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.
- 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