Hotel Review: DoubleTree Berkeley Marina
I had a chance to check out the DoubleTree Berkeley Marina a few weeks ago. A friend was undergoing a procedure at UC Berkeley and we picked the hotel as a close place to recover between appointments. Right on the water, close to 4th Street if we were feeling lively, and several highly rated restaurants nearby if we weren’t.
It was a good stay. I’d go again for the location and scenery, the actual hotel experience was fine, but unmemorable.
We checked in to the DoubleTree Berkeley Marina early around 1PM, no wait and the rooms were ready. My status was recognized and the delicious Doubletree cookies offered. Self-parking was convenient, but not cheap at $18 a day + taxes.
Later I noticed they had an HHonors Express Lounge but no mention had been made of it and I didn’t bother to ask. Peeking in glass door it looked pretty basic — coffee, water, and basic breakfast.
We were hungry and didn’t want to go back out. After peeking into the attractive cafe, we decided we’d rather take advantage of all day room service and headed to our rooms.
Check in tip: If using self-parking, grab a spot near reception and leave all your luggage in the car, then drive to the parking space closest to your room before unloading.
Be prepared to walk — the hotel has several different buildings and we had made the mistake of unloading all our luggage before check in. We were assigned Building 4, the farthest from the reception desk and unfortunately not one with a view of the water. If you want a better chance of a waterfront view, which I was hoping for, go for Building 1 or 3.
After making the trek to Building 4, we discovered our keys didn’t work. We used the courtesy phone to let them know and they offered to send someone with new key. After waiting about 10 minutes, housekeeping took pity on us and let us in, and 5 minutes later the keys arrived.
The room furniture and fixtures felt fairly new, but the hallways and elevators felt in need of renovation.
My diamond status didn’t result in a suite or waterfront view, but I was assigned a top floor room with a vaulted ceiling and a view of the courtyard instead of the parking lot. If I leaned off the balcony I could just glimpse a glimmer of water on the horizon.
The bathroom was a little on the dark side and the shower had low water-pressure but plenty of hot water.
Small snafu ordering room service — there was no menu in the room. About 15-20 minutes after calling, someone showed up with a pretty battered menu.
The selection was limited but appealing, and when it arrived, quite good. It took awhile to order — at 2PM calling room service eventually went to a recorded message advising you to leave your order and room number and they’d call back to confirm. Within 10 minutes someone had called back and after that, the food arrived in under 30 minutes and still warm.
Really enjoyed the tomato soup with grilled cheese and a gigantic salad.
The chicken tenders were also nicely battered with an array of sauces. And another set of Doubletree cookies for dessert. 🙂The pool and fitness center is located between Buildings 3 and 4. Both pool and hot tub looked clean and inviting.
The fitness center is split between two small rooms at either end of the building, one with weights, the other with limited machines. Both were empty every time I walked by . 🙂
The breakfast amenity the next morning was good for one item off the menu or the breakfast buffet. For expediency, went with the buffet which had a fairly extensive offering of hot items, including dim sum and congee, lots of pastries, and a whole bar for yogurt and fruit. You could also get made-to-order-eggs in lieu of an omelette bar.
The real appeal of the DoubleTree Berkeley Marina is the location. It was perfect for us — plenty of opportunities to get fresh air and stretch our legs in beautiful surroundings.
To the south of the hotel is the marina with great views of the San Francisco skyline.
To the north a grassy wilderness reminiscent of Ireland in the rain, with plenty of trails and beautiful views.
Despite a few service quirks, it was a good stay and perfect for what we wanted.
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