|renovated lobby with a whimsical, contemporary flair|
Having first opened in 1915, just over one century ago, the Claremont Resort was recently acquired by Fairmont and has undergone a massive $45 million renovation. Set in the Berkeley Hills, with a commanding view of San Francisco Bay, the Claremont is an iconic landmark in the East Bay, the largest all-wood structure west of the Mississippi. The preeminent hotel in Berkeley, it is a full-service resort with a renowned Spa. Its fully equipped Health Club, Pool, and Tennis Club are quite popular with us locals (memberships are available to the public). Perhaps the hotel's biggest claim to fame was the use of its pool area for scenes in the Robin Williams comedy, Mrs. Doubtfire.
The results of the renovation are remarkable. Pictured above is a view of the front desk area. The lobby has the same grand dimensions, but it has been updated and made much lighter and more contemporary in the process. A large adjoining room formerly used for meetings now opens into the lobby, creating a bar area with views of the bay.
The resort has 276 rooms and suites over 9 floors, all of which were renovated in 2015. An historic hotel, every room is a bit different, but you should expect rooms that are smaller than those in newly constructed hotels. We were shown a Deluxe Bay View room — it had the feel of a "Superior" room to me; the bathroom had a step-in shower (no tub), a single vanity, and toilet. The Signature Bay View was larger, and its bathroom also provided a large soaking tub. The rooms to aspire to are Tower Suites and the Presidential Suite. The $26 resort fee entitles guests to free WiFi, daily newspaper, and (in effect) complimentary membership in the Claremont Club during their stay.
The Claremont has applied for Virtuoso membership. Until that time, I can get clients "informal" amenities including upgrades if available and a welcome amenity.
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