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“Noisy hotel with small rooms”
Review of Graduate Berkeley

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Graduate Berkeley
Ranked #4 of 20 Hotels in Berkeley
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 12 November 2011

If you are trying to find this hotel from the BART station don't look at the hotel map which is confusing rather head in the direction of the cinemas and you can connect to Durant directly from Shattuck by turning left. The hotel is about a ten to fifteen minute walk.

The room was really small and the bathroom too. Expected more for what I was paying. There is a free coffee maker which was nice.

The problem though is the walls are paper thin and you can actually hear conversations of your neighbors not to mention other things!

There was a problem with the shower next door and every time someone used it my wall would shake and it made a really bad noise the kind that wakes you up.

I guess it is an older hotel!

  • Stayed: November 2011
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Thank Jasonleg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LWilson2600, Manager at Graduate Berkeley, responded to this reviewResponded 30 November 2011

We were sorry to hear about your disappointment and do appreciate the feed back. We encourage you on your next visit to contact the front desk as often times other guest are not aware of there noise volumes. We will also be working with each department to make the necessary improvements to the Hotel.

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Reviewed 6 November 2011

Other reviews comment on the excellent service and we definitely agree - efficient and very friendly and positive. The building dates from 1928 and the rooms reflect that - so if you are looking for a standard, stamped-out Radisson or Holiday Inn experience, this might not be for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for somewhere that looks and feels as if it belongs in the city and street where it is located, you'll probably like it, as we did. Our bed was wonderfully comfortable, everything was spotlessly clean, the room heating was ferociously effective, and the location is excellent. Perhaps just a touch pricey for what it is - our room wasn't huge, and its layout was odd (washbasin in the bedroom rather than in the bathroom), no doubt a function of the age of the building. But we did some online comparison shopping before we booked and it looks as if what you are paying for what you are getting is in line with the competition.

Room Tip: Durant Ave is noisy till late at night, so if it's warm, remember there's no aircon and ask...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank seglea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LWilson2600, Manager at Graduate Berkeley, responded to this reviewResponded 15 November 2011

We agree the charm and character of the Hotel Durant which combine the spirit of the University and the nostalgia of the original building and Berkley’s history is certainly what makes the hotel so unique. You can’t beat our location either.

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Reviewed 6 November 2011

This hotel was a joy from the first. Nice closet for your suitcase, fluffy bathrobes and really decent draw and hanging space. Great work desk and internet, excellent room service, cool art (my room had an original movie poster of 'The Graduate'), huge TV, lovely bathroom, WONDERFUL queen sized bed.

Other reviews have mentioned the lack of aircon, but the celing fan, portable fan, and open window are more than sufficient!

Also others have complained that the rooms are too light - that's untrue - the rooms have roller shades and thick vinyl lined curtains - I was able to sleep in a pitch-black room upon my arrival at 2pm.

The staff were all really friendly and helpful. I cannot recommend this hotel more highly than saying I won't be considering any other accommodation for my next stay in the Bay Area.

Room Tip: 5th floor gets way less street noise.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled on business
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Thank Esmeralda_Rocha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LWilson2600, Manager at Graduate Berkeley, responded to this reviewResponded 15 November 2011

The Durant team certainly takes pride in our work and the product and appreciate the kind words and feedback. We hope to welcome you back soon.

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Reviewed 22 October 2011

We stayed at the Durant a few years ago and just loved it. My husband had meetings at the University of California Berkeley. The hotel is 1 block from the university so this was a great place to stay. We also met friends at the hotel for dinner and drinks. We ate in Henry's and it is a restaurant and pub. We sat at the high table and chairs and our dinners were very delciious. It was so much fun to visit with our friends that we hadn't seen in years. They live in the bay area. We all knew each other from the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico. Our husbands worked there and we had a lot to reminisce about the past years. Our room was somewhat small but very nice. We did hear some students having a party but it didn't bother us and we were tired and fell asleep. There were other restaurants nearby. We enjoyed walking around the Berkeley campus.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled on business
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Thank misty2chicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 October 2011

An enthusiastic welcome is always the key to a comfortable stay and the Durant does this well. My room was not ready for my early (10am) arrival, but the front desk managed my expectations very well.
The hotel itself, despite the published 2008 renovation (more a touch up I suspect) feels slightly down at heel reflecting the age of the building. My wife would call it shabby club style.
My room was large and well appointed and the bed large and comfortable. The bath room was on the small side and the quality of the shower reflected the age of the property. Good coffee machine and large flat panel TV.
Basic wifi is free, but not fit to purpose with almost no bandwidth during the obvious peak hours; there is a faster but paid option.
The biggest problem is that unless you are doing business on campus the Durant is just a step too far from Berkeley BART and while local public transportation is reliable it is infrequent. Not really a practical alternative to staying downtown San Francisco.
Henry’s the in-house gastro pub serves good beer, but terrible food and there are few sensible alternatives in the area, most of which is cheap student food.
Berkeley itself is of very limited tourist interest and the local modern art museum a disappointment.

Room Tip: Look for a room on the lower floors as the two lifts are very slow
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled on business
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Thank 100nights
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LWilson2600, Manager at Graduate Berkeley, responded to this reviewResponded 11 October 2011

Your feedback is greatly appreciated and we will be using your comments to help us make the necessary improvements to the Hotel Durant. We hope that you give us a chance to wow you on your next visit to Northern California.

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Reviewed 29 September 2011

I'm a frequent business traveler to Berkeley, and have stayed at both the Hotel Durant and the Hotel Shattuck Plaza. The Hotel Durant is a superior experience on all levels: service, room decor, noise, and location. The staff is courteous, friendly, and professional, and they went out of their way to make me feel welcome. I was initially concerned about the lack of A/C, but it was not a problem at all (even on an 80 degree day with a sunset-facing room) at night. Highly recommended; I really can't wait to be back!

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled on business
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Thank CalNU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LWilson2600, Manager at Graduate Berkeley, responded to this reviewResponded 1 October 2011

Thank you for the kind words. We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

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Reviewed 26 September 2011

Maybe this place is okay by hippie Berkeley or European standards, but this property is not representative of a typical Joie De Vivre (or any boutique hotel) experience.
I feel like TripAdvisor really let us down on this one.
First and foremost - THE ROOMS HAVE NO AIRCONDITIONING! The windows were closed and our room was hot and really stuffy. There is a ceiling fan and they do provide a box fan, but for $229 a night?! Outrageous. We arrived on an unusually hot weekend in September. Yes, they happen in the Bay.
Secondly, the rooms are TINY. Again, I would expect this in Manhattan - not so much in Berkeley. We stayed in one of the larger rooms - maybe 10 by 20?
Also, parking. Parking is $16 per night, but there are only like 12 spaces for all hotel guests. That means, if you’re not in by 6pm, you’re not getting a spot and you have to find street parking. Okay, so that sucks, but big deal. Well, parking is free after 6pm, but the meters turn on again at 9am. So let’s say you have a late night. Roll back to the hotel at 2am, you are setting the alarm for 8:45 am so you can start feeding the meter which maxes out at two hours and costs $1.00 for a HALF hour. And all of the parking around here is metered. Sure, you’re not “supposed” to drive in Berkeley, but as an out of town tourist staying at a hotel, it’s pretty likely that you’ll need to drive. Unless you just came into town to check out UCB, in which case this property is in the ideal location.
I’m not really a crotchety old lady, more likely an aging gracefully punk kid in her mid 30s, but the streets around here are noisy and the walls are paper-thin. Drunk college kids staggering about at all hours, and the dude in the room next to us having a very pleasant conversation with his wife at 9am, were delightful. Also, you can’t really close the windows to block out the sounds, because as previously mentioned there is no air conditioning. What else can’t you block out? The sun. There are no black out shades. Sure, there are crappy roller shades, but they didn’t spring for the kind that are backed with vinyl to actually reduce light. Really guys. This is Hotel 101 stuff. Guests appreciate the option to sleep in while on vacation and not be awoke by the glaring light of the sun at 7:30 am.
JDV spent some money in the property - you can tell the JDV touches, but it was really allocated in all the wrong places. The Guest Directory - very well done from a graphic design standpoint. There is a fun college theme to the hotel, which makes sense. You can buy the fancy custom made bong lamps that they have in each room for only $300.
The rooms themselves, however, have been half-[---] restored. The walls are painted a jaundiced nicotine-stained gold. They didn’t bother to scrape off the 80 previous years and 12 previous coats of paint, so everything just looks a little ridiculous. The wallpaper is peeling. The toilet is so close to the tub I have to sit on it sideways. (And I’m only 5’9”.) The tub has caulk that is peeling back and is black and moldy. I’m sure it’s original porcelain, but it just looks icky and prevents me from wanting to shower in it.
Oh, and a double room, really is a DOUBLE. Two DOUBLE beds. I am a grown woman. I can’t remember the last time I slept in a double bed in a hotel. Shame on me for assuming a double meant two queen size beds and that this place would have AC. That is something I just take for granted when I travel, and I do travel a lot for business and personal reasons. This was a personal trip...
What else is there to say? If cost is the only determinant in choosing a hotel, maybe you would stay here? But this is a sore excuse for the Joie de Vivre boutique hotel experience I am used to.
I was expecting a romantic weekend. This place was dingy, small, and disappointing.

Room Tip: The elevator is really small and very slow. Get a room on a lower floor so you can take the stairs.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Stacy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
LWilson2600, Manager at Graduate Berkeley, responded to this reviewResponded 11 October 2011

We try to meet and exceed our guest expectations of a Joie de Vivre hotel and we were disappointed to read your discomfort and disappointment in the Hotel Durant. We will be taking your feedback and using it to improve each area in the hotel.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: $197 - $450 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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