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“Good lodging, often available when everything else in Berkeley is booked, but there are catches”

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Berkeley Lab Guest House
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
845 reviews
76 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 491 helpful votes
“Good lodging, often available when everything else in Berkeley is booked, but there are catches”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2013

This was obviously designed as temporary housing for visitors to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, but LBNL has decided to make it available to the general public as well. My wife and I stayed here while visiting the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute just up the hill from LBNL, and the lodging was comfortable, even if a bit basic (but not any more so than, say, your usual Super 8). The staff were friendly and helpful, and the views of the Bay from the second story common room were to die for.

The biggest catch: LBNL is a secure area, which means entrance and exit is controlled at guard houses. This is not a big problem if you are staying at the Guest House, since you will have the credentials to get by the guards, but it does mean that you'd really better have your own car, since it makes access to the grounds much simpler. There is a spacious free parking lot by the Guest House, so you'll have a place to put that auto when you do make it through a bit of a maze and get to your lodging. But if your business is down the hill in Berkeley proper, you are likely to find this arrangement somewhat inconvenient.

Incidentally, if you like wildlife, LBNL has some that is unusual. I'm including a photo of a line of wild turkeys marching by the place in the early morning. The Guest House staff swear that the turkeys have learned that it is safest to use the marked pedestrian walkways when crossing the road, and that drivers dutifully give them the right of way.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank AnnArborMiBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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38 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    1
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5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
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English first
West Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2012

Located on the hills on the eastern end of the UC Berkely campus, the Berkeley Lab House is, UNFORTUNATELY, restricted by the Dept. of Energy to UCB students,faculty,alumni or visiting researchers (you are, afterall, part of several active,working energy research laboratories). We were greeted by turkeys (about 15 walked right past our car) upon our arrival! During our evening walk, two deer came within about 20 feet of the House. The views are spectacular! The location provides clear, unobstructed (unless fog!) scenes of the entire Berkeley campus, city of Berkeley, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. The beds and pillows are superior to the Ritz in our opinion (I know, really?.Yes, really.). The beds are extremely comfortable-but firm; and the pillows (four per bed) are smaller which surprisingly allow for easy manipulation lending to a very comfortable head rest. To top it all off, the staff are very polite and helpful.A very unique place to stay. Will absolutely stay again!!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Brian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
42 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2012

Located *inside* the boundary of the Lab, and up a steep hill, you pass through a guarded security gate to reach the Guest House, which is a small modern three-story hotel on the side of a hill overlooking the bay. The stunning views, quiet setting, and clean air, above the traffic and noise of the city, outweigh the inconvenience of not being able to walk to restaurants or the main campus. (There is a shuttle bus, but it was not operating when I was there on a Sunday evening.)

Rooms and amenities were rather Spartan – it’s mainly intended for visiting scientists, after all -- but everything was clean and comfortable, and coffee and tea were available 24/7 at the kitchen at the end of the hallway. Snacks and breakfast food could be purchased in the lobby at reasonable prices. Staff were very friendly and helpful.

Guests must have some sort of connection with the Lab or University to be able to stay here (but being a Cal alumnus/a or parent or interviewing as a potential student seem to count), and because it’s located in a secure area on Lab you can’t just wander in to ask about a vacancy. Overall, this is a terrific lodging choice for Berkeley and is my new favorite place to stay there.

Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Arcadia_R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2012

First impressions are lasting impressions. This was my first business trip to the City of Berkeley and specifically, UC Berkeley. My stay at the Berkeley Lab Guest House was everything (and more) it was billed to be. Very nice, clean, well-appointed room; free coffee, tea, wi-fi, cable TV. However, I can't say enough about how absolutely comfortable the bed was -- two of the best night's sleep I've ever had!

It's location is ideal -- up in the hills -- and the view of bay will leave you in awe. Great value for money; All of the the staff (front desk and cleaning) were polite and helpful.

I highly recommend staying at the Berkeley Lab Guest House -- you won't be disappointed!

Clinton H.
San Diego, CA

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Clinton H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thomas F, General Manager at Berkeley Lab Guest House, responded to this review, 2 October 2012
Thank you for your kind comments about the Berkeley Lab Guest House. We are very pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us. Our beds are indeed very comfortable! In addition to the high quality Serta Concierge Suite mattresses with memory foam mattress toppers, we have upgraded linens including 350 thread count sheets and platinum grade towels.

The Peet's Coffee and Tea are brewed fresh and served 24 hours a day. On a clear day, the view of the Campanile on campus and the Golden Gate Bridge across the bay is spectacular. You won't want to miss the sun setting behind the hills of Marin from our patio or lobby.
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Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2012

Previously, when visiting my daughter who is a student at UC Berkeley, we stayed at the big hotels in the Marina and Emeryville area. But when I heard about the Berkeley Lab Guest House, it sounded rather unique, so I thought I would give it a try. We were very pleased with our experience (this was about a year ago).
The location was fantastic, with an amazing panoramic view of the bay and surrounding area, right out front. And it is very close to the UC campus, with free shuttle service and parking. The reception desk staff were friendly and helpful. It is an immaculately clean, very modern and attractive facility.
The room was bit on the small side, but certainly adequate - we had to take two twin beds as all the queens in the standard range were booked. There is a communal snack room, bright and airy with view, where coffee is always served. It was more dorm like than hotel like - but a very luxurious and comfortable dorm!
We were lucky - we happened to be there on a weekend when the free once a month tour of the Berkeley Lab was given (needed to reserve in advance) and we thoroughly enjoyed this too.

Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank nankie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, General Manager at Berkeley Lab Guest House, responded to this review, 28 June 2012
As you have discovered, The Berkeley Lab Guest House is in an ideal location and easily accessible for parents to visit their UC Bears on or near Campus. We offer breathtaking views from our public spaces, patio and most of our guest rooms. The Guest House opened in October of 2009 and it is very clean and modern. Our housekeeping staff is second to none!

I am sorry to hear that all of our lovely Queen Bedded rooms were already booked when you made your reservation. I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay regardless. Our rooms are comfortably sized and all feature private baths, mini refrigerators and 32" flat screen TV's with 200 channels. Our Studio Suites are quite large, featuring a kitchenette and dining area.

Thank you for staying with us and we look forward to welcoming you back soon! Go Bears!
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Columbia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2012

If you are visiting Berkeley Labs this is by far the most convenient place to stay. The rooms are very simple, but quite aqequate, nice and clean. My neighbors were very quiet. (This may vary depending on what time and the age of cyclotron reserachers who are returning from a shift)

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Hol_Inn_exp_fan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Thomas F, General Manager at Berkeley Lab Guest House, responded to this review, 18 June 2012
Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts on the Berkeley Lab Guest House. We are in an ideal location for visiting researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and UC Berkeley. We take great pride in the comfort and cleanliness of our facilities. The majority of our guests are here to do scientific research so we make a concerted effort to have a quiet, peaceful atmosphere. Thank you again for your comments and we look forward to hosting you again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Berkeley Lab Guest House

Property: Berkeley Lab Guest House
Address: 1 Cyclotron Rd Bldg 23, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-8099
Region: United States > California > Berkeley
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Berkeley
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 57
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our beautiful Guest House is conveniently located on the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory campus and features 57 tastefully appointed guest rooms. You will find "a home away from home" at our Guest House. Many of the rooms offer spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay, skyline, and City of Berkeley. The Guest House is only a few minutes away from the University of California Berkeley campus and the dynamic Berkeley community. ... more   less 

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