Where to stay in Berkeley

Published by javierandbriana on

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The historic Claremont Club and Spa has long been an iconic part of the Oakland/Berkeley area. Growing up in the Bay area, I can’t count how many times I walked by this luxury hotel as a kid and daydreamed about being a guest at what we called “The White Castle on the Hill”. This long time dream recently came to fruition when we received a sponsored stay at this famous landmark.P1030120


The Claremont Club and Spa has a tumultuous history, which makes the fact that it is over a 100 years old even more impressive. Construction began just one year before the great California quake of 1906. Just a year later was the market panic of 1907. This luxury hotel has stood the test of time in the face of recessions, natural disasters and two world wars. Over the years it has remained a premier hotel with exceptional amenities. The club and spa are part of the Fairmont Hotels family.


The Claremont has always held a special place in my heart. Located in the heart of the Bay, it offers the best of Oakland and Berkeley. Interestingly, the main hotel is located entirely in Oakland while the adjoining structure, that includes the spa, fall within the Berkeley area. The hotel and spa offer numerous active and leisure activities.

The newly renovated fitness center has the latest equipment to help get that heart rate up. There are complimentary towels, water and juice provided within the gym area. Feel like a swim or a game of tennis? Claremont has you covered. If you are looking to for leisure activities, the hotel has numerious comfortable quite spaces to relax and unwind. Our favorite was the reading room. It is beautifully decorated and boast a beautiful view that is the perfect setting to enjoy a good book. Claremont Club and Spa’s location makes it easy to enjoy a fun filled stay without having to leave the grounds.

If you want to explore outside of the hotel, you don’t have to travel far to find everything you need. Popular restaurants and shopping areas are just steps away. Telegraph avenue and College avenue are both within walking distance. Both of these famous streets are known for their shops and eateries. Either street will lead you directly to the University of California Berkeley, which is approx. 1 mile away from the hotel.

Music lovers will be thrilled to know that both Rasputin records and Ameba music are both located on Telegraph. Take a stroll down College ave. and you will find every kind of storefront to satisfy your shopping needs.

Tilden park is a nearby hotbed of activity for outdoor lovers. Play a round of golf, enjoy a picnic, bring your family to the interactive kid zone or just enjoy the view from the many look-out points.

The Rooms

Our room offered the perfect balance of luxury and comfort. We had a gorgeous view of the sunset over the Bay every evening. We took advantage of the deep tub to enjoy a relaxing bath at the end of each day. Little touches such as the personalized toiletries, welcome fruit basket and plush bath robe made our visit all the more enjoyable.

The multiple charging ports, desk and strong wifi are the perfect perks for anyone who works online like ourselves. Our beautiful room and comfortable bed made it difficult to say goodbye once our visit was over.


The Claremont Club and Spa is the definition of Luxury. Sitting on 22 acres, Claremont offers fitness classes, tennis, swimming, spa services and children’s activities. Anyone looking for things-to-do will have no shortage of activities to enjoy during their stay. If you are looking to relax in this urban oasis, their award-winning spa has a large menu of services that will leave you felling serene and rejuvenated.

We are huge swimming lovers and were excited to learn that the hotel has 3 outdoor saline pools. The best part is that the pools are heated so we were able to enjoy them, even though it was winter. The pools are spacious and we alternated between the leisure pool and the lap pool.

Every amenity that you would expect such as concierge service, bell staff, laundry services and room safes are offered at The Claremont. The day of our check-out, we had a late flight but were able to take advantage of the hotel’s baggage storage until our departure. The Hotel is wheelchair accessible and offers specially adapted rooms for anyone with physical challenges.

We were happy to see other guest with their pets during our stay. We learned that the hotel is pet friendly and welcomes dogs of all sizes and breeds with a deposit.

Where to Eat

The best meal that we enjoyed during our visit was the Claremont’s very own Limewood Bar and Restaurant. The Limewood Bar and Restaurant serves refined California/New American cuisine. Whether you are looking to enjoy an expertly prepared meal or have a drink, The Limewood Bar and Restaurant has you covered. Enjoy a craft cocktail, local beer or glass of wine from their extensive collection while marveling at the stunning view of the San Francisco Bay. Read all about their Monday evening tasting menu we enjoyed and what makes this restaurant exceptional here.

The hotel also has a lobby lounge where we enjoyed some drinks during happy hour. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast poolside at their Baywood Café. Their freshly squeezed juice kept me coming back everyday.

If you feel like hitting the streets in search of food, you have many delicious options nearby. Famous local eateries include Zachary’s Chicago Pizza, Adjanta Restaurant and Trattoria La Siciliana. They are perfect examples of the diverse options you will find all around you.

Attention to detail

Our stay was all the more enjoyable because of the level of thought and care that the staff provided. Everyone we interacted with was warm and helpful. In our experience, sometimes luxury hotels can be a bit rigid. This was not the case with The Claremont Club and Spa. The facilities and accommodations are absolutely luxurious but the staff went above and beyond to make us feel at home. The human element is what makes The Claremont special and why we recommend it to everyone visiting The Bay.

Why choose Claremont Club and Spa?

There are endless lists we can sound off that describe everything the hotel has to offer, but it is so much more than the luxuries. Checking in as a guest allows you to experience an important part of The Bay Area’s history. It is also unique, in that you are on a pristine 22-acre piece of land that is surrounded by a hip and eclectic cityscape.

I spent my childhood in the shadow of this iconic hotel and am thrilled that we had the chance to visit as a guests during the holiday season. The stellar service, great food and countless examples of luxury far exceeded any preconceived notions I had of the hotel. I’m grateful to the staff and management for creating an exceptional stay for my husband and I. We recommend all of our fellow travelers to book a stay and see for yourself why The Claremont Club and Spa is the height of luxury in the Bay Area.


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