very least take the time to discuss these events with myself our another member of my management team.- please feel free to contact us anytime.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Richmond
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2009

The Berkley Hotel is something Richmond should not be proud of and being from Richmond I do not and will not ever recommend this place! My boyfriend and I reserved a room for our New Years (2008-2009) celebrations and couldn't wait to stay there after looking at the pictures on the site and reading previous customer reviews. The pictures we saw on the website do not represent the rooms. The rooms are small and stuffy (way to much furniture for a hotel room) and a flat screen television and new linens is not the definition of “REMODEL”. If you are looking for peace and quiet…good luck! The doors are so thin you can hear everything and I mean EVERYTHING! But that’s nothing compared to what happened to us when we returned back to our room after celebrating our New Years Eve events. We came back to the room and when we put the key (yes a key, not a key card) in the lock, the key broke off in the lock. When I went to the front desk to let them know the key had broke off in the lock the staff member pointed the blame on me and then handed me a pair pliers and a letter opener to break into my room, yes you read that correctly. As I was walking away (fuming mad) they yelled for me to come back to the front for another key and rudely stated this was the last one they had and not to break it in the lock. Then they stated that if we could not get in the room they would put us some where else because maintenance would not come till the next day. I have a medical condition that requires medication and my medication was locked in our room. We got the broken part of the key out of the lock of our door but nothing was working to get the door open. As we still tried to break into our room at 230am our frustrations got the best of us and once again we approached the front desk with their next horrible solution of sending up a security guard that had no idea of what was going on and was not helpful at all. He was willing to let us climb up a fire escape that didn’t exist to get into our room. He told us he was going downstairs to get some mystery key and never came back. Someone from the front desk finally came up with the same keys the security guard had but had the idea that if we pulled the door towards us it would open. Not even close. They got back on the elevator and we sat there once again trying to break into our room. Finally someone from the front desk came up to tell us that maintenance would be there in 20 minutes and that we should wait and not mess with the door any more because we could damage it. Finally at 330am maintenance showed up and unlocked the door in less then 30 seconds. Maintenance should have been there at 2am when the key broke off in the locks!!! When it was time to check out that morning there was no comp, no discount and an apologize that fell on deaf ears. You would think that would be the end of the horrible experience but no. When leaving it seemed more important for the door man to keep his conversation going then to open the door and say, ”Thank you for staying!” I would recommend a Motel 6 before I would recommend this place!

  • Stayed December 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tltoth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2008

I stayed at the Berkeley Hotel for a work meeting. The conference planners picked the hotel, and I do not recommend it.

For starters, the conference room on the main floor by the front desk has a very awkward setup. While we were meeting, the hotel staff had to walk past to set up the lunch buffet table. It was very distracting!

Also, the fire alarm went off at 4 a.m. Thankfully, it was a false alarm; however, the hotel did nothing to make up for the disturbance. (Not even an "I'm sorry" at checkout).

Finally, this hotel lacks services. It did not offer a reception seating area, morning coffee or a supplies store.

I've stayed in the Omni Hotel, which is located across the street, and much prefer it.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rpost06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BerkeleyGM, General Manager at The Berkeley Hotel, responded to this review, December 29, 2008
Dear rpost06-
I must apologize for any inconvenience caused during your stay at the Berkeley. Our team was most dismayed to hear of your concerns and I must assure you that all of your points raised have been thoroughly reviewed and actioned where necessary- please accept my personal apology for the rude awakening at 4am. We respect your viewpoint and also thank you for your time in letting us know your true thoughts. We are a 4 diamond botique hotel that is limited by space- We have 3 meeting rooms that are designed to accomadate a variety of groups - Many meeting planners choose the room you were in due to the airy feeling and attractive views of Cary St- I am sorry it did not suit your needs.
On behalf of the whole team we would indeed welcome your return and hope that you may consider this in the not so distant future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 24, 2008

My wife and I went for what was supposed to be a nice get away. The staff was very friendly, especially in the restaurant but the accomodations were the bare minimum for 4 Diamond. The room was okay but no extras, some items seemed dated. The noise at night from across the street is really bad. We found it hard to get any sleep. We could have stayed home with the kids. The restaurant was very empty. The lamb was good but the crab was horrible. Not what we remembered. The sea bass wasn't much better. Over kill on sauces/hollandaise. This was a disappointing experience.

  • Liked — My wife liked the color pallet in the room
  • Disliked — nothing special
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank SandmanVirginia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BerkeleyGM, General Manager at The Berkeley Hotel, responded to this review, December 29, 2008
Thank you for sharing your experience at the Berkeley Hotel. Although we never like to hear that one of our guests has had a less than stellar stay, we appreciate the opportunity to reflect on the issues and make the appropriate changes to ensure that we do not have similar occurances in the future. Please accept our most sincere apologies and know that your review is being used as tool for us to make improvements. We just finished a complete upgrade to our guest rooms- new mattresses, flat screen HDTVs, new furniture in the rooms as well as a complete face lift on our public areas. Thank you also for your feedback on your dining experience - it is important that we create a menu tha appeals to everyone- We would welcome you to contact our management team to further discuss any issues you may have and would appreciate the opportunity to serve you again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 27, 2008

"Look at the room before you bring in your luggage" a guest in the lobby suggested as we registered. We took her advice and would share the same suggestion with others. It was our anniversary get away and we had splurged to get a large room with a balcony. The young clerk at the desk handed us the sole key to the room - an old-fashioned metal key at that - and we went up to check out the room. Though the key turned in the lock the door did not open so we returned to the front desk, were given the key to another room which did open. Sadly, that room had two double beds, not the king size bed requested. Back down to the desk to request another room. The desk clerk asked the bellman to accompany us up to the first room - perhaps he could unlock it for us. It did open for him but the room had two double beds - again. He called the front desk and surprise - they weren't sure they could find a room available with a king size bed. A moment or two later we were looking at a smaller room than we'd originally booked, but it did have the king size bed and balcony and was quite nice. We accepted the smaller, lower priced room and happily settled in. Dinner reservations for the dining room at the Berkely proved interesting as well. We arrived at 7:30 to see only one other couple dining - not confidence inspiring, but we waited to be seated and hoped for the best. After waiting 5 minutes with no employee in sight I went to the front desk and asked them to call the restaurant and let them know we were there. The manager and a waitress both arrived rapidly and we were seated. Our meal and the service there were far above average - delicious food and generous portions - a pleasantly surprising experience. The hotel is in a great location, has tons of personality, but needs a little work.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — wrong type of room
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Tapasfans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lichfield, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2008

The hotel was one of the cheaper ones in the area, but still expensive compared to those out in rural areas. This was not unexpected though. Hotels in town tend to be more expensive. It has the feel of an old fashioned up-market hotel where service really matters. It was very clean and the staff very attentive and friendly. There was a slight mix-up with the car parking charge. We only had a car for one of the days that we stayed. We had taken it back to the car hire office by the second day and they attempted to charge for the second days parking. This was soon sorted out though when we explained.

Breakfast is not included and is quite expensive. I can recommend the 3rd Street Diner on the corner of 3rd Street and Main. It is about 10/15 minutes walk from the hotel and well worth the walk.

If I was ever in Richmond I would stay here again as it is in a very convenient location and is a nice hotel.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Breakfast not included
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HelenSapphire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2008

I was just a little wary anticipating my visit, due to some of the other reviews that talked about how the hotel needed to be renovated.

On my arrival, the front desk service was pleasant and efficient. I had asked about a quiet room on an upper floor. I was given a room on the second floor at check-in. I had been traveling all day and was just happy to have arrived, so said nothing and figured I would check out the room and perhaps it would be fine.

The room itself was very large -- with a huge bathroom. The room overlooked the street and every time a car went by on the cobblestone street it was very noticeable (thumpity thump, thump...) -- however I figured it might be kind of like white noise, so decided to stay in the room. That changed abruptly when I heard a cell phone ring and discovered it was from the adjoining room, and then began to hear murmurs of the ensuring conversation. That was enough to get me back down to the front desk.

The front desk was very eager to help alleviate my concerns. However, there were no other room available with king beds other than on their smoking floor. They encouraged me to check out a room there nonetheless with the caveat that from their experience, the smoke smell was not very strong. I decided to give it a shot, and, surprisingly, the smell was very minimal. After a minute or two, I could hardly smell it at all. The second room was a little smaller, but had a nice view and a balcony. As I was getting settled in, I got a call from the front desk. They wanted to let me know that they just realized they were expecting a guest to check in later that night in the next room over that had a young infant, and apologized, but thought perhaps I would want to move yet again. I thanked them for the call, and moved again.

The third room was just fine. A beautiful balcony and view. It was on the sixth (top) floor. The fourth, fifth and sixth floors sport views and many have balconies. The room was VERY quiet. The bed was perfectly comfortable and the room and bathroom were well appointed. Yes, as other reviewers mentioned, the decor is a bit dated, but everything was very clean and very comfortable. I noticed as well, that in the lobby there were photos of a planned renovation of the rooms. So that should satisfy those in need of rooms with the latest and greatest decor.

Overall I was thoroughly pleased with the Berkeley. It has an excellent location for restaurants and shops right outside the door. The service was excellent throughout my stay and should I be traveling back to Richmond again, I would definitely stay here again.

  • Liked — The room, the neighborhood, and fast, free WIFI
  • Disliked — The parking valet area is very small (only a couple of spaces) which can lead to some waits
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank NWTRNR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Berkeley Hotel

Property: The Berkeley Hotel
Address: 1200 E Cary St, Richmond, VA 23219-4116
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Virginia > Richmond
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 Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Richmond
#9 Romantic Hotel in Richmond
#23 Business Hotel in Richmond
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Berkeley Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 55
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Berkeley Hotel Richmond

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