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“cheap and safe”
Review of Berkeley YMCA

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Berkeley YMCA
Reviewed 5 July 2012

I visited some friends in San Francisco and needed an affordable place to stay. I don't like the bay area because everything is so expensive. And to a german guy the amount of homeless and drug-addicted people is really shocking.
I did not want to pay 100 bucks per night, that' s why I chose the YMCA. The neighbourhood seems to be ok in the daylight, but when I returned at night, sometimes there were some young sketchy people lingering at the downtown bart station. Nothing happend to me and I guess the location is one of the safest in the bay area, but I felt sometimes uncomfortable.

The hotel itself is ok, the rooms are clean except the carpets. The shared bathrooms and showers are located in the hallway and were mostly clean. Only once I had to wait for a shower. I never used their pool or the gym. Many restaurants are located nearby, but all of them seem quite pricey. The hotel offers also a fully equipped kitchen, so you can cook yourself.
Sometimes it is hard to fall asleep in the night, because there are students who yell down the hallway at 1am and use the laundry in the middle of the night.

A ride by bart to downtown San Francisco takes about 20 minutes and is about $3.75 one way. My friends stayed in an upper class hotel in San Francisco and payed hundreds of dollars. When I once left them, next to the entrance one person was getting his next fix. So I think it is not worth spending much money for a hotel in the bay area.

If I have to return to the bay area I would stay at the YMCA again.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Carsten S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 May 2012

The next best price I could find for a Berkeley Hotel was $100 more, so we went with the Y. It's too bad that sickness and time prevented us from making use of the great exercise facilities and pool because then the cost may really have been worth it. But, be prepared for mismatched furniture and bed coverings, bathrooms off the hallway, students, people in hard times, etc. The location is great for access to public transportation, downtown Berkeley, the campus, restaurants, etc. I'd been told the rooms were air conditioned, but ours was not and keeping the window open meant we could hear traffic and voices in the street. You get what you pay for, and what you get in Berkeley is expensive compared to the Midwest. The hotel manager was kind and helpful.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Anniversary_minded
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2012

close to bart, and everything important to me... frree day pass to the ymca..

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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4  Thank rocaToronto_Canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2012

I chose this hotel for its price and location to the BART. I was disappointed. The hallways are a maze and very hard to navigate. They charged my credit card three times instead of once. It was later resolved, but still a hassle. There were people living here longterm that were down on their luck. Bathrooms are shared and while there were no major problems here, they seemed to be always occupied, which was frustrating. My room was very basic w/ a single bed and desk. Room was incredibly hot and I had to open a window, which made me feel unsafe. Huge iron stain on the carpet and found a single hair in my bed and was grossed out. I checked out after one night b/c it wasn't worth saving the money. Overall, it will do if you are a real budget traveler who is used to staying in a hostel type place. But if you can afford it, I'd advise going elsewhere.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank cheesylady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2012

We stayed on a weekend in May 2011. The room was clean, airy, quiet (a weekend but a graduation one!) and not shabby as others noted earlier. There was only one of the old group of streetpersons in evidence. She was unobtrusive and quiet and seemed to have an arrangement to spend the night in a small common space. The only drawback was a lack of hot water in some of the showers, which the management seemed nonplussed about but the working one was fine and still not far from the bedrooms.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank marshp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 May 2011

The location - a short walk from the BART station and downtown Berkeley's restaurant row - was perfect. I had one of the private rooms with a twin bed which was shabby but clean and well secured - place had a very secure feel. Bed had a hard mattress which I prefer to one that is soft and caving in. The shared bathrooms were clean with ample hot water. The building does have some residents that look like street people but the only one encountered was helpful getting me up the elevator with his passkey. The rest of the guests mainly seem to be budget travelers -mostly Asian college kids but a few middle aged folk. Very friendly and helpful front desk which is manned all night.

Guests can get a free pass to the well-equipped YMCA fitness center and use of a full kitchen and several computers for internet. If you're in need of a clean, safe place to stay in Berkeley at rock bottom prices this would be the pick.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled solo
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4  Thank cg37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2010

I needed a cheap option for a recent trip to Berkeley, and the YMCA turned out to be a perfect choice. It's spartan, but has reasonable amenities for hostel or dormitory type lodging. Just don't expect luxury or style, and you'll be fine.

Rooms are private, single or double. Individual, locking bathrooms (with hairdryers!) and showers are down the hall. There were about three of each on my floor, which seemed more than adequate, and they were cleaned regularly. Towels were provided in the room. The room also had a desk, mini-fridge and dresser/wardrobe. Furniture was worn, but serviceable. I couldn't get the wireless internet to work in the room, but there was a LAN connection, and I had a cable, so that worked fine. Alternatively, there were three internet computers in a common area off the dining room.

What I liked most about the Berkeley YMCA:
-Location: 1 block to BART and plenty of restaurant options nearby
-Free use of YMCA health club facilities (same bldg, separate entrance)
-Clean and spacious shared kitchen w/ coffee and hot water in the mornings

What I didn't like:
-Noise: Even though my room was near the end of a hallway, there was a whole lot of noise late at night (midnight - 3am). Groups of students travelling together seemed to be going in and out of the rooms, with doors slamming, and talking very loudly. No idea whether that's typical, but bring earplugs just in case.
-The mattress was not comfortable. At $55/night including tax, I dealt with it.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled solo
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4  Thank maxart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Berkeley YMCA

Address: 2001 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-1417
Region: United States > California > Berkeley
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Berkeley
Price Range: £55 - £94 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 72
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Also Known As:
Berkeley Ymca Hotel Berkeley

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