Friday, February 16, 2007

The Claremont: A hotel defined by its hallways.

The Claremont "Resort and Spa" is a lovely hotel, for the most part. It has a tremendous location, near the University of California at Berkeley. It sits proudly on a hill, with a panoramic view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge. It has a very good restaurant, with a deck facing said view. It has spa facilities (which I've never used), tennis courts, a gym, facials, footcials, etc., etc. The lobby is palatial. The service is friendly. None of this prepares you for the creepiest hallways in hoteldom. The universal reaction is: The Adams Family or the Munsters. They're so wide you could drive an armoured personnel carrier down the middle of them. The ceilings are low. The lighting is dim (as if they'd turned the original gas fixtures into sconces) and the paint color looks as if it was originally way-off white, then subjected to 30 years of nicotine stain. There is furniture placed haphazardly along their lengths. The rooms are similarly dim, though green, with salmon textured carpet. (The bathrooms have been updated). The Claremont has excellent in-room coffee (Seattle's Best), and in most every respect is a nice place to stay. But those hallways! Those hallways! You walk down them late at night, and expect to see William Holden and Gloria Swanson stagger, lipstick-smeared and reeking of bourbon, from their tryst-a-teria, only to run into Anthony Perkins coming from the other direction. Ask anyone who's been there: the first thing out of his or her mouth will be: Creepy Hallways.

1 comment:

Davezilla said...

You had me at, "so wide you could drive an armoured personnel carrier down the middle of them".