Storm the castle at the Berkeley City Club (from $145), a treasured architectural relic that first opened in 1930 as a women’s social club, located within walking distance of the Telegraph Avenue shopping strip. The stone structure is home to 35 elegant, if old-fashioned, rooms (many with views of the Golden Gate Bridge). Common spaces featuring Romanesque and Moorish details are grand, especially the indoor pool built underneath a dramatic arched ceiling.
Pay tribute to the area’s radical past at Hotel Shattuck Plaza (from $155), a 93-year-old option that reopened after a 2009 renovation with sixties-era peace signs and checkerboard floors alongside finer touches like Murano glass chandeliers. Located just a block from the downtown BART station, it’s a good choice if you’re also planning to explore San Francisco.
Show some school spirit at Hotel Durant (from $159), where the dorm-inspired décor pairs bong-shaped table lamps and vintage yearbook photos with adult amenities like high-thread-count sheets and down-filled duvets. The blue and gold color scheme pays tribute to UC Berkeley, whose lush campus is within stumbling distance of the hotel. Request a room on one of the upper floors facing the back to avoid the sounds of late-night college life.