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Sleep with Julia Morgan in Berkeley, for $80 a night

January 11, 2011|By Christopher Reynolds | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The Berkeley City Club isn’t just a civic organization in a quirky little castle designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan. For years it has run a hotel offering 35 modest rooms and suites upstair in the Bay Area city. Now, as the club turns 80, celebrates completion of a facelift and confronts an off-season lull, it is renting rooms for just $80 per night.

The deal: As a nod to its history, the club is renting 31 standard rooms for $80 a night plus tax. Normally, rates are around $145 to $165. The hotel's four suites are also discounted. Guest rooms do not have TVs, but you do get free breakfast in the downstairs dining room.

Along with its convenient location at 2315 Durant Ave., a few blocks from the University of California campus, the Berkeley City Club offers guests access to public areas with great historic and design details, such as an indoor pool that may remind you of another Julia Morgan project, Hearst Castle. (Party people should look elsewhere; this is a quiet sort of place.)

When: Good for stays through Jan. 31.

Tested: When I called and checked the hotel’s website last week, the hotel had $80 rooms available every night through Jan. 31. To get the $80 rate, however, you have to make the booking by phone or e-mail, not through the on-line booking page. The rooms, the reservation agent said, look as if they were decorated by “your hip grandmother,” with Oriental carpets and vintage-shop finds.

Contact: Berkeley City Club, (510) 848-7800.


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