Berkeley City Club
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Historical Traveler Reviews Berkeley City Club
Best in the area!
During a recent business trip to the Bay Area, my wife and I had an opportunity to stay at the Berkeley City Club. Most striking is that you are in an authentic castle by Julia Morgan, right in the center of Berkeley! A look at the stone edifice towering over the trees and student housing is like an instant transport to another time, and you expect a pleasantly harrumphing doorman in livery and a huge mustache to usher you inside (there isn't one, but the doors themselves are huge impressive wrought iron and glass constructions). Once inside, the genuineness of the details is amazing. Fine and elaborate woodwork, stonework, frescoes, paintings, and statuary, and every room reveals more. Seriously, take the time to explore a bit, as the most impressive pictures of your trip will probably be taken on just the first floor. There are even little glassed-in courtyards, one with a family of pheasants living in it! The rooms themselves are surprisingly spacious for the area, as I believe they were originally designed to be more residential, and with the new modernizations it is an excellent balance of classical architecture and furnishings with all the comfort of contemporary technology (including a growing WiFi network!). My personal favorite part of my stay, aside from the view of the entire bay from my room's window, was visiting the hotel's Olympic-sized indoor pool, gazing up at the arched and sculpted ceilings while doing the backstroke in my morning swim, wow! The staff was marvelously friendly and informative about the property, and I even had the opportunity to speak with the new management about the recent expansive upgrades. At the end of my stay the bill was better than I usually come out with on these trips, the complimentary breakfast was far better than what I've come to expect from even the nicest hotels, and my only real regret is that I know as time goes on it will be harder and harder to get reservations at the Berkeley City Club.
So Expensive and Flophouse or worse - the Berkeley City Club
this hotel are very expensive and derty. Despite a written valid reservation, owner tried to do 'bait and switch' on us to raise the price when we arrived. Also, they only take cash. The place is pathetic and, yes, we did see a baby cockroach. It is very convenient if you don't mind street noise and have work to do at Berkeley, but there must be something better your money can buy in this town.
This old club is beautiful
Visited June 2004, loved the ambiance -- arched ceilings, courtyard, the moorish flavor. The rooms and furnishings are old though, and carpet needs to be cleaned or replaced. In spite of that, we had a room on the 6th floor with a beautiful view of the setting sun and the Golden Gate Bridge. Goods: lovely architecture, uniqueness. Bads: Dodgy neighborhood, awful carpet. $200 is kind of steep, but I think I'd stay there again.
Charming hotel in the old-world sense--we have stayed there a few times and had our daughter's wedding in the Drawing Room, with the reception upstairs--everything was wonderful! If you are looking for a unique place to stay, without tv, etc., this is the place for you. There are tv rooms and a weight room for those who want them. The breakfast menu was above the usual Continental breakfast fare. We found the staff to be very helpful and the resident guests to be charming. New management is working very hard to make staying at the City Club a wonderful experience!
Very unique, very Berkeley
No the City Club does not have TVs in its rooms, but after the first two hours there, we didn't care. There is however, a 75 ft swimming pool housed in an atirum, a song bird, pheasants and a building and grounds that beautiful and completely open to exploration.
My 3 year old video-obsessed daughter only asked about TV one time we were there. so we took her to one of the 2 TV lounges in the club and within 15 minutes she wanted to shut it off and go exploring again.
The place is not for everyone:there are no T1 lines, the radiators clank, and the building is a gothic/moorish castle. In short, it's an old-fashioned piece of classic Berkeley.
Anticipating smallish rooms, we asked for the suite on the 6th floor, which was roomy and had beautiful views. The hotel was mostly empty when we arrived (which made staying there that much more exciting for my daughter), but had filled up quite a bit by the end. It did seem like the staff could get overwhelmed when the place was full, so take that into consideration when you book and ask lots of questions.
Wonderful place!! (but not for everyone)
We loved this place...but it is not for everyone. Be aware that this is not your typical Hilton/Marriott/Hyatt-type hotel.The downside: no shampoo, conditioner, razors, lotions, coffee maker, refrigerator, AC, or TV in-room. The room is less than huge. The upside: Bar soap and plenty of clean towels. Plenty of extra blankets. The room was clean and comfortable and more than adequate. Some rooms have great views of the hillside or the bay. A radiator keeps the room toasty warm. Desk, dresser, nightstand, AM/FM alarm clock radio. The architecture was gorgeous; designed by Julia Morgan (who also designed Hearst Castle). A great indoor swimming pool! Free coffee, decaf, and tea in the lobby in the mornings. Nice public TV room. Beautiful interior courtyard for reading or lounging, replete with a pair of wandering pheasants. (I do wish they wouldn't squonk every morning though!) The staff was small--but super friendly and helpful and pleasant. (Thanks!) The location on the lively southside of the UC Berkeley campus was fantastic! Two blocks from Telegraph Ave and its restaurants, bookstores, and record shops--and cast of Berkeley characters, artists and intellectuals. The University Art Museum and a BART train station are a walkable few blocks away. (BART can zip you into San Francisco, Oakland, and other towns in the Bay Area.) The Berkeley campus is a great place to visit! The BCC is an excellent choice from which to visit the campus and community. We look forward to our return!
Enjoyed the Berkeley City Club
A wonderful historic hotel. The food was wonderful. The room we stayed in was very charming and reflected the historic era. No TV in the rooms which I liked. I plan on returning.
Great historic hotel
This is a unique historic hotel: the building is a landmark built by Julia Morgan of Hearst Castle fame, have to see it to believe it! Pool is a real treat, a beautiful building to lounge in or use as study space, etc. Guest rooms are smallish but adequate. This is not a Holiday Inn or other similar style hotel = no TV in room, a TV lounge is provided; Continental breakfast is adequate. Location is very near UC campus, downtown and local arts district.
The building is beautiful, but the new management is not up to par. The staff seems to be unable to help, although those at the desk are polite. I stayed here last year and it was great (different management) I will never return.
Waste of money
The building itself is beautiful, but this hotel is not worth the money. The room was cramped and in poor condition. There was no air conditioning, so we were forced to open the windows for air, which let in so much noise from the street it was difficult for us to sleep. The staff was mostly rude and unhelpful. When we asked them for some shampoo (the room had none), they said they were out of shampoo but we could probably walk several blocks to a drugstore in the morning and buy our own. I would never stay here again.
TripAdvisor Reviews Berkeley City Club
Travel Blogs from Berkeley
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