With its blue and white stripes, the exterior of the Waterfront Hotel makes a fun first impression. Located in Northern California’s Jack London Square, on the Oakland/Alameda Estuary, the marina front property makes it colorfully clear that its inspiration comes from its seaside locale.
The modern maritime feel continues as you step inside the lobby. A Joie de Vivre property, sea-loving guests will immediately be hooked by the subtle nautical influences. From the lobby chandelier with glass light fixtures resembling fishing floats, to blue tile work on the front desk, and the lobby’s shiny, brass fireplace, the property’s seafaring feel is smile-inducing.
The Waterfront Hotel offers 145 rooms spread across five floors. Room 551 is a Waterfront King room with a balcony located on the top floor. The spacious room features a king bed, and a corner sitting area with a gas fireplace and two cushy chairs. In addition to a small desk, with easy-to-access electrical plugs, there’s a bistro table with two chairs.
Aquatic-inspired design accents include colorful wallpaper adorned with paddles, a compass studded headboard, and furniture pulls shaped like sailing cleats. But the real thing is just steps outside. A huge balcony wraps around two sides of the room, offering marina views with bits of San Francisco in the distance.
The bathroom has a single sink vanity with just enough room for two, and a bathtub/shower combination. Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash are provided in large, refillable containers.
All rooms regardless of category have a refrigerator and coffee maker. Microwaves are available upon request.
The Waterfront Hotel is located close to train tracks. Earplugs are provided in every room, (I didn’t need them) but light sleepers should consider requesting rooms overlooking the water, furthest away from the train tracks.
The property has a spacious fitness center that’s open 24/7. Along with an assortment of exercise machines, cardio equipment, and free weights, there is also a dry sauna.
Surrounded by colorful umbrellas, the heated, outdoor pool overlooks the marina. Open daily from 10 am to 10 pm, along with loungers, there are a number of tables and chairs, and a fire pit.
Unfortunately, the onsite restaurant, Lungomare, closed in 2020. Breakfast is available daily in its adjacent café. Room service is also available. A number of local eateries are also located within easy walking distance.
A complimentary wine and cheese reception is held every evening in the lobby from 5pm to 6pm.
The hotel’s Jack London Square location is convenient for guests looking to take advantage of public transportation. The San Francisco Bay Ferry terminal is a block away for those interested in playing tourist or catching a Giants baseball game. It’s less than a mile’s walk to both an Amtrak train station, and a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station. During select hours the Waterfront also provides complimentary weekday shuttle service to downtown Oakland.
Rates for a standard room with one queen bed start at $149. Rates for a Waterfront King with a Balcony room start at $249. In addition, a Guest Amenity Fee of $15 plus tax, per room, per night, is added to every reservation. The hotel does not offer self-parking; valet parking is $32 per night. The Waterfront Hotel of Oakland is a non-smoking hotel. You can book your stay at Priceline, Expedia or directly through the hotel.
Review and photos by San Francisco Bay Area travel writer and television correspondent Dana Rebmann. Her stay was hosted by the Waterfront Hotel, but as always her thoughts and opinions are her own.