Conceived as a place of respite in the early days of the 20th century, Claremont celebrates its centennial by combining the best of the past and the present.

Built in the era of the Pan Pacific Exposition, the 276-room Claremont Hotel, across the Bay in Berkeley, boasts unparalleled views of the City and 22 acres of lush landscaping and club facilities. To honour the hotel’s rich heritage, Gensler’s redesign of the guestrooms and corridors evokes a bygone era of classicism by preserving the castle-like architecture, while imbuing them with the comforts and amenities required by today’s savvy guests.

The luxury hotel features a spa and club facility that features a kid’s pool, as well as a tennis and fitness centre; an estimated 20,000 square feet of meeting space, which encompasses the 450-person Empire ballroom; a private social and tennis club; three existing restaurants and lounges; and a new brasserie.

Escape or Garden?
There are two distinct colour and decor schemes used, both hearkening back to unique aspects of the hotel’s history. One is “City Escape,” which evokes a feeling of nostalgia with travel-inspired details and a classical design sensibility. Deep hued navy leather, soft blue tones, dark woods, and brass detailing invite guests to settle in and recharge. The other décor scheme, “Garden Glamour,” gives a nod to the lush grounds with modern floral accents in lavender and pear green, champagne finishes, and vibrant hues to create a fresh, bright mood.

Although the feel of the spaces is classic, the amenities are state-of-the-art. The Presidential Suite is an entirely new space that was created by combining two existing suites into a stunning masterpiece designed with an eye toward capturing the classic lines of the hotel while speaking to a modern upscale experience.

Most of the guest bathrooms have been completely redesigned to evoke a timeless, upscale spa environment. There are elegant Italian marble floors and vanities, polished chrome fixtures and detailing, gleaming glass shower doors, and backlit mirrors, some incorporating data screens. Many have freestanding soaking tubs and most have views of the City. The traditional finishes and detailing coupled with all the modern touches provide the guest with the best of both worlds.

A Jewel Box of a Lounge
Although the guest rooms received the most radical makeover, many of Claremont’s public spaces have also been refreshed and reimagined. Directly adjacent to the main lobby lounge is the Hillary Tenzing Lounge, conceived to pay homage to the famous mountaineering duo of Sir Edmond Hillary and his Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay. With priceless views of the Bay, the lounge is intimate, quiet, and features a unique collection of photos and memorabilia endorsed and/or provided by the Himalayan Foundation. Like the rest of the hotel, this is a place to lose yourself in the romance of history while enjoying top-of-the-line amenities and service in a world-class location and setting. The intimate lounge evokes feeling of nostalgia, hearkening back to the unique aspects of the iconic Claremont Hotel’s history. Claremont Club & Spa is ideal for those seeking either an active or restorative vacation with onsite amenities that allow for complete relaxation or serve as a base for exploring the surrounding culture and activities.

Project: Claremont Club & Spa, A Fairmont Hotel
Location: California, USA
Design Studio: Gensler
Photo Credits: Matthew Millman Photography

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