Mary’s Bed and Breakfast (47 Alvarado Rd., 510/848-1431, $165, 2-day minimum on weekends) feels a bit like a tropical resort, with its rattan furnishing and light, airy decor. Mary’s offers three bedrooms, all of which come with a full breakfast each morning in the dining room. An apartment is also available for rent by the week or the month. In the Claremont district of south Berkeley, Mary’s is walking distance to the Claremont Hotel’s spa and restaurant.
The Rose Garden Inn (2740 Telegraph Ave., 510/549-2145, www.rosegardeninn.com, $170–260, 2-night minimum over Sat. nights) is a large rambling structure with 40 guest rooms and gorgeous rose bushes (don’t worry—the bushes are not in the rooms). If you come in the spring, take the time to stroll in the lush gardens and smell the pungent jasmine. Rooms are decorated in floral themes, many with light wood, white wicker, and other cute garden cottage-style touches. All rooms have private baths and televisions, and a hearty buffet breakfast is included.
Book a room at the Berkeley Brick Path Bed & Breakfast (1805 Marin Ave., 510/524-4277, www.thebrickpath.com, $170–210). The garden is the pride of this inn, and you can stroll down the namesake brick path among the lush greenery and gorgeous flowers, take a seat out on the patio to enjoy your breakfast, or sip an afternoon glass of wine in the gazebo. (For a complete list of the plants in the garden, complete with identifying photos and descriptions, see the inn’s website.) Each of the three guest rooms has a unique style: one with a brick fireplace, one with a huge whirlpool tub, and the East-West cottage with a full kitchen and private entrance.
The Hotel Durant (2600 Durant St., 510/845-8981, www.hoteldurant.com, $176–215) has it all: location, location, views, and location. If you can, get a room on the upper floors to take in a view of Oakland, San Francisco, or the Bay. From the lobby, you can walk to the University, Telegraph Avenue, and the Elmwood shopping district.
Got plenty of budget for your Berkeley lodgings? Then stay at the famous Claremont Resort and Spa (41 Tunnel Rd., 510/843-3000, www.claremontresort.com, $210–350). Since 1915, the Claremont has catered to rich and famous East Bay visitors. No two of the 279 elegantly furnished rooms look quite the same, so you’ll get a unique accommodation experience even in this large resort hotel. The rooms may be plush, but the real focus at the Claremont is fitness and pampering. A full-fledged health club, complete with yoga, Pilates, and spinning classes takes up part of the huge complex. And the full-service spa, which offers all the current popular body treatments plus aesthetic services, finds favor with visitors and locals alike.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition