The flat is beautiful and functional, located in a peaceful and nice neighborhood on the hillside. A short distance to the services of Berkeley, however a car is needed. Easy to exercise by walking in the hillside. Gillian (the owner) is very helpful and advises you to find the best places in Berkeley area. We warmly recommend the Hillside flat.
While being on sabbatical at UCB we were able to rent Gillian´s phantastic flat on Grandview Drive in Berkeley for 6 weeks, and then took the next chance of a visit to Berkeley to return to this place where we felt so at home and so well welcomed and supported by Gillian. We could not have made a better choice:
- the view over the bay is just phantastic, and sitting on the terrace or at the dinner table overlooking the bay is unbeatable
- the apparment has all what you can wish: it is spacious, it is charming, it is well maintained
- Gillian is a charming and very helpfull host
I had the very fortunate experience to work in the bay area for an entire month. I decided to rent a house rather than stay in a hotel. My husband was able to join me, and we opened the invite to our family and friends who might want to come and have a place to stay as well. Over the course of the month, each week we had a set of visitors. This place was absolutely perfect. It feels like you are in an entirely different world. During the day you are in the hustle and bustle of the city, but retreat back to this seeming surreal world with amazing views, wildlife, and relaxed comfort.
The layout and design of the rental is very well thought out - stylish yet homey. Gillian has done an excellent job of stocking the kitchen with staple utensils, pots, pans, spices, etc. We didn't find ourselves lacking for anything - which tends to be a concern when renting a place you intend to do real cooking in. She has also thought through so many other details to make your stay comfortable.
As the pictures show, the views are unbeatable. Additionally, Gillian was very quick to respond to any needs or questions that we had. She is friendly, but yet unobtrusive so you never feel like "the land lady is watching".
You have approximately 10 steps down from the driveway, and you enter the unit from the balcony (read stunning views here). When you enter, there is a more formal living area with a sofa that faces the balcony and views, and a dining table. To the right is the kitchen and office. Continuing down the hallway, the first door on your left is the first bedroom and en suite. Across the hall from that bedroom is the large laundry room. Continuing down the main hallway is more of the "den" with books and games which then ultimately ends at the doorway into the 2nd bedroom and en suite bathroom. The Den area has a foldout bed, and cot. The front living area has a door that can close it off from the remainder of the house. So know that if you are getting up early and starting some coffee,you can close that door to prevent disturbing someone sleeping on the couch in the den - very well designed.
The drive up the mountain can feel a tad daunting at first, but with a day or 2, I had it memorized and it was very routine. I clocked it as only 7 minutes to the main road. With average traffic, we could be parking in downtown SF in 30 minutes.
There is a lot of wonderful natural light, but if you are not a morning person, you may want to bring a sleep mask. Gillian has wonderful resources for the regional information - books, magazines, pamphlets, maps, restaurant menus.
I loved showing off the pictures of the awesome place we stayed in the bay. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone and would stay there again if presented the chance. Book it now and enjoy!
Ten days we (from Germany) enjoyed this large and wonderfully furnished condo in a perfect location from where one can go great excursions. We enjoyed the hospitality of Gillian and every day here as if would it have been our home. We were so happy about our descision to book this condo instead of a hotel in SF. So after a long day of many impressions we enjoyed every evening with a californian wine and a great view without or with fog on SF ;-)
By car you can reach downtown of SF in 30 minutes and the SFO airport in about 45 minutes. Or you can use the nearby BART station (subway) in Berkely to go to San Francisco.
If we would be comming back to San Francisco or near that area, this spot would always be our first choice!
We spend 6 days in Gillians wonderful house. We arrived really tired and tumbled around from a road trip all over the western states. Arriving was like coming to some kind of heaven. We just walked around in the house with one big smile. The view, the ongoing rooms, the air in the house, the jungle like feeling on the back of the house, the chance for every family member to feel private in separate rooms. The interior decoration, the generosity from the host, the information put in the office. The kitchen, the feeling of being at home that just got to us immediately. Not to speak about the area, Berkeley, the drive up to the house, the people in the street, the little grocery store. We will come back.
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