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“Don't buy pre-paid packages through discount sites”
Review of Berkeley City Club

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Berkeley City Club
Ranked #8 of 20 Hotels in Berkeley
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 28 April 2014

I've stayed at Berkeley City Club before -- it is indeed lovely -- the architecture and location are splendid. But I cannot recommend this hotel based on my last planned visit and subsequent interactions with staff. I bought a prepaid voucher (the kind you can get through places like Travelzoo, Living Social, Groupon, etc.) and planned to stay one night. I was unable to honor the reservation. I expected to forfeit the voucher and pay the associated tax and fees still. However, instead, BCC also charged me the full room retail rate -- without authorization or communication. It simply showed up on my bill. When I called to discuss this error (after looking for policies at the third party vendor -- none of which authorize this activity), the front desk person said that this was simply their policy and that no one was available to talk to me about it but I could call back Wednesday. Oh, how lovely.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled solo
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4  Thank shamiracat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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107 - 113 of 271 reviews

Reviewed 22 April 2014

Our daughter recommended this hotel when we were headed to visit her and her partner. I was very excited because I was familiar with Architect Julia Morgan as she had designed Asilomar in Pacific Grove, and was one of the first female architects in California. The building was designed originally as a women's club in the 1920's (as I recall) and very much reflects the influence of her studies in France. Really a unique and distinctive building; a easy and less expensive trip to Europe. :)

It is best to remember, however, that this is an old building by US standards. Thus, the building isn't really soundproof and the rooms are more traditional of the era in which the building was built. Also, if one needs a TV in their room, this would probably not be the best location for you ~ although they do have a TV room. For us, it was a wonderful experience because we were familiar with Julia Morgan.

Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
Thank Leslie1736
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BCCGuestSupport, Admin Support at Berkeley City Club, responded to this reviewResponded 18 October 2014

Dear Leslie,

Thank you so very much for your kind review.

I agree, Julia Morgan was quite the talented architect. The building is simply majestic to walk through.

We truly wish you all the best and many thanks to your daughter for recommending us!

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Reviewed 22 April 2014

Hotel's location was so convenient. You can walk to shopping centers like central world, platinum mall or pantip plaza. If you like a flee market, the Indra market just located right next to the hotel. Wifi and room service are simply superb. Room was so new and super clean. Staff can speak good command of English. Just one thing a breakfast's menu looks same everyday. But all in all this is the second home that I shall return.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Danial P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2014

Architecturally pleasing and convenient to all the Berkeley highlights. We stayed for a concert at Zellerbach Hall and it was only a 5 min walk to the venue. Both which were lovely. The structure is early California and intimate. We were not able to have dinner at the hotel but, the dining room is a step into the deco past. We did enjoy a nice continental breakfast that was included in the room price. The parking is a bit expensive at $20 per night and hard to maneuver if you have never been there before. The parking lot requires a pass key to get in which you must get when checking in. If it is your first time make note.

Overall a nice experience and all the staff was over the top friendly and informative.. Would definitely stay there again.. Close to all the restaurants, college and sites of downtown Berkeley.

Room Tip: First come first serve and they start from the top floor 6th and work their way down..
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Pridehill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BCCGuestSupport, Admin Support at Berkeley City Club, responded to this reviewResponded 18 October 2014

Dear Pridehill,

Thank you so very much for your kind and thoughtful review!

I agree, the architecture is stunning and the location, fantastic!

And, just to confirm for you, we are a Trip Advisor Bronze Level Green Leader, so definitely environmentally conscious, as you mentioned. Thank you for that. :)

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Reviewed 5 March 2014

We booked this hotel for a spur of the moment stay at Berkeley. We chose the Berkeley City Club for its proximity to the Berkeley campus and for its beautiful architecture.

The building is beautiful and harkens back to a totally different era, but the furnishings are well worn, bordering on shabby. One very nice touch is the use of fresh flowers in the lobby and in the breakfast dining area. The fragrance of oriental lilies in March is truly a treat.

We made our reservations on Priceline.com. When we arrived at the front desk, it was clear the clerk was new and not well trained. He tried his best, but had great difficulty finding and processing the reservation. During the course of our wait, he had to deal with several guests who were unhappy with their stay. He had to check repeatedly with someone away from the desk to answer some basic questions about the hours of the lounge, spa hours, etc. so it was clear he was new and not well-trained. His attitude was very good, however, and he was polite, conscientious and thorough. After about 15 minutes, we were finally checked in and to compensate us for our wait, we were given a room on the 6th floor.

We were disappointed that there was no television in the room.

We logged into wi-fi, but could not keep the connection. Since it was late, we gave up and went to bed. After an hour, the room became very stuffy and hot, so we opened the window. (There was no thermostat.) We found that we had to leave the window open all night because the heat kept coming on. Even though we were on the 6th floor and it was a Sunday night, the noise from the street disturbed our sleep. (Sadly, we were not provided with earplugs in our room and didn't think to ask for them.) Car alarms went off at least twice an hour EVERY HOUR and an irate man seemed to be wandering around the neighborhood yelling obscenities all night long. The sounds from drunken students dissipated around midnight, but the other noises continued. I did not sleep at all that night. Attempts to log into wi-fi were also unsuccessful during the night.

The following morning, I asked the clerk at the front desk if the wi-fi was operating. (It was a different person, someone who seemed to have been on the job for a long time.) She seemed surprised that I was having difficulty with the wi-fi, asked me which room I was in and assured me the wi-fi should be working. She mentioned that the modem/router unit was located just down the hall from the front desk and that that was where they got the best reception.

I finally got into wi-fi in the lobby area and happened to read some of the Tripadvisor reviews of the hotel. It was clear wi-fi reliability has been a problem at the Berkeley City Club before so the clerk's reaction was disingenuous at best. I also found a complaint from four months earlier about the man yelling obscenities all night long. It seems there are some chronic problems at the BCC.

On a positive note, we enjoyed the complimentary breakfast. The food was basic but delicious and the breakfast room was charming.

I am glad I got to see this building, but I wish I had just done so on a tour. I'm glad I didn't have an important meeting the day after my stay because I was exhausted from lack of sleep. In my view, it will take stronger, more creative management for this to be a successful hotel.

Room Tip: Try the La Quinta!
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sharonbN8570UP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2014

This Julia Morgan-designed, old and historic hotel was once a women's club and is still a membership club with lots of activities, pool, and great ambiance. As a hotel, it's no-frills and old, but truly charming with very cool architecture and comfy, little nooks that are a real treat. The Julia Morgan Room and the Library are worth visiting for their history and so is spying into all the various rooms that host shows and meetings. Guests are treated to an ample breakfast of cereal, bagels, muffins, and fruit in the lovely old dining room. Hotel rooms, while small and old-fashioned, have very comfortable beds and large closets. We stayed in one of the very few rooms with two beds - a double and twin.The hotel's location, just about 2 blocks from the main street, is ideal - away from the hustle, but close enough to walk everywhere. Some of the neighboring buildings are a bit tired and sketchy. The hotel is very accessible from Oakland Airport via BART.

Room Tip: Only a few rooms have more than one bed.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank CindyClarkBar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BCCGuestSupport, Admin Support at Berkeley City Club, responded to this reviewResponded 18 October 2014

Dear Cindy C,

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful review.

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay. The architecture is such a treasure. I am glad you were able to be present to its beauty, as well as benefit from our fabulous location!

We truly wish you all the best.

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Reviewed 19 February 2014

My wife and I spent 5 nights at this architectural delight. The location was perfect for us. We were in Berkeley to attend a fabulous CAL Performances Concert. If you are visiting for one of these concerts, this is an ideal hotel. First Congressional Church is just across the street and the other main venue, Zellerbach Hall is a couple of blocks away.

The hotel, designed by Julia Morgan of Hearst Castle fame, is absolutely beautiful. It was completed in 1930 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We loved our period room with overlooking the UC Berkeley campus. The bathroom had original tiles and was spotless. We appreciated the walk-in closet and the comfortable bed. Although the heating system made a bit of noise at night it was easy to adjust to. The public spaces on the first and second floors are very impressive. We enjoyed the complimentary breakfast provided in the beautiful dining room each morning. No tv in the rooms but what a great chance to catch up on a good book. Check out the lovely library and amazing swimming pool. The staff was very polite and helpful.There is a computer available for guests in the lobby. It came in handy when we did our flight check-in and boarding passes. Yes there is complimentary w-ifi on the first and second floors. We were lucky and got a signal in our sixth floor room.

There are lots of restaurants within a few blocks of the hotel. If you head out for a walk, don`t miss the beautiful and historic UC Berkeley Campus, Take the university bus to the Botanical Gardens. The bus cost is only $1.

If you are arriving at Oakland International airport as we did, use the BART connector and BART rapid transit to get to the Downtown Berkeley station. The hotel is only 5 blocks away. BART was also our travel choice to downtown San Francisco.

Room Tip: We found the sixth floor facing UC Berkeley quiet.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank jhnh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BCCGuestSupport, Admin Support at Berkeley City Club, responded to this reviewResponded 18 October 2014

Dear Jhnh,

Thank you so very much for your kind and thoughtful review!

I agree, the location is most ideal, especially for the all of the great performances within walking distance. We are so glad you both enjoyed your visit to Berkeley.

Wishing you both all the best!

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Additional Information about Berkeley City Club

Address: 2315 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Berkeley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Green Hotel in Berkeley
Price Range: £139 - £329 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Berkeley City Club 2.5*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Berkeley City Club was elaborately crafted by architect Julia Morgan. Carved archways, vaulted ceilings, an indoor mosaic tiled swimming, and leaded-glass windows overlooking lush courtyards give the building its unique old world charm. The Berkeley City Club boasts six floors of classically designed standard, junior suite and suite size hotel rooms. Experience breathtaking views from each room, whether its the iconic fog rolling in over the San Francisco bay or the beautiful sunrises over the Berkeley Hills. Enjoy complimentary breakfast, including fresh fruit, toast, bagels, pastries, hard-boiled eggs, oatmeal, yogurt and juice. For entertainment, check out special member events, fitness classes, theater performances, salon services, lounge hours and dining in the restaurant, Julia's or visit local Berkeley attractions just steps away from the Club. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Berkeley City Club Hotel Berkeley
Berkeley City Hotel

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