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“Loved the Hotel But Skip the Restaurant”

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Waterfront Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel
Ranked #3 of 49 Hotels in Oakland
Certificate of Excellence
Claremont, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Loved the Hotel But Skip the Restaurant”
Reviewed October 8, 2008

We and our wedding guests loved the hotel. Newly renovated rooms are beautiful, beds are unusually comfortable.We had a quiet room with an interesting view of the Port of Oakland. The staff was friendly and efficient.

The same cannot be said for their restaurant (Pearl's). We arranged for a post-wedding group breakfast well in advance. They cancelled it and didn't tell us until I happened to call the day before to confirm it. They then promised to provide a complimentary breakfast in the hotel itself with a reserved table and centerpiece. When we all arrived, we discovered that nothing was arranged and the hotel staff had never been informed. It was a very embarrassing and frustrating experience. The hotel staff immediately invited us to be their guests in their breakfast nook, which saved the day. The restaurant never called to apologize or make amends in any way.

  • Liked — The beds were extremely comfortable.
  • Disliked — The restaurant staff was irresponsible and almost ruined our event.
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Peg43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMauldin, General Manager at Waterfront Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, November 24, 2008
I regret that this guest had the experience with the restaurant. Further, I apologize that I have not checked reviews in awhile, but will follow up with the restaurant and apologize for the embarrassing and frustrating experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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virginia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 21, 2008

the staff was young and friendly, there was wine and cheese in little hall way out the door and up the sidewalk,it was initially not the kind of hotel i am used to. I gave it a chance went to the room and had a room with a port hole with workers working outside when i opened the curtains in the morning. Luckily i had my clothes on.
I heard the train every hour on the hour all night long and i had a meeting in the morning. it was horrible. this hotel is so bad that they have ear plugs in the room and dream candy to help you sleep. I packed my bags after the frist nite as i was slated to stay two nights and went to the front desk to request a room that i could not hear the train. well needless to say i still heard the train although the room was much better. I would not recommend this hotel to anyone. Money should be spend on soundproofing rather than fixing the bathrooms.as a frequent worldwide traveler this was one of my worst experiences.. Because this is an independent hotel there is no one to complain to hence my reason for always staying at a largechain hotel, they always make it right! thank you but no thank you to this hotel ever

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — trains and renovations
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank gg7245
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMauldin, General Manager at Waterfront Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, November 24, 2008
As mentioned earlier, I have not been to the TripAdvisor site in awhile and apologize for not responding sooner. We are not a big chain and welcome the opportunity to listen to our guests and their feedback. Being a Joie de Vivre Hotel guest feedback is foundational to our culture.

All the same, the train noise is an issue for some guests in certain rooms of the hotel. Further the trains do travel infrequently and some days are more than others and in the evening, but not everyday and every hour. And yes we do provide earplugs as a temporary solution as it is our intent to replace the windows at some point in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2008

One should cut the hotel a break – it is in Oakland and not San Francisco. However, if you travels take you to the other side of the bay, this is not a bad spot to stay. That is not to say that it is a great spot either. You should know that it located next to four sets of railroad tracks leading to and from the Port of Oakland. If this is your trade, you’ll appreciate the sound of money keeping you awake all night. If it is not, you won’t be pleased.

Having stayed on the “city facing” side and the “water facing” side of the hotel, I would definitely go for the later. You can hardly hear the train on the water side.

As for the staff – they could not be nicer. They do everything they can to make the best of a bad location. The hotel is somewhat clean, but they are making significant improvements in this regard. Even the rooms are getting a makeover. You should know that they are woefully understaffed and that you may need to stand around a while to: make a reservation, check in, check out, etc. But when you finally get to speak with someone – you will find them warm and welcoming.

So – I give the hotel aces for its location. But if you can, I would suggest staying in San Francisco and taking Bart across the bay.

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank bizliketraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
So.California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2008

We stayed at the Waterfront Plaza for a weekend in March and REALLY enjoyed it! The staff was very friendly and attentive, our room was beautiful and CLEAN!!! Clean is very important to us in a hotel and this one is exceptional! We had a harbor view which was beautiful and very peaceful. The ferry to San Francisco is just steps from the hotel and is just a 20 min ride to Downtown or Fishermans Wharf....very convenient! Yes, you do hear the train but it adds to the enjoyment of being in the heart of Jack London Square, it certainly is not a bother and actually we only heard it a couple of times when listening for it. Several great restaurants steps away. Fantastic hotel ......can't wait to go back!

  • Liked — Ferry Convenience and View
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank rurettogo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 10, 2008

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...

The Good:
* 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.)

The Other:
* 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.

  • Liked — Water views, great decor, good location.
  • Disliked — Little glitches like keys & remote not working (see the review).
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Rocky_Gompers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Level Contributor
36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2008

I stayed at the Waterfront Plaza for a few nights during a business trip because the Marriott was booked. Although the Waterfront gets points for making the most of what it has, I think the overall experience still falls short for business travelers.

First the positives: the breakfast in the morning was pretty good, the room was newly renovated and clean, the hotel is centrally located in Jack London Square.

The not-so-great: the biggest problem with the Waterfront is that the train runs right by the property. Therefore, you can hear both the train and the horn all night long. The walls of the rooms are also paper thin - I could hear voices from other rooms even though they spoke in normal tones. Suffice to say this property is not the best choice for light sleepers.

For the rate charged by the hotel (my room was $189/night), I think you could do better, even if it means staying in San Francisco and making the commute.

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank lalagirl22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMauldin, General Manager at Waterfront Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, February 26, 2008
I appreciate this traveler’s perspective and feel terrible that they did not fully enjoy their stay. While not all rooms are exposed to the train noise we are currently looking at ways to limit guests’ exposure. The same is true for the thin walls. Although we are new to managing this hotel we aim to provide a superior experience for our guests.

I was delighted that the guest liked the rooms and felt they were newly renovated. However, our guest room renovation will begin between May and August and we believe they will be a big improvement. Our other focus is on the restaurant and public spaces.

Providing an exceptional guest experience is our utmost priority, and guest feedback such as written in Trip Advisor is one of the best ways to measure how well we're doing and, from time to time, it also helps us discover opportunities in which we can improve. I hope that lalagirl22 will come back once all our renovations are complete.

Thank you again for taking the time to complete a review on Tripadvisor and feel free to contact me directly should you want to share your comments further or if you choose to stay with us again.

All the best,

Greg
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Waterfront Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel

Property: Waterfront Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel
Address: 10 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607-3751
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Oakland
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Oakland
#3 Business Hotel in Oakland
#3 Family Hotel in Oakland
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Waterfront Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 145
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

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