Benchmark, a global hospitality company, has announced the addition of Graduate Berkeley to its Gemstone Collection.
Formerly the historic Hotel Durant, the property has been revitalised and renamed Graduate Berkeley following an extensive renovation. Graduate Berkeley pays homage to the historic building’s roots and UC Berkeley founder, Henry Durant, through its distinct design and revitalisation of Henry’s, the hotel’s restaurant and bar.
A dynamic and expanding new boutique hotel brand, Graduate Hotels was founded in 2014 by AJ Capital Partners to create distinctive, approachable hotels in America’s most vibrant university-anchored towns. Each hotel reflects the local college and community in its eclectic décor, food and beverage programming options and homage to the school and town it is designed to serve.
Drawing inspiration from Berkeley’s bohemian roots, Graduate Berkeley captures the spirit of adventure, global exploration, and constant quest for knowledge cherished by the city’s residents, students, and countless visitors. In the lobby, guests are immersed in printed velvet walls with Persian motifs, a feature wall of thousands of National Geographic magazines, and colorful murals by local artist Chris Lux.
In both the public spaces and guest rooms, the furniture and art are curated to feel residential, eccentrically preppy, and curated from different eras, as well as all corners of the globe. The same retro vibe is found in the hotel’s 144 guest rooms with original art work, ceiling fans, touch tone replicas of 1930s telephones and in some rooms, posters from the iconic film, The Graduate, parts of which were filmed on Berkeley’s Telegraph Avenue. The hotel draws Bay Area residents, visiting scholars and Cal alumni where they can meet, socialise and rest their laptops and tablets on a communal table, and will find free, high-speed WiFi.
With 1050 square feet of conference space, including the California Room and the Boardroom, Graduate Berkeley is perfect for meetings, receptions and gatherings. Like other Graduate Hotel properties, the hotel is geared for destination weddings as Berkeley alumni return to the town and university where they first met.