Editor’s Review of The Claremont Hotel Club & Spa
Berkeley is famous around the globe for it's '60s hippie radicalism and the University of California, Berkeley campus. But for those in the know, a tony Berkeley neighborhood is home to the much beloved Grande Dame of yesteryear: the Claremont Hotel Club & Spa.
Awash in Old World splendor and reigning just 12 miles from San Francisco activities, the drive to the city is about 15 minutes total. With rush hour traffic, you might be in the car as long as 30 minutes, but with a wondrous view for companionship: the San Francisco skyline and bay.
So with the drive, why choose the Claremont? For starters, the 22 luxurious acres dotted with tennis courts (with lights), highly rated fine dining,
sparkling pools and an active Kids' Club is sheer pleasure to return to after a long day hoofing it through San Francisco.
Did I happen to mention the view? From the moment you pull into the parking lot, the necessary unloading of suitcases will cease and a good long stare will commence (remember to breathe). Yes, even the Claremont's parking lot has a magnificent (and unparalleled) view of San Francisco, the bay and those two stunning bridges.
To add to the charm, Berkeley is brimming with outstanding dining (if you didn't know this little fact, you'll soon see), great activities for families, a bevy of beautiful and rambling parks and awesome shopping.
Additionally, Berkeley is considered the birthplace of California Cuisine; the Claremont's two fine dining restaurants reflect the high standards of the "fresh and local" movement.
For history buffs, the Claremont has a rich and fascinating past including being the site of a gold prospector's home where he soon lost the property (the house had burned in a fire) in a famous game of, yes, checkers. In 1915, the property became what we now know as the Claremont Hotel. Its most recent dramatic event was a terrifying firestorm that engulfed the Oakland Hills in 1991, killing 25 people, taking out a multitude of fine homes and coming just feet away from decimating the Claremont.
With decades-old rosebushes, impatiens of every hue and palms swaying with the California breeze, a visit to the Claremont is a restful retreat that will leave you with only one simple desire: to return again on your next visit to the Bay Area. less
Our Editor Loves
- Unparalleled view of San Francisco
- Ultra-active kids' club
- Three large pools and hot tub
- Laundry Service
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Applause to the Claremont for having maintained its yesteryear splendor in the public areas of the resort while updating the 279 guest rooms into modern necessities. Sporting a blue-and-gold color palette, several room types are well-suited a family. Every room includes a sleeping area, desk, flat-panel TV, cable TV with pay movies and video game consoles, in-room safe, two telephones, Honor Bar, plush spa robes, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, and signature bathroom amenities.
The Classic guest room has a king and two doubles and beautiful views of the Berkeley hillside. Crave a stunning view of the San Francisco Bay and skyline? Then ask for a Distinctive room, which comes with one king or two double beds. The Spa Elite is a specially appointed room with extra pampering amenities and is situated very near the Spa Claremont. The bathrooms in the Spa Elite rooms are also beautifully renovated boasting a separate tub and shower.
But best of all the Studio Suite may very well be the top choice for a family thanks to the choice between a king or two double beds and a sofa sleeper. A spacious seating area generously welcomes parents and kids to kick back and enjoy the view of the San Francisco Bay.
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