UC Berkeley is an old school with many secrets, but one of its best-kept secrets is the Faculty Club. Located on the east side of campus near the music buildings, the Faculty Club is a large, old-fashioned building with a rustic charm and historically famous architecture. It was founded in 1902 as a “secluded retreat, luncheon club, meeting place, tavern hotel, and party facility” for faculty and alumni. Most students walk past it without ever knowing what’s inside, but the Daily Clog is here to uncover the mysteries of the Faculty Club. We interviewed UC Berkeley parent Yalin Chen, who recently stayed at the club, to find out what it’s like to sleep in a place surrounded by so much history.
The Faculty Club is the only on-campus hotel. As students, we’re accustomed to off-campus dorms and apartments, so the fact that you can stay on campus is surprising. Members of the UC Berkeley community, including family members of current and prospective students, can rent rooms overnight. Prices are reasonable: $130 per night for a standard single room and $150 for a double. It’s definitely an interesting option for parents or visiting guests who truly want to be surrounded by UC Berkeley’s environment.
The mother of a UC Berkeley junior, Yalin Chen stayed at the Faculty Club for three nights last weekend to watch the Real Madrid vs. Inter Milan soccer game at Memorial Stadium. She appreciated the Faculty Club’s rich history and prime location on campus. According to Chen, “the majestic view of the bell tower and the sounds of the gentle bell chimes” were her favorite parts.
But she warned us not to “expect modern amenities in the Faculty Club.”
The lighting systems in the rooms were outdated, relying on a few bedside lamps for illumination.
“The wooden walls between rooms are flimsy so a group of girls chattering in the next room was quite audible,” Chen said.
The wood-paneled walls and leafy groves of the Faculty Club can certainly make one feel as if they were transported back in time.
“I felt like I was in a Sherlock Holmes scene when I was awakened late at night and witnessed from the window a black figure dumping something into a big garbage can outside,” Chen said.
According to Chen, the Faculty Club’s food is better than its rooms.
“The only experience I had regarding dining here was the simple continental self-serve breakfast included with the room charge. The coffee and pastries were good. I especially liked the blueberry muffins,” Chen said. She didn’t have an opportunity to try dinner, but the Faculty Club offers many dinner specials throughout the year. August’s monthly special is the prime rib dinner served August 12 for $15.95, and there is also a taco bar every Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
“Still, it is an experience that I will recommend to other people with the proper mindset,” Chen said. If you appreciate the novelty of staying on the UC Berkeley campus in a building formerly occupied by Nobel prize winners, then the Faculty Club is for you.