In my opinion the French Hotel has the best coffee in the East Bay. But it's not everyone's cup of tea, as it were. The place is run-down, not particularly clean or cozy, but it is a very local haunt. The same people have been sitting there for decades, every morning, discussing how to save the world from itself. I go there whenever I can for coffee when in Berkeley, to go with my brioche from the nearby Cheeseboard bakery.
The hotel itself is thus conveniently located if you insist on having the best coffee and best bread in Berkeley for your breakfast, not to mention the best pizza (again the Cheeseboard). There are no really good hotel options in Berkeley, the hotels are either overpriced or sleazy. This one is just quirky. The rooms are filthy, the sheets and covers are what you'd find in your grandmother's attic, including the holes in the blanket, very uncomfortable, a Motel 6 would be ashamed. But it isn't sleazy, for some reason.
There's wireless internet and it mostly works. It is walking distance from the University, and the walk is a nice one if you go by the residential streets. If you have a car, there's only a 50% chance you'll get a parking permit from the hotel, and pretty much 0% chance on the first night but you can park on the street at night. The rooms overlook the Andronico's parking lot. There is one room on the 3rd floor with a bay view, but it's way too hot in summer and it's noisy.
It's a big priority for me to stay in that neighborhood, see above brioche mention, and it's the only hotel there, and since it's bearable and affordable, I still stay there when on professional visits. But it really wouldn't hurt for someone to take up a collection to replace the bedding.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- SenS Hotel & Bistro is centrally-located in one of the best food destinations in the Bay Area. The famous Gourmet Ghetto is renowned for its epicurean delights provided by restaurants like the world renowned Chez Panisse, the upscale Mexican restaurant Cesar, and the enormously popular Cheese Board Collective. The famous SenS Bistro is located on the ground-floor and serves the best espressos, lattes and pastries in town. Hotel guests enjoy complementary morning coffee as well as fresh pastries and bagels all while soaking up Berkeley's morning sun and catching up on-line with access to our complimentary Wi-Fi. Our three-level, historical hotel is centrally-located in one of the best walking neighborhoods in town. The hotel is undergoing a complete renovation featuring new amenities such as luxurious walk in showers, high end linens, and new flat screen TVs. Renovations will be completed in early 2017, but until then, you can enjoy our spacious, comfortable rooms equipped with cozy beds, cherrywood armoirs and writing tables. Several of our rooms have balconies. We are conveniently located close to University of California Berkeley and many Berkeley corporate offices. San Francisco is minutes away via freeway and BART. Both San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport are a comfortable drive from our hotel. Our friendly staff will happily assist in any special arrangements that you might need. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- French Hotel Berkeley