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“Still Pondering...,”
Review of Berkeley City Club

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Berkeley City Club
Ranked #6 of 20 Hotels in Berkeley
GreenLeadersBronze level
Ithaca, New York
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Still Pondering...,”
Reviewed 10 August 2014

This is a toughie. First, if you demand valet parking, room service, sparkling up to date rooms and a hotel bar, do not stay here. You will be unhappy. The City Club is a historically and significant building designed by Julia Morgan whose Board has opened its facilities and rooms as a means to support and preserve this building. There are quirks along with magnificent architecture and spectacular public spaces. The hotel rooms themselves, while perfectly adequate, can be tired -- chipped painting, poor lighting, unreliable hot water in the shower and an odor that might remind you of an elderly Aunt's house. The front desk service is slow and quick to tell you the rules (no parties in the room!) , etc. Still, sitting in the public rooms or libraries reading one of the several available newspapers while drinking a cup of the excellent complementary coffee is pretty cool. I did not have a bathing suit and regretted that I did not swim in the magnificent pool.

So, if you book here, do so with open eyes. You will be either very pleased or put our, depending on your own personal tastes and quirks. I must say that the complementary breakfast could be easily improved. Berkeley is a foodie's paradise. The Club could easily get rid of the Smuckers grape jelly and the truly awful bagels (and the subpar toaster). Serve something from the marvelous Acme bakery along with the nice fruit salad.... Guests would start the day in much better moods.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ann S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BCCGuestSupport, Executive Support at Berkeley City Club, responded to this review, 17 October 2014
Thank you for your review, Ann, and for encouraging others to keep an open mind.

The Berkeley City Club may not a perfect fit for all travelers, but it can be for those who can appreciate it for what it is. We are glad you enjoyed your stay for the most part.

If you are back in Berkeley, come and try Julia's, our fine dining restaurant on the second floor (where you had breakfast). For Lunch and Dinner you will be transported on an extraordinary experience of food and service. You are welcome to explore some of the restaurant's reviews on Open Table and learn a bit more about our Chef.
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259 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (86)
Date | Rating
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English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
Reviewed 25 July 2014

No T.V, little wi-fi: my idea of heaven. The pool looked amazing. It is a quaint, other-worldly place. Perfect for a writer! They even gave me a phone charger for my cell. Bliss. The heating was stuck on in my room, which was strange. Otherwise, all went well.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Amanda-Peppe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BCCGuestSupport, Executive Support at Berkeley City Club, responded to this review, 17 October 2014
Thank you for your kind review, Amanda!

We love that you enjoyed your stay. It is pretty special just to be able to be present to all the peace, quiet and beauty and enjoy a little break from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives.

We truly wish you all the best!
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California
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 June 2014

I've stayed here a couple times now. As you can read from all the other reviews, the building itself is one-of-a-kind and beautiful. It's an old-style hotel, meaning small rooms and big, beautiful public spaces. Where else can you find a beautiful courtyard, a solarium, a library, a gorgeous staircase, and lots of chairs and seating areas scattered around. (One exception is the TV room, which is kinda small and depressing.)

The continental breakfast is simple but good: a few healthy cereals, breads and bagels, fruit, granola, and Peet's coffee. The dining room is pretty.

The pool is neat, and I think I'd like it if I were the only person in it. But with a few people in the pool doing laps, it gets pretty choppy and noisy (it's indoor).

And finally the rooms themselves: old-style, a little funky, small. Single-pane windows, so if you're on the street you get some street noise. No TV. I got one room one time that was so small there wasn't even a desk. But for the most part I think the other parts of the hotel make up for the rooms, so on balance I'm likely to come here again. One thing that would really help would be improved wifi in the rooms. The signal strength really depends on where you are in the hotel.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank flipper314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BCCGuestSupport, Executive Support at Berkeley City Club, responded to this review, 17 October 2014
Dear Flipper314,

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful review! Although your stay may not have been perfect, I think you took the good and enjoyed things for what they were.

We are glad you had the opportunity to enjoy the space.

Wishing you all the best!
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Morristown, New Jersey
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 June 2014

I have enjoyed my stops at the Berkeley City Club in the past, but this time I was traveling with a friend who became ill. At such times you become aware of the lack of valet parking, a bellhop, or room service. The charm of the architecture, which is uniquely wonderful, fades a bit when you need those little extra touches. The dinner at Julia's, the in-house restaurant,, did not quite live up to expectations, either. The in-door swimming pool, which is elegant in the extreme, is for lap swimmers only. But is something to see! All in all, a mixture of fabulous and inadequate.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank burrsearcher
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 review, 20 October 2014
Dear Burrsearcher,

Thank you so very much for your review. I am sorry that your friend became sick during your stay. We appreciate you finding the silver lining even in unfortunate circumstances.

We truly wish you all the best.
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California
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 May 2014

This is a beautiful building that was originally built as a women's club by Julia Morgan, who also designed the Hearst Castle. This, too, bears resemblance to a castle of sorts, with huge stone archways and grand, high ceilings in the lobby and sitting rooms. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and very conveniently located to University of California, Berkeley. Rooms are as they were way back when, in terms of small size and sparse features but they were tidily kept. There are no televisions or plush furnishings, however, this was no issue for us at all as we were happy to stay in a commanding building with rich history. There is self parking next door and a restaurant which we did not try. We would visit again for among other things, the very reasonable price.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank thewindatourfeet
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 review, 18 October 2014
Dear thewindatyourfeet,

Thank you so very much for kind and thoughtful review. I do agree, the grand spaces and architecture are stunning.

You should definitely try Julia's the next time you stay with us! The cuisine is truly amazing. Our Chef is fantastic.

We wish you all the best!
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Leland, North Carolina
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2014

We stayed at the Berkeley City Club to attend a wedding there.
The hotel was quite unique in that it is a historical site from the architecture to the actual building.
The staff and service was very good, prompt and courteous.
The room and beds were clean and comfortable.
Being a historical site, one should be aware that rooms to not have a/c nor tv, neither of which hindered our stay.
The swimming pool is very large and an original from the 1930s -- it has been renovated!!

Overall a very pleasant stay.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mike R
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 review, 18 October 2014
Dear Mike,

Thank you so very much for your review!

I am glad you enjoyed the beautiful architecture and lovely pool.

We truly wish you all the best!
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Monterey, California
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank shamiracat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Berkeley City Club

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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