Best Hotel Lobby

Hotel Shattuck Plaza

The Shattuck, Berkeley's first and oldest hotel, was built in 1910 and expanded a few years later into what was then the largest structure in the quake-beleaguered Bay Area. After changing hands over several decades, the handsome Mission Revival building underwent a year-long multimillion-dollar renovation and is now a classy boutique hotel smack in the middle of downtown Berkeley. Its nouveau-Rococo lobby is especially striking. A curved walkway limned in iron filigrees leads you from the entrance to a phantasmagoric central area dominated by an opaque, blood-red chandelier. Kaleidoscopic carpets accent the alternately tiled and marbled flooring, and pillars covered in mosaic glass reflect the lobby's deep-orange and cerulean armchairs. Off to the right is a huge horseshoe-shaped bar in pale green marble from the turn-of-the-century; it's a good place to enhance the lobby's already dazzling aesthetic with a little self-administered psychedelia.

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