|A view of the Claremont Hotel as you come up the main drive.|
The postal location and city of residence of the hotel has been an area of confusion in the past. The hotel is technically located in the city of Oakland, though portions of its property do cross the official Berkeley city border. The hotel has also had problems in the past with its proximity to the University of California campus. A Berkeley City ordinance dating to 1876 prohibited the sale of alcohol within one mile of the campus. The hotel fell within this one mile radius and it was only due to some geographic sleight of hand, essentially relocating the center of the campus as defined by the ordinance, that placed the Claremont Hotel barely outside of the alcohol-free zone. Even after the passing, and then repeal, of Prohibition the hotel continued to have problems with the Berkeley ban on alcohol near the campus. In 1936 a Cal student determined that, rather than consider the ban as consisting of a mile radius from the center of the university as the crow flies, the mile distance should instead be considered as the distance required to travel on foot or by car over surface streets. Through judicious mapping the student determined that the shortest practicable route from Cal to the Claremont Hotel over surface streets was a few feet over a mile. The Claremont Hotel immediately opened a bar based on this evidence.
Getting There By Bike...
|The hotel entrance.|
It's pretty straight forward to get to the Claremont Hotel by bike. The most direct route is to take Ashby or Claremont straight to the base of the hills. Once you reach the intersection of the two streets, right below the bottom of Tunnel Road, look for the giant white building that's looming over you. That's the hotel. Both Claremont and Ashby can be traffic heavy, so ride safely. Once you're there, I like to look at the sites from the comfort of the Peet's patio across the street from the tennis courts. You can also ride your bike through the front gate and look at the gardens. I've never been asked to leave, but be aware that they may not want people wandering the grounds if they aren't guests. The former site of the Kennedy Tunnel is a short jog up Tunnel Road if you feel like trekking a bit farther, and Claremont Canyon is a steep, though beautiful, climb to the top of the hills.