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Why: You don't find a great swimming pool or a good hotel value on every block in downtown Berkeley.
What: The Berkeley City Club is more than it seems. When star architect and UC Berkeley graduate Julia Morgan designed the 1930 club building, she gave it an indoor pool of startling beauty. (Already, she was working down the coast on media mogul William Randolph Hearst's castle at San Simeon.)
The best news for us is that over time, the City Club started operating its six-story building as a hotel -- one that stands a few blocks from the UC campus. Its restrained mien and 35 rooms are not for party animals, but if you're looking for someplace stately to practice your Australian crawl under Moorish arches, your search is over.
Where: 2315 Durant Ave., Berkeley, 373 miles northwest of downtown L.A.
How much: Double rooms typically $199 on weekday nights, $229 on weekends.
Info: Berkeley City Club