Graduate Berkeley 2600 Durant Ave./Bowditch St., near Telegraph Ave. 6 stories; 143 rooms. Restaurant; room service. Fitness room. Pets ok. Parking fee. Particularly popular with parents in town to visit their children at the university, this atmospheric hotel was built in 1928 and is just 1 block from the university. The colorful lobby decor has a mellow-yet-lively vintage vibe and includes large, comfy furnishings. Throughout, original local artwork is displayed--don’t miss the pop-art portrait of Marshawn Lynch (he played football for Cal, went on to the NFL, and is now with the Oakland Raiders) and U.C. colors and references are seen. An immense book case behind the check-in desk covers the entire wall and holds more than 8,000 Cal-yellow-spined National Geographic magazines dating back to 1916. Key cards resemble student ID cards of famous alumni, including Rube Goldberg, Gregory Peck, and retired astronaut Margaret Rhea Seddon. Historic photographs of the campus hang in the Kelley-green hallways, and some of the attractively appointed rooms feature campanile views. All rooms feature bong lamps, a framed poster of “The Graduate” film, comfortable beds and cotton bedding with a white duvet, new antique-style black phones, a hotel directory that looks like an exam booklet, and preppy plaid curtains.
Henry’s bar and restaurant operates off the lobby and serves both breakfast and dinner daily. The spacious pub features a maple floor, ornate oak bar, and high tables with zinc tops.