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“Extremely loud and incredibly cramped...”
Review of Graduate Berkeley

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Graduate Berkeley
Ranked #4 of 20 Hotels in Berkeley
GreenLeadersGold level
Concord, California, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Extremely loud and incredibly cramped...”
Reviewed 8 April 2012

We thought it might be nice to book a room after dinner reservation at a Berkeley restaurant. By 2:30AM, we were back on the road for the 30min drive home. Why?

While we appreciate the effort at making the vintage hotel a beautiful space (which it is), aside from service (which was great-- the only reason for a second star), the room fell very short on anything close to what you might call comfort... which is the reason one might stay at a hotel, right (I mean, if I wanted art, I'd head to the museum... quirky decor doesn't help you sleep through the night)

The bed: The base sheet slid from the bed revealing a thin mattress pad as soon as you pulled the covers down. If it /was/ a queen, it was built for a munchkin queen. A 9in mattress on a rock-solid platform with 4 pillows thiner than a folded jacket (ask me how I know... ok, I had to fold my jacket for extra "poof") is far from comfort. My $400 Ikea mattress is more comfortable which is what greeted us after the drive home at 2:30AM after three hours of tossing and turning on a bed more uncomfortable than any futon I've ever slept on. It was bad.

The room: The room (#527) was comically cramped. I mean, laughably... like if it were on a home improvement show, the hosts would make fun of how cramped it was. Stylish? Yes. Functional and comfortable? Absolutely not. The dresser was less than a foot from the side of the bed with a big flat-screen on top set at an angle that was entirely un-viewable from any point in the room save the bathroom... which i would have tried, but the toilet was so close to the tub that you have to sit crooked on the seat. The sink was smaller than a dentist's spit-sink with a faucet larger than the one for the tub which made washing your face impossible. Did I mention having to sit sideways on the toilet? Try dropping a deuce in that position.

The noise: This was the kicker. The very affable host (Isaac) told us that he'd put us on the "quiet" side and we had high hopes. Granted, it was Saturday night in Berkeley, but the noise from the street -- even normal conversation -- filled the room as if we were on the ground floor with the windows open (ours were closed). Every screaming frat boy, every laugh, every cell-phone call, every car door closing at a normal volume, every everything seemed to be louder /in/ the room than on the street.

Ask yourself: How bad a situation does it have to be to get-up, put on clothes and leave a hotel at 2:30AM to face a 30min drive home (as opposed to staying put and riding it out)? It was that bad.

Room Tip: • Extremely loud • No AC • Comically cramped rooms • Very uncomfortable bed
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Hunter W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed 27 March 2012

We were staying overnight at the end of a short road trip, in order to visit the Cal campus. Great location, easy self-parking, and lots of giggles as we checked out the various college-themed details on our way to the Alice Waters room. Loved the layout, but the bathroom left much to be desired in that the faucet over the tiny sink was loose and wobbly, and the shower head came off in my husband's hand. The shower problem was fixed almost immediately. Our other disappointment came when we asked for ideas for a late dinner, and the staff knew less than we did, other than to advise us to "wander on Telegraph." But given the general quality and price of what's available so close to campus, I give the Durant a thumbs up! How great to be able to view the camponile from bed!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Lissie57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Redding, California
Level 6 Contributor
390 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

The Durant is a small hotel with lots of 60's and 70's memorabilia, front staff was friendly - small rooms. The restaurant had a mall menu but the food was good. Prepare yourself to handly your own baggage !!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 530Gypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LWilson2600, Manager at Graduate Berkeley, responded to this review, 28 March 2012
We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and your meal in the restaurant. On your next visit we hope that our Bellman can be of more assistance as they are here and happy to help with any luggage or transportation needs you may have.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Cruz
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 March 2012

Loved my last stay for an event at the Greek (easy walking distance). Sadly, this stay will be my final. Like the Hotel; but rude restaurant staff plus mediocre service will make me look elsewhere.

Arrived at valet parking space; no one was there so started to unload. Guy showed up & stood at the valet station 5 feet away. I asked for help. He said he could park the car but could not help with luggage. He did end up taking the bags to the room anyway & valet parking the car (yes there’s a valet fee) but it was in no way smooth; he even commented on there being a lot of bags! (Party of 4 adults; 3 rolling cases - all carry on size.) He had a bellhop cart for pete’s sake, and yes we tipped well even though not deserved. What kind of valet does not know how to help incoming guests?
The clincher- we planned to eat at the hotel for dinner. One of my criteria in selecting a hotel this trip was dinner on site. Were told rudely that since “it was Trivia Night there are no tables and won’t be until 10 PM which is when kitchen closes so order now and take your food to your room”. (I think it was it was 8:30ish.) The rooms are historic, hence small-not a problem unless you are told to eat in your room. Each of 2 rooms had a small desk area which 2 could have squeezed in a meal at, but do not accommodate 4 people eating together. (All eateries within walking distance were fast food. This was a special occasion so wanted a nice dinner together.) There were plenty of opportunities to tell us about Trivia Night earlier so we could have planned ahead. I asked on booking over the phone with Hotel direct about dining, & when I first arrived asked about dinner menu. One guy gave us good service- helpful tips on what to do with spare time including directions to a lovely pier you can see the Golden Gate Bridge from. There was a view restaurant there we could’ve dined at if we’d been warned earlier about the inability to seat hotel guests for dinner.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank FeltonTraveler4fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LWilson2600, Manager at Graduate Berkeley, responded to this review, 28 March 2012
We apperciate your feedback and do take our customer service very seriously. We hope that you give us a chance to speak with you over the phone or in person and will be working with our team to ensure this does not happen to any guest moving forward.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oslo
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2012

The Durant have more or less successfully implemented a university theme in their hotel with a lot of effects (like the staff wearing school uniforms, two night stand lamps that look like “bongs" and many other small effects that adds to the originality. Personally I think this adds a nice touch to the hotel, but having said that the hotel is pretty worn down and I would call it more a motel, than a hotel.

The pros:
The hotel is very conveniently located with close access to shops, restaurants and most importantly a short walk away from the university. You can also walk to the BART (train/subway) that will bring you to downtown San Francisco in about 30 minutes. There is a nice casual restaurant by the lobby that serves good food and there is a nice atmosphere at the hotel with plesant service from the staff and a young crowd.

The cons:
First of all the price does not justify what you are getting. You are paying for a hotel, but what you get is more like a motel. Interiour is quite worn, elevators is amazingly slow and it feels far from fresh and new. I lived here for two weeks with a weekend in between and my room from the first week was extremely small with no natural place to store luggage. The second week I requested a bigger room and got a decent size room with about double the space. In the first room there was a lot of noise from the pipes in the walls whenever people used shower or toilet and in the second room there was a "clicking sound" from the radiator, but not extremly annoying.

Maybe the worst part is that there is no aircondition in the rooms. This was not a major issue for me, staying here in the winter/early spring, but in the summer I would think it would get amazingly hot in the rooms with only the ceailing fan and the two additional fans they provide. Kudos for free internet, but it can get terribly slow at times.

Remember: There is not a lot of fancy hotels in Berkley so you need to consider your alternatives to this hotel. Even if I’m not fully happy with my stay I might end up picking this hotel the next time I visit due to the lack of alternatives and the good location and the staff. As long as I get one of the bigger rooms :)

Room Tip: Ask for one of the big rooms far down (due to no view anyway and slow elevators)
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PerfectStay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LWilson2600, Manager at Graduate Berkeley, responded to this review, 28 March 2012
We were happy to hear that you enjoyed our staff and apperciate your feedback. We will be working with each department to make the nessary corrections as our customers satisfaction means a lot to us.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Graduate Berkeley

Property: Graduate Berkeley
Address: 2600 Durant Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704-1711 (Formerly Hotel Durant)
Region: United States > California > Berkeley
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Berkeley
#3 Business Hotel in Berkeley
Price range (per night): ₹ 12,004 - ₹ 24,779
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Graduate Berkeley 3.5*
Number of rooms: 144
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
WELCOME BACK TO THE GLORY DAYS OF COLLEGE LIFE, WITH A FEW OF THE NEW COMFORTS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T HAVE THE FIRST TIME AROUND. Graduate Berkeley—where your intellectual curiosity meets your favorite place to stay. Located one block from the nations' top-ranked public university, UC Berkeley, the Graduate Berkeley, is a full-service, 144 room boutique hotel. Graduate Berkeley is a one block walk to campus at the corner of the city stir and game day buzz. Steps from Telegraph Avenue shops and stops. A quick five-minute walk to entertainment at Cal Memorial Stadium, Cal Performances or the Greek Theater. The hotel is a virtual post card from its counterculture past, Graduate Berkeley now resides in the historically renovated Hotel Durant, making it the most storied place around. The lobby invites nods to the arts and academia, the well-traveled local and Berkeley’s Bohemian roots. Collegiate plaids mix with a faraway but familiar feel, like a home away from home. Thousands of “Nat Geo” magazines journey across the front desk walls, dressing them in California gold. Curl up with a book amidst Ikat patterned easy chairs and printed velvet sofas in deep blues and burgundy with a vintage vibe. Sweeping wood floors are layered with hand-woven rugs from India, while graphic street art mixes with chinoiserie accessories offset by original millwork and moldings. Gather some Golden Bears for a post-game bite at the restaurant Henry’s or convene at a communal wood table; it’s the perfect hub for conversation, camaraderie and robust exchange of ideas and intellect. So whether you’re in town for a meeting or meet up, cheering along with Oski on The Hill or enjoying a show at the Greek, the Graduate Berkeley is here to make it memorable. You will feel like a local, at home again even if it’s your first time in town. Graduate Berkeley rooms are ready for a night like you’ve never had before, where little moments of surprise and discovery will meet you down every corridor and around each corner. This is Graduate—be ready to be inspired. Rooms amenities include complimentary wireless hi-speed internet access, flat screen TV, refrigerator, in-room laptop safe, triple-sheeted linens and designer bath products. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Durant Hotel Berkeley

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