I don't know who wrote the headline description, but this is a motel that has a good dose of deferred maintenance. The room I was in was in need of paint, the metal door frame around the bathroom door was heavily rusted, the heat/ac unit did not work (but they had a space heater and fan in the room, so obviously I wasn't the first to notice), and the wi-fi did not work (they said they would rest the router when I asked but it didn't make a difference). No light over the desk workspace. On the plus side, they do have glass cups for coffee (& one single cup pouch for the 4-cup drip pot). High on the convenience and low price benefits, but I would not return.
This little gem is nicely located to the University and local restaurants. It is walkable to BART. The rooms are cozy, somewhat dated but clean. There isn't a pool or gym which is fine because there is FREE parking. The owner is a jewel herself and has quite the immigrant story of hard work and success. The only thing missing is a mini frig.
Location could not be better!: one block from the main street, Shattuck Ave., one block from many eateries, and two blocks from the east side of the campus, In addition, the owner is a very nice and kind lady who comes out to let you in even if you arrive midnight and she is quite accommodating as well. We use this hotel frequently because of proximity to Cal and affordability and have been happy with our stay.
We stayed for five nights in April 2019. Let’s get the negatives out first - the DBI is basically an old fashioned motel in the middle of downtown Berkeley, and if you don’t want that, keep moving. If you want a great comfortable place to stay, within minutes of the best places to see, eat, and drink in Berkeley (so much nicer than downtown SF, by the way, pretty much the Platonic ideal of a college town) and of course the BART station, with a lovely quiet place to sleep, then you can’t really do better than the DBI. The managers couldn’t do enough to help us, whether it was calling a taxi, getting a battery out of our sink (don’t ask), advising us on where to eat, or receiving our lost luggage. Should we return (we were staying on the way to New Zealand to live and work there for a year), we would definitely stay again.…
I think that when this hotel was built, it wanted to be a basic but well designed urban-style hotel. Now it looks dated and needs repairs. Bathroom walls were badly damaged by water, and the furniture is scratched and worn. The carpet looked clean but was ancient. The wall-mounted TV was new, and there was coffee in the room. The location is close to shops and restaurants downtown, and not far from the University. I am not a fan of hotels where the doors of each room open on to a catwalk. You can't tell that from the photo. The doors faced the inside courtyard (car park) but were easily accessible for anyone on the street. There is no "lobby" area, just a small enclosed desk. It just felt so deserted and vulnerable at night.