Everybody’s heard of the Bay Area, and if you want to go to visit, you would figure you go stay in the city, San Francisco. However, this leads most to miss out on half of what makes the Bay Area unique, the town of Oakland. It’s not only a place of its own history and culture, but even if you’re only interested in seeing San Francisco, Oakland is just a twenty minute public transportation ride away from that, and much more affordable to stay in.
We stayed in the Marriott Courtyard Oakland Downtown. Just a block from the BART station, its location is perfect for anyone needing to get anywhere by public transportation or car. Plus, since we happened to have a car, they offered us full 24 hour valet service. There’s bus stations nearby, but many locations are within walking distance from there, including the magnificent Lake Merritt. For anyone seeking restaurants, bars, shops, or even a weekend farmer’s market, it’s all close by.
Sitting on Broadway and 9th, the hotel looks over both these streets, and is visually appealing with a modern sleek design. The look is a result of several recent upgrades, making the hotel suitable for the modern tech savvy traveler, and free WiFi is included with your stay. The lobby is connected to the restaurant, and both areas are open and full of comfy chairs, making it the perfect place to either eat, or just relax any time of day.
There’s some books and several televisions, but never loud enough to disturb anyone wanting a quiet moment there. Right next to the lobby is the pool, if you care to take a dip on a hot summer afternoon. It’s located in the center of the complex, so it’s only visible and accessible to guests, making for enough privacy. There’s even a fitness center adjacent if you need exercise during your stay.
We staying in the King Suite and our room was enormous. Upon entering there is a short corridor leading to the general living room, which contained a small kitchen area, love seat, tv, and desk. The kitchen area is sparse, but makes the most of its presence, with a small fridge, microwave, and coffee maker. In addition, the living room was located right on the corner curve of the building, and offered a huge windowed view of the cross streets below.
Next to it was the bathroom, also spacious, with a separate room for the toilet and shower, allowing privacy for those activities. The sink area is connected directly to the bedroom, which continues the suite’s theme of large size. The bed is a very comfortable king, with a large window adjacent that can be covered for privacy and sun blocking when sleeping in. There’s even an additional tv, and it’s included with a cable plan so you can catch any show you like.
All the while we were treated to cool air conditioning, which during the summer months is a lifesaver. We had a comfortable sleep every night thanks to it and the large curtain over the window, so nobody will ever complain of a night of discomfort there. There was even a coin operated laundry room and dry cleaning, so if you stay for multiple days you have the option to wash your clothing.
Offering breakfast from 6:30 til 9:30am, and dinner from 5 til 10pm, the Bistro at the Courtyard Marriott is not just convenient for you to start or begin your day, it’s got a menu full of scrumptious meals too. We were served by Justin, who was prompt and very kind in his service.
The Breakfast menu is not only filled with delicious choices, like the Banana Bread French Toast, but also those standard quick bite types you can grab and go with, like the oatmeal, granola yogurt, a full roster of Starbucks coffee, or even a simple apple. We had the time to enjoy their full meals though, and we particularly enjoyed the morning scramble, a combination of eggs to your liking, a meat or either sausage, turkey sausage or bacon, and toast. Don’t forget to add on a bottle of juice to it all!
Dinner is full of great options, and there’s no beginning of a big dinner like a fine salad. The caesar is fabulous, with delectable dressing and full pieces of chicken to add some nice flavor. We also liked the sandwiches on the menu, the grilled cheese came with a bowl of tomato soup, which complemented it perfectly. There was also the chicken sandwich, a mouth watering combo of grilled chicken, avocado, bacon, lettuce, and tomato. In addition to all that, there’s a full cocktail bar with plenty of great drinks on the roster. We recommend the bourbon cherry, or the mango margarita.
During our stay we had a chance to chat with Jon the General Manager who tells me about some fun plans for the property. We are excited to see what cool things they have lined up in the future. For your next trip to the area, look nowhere else for the premier place to spend a day, a weekend, a week, or however long you want in Oakland, or the whole Bay Area for that matter.
The Courtyard Marriott in downtown Oakland is full to the brim of outstanding comfort, wonderful service, and closeness of access to anything you’d want to do or see. Even if your focus is San Francisco, this is a perfect choice. Away from the hustle and bustle of the big city yet mere minutes away by public transportation, there’s nowhere else we would have rather stayed.