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“I coulda been a contender!”

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Waterfront Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel
Ranked #3 of 49 Hotels in Oakland
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, IL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“I coulda been a contender!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 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, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank Rocky_Gompers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Little Rock, Arkansas
Level Contributor
36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 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, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
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, 27 February 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,

Report response as inappropriate
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
Phone Number:
Region: United States > California > Oakland
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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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