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“You can have a home away from home”
Review of Spruce Canyon

Spruce Canyon
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Spruce Canyon
Ranked #6 of 7 Berkeley B&B and Inns
Reviewed 17 May 2012

The previous two reviews just about say it all. As I was sitting by the fireplace,covered with a soft lap robe, listening to Bach on the CD player, sipping my chilled white wine and reading one of Ana's wonderful books, I realized you can go home again. I hadn't stayed in Berkeley since student days many years ago. The apartment is spacious, the kitchen fully equiped and the fun of exploration and discovery in all the nooks and cranies just a joy. Everything one needs to live comfortably is here. The garden is yet another place of treasures and surprises. Our four days here, during our granddaughter's graduation, assured us of another visit. Thank you Ana.

Room Tip: Complete privacy comes with the apartment.
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  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank faraway33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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15 - 17 of 17 reviews

Reviewed 18 October 2011

Spruce Canyon is an amazing place. My husband and I spent six days there on a trip I took to check locations for a novel about Berkeley. I chose Spruce Canyon for its location, within walking distance of the university and all points around Cal. Spruce Canyon is a large open space, with a wonderful queen sized bed, several sofas, chairs, a table, beautiful oriental rugs, and a kitchen to die for with all the equipment you would need to set up serious gourmet housekeeping. The bathroom is amazing: offering the best shower I have ever taken and a wonderful Japanese soaking tub with surges of water when desired. Television, CD Player, Wi-Fi, and Radio all work well.

I have just described the usual amenities you would look for in a B and B. But there is so much more. When we arrived, we realized that Ana, knowing about my novel, had already provided us with books on Berkeley, on its history, on the fire of 1992, and on the California hills. Her book collection alone is worth visiting.

It's difficult to describe how beautifully her collections work. Ana, a kind and generous host, has provided her own extensive collections of cooking ware, ceramics, gongs and musical instruments, and a Zen sandbox. Baby Buddhas nestle in the tree outside the back door. The back door brings me to the garden, filled with amazing plants and statuary. The garden is lush, peaceful, and evocative. I spent much time there looking at plants and garden decorations, while waiting for the deer to arrive. I always found something new and wonderful to look at.

Everything Ana has collected is organized with great wit and charm. I am not a person who collects in this way; my own house is pretty spare, even minimal, in its furnishings. But Ana's space filled me with delight. It is clean and airy and full of charm. It makes a visitor feels welcome, as if she were an intimate friend privileged to be part of such an interesting and beautiful site.

Ana provides granola from Chez Panisse, coffee from Peet's, the best tasting plums I have ever eaten, and two-fer's for the Botanical Gardens, local theaters, and the Science Hall. She is friendly and helpful, without being the slightest bit intrusive. She strikes the perfect balance between privacy and helpfulness.

Spruce Canyon is a few blocks away from the Rose Garden, a ten-minute walk from Peets and the Gourmet Ghetto, and a twenty-minute walk form the campus. On street parking is always available, and Ana gently advises you the best places to park and not to park on the street. She is a most thoughtful guide to life in Berkeley. I recommend Spruce Canyon most highly. It is a very special place.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank chfb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2007

Simply put, I can't recommend Spruce Canyon more highly. My family lives in the Bay Area and I visit, on average, every four or five months. Over the years, I've stayed in many of the B&B-type accommodations in Berkeley, and have been favorably impressed with most of them. Then, in the summer of 2005, I found Spruce Canyon. Now, I never stay anywhere else. In fact, I'd guess that over the past couple of years I've spent a total of some fifty days or more in what I now affectionately refer to as my home-away-from-home.

Let me say that in some ways, it's surprising how much I adore this place. When it comes to my own surroundings, I'm something of a minimalist. Ana, the main proprietor of Spruce Canyon, on the other hand, is an avid collector - and the apartment is chock-full of her extraordinary finds. Still, the space manages to feel open and serene: what might have been a crowded jumble in other hands here has been expertly rendered a completely comfortable, aesthetically-pleasing, endlessly amusing interior landscape. I'm actually not sure how she does it, but the place is also spotless - and I'm Virgo, so I know about spotless. The bed is Goldilocks-perfect: not too hard, not too soft. The water pressure in the shower is fantastic. There's a deck off the kitchen, a dining table and a desk, comfortable chairs for reading, window seats for daydreaming, and the fragrance of eucalyptus in the air. You're walking distance to the Rose Garden and the UC campus and Chez Panisse. And perhaps of best of all, Ana and Richard are the ultimate hosts - absolutely respectful of your privacy, but there if you need them. There really is no better place in Berkeley to be.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled solo
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3  Thank mmfnyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Spruce Canyon

Address: 1176 Spruce Street, Berkeley, CA 94707
Region: United States > California > Berkeley
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 7 B&Bs / Inns in Berkeley
Price Range: £98 - £136 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 1
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This is an unusual property in that it serves more than one function.When guests are here, it is a fully-furnished interesting quiet, private and beautiful large studio apartment with a queen bed, a twin bed and a gas fireplace as well as a full kitchen and bath. Otherwise, it is a space for massage therapy, acupuncture and meditation. ... more   less 

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