WELCOME TO THE HOTELS CALIFORNIA
A reverence for its history (modern Berkeley dates back to the late 19th century) means hotels here get revamped, not replaced. Add in unending gentrification pressures from San Francisco, aggressively hip Oakland and the swath of unreality that is Silicon Valley, and the reboot of the storied Hotel Durant, five minutes from the UC Berkeley campus, makes perfect sense—as does the reboot’s theme as the 1 Graduate
Hotel Berkeley, complete with a library wall of National Geograph
ics and cute details like student ID cards for room keys. Similarly respectful, and just down the street, stands the 2 Berkeley City Club, a historic landmark built by local architect Julia Morgan (UC Berkeley class of 1894). Still a private club but no longer just for women, it has 38 members’ residences redone as hotel rooms, and the city’s finest indoor swimming pool.