Historical Hotel and Spa Overlooking San Francisco Bay
The Claremont Hotel & Spa—a historical, AAA Four Diamond Award–winning hotel—overlooks the San Francisco Bay from a perch atop the Claremont Canyon. During the California gold rush, a private, English-style castle stood on the property. But after the castle burned down, real estate tycoon Frank Havens won the land in a game of checkers, and in 1915, he opened the sprawling Mediterranean-style resort that still stands today.
Of the many improvements made to the hotel over the years, none shine as brightly as the Spa Claremont, a 20,000-square-foot facility dubbed the Top U.S. Urban Spa by Vogue magazine. Beyond offering standard therapeutics such as facials and massages, the spa's staff administers body treatments, acupuncture, and water therapy, a means of relieving stress by wielding a seltzer bottle à la the Three Stooges. At the hotel’s fitness center, 60 exercise classes are scheduled every week. There are 10 tennis courts onsite and a number of swimming pools, whirlpools, hot tubs, and saunas.
Three restaurants provide a range of fine-dining options. The landmark Meritage at the Claremont, a farm-to-table affair, serves dishes such as the Sonoma goat-cheese-potato terrine beneath a two-story ceiling while diners gaze out onto the bay. The more casual Paragon Restaurant—an American brasserie—offers hand-shaken cocktails, live jazz on the weekends, and outdoor deck seating. The Bayview Café serves up light fare poolside. Upstairs, the hotel's Distinctive Bay View rooms have been newly renovated so that no two are exactly alike.
Berkeley, California: Eclectic College Town Full of Art, History, and Culture
The Claremont Hotel & Spa stands just a few minutes from the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, home to some 36,000 students and a still-thriving activist spirit. Lined with cafés and smoke shops, colorful Telegraph Avenue bustles with scholars, bohemians, and vendors hawking tie-dyed graduation gowns.
World-famous musicians and actors take the stage at Hertz and Zellerbach Halls and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and plenty of bars and restaurants along Shattuck Avenue pour microbrews and serve farm-to-table cuisine. Wandering Berkeley’s residential neighborhoods can be a charming diversion in the spring and summer, when tangled gardens spill over onto tree-lined sidewalks.
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