BBOnline Member SINCE 1999

Mary's Bed & Breakfast on Alvarado Road

47 Alvarado Road, Berkeley, California 94705
Innkeeper(s): Mary Harrow
  • Introduction

    A Warm Welcome Awaits You

    We are so glad we found you! This Bed & Breakfast has many happy returning guests so you know it is comfortable (great beds!), clean and welcoming, besides being a lovely place to stay. The proximity to San Francisco, the University of California at Berkeley campus, shops, restaurants, and BART makes this an ideal location. The Claremont Hotel is a four minute walk and San Francisco is just across the Bay Bridge. Parking is easy "on street" parking, there are no restrictions. Walking and hiking the paths and hills in the area are favorite pastimes and golf and tennis are also available nearby.

    Your Host: has been in the antique and interior design business for 20 years and her home reflects her care and interest in these fields. Mary has been welcoming guests to her home for over 12 years. You will feel like a special guest and depart thinking when you might return.

    Beautiful Wisteria





  • Insider's Info

    Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Mary for sharing her own secrets with!
    Why do most travelers stay at your inn?

    One of the most beautiful and conveniently located places in Berkeley. Lovely neighborhood, quiet. High return rate of guests, many become friends of mine!! I have had guests coming to my b&b more than 20 years. Good reviews (and they are not requested). It is a home away from home.

    What are you best known for?   What makes your inn unique? What do you love most about your inn?

    Beautifully appointed gracious home built in 1911 around the same time as the Claremont Hotel. I take care with the decor and have many remarks on my furnishings and paintings. My prices are good and I do look after my guests. Guests are appreciative and love staying here.

    If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?

    Location is everything!! I am a mile and a quarter from the University of California at Berkeley, one of the finest universities in the country. I am across the San Francisco Bay from everyone's favorite city.... San Francisco. The BART system can transport you to the city in 25 minutes from the Rockridge station just a mile from the b&b. Driving to the wine country of Napa and Sonoma takes and hour and a half. Monterey Bay is about 3 hours away. Also, the restaurants in the East Bay are some of the finest in the country following in the footsteps of Alice Waters' famous Chez Panisse in North Berkeley.

    What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?

    "I want to come back and stay forever!" I have heard this a number of times!! How great is that! "This is my home away from home."

    What’s the best kept secret about the area?

    The beauty....we have the best view of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and sunsets in the Bay Area. The university is a big draw for many reasons. Perspective students from the world want to visit the university as do professors from everywhere. The proliferation of restaurants has made Berkeley the gourmet capital of the country!!.

    If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?

    A. Dine out every night at a different restaurant. All ethic kinds of restaurants are available and terrific. B. Visit UC Berkeley campus and the beautiful botanical gardens. C. Hike Tilden Park an amazing and huge parkland to the east of Berkeley. Also hosts a public golf course. Or walk historic neighborhoods with guidance from the Berkeley Historical Society. D. Visit Oakland and walk around Lake Merritt (3 miles and takes an hour). The Museum is terrific and is on Lake Merritt. E. Walk along the Bay and out on the old pier at the end of University Street. Visit nearby 4th Street for excellent shopping, or College Ave nearer the b&b (Elmwood and Rockridge areas). F. Visit the Claremont Hotel for a drink at sunset. Then off to Berkeley Repertoiry Theater or the Berkeley Symphony. G . Then you can go on to San Francisco.......

    Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?


    What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?

    So many restaurants!! Just a short distance you can have the best sushi, excellent Italian, Mexican, Chinese, vegetarian, etc, etc....Lots of new and young people's places!! Nearby Oakland has become the home of new and great restaurants.

    Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?

    Online has so many suggestions for Berkeley and Oakland. Just Google whatever you want to do, eat, or see.

    How many rooms does your inn have?

    3 rooms all with private baths; also an apartment for longer stays (at least a week).

    Do you accept pets?

    No pets.

  • Amenities

    There are three large bedrooms all specially appointed, each with comfortable queen-size beds and each with its own private bath. Two rooms have a glorious view of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin County. The bedrooms in Mary's Bed & Breakfast are spacious, sunny and designed with charm and the comfort of guests in mind. Cable TV is available in the TV room in the b&b and also in the apartment.

    Also available is a large apartment for rent for a longer stay.
    Wireless DSL internet service is available.
    On the same level as these rooms is a sunroom (pictured at top of page) overlooking the road. The leaded pane windows are a lovely feature of the cozy sunny room. One might read, chat or watch a movie or TV in this favorite room.
    Breakfast is served in the charming and elegant dining room complete with an interesting old hammered copper clad fireplace. 
    The friendliness and graciousness of Mary's Bed & Breakfast is special. Come and visit and experience the green, sunny warmth of Berkeley. Come and enjoy.
    Mary's Bed & Breakfast is a charming and elegant residence in the beautiful Claremont district of South Berkeley. This lovely home is in one of the oldest houses in the immediate area.
  • Comments From Our Guests

    Here are some comments of guests of Mary's Bed & Breakfast

    "Thanks so much for the great news that I'll be able to stay with you again. I am thrilled!" Merle J., Israel

    It's such a lovely room and has been an exceptionally pleasant experience." Cathy & Jim C., Boston

    Thanks for giving me a home away from home. I feel so cared for, comfortable, welcome, at ease." Jeanne K., Schenectady

    "It was a great pleasure to be your guest." Oliver S., Germany

  • Trip Advisor Reviews

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    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
    4.5 of 5 stars
    Based on 39 traveler reviews
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    TripAdvisor Ranking #3 of 9 B&Bs in Berkeley
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    Most Recent Traveler Reviews
    • May 17, 2016: “We spent two nights in the Yellow Room at Mary's B & B. It is located...” more
    • Jan 23, 2016: “Mary's B&B is tastefully furnished, cozy, very clean, and all around charming. Furthermore, Mary is an...” more
    • Dec 25, 2015: “We stayed for 4 nights and were very comfortable. Mary was very accommodating - she recommended...” more
    • Sep 20, 2015: “Mary's home is perched above the town of Berkeley only minutes from the University campus but...” more
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  • How to Find Us

    Mary's Bed & Breakfast on Alvarado Road living room

    From San Francisco International Airport:

    1. Follow US 101 North to US 80 East, across the Oakland Bay Bridge
    2. Continue along US 80 East and take the Ashby exit in Berkeley and drive approximately 3 miles up Ashby
    3. You will see the Claremont Hotel and the next left after the entrance to the Hotel is Alvarado
    4. #47 is in the first block on the left

    From Oakland International Airport:

    1. Take US 880 North to Hwy 24 (towards Walnut Creek)
    2. Exit at Claremont and turn left at the bottom of the exit ramp
    3. Take a right on Ashby and the first left after the entrance to the Claremont Hotel will be Alvarado Road
    4. #47 is in the first block on the left