I recently had the most wonderful experience as an artist in one of my favorite towns in California, Berkeley. I discovered the charming boutique hotel, the Graduate, when moving my daughter into her dorm room at UC Berkeley this past fall. Not only is the hotel right next door to her dorms but it is incredibly charming and loaded with character!
You know when you walk into a hotel and there is an Ashley Longshore painting in the entrance, you are in for an intriguing experience! Once the Durant Hotel, now given new life as the Graduate Hotel, it is full of quirky college themed items based off of the 1968 movie The Graduate which takes place at UC Berkeley (although some of the scenes were actually filmed at USC - fun fact).
The rooms are fully appointed with everything you need and the attention to college themed detail is impressive. I’ve been an Interior Designer for almost 15 years and I can honestly say this hotel is at the top of my list when it comes to clever design. As an artist, the design is incredibly inspiring as well.
When checking in to the hotel you at first don’t realize the the entire back wall behind the reception desk is actually hundreds of National Geographic magazines! Come on! Who thinks of this stuff?! I die!
Of course there is a fun Bar & Grill next to the lobby I just had to do a quick sketch!
Also in the lobby, they have the most adorable vintage bikes you can use. In Cal Bear colors of course!
The campus of Berkeley is simply beautiful and loaded with history. Did you know there are 41 libraries on campus? So no excuses for not having a place to study. If it were me I would live at the historic Doe Memorial Library! It’s just so, so charming and cozy!
As a proud parent of UC Berkeley student, I’m looking forward to many more visits there and discovering more of the wonderful attractions Berkeley has to offer. While staying at the amazing Graduate Hotel we also discovered some super places to eat and shop, but that’s a post for another time. We will definitely be going back to stay at the Graduate, Berkeley not only for it’s great location to everything but because the place is so warm and inviting, the staff is so kind, and it feels like home away from home…and it didn’t hurt to know that the urinal in the men’s bathroom is Stanford red… OK I may have taken a picture of that too!