Sometimes the best way to enjoy San Francisco’s beautiful bay is not from the city itself, but from its varied surrounding viewpoints. Such is the case with The Claremont Hotel Club and Spa, a picturesque, white clad property located in the Berkeley Hills. Overlooking the Bay from its nestled perch, this storied hotel is a symbol of elegance and class, a historic retreat reinvented with modern touches. Nearing 100 years in business, the hotel reminds us that some things definitely do get better with age.
Recommended Resort: The Claremont Hotel Club and Spa. When this prestigious resort opened in 1915 it was the largest of its kind on the Pacific Coast, hosting not only various living quarters, but a private school and a radio station. A lot has changed over the years, including ownership, interiors and a one-time alcohol-free mandate from the state given the hotel’s proximity to UC Berkeley, but the one thing that endures is first class service. There are 279 guest rooms in all, no two exactly alike, each with their own mix of old-world and California stylings. As an added bonus, all those with spring allergies will rest easily with a selection of allergen-free rooms for sensitive travelers. And, really, how can you top those views of the bay. Breathtaking!
Check In: 41 Tunnel Road in Berkeley. 800-551-7266, claremontresort.com.
Check Out: Dining at Meritage. The Claremont’s signature restaurant delivers in both ambiance and cuisine under the direction of chef Josh Thomsen. Wine driven plates with farm fresh fare prepared to perfection, the experience at Meritage is sophisticated without being stuffy. With a resume that boasts time at both French Laundry in Napa and Hotel Bel Air in LA, you know what’s coming out to the table will be nothing short of inspired. Come early and enjoy the terrific views of the San Francisco skyline.
Don’t Miss: The Spa. One of the best in the area, you can’t go wrong in this blissful escape for the senses. We tried the transformational Tibetan Sound Massage, a full body experience combined with sound waves from sacred Tibetan bowls placed on your body. In a soothing environment, awaken to sound and vibration as a fundamental shaping force to your stream of feeling alive.
Photos courtesy of The Claremont Hotel Club and Spa/John Benson.