Carefree at the Claremont Hotel
|Map||41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, CA 94705|
For a getaway of glamour and rich California history, look to the bright white beacon at the foot of the Oakland hills, the majestic Claremont Hotel Club & Spa. Powerful tudor revival bones and post-Gold Rush era construction evoke the timeless work of architects Charles William Dickey and Walter D. Reed.
The countdown to 100 years is on for this mammoth, 22-acre, 275-room hotel with 25-meter heated recreation swimming pool, 25-yard heated lap pool and too many other frills to count. The indulgences include access to private tennis courts—10 outdoor and six illuminated for night play. Hard to imagine a train choo-chooing court-side, but the Key Route once did, stopping here to deliver passengers to the East Bay, San Francisco and beyond. Marveling at this sense of history is all part of a stay at the Claremont.
Inside, guests relish an array of tipples when seated at the beautiful mahogany bar or eased in at the Lounge. Once upon a time, the Claremont was deemed too close to UC Berkeley to serve alcohol. It wasn't until 1936 when a clever University student discovered the Claremont was situated just beyond the one-mile no-alcohol border zone, the absurd law was abolished, and the student was awarded free drinks for life. Or so the tale goes...
Request a window table at restaurant Meritage and watch the sun dip over San Francisco Bay while you dine on Chef Scott Quinn’s farm-to-table dishes that change seasonally. He’s transformed the menu back to its original concept. “Quality and respect for food is number one,” explains Quinn. Take in live music that wafts through these hallowed halls on certain evenings. Once upon a time the likes of Louis Armstrong and Count Basie trilled and thrilled.
You can also book an appointment at Claremont’s holistic spa. Your skin will drink in Chardonnay grape-derived extracts, soak in grape seed oils, and you’ll emerge punch drunk with one of several ‘Wine Therapies,’ available March—June. Treatments change through the year.
Guests are encouraged to visit Claremont’s fully-stocked fitness center, customarily reserved for exclusive members, during their stay. A variety of classes are taught, but be sure to explore the Cardio Room where personal trainers are at the ready to help up your workout.
Since its inception in 1915, the Claremont continues to charm. Sean Hubbard, Food and Beverage Director says, “We want you to fall in love with The Claremont.” And, you will.