Jack London Inn
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Travel Blogs from Oakland
Hi all again, Back for another installment!! Monday 25th August - continued We picked up our car at 4pm and headed North to The Napa Valley. It was weird to be driving again after so long. We had planned roughly to head North to Calistoga at the top of the Napa Valley and check it out. If it was nice we would find somewhere to stay when we arrived …
We stooped at Pigeon Point Lighthouse, a lovely old lighthouse that is not in use now but they have accommodation, an old photo display and the light is down and in a old building so you can see it ...
... of ranger patrols along the way making sure the park remained closed, but to me it would have made much more sense for them to spend their efforts in keeping the place as open as they could! Made it through Yosemite without getting arrested and hit the freeway to San Francisco. Dealing with the 6 lanes and mid afternoon traffic was quite an experience, but nothing compared to driving through the centre of town to ...
... at that time with only a few stayers around the Luna Rossa headquarters (which was being dismantled) and most of the Team New Zealand crew either out on the water or in a briefing session. We walked around the waterfront, past where we had eaten last night, checking out possible vantage points for this afternoon's races. At America's Cup Park we were approached by a lady wearing a Team NZ top - she had seen us at the team base earlier, and wondered if we ...
... but had two elderly (and nice) ladies behind the counter. We questioned them on the safety of the place as we had just seen a patrol car inspect the motel - yikes. They insisted it was safe. We requested a room on the top floor as per the taxi drivers instructions but there were none so we had to stay in a room with no bars on the windows on the lower level floor. Whilst Stretch was playing it cool and trying to keep my imagination at bay ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Jack London Inn Oakland
We decided to book a night at this hotel as we had to catch an early train to Santa Barbara the next day and according to Tripadvisor it was close to the AMTRAK station. While I expected trains would be close, I was very surprised to see trains passing outside the hotel's front door up the middle of the street. It was quite relaxing watching them go past, the noise wasn't really a problem once we got used to it, I was woken once by a train whistle in the middle of the night but I just went back to sleep again almost straight away. We found the staff really friendly; I don't think they get much non-USA visitors as one of the receptionists had never seen a British passport before. While the room was clean, they décor was very 1970's and could do with modernisation. If you get bored of Jack London Square, you can get a ferry to San Francisco from a terminal only 5 minutes walk from the hotel.
The Inn could use some renovation, but the whole area is being reborn so I assume this is just a matter of time. There's also a loud train (whistle) that runs along the front of the building, but the sound is pretty muted on the inside - nothing to keep anyone awake unless they are used to the silence of the countryside. A minimal fee is charged for garage parking, and restaurants, shops and the ferry are a close walk.
This hotel felt warm and welcoming the moment I walked in (the first time.) The front desk staff is always very friendly and helpful. I've been to this hotel a few times in the last year and will stay again.
Trains Not A Problem
I have been alternating stays at Jack London Inn and Executive Inn&Suites everytime I visit the Bay Area, and for Memorial DayWeekend, I opted for J.L.I.
I have never had a problem during my stays at the Jack London Inn; the staff is friendly and helpful, and the ferry, BART, and Amtrak stations are close to the hotel. Many people complain about the train and pedestrian noises, but it doesn't really bother me that much.
The hotel is located in the heart of Jack London Square, and the area is safe with a variety of restaurants and entertainment to chose from. The rooms are not fancy, but they are clean and it is a good deal for the price. If you need an affordable, convenient place to stay in Oakland, I would recommend the you check out the Jack London Inn.
Not the best place to stay
If you are looking for a cheap motel for a night or two and do not mind loud train noises or a lot of street noise, this is the place for you. The rooms are small, not very clean, and the beds are not comfortable. The bathroom is very small and only has a stand-up shower, no bathtub.
Worst experience ever
went out shopping ,,,they gave away my room then gave me a room with 1 bed for 2 people i asked for 2 beds ,,room had loud fan on roof hell on earth,train horns at 6 am.
Do stay here if you love the continual sound of trains. Don't if you are a light sleeper. Garbage collection was loud in the mornings as well and Saturday night partying and slamming of doors was annoying. The rooms were dingy. Housekeeping at its best was fair. We were never given more than one washcloth so we took to helping ourselves off the cart. The first day of our 4 night stay, we arrived back at our room in the afternoon to find fresh towels stacked on top our unmade beds with a note (we are short-staffed so were unable to clean your room today). After a call to the desk, the room was subsequently cleaned. On the plus side, the hotel is close to transportation (ferry and BART); the pastries at the Continental breakfast were fresh, not pre-packaged, and there was a free internet station at the desk. We were supposed to have a special internet price, but it was not all that cheap, so I would say look elsewhere.
Use this hotel if you have no other choices!
We reserved sleeping and meeting rooms for a company meeting. The rooms were substandard. The sleeping rooms were dingy. Our meeting was interrupted by the sound of train whistles which blew every 15 minutes or so. After 30 minutes into the meeting, we checked out of the hotel because the conditions were intolerable for a business meeting. The hotel should have warned us of the interruptions caused by the train when booking the rooms. They didn't and refused to refund our entire prepayment when we checked out early from the hotel. This experience left an indelible impression on my colleagues and I have yet to live down their laughter at my bad judgement in selecting this establishment.
If you grew up next to the tracks ...
The railroad passes through the street where the hotel is located. The engineers blew their whistle at every intersection. We stayed there in August of 2002 and it still upsets remembering it. Unfortunately, the windows and walls were no match for the volumne of noise.