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All reviews hearst castle julia morgan architectural gem two floors indoor pool served in a lovely dining room san simeon historic hotel continental breakfast public rooms morning swim rooms are small peet's coffee stepping back in time gorgeous building elevator shaft hard boiled eggs
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7 - 12 of 302 reviews
Reviewed September 7, 2018

Adjacent to the Cal campus, and in the heart of Berkeley, the City Club is an Art Deco jewel of a building. The rooms are small but adequate for the purpose of sleeping, which is all you should do in them. Time should be spent in the public areas of the building, and in the greater civic opportunities of the neighborhood.

Room tip: Higher is better, sixth floor on cool days.
Date of stay: September 2018
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Exploration532878
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 10, 2018 via mobile

There are pros and cons staying in an historical building. The cons are very obvious if you happen to be on business.

- no visible plugs (at all) in the rooms. You have to crawl behind the bed board to unplug the bed light in order to charge your phone or computer.

- soundproofing did not exist back then... avoid rooms ending by 12 to avoid elevator shaft noises. No window soundproofing either.

- bathroom : everything’s works. That’s important but it is rather rudimentary.

- access. The keycard access to the main lobby is amateurish at best and is an inconvenience.

- no safe in the rooms (only at front desk)

- dining facility: surprisingly it lacks ambience when it could be stunning given the nice environment. Btw, hard to find local wines.... most of them from France (not much carbon friendly).


- charming place: it is nice to stay in a place with character.

- bedding is very comfortable and this is very important.

- there is no AC and no TV but I could not care less. At least, no TV noise from the next room :-).

- a nice pool (although it was closed on Wednesday evening). I suggest maintenance to be done during the night and not when guests can enjoy.

- good location, easy access

- overall good value for money.

- front desk staff helpful.

Date of stay: August 2018
Trip type: Travelled on business
1  Thank JC64Madeira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 4, 2018

You need go to the door to turn off the light in the sleeping room; there is no TV; you need mix water by yrself with cold and hot tube; Still use the key to lock the door; when upfloor is using the toilet, the noise is not small at all.
living here just like living back to 50s/60s.
This is really cool, together with the Julia's, it is all a great night.

Date of stay: August 2018
Thank lifenglu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 25, 2018 via mobile

This hotel is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Thus its owners are severely limited in the number of modern updates that can be made to this project of famed Hearst Castle architect, Julia Morgan. You will be staying in something of a living museum. This has both pros and cons, and you have to be open to the entire experience.

The public rooms on the first two floors are spectacular and begged to be photographed and party-ed in. The Club’s floral budget must be enourmous because there are lovely, fragrant, fresh flowers throughout the public spaces. Also, the Library and verdant Atrium are delightful. Both are lovely places in which to take one‘s coffee or tea (offered to guests at no charge all day).

The indoor pool here is fabulous to look at... but, in order to actually take a dip, guests with long hair are required to wear bathing caps (apparently a necessity due to a pool filter issue). So, unless you want to spend $4 to buy the one they sell here, bring your own, or forgo your swim.

As many of the other reviewers have noted, many of the creature comforts of modern luxury hotels are missing. Yet, the ambient charm of this historic hotel might compensate somewhat for this fact.

Decorated after the fashion of the late 1920’s/early 1930’s, many pieces of furniture, carpets, handles, etc., in the guest rooms could use a little TLC. Most of the rooms are very small and simple. I suggest asking for the largest room you can afford. (The suites- if you can get a good rate- are wonderful. They offer great views and lots of elbow room.)

Do not expect a comfortable bathroom, nor a TV in your room. The former is an inconvenience, but the latter wasn’t missed much because the free Wi-Fi was good and you can use your laptop for entertainment. There is a large TV in a comfortable downstairs common room, which is quite sufficient in my humble opinion.

The continental breakfast- complementary to guests- is unremarkable. (If you skip it, you wouldn’t be missing much.) However, the (not complimentary!) dinner offered at Julia’s, the restaurant in the BCC, is outstanding. You don’t need to be a hotel guest to have dinner here. But be sure to make reservations. We enjoyed it so much that we ate there two nights in a row.

Date of stay: July 2018
Trip type: Travelled with family
Thank SacAnnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 23, 2018

Rates seem to vary wildly here -- the staff expressed shock that we had booked in at less than $200 / night via Booking.com -- but if you get lucky ratewise, this may -- may -- seem like a reasonable alternative to outrageously priced San Francisco-area hotels. The property is on a very quiet, leafy side street in Berkeley, about 15 minutes' walk from BART -- so, about 45 minutes from downtown. It is architecturally significant, designed by the pioneering woman architect Julia Morgan, and all the arches and tiles put you in mind of a prep school chapel.

However, the price you pay for quaintness and architectural significance is a very low level of amenities. Rooms are very small and do not have TV sets, climate controls, sitting chairs, or desks for working; my bathroom had peeling paint and primitive, wheezing plumbing. Above the first floor it is basically 1934 with wi-fi. Some rooms have views of the hills overlooking Berkeley, some just face trees.

There is a sort of a continental breakfast offered in a large, dark-wood-paneled, ornate but mostly deserted dining room. There is an onsite restaurant with limited dinner hours.

Date of stay: April 2018
Thank BearX220
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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