February stay at the Jack London Inn A review of Jack London Inn
The hotel was fair. On the one hand, the hotel desk staff were very personable. But, on the other hand, I had some problems with my room from the get go and had to deal with those matters for several days.
Unlike other chain hotels I've stayed at, my hotel room was not cleaned everyday.
It has a nice exercise room.
But, the walls are too thin and you can hear your neighbors and they can hear you. It can get annoying. And, for a few nights, there was loud music playing from their second floor where they rent out space for social gatherings. Like many others on the floor, I couldn't sleep very well at all (I slept 3 hours) and the noise didn't stop until late at night.
The rooms could have been configured better. I didn't like the large wooden headboard attached to the mattress. The workdesk also was right up against the bed. Not very good - you can easily hit your head by accident against these things.
The lighting in the room reminded me of the Days Inn. It was very dark.
At other hotel chains, the rooms are nice and bright. The room would be fine just for retiring at night, but I generally stayed at the hotel to get some work done on certain days, so the problem with a lack of light was a problem, especially after it got dark.
There's a train that rolls past seemingly every 5 minutes once the afternoon starts into the night time. It's a plus if you love trains and you aren't distracted by the noise, but many of my neighbors were really irritated by the noise. Amtrak California carrying passengers and a lot of cargo roll across the street right in front of the hotel.
The hotel is conveniently located across from Jack London Square. It has a Barnes and Noble and several restaurants. However, everything is very pricey (with the exception of Dolma's Cafe / Berkeley Farms which is located right near the hotel on Broadway -- breakfast is inexpensive there (right next to that is the Buttercup Kitchen, adjacent to the Best Western, where you can get breakfast (and it's cooked very well), but is a little more pricey)).
But, it's just a few blocks from Chinatown and just several blocks away from the center of downtown Oakland. For basic needs and good restaurants (including those reasonably priced), I really recommend going to the City Center in between 12th & 13th Streets on Broadway.
Everything is there, including a Kinko's, Jamba Juice, GNC, several restaurants (including La Salsa).
The hotel is very convenient as far as public transportation is concerned (BART [underground subway], AC Transit - the #72 takes you to downtown Oakland, ferry & buses also can take you to SF).
Bottom line: Good buy if you're on a tight budget and you want convenience. (It would be more convenient with a gym and grocery store nearby, but it's reasonably in a good location.)