I spent a week's vacation at the Waterfront and used it as home base for sailing in Alameda and touring San Fran. The hotel would be a contender for the best I've ever stayed in if it weren't for a few annoyances, but first...
* LOVE the decor. Sophisticated and not sweet or kitschy. Great colors, and good sailing prints. Hope it doesn't change much!
* The room was very clean, and the views were great! Yes, you can hear the train, so I would highly recommend a water-view room.
* Comfy beds with pillows in a variety of firmnesses. Slept like a log, despite the train.
* Jack London Square has a ton of decent-to-great restaurants. Wish there was a 7-11 nearby, but otherwise it's a great location. BevMo withing stumbling distance.
* Check out Heinhold's "First & Last Chance" saloon. Relic of the Jack London era, and as authentic a dive as you'll find. Greet "Bob & Eileen" (mallard ducks) on the way in.
* BART is about a 15-minute walk away, and most of the walk is decent, although some parts may make less savvy travelers nervous.
* Crab market on Sunday!!
* The ferry to SF/Alameda is about 100 feet from the hotel door--for $6 you can get a great tour of the bay area and hit SF in about 30 minutes (BART is faster, tho).
* Staff friendly & helpful with the items below (as much as they could).
The Bad (most of these are annoyances, and can be easily polished up):
* No general "services" book (e.g. that faux-leather-bound binder most hotels have that explains how to order room service, shuttle hours, local guide/attractions, fitness club info, etc.)
* My room key kept de-magnetizing. The first time was b/c I had it in my purse w/my cel phone, but even after I separated them, it failed about 4 times. Especially annoying when you can get into the building but not into the room. Lots of schlepping.
* Ice machine on 4 didn't work. More schlepping.
* $11 for continental breakfast?!? Holy cow, what a rip-off!!! Go to the Chicken + Waffle place a few blocks away instead.
* One light was out in my bathroom room and never got fixed.
* My TV remote could change channels & volume, but couldn't turn the TV on or off. Arrrrgh.
* No shuttle service on weekends and limited cab availability. Staff was super-nice to drive me once when I was desperate, tho. (If there was a book in the room, I'd have known and been able to make other arrangements the night before.)
* Rooms on 4 & 5 can't be accessed from the front lobby elevator, and it's a schlep to the other elevator. Can't be helped, but if you've got limited mobility, request a room on 2 or 3.
* Wish there was more than basic cable, and would LOVE a fridge in the room.
* No room service, and no hotel restaurant (it's being renovated, to open in summer 2008). Hotel has made arrangements with local restaurants to cover the gap, tho.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Celebrating the spirit of Jack London Square, the Waterfront Hotel blends the unique atmosphere of the Oakland waterfront with a vibrant, nautical decor. Comfortable, modern, and stylish, our 145 rooms and suites are ideally located for exploring, and many of them offer balconies, fireplaces, and views of the San Francisco Bay. Amenities include complimentary weekday shuttle service to downtown Oakland, weekday wine and cheese social, and valet parking. Don't forget to take a dip (or dive!) into our outdoor heated pool! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Waterfront Hotel, a Joie De Vivre Hotel Hotel Oakland
- Waterfront Hotel Oakland