Oakland may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think about traveling in the San Francisco bay area but it’s actually a pretty good location if you’re looking for an affordable place to stay. With many travelers coming into Oakland for business, I chose to create a post dealing with hotels in downtown Oakland.
Why stay in Oakland, CA?
There’s no denying San Francisco beats Oakland where it comes to iconic travel attractions. We’ve stayed in San Francisco for almost an entire week during our first long trip to the US and it was great. But also very expensive. On following visits, we chose to stay outside the big Golden Bridge city. We opted for an airport hotel on one occasion and a hotel in nearby Oakland on another.
Oakland was the better stay in many ways. For one thing, San Francisco airport hotels can also be very expensive. Oakland is generally cheaper. For another, Oakland is a city in its own right. And if you stay in the center of the city – in one of these hotels in downtown Oakland, for example – you have much better access to supermarkets, pharmacies, shops and restaurants.
What’s more, Oakland is a destination in its own right! It’s a separate city from San Francisco and actually larger. It has its own active business community so there are businessmen and businesswomen who could benefit from the hotels in downtown Oakland without ever crossing the Bay Bridge to SF. And it’s not just business. Check out my post about all the fun things to do in Oakland, California. This is seriously a travel destination in its own right.
Should you stay in one of the hotels in downtown Oakland if your destination is San Francisco?
This really depends. Oakland does offer more bang for your buck where it comes to accommodation. The problem here is traffic. The Bay Bridge may be beautiful but it’s also extremely busy during rush hours. Been there, done that, was almost late for our meeting despite leaving our hotel very early.
Try to cross the Bay Bridge into San Francisco during the morning hours rush and it could take you a couple of hours, I’m not kidding. Same goes for the return journey in the evening. And using public transportation isn’t always better. For some reason, Californians don’t like overcrowding inside the BART cars. While I can’t blame them for not wanting to travel in “sardine-mode” this does mean more waiting in the station until it’s your turn to board the train. And chances are it’ll still be crowded.
So, if your main destination is San Francisco, you may be better off staying on the other side of the bridge. However, if you’re in the area, staying and sightseeing in Oakland is highly recommended. If you can, try to do this: Stay in Oakland on Friday night, then head in and out of San Francisco and travel there on Saturday and Sunday, when there’s less traffic.
How we came up with this list
Did our family stay in each of these 11 hotels? I wish! But no, we didn’t. Instead, I’m sharing here the results of my method of searching for hotels. I sifted through the listings in Booking.com to find the establishments that I would consider staying in if I were visiting the area. Each listing was scrutinized for its location, amenities, price and most importantly reviews to create this list. Please note that these hotels did not necessarily get the best possible review score and there is a balance between price, review score and location here.
Looking for the very best hotels in downtown Oakland?
If you’re looking to find the very best hotels in Downtown Oakland, please use this link. Clicking will take you to the Booking.com search results that include only hotels with a score of more than 8+, sorted by distance from downtown. Just change the dates to make sure they fit your own trip.
Please use the list in this post as a starting point for researching the right accommodation option for you. I truly believe that there’s no such thing as a “best” hotel for everyone. Assuming budget is also a consideration, that is. The things that are important to you may be different from the ones that are to us. While these hotels were selected for overall best reviews by guests, please do read more before making your reservation to make sure you’re making the right choice for you.
This is also the place where I should mention that the links here are all affiliate links. Which means that if you make a reservation, I will get a small commission at no added cost to you. And thank you for your support – it helps me keep this blog going and I really do appreciate it!
Are they all hotels in downtown Oakland?
Ummm, not exactly. You see, I focused on finding the best possibilities for people who like me would be looking for hotels in downtown, Oakland, California. And sometimes the best option may be within a 5 minutes drive that’s just too easily taken with your own car or using an uber. So even if you’re itinerary takes you to downtown, I think the choices offered here would all be valid.
The hotels that are not technically within the downtown area are either right next to it or in the airport area. And I did separate the airport hotels from the rest, to make it more clear. There’s also a map in the bottom of this post that shows you the locations of all of the hotels included in this post.
And now, without further ado, here is the list.
Best Hotels in Downtown Oakland, CA
If you are looking for a hotel that is cheap but is near the city center, this is one of the best options you have. The cheapest room available is $54 and the hotel has free WiFi and a flat screen TV. Many people who have booked a room at the hotel said that they had a good night’s sleep because the bed was great. Just a heads up, bathrooms here are shared but according to reviews, the bathrooms are always clean so there won’t be any problem regarding this matter.
Pets are not allowed and the hotel does not allow smoking inside the rooms. There is also no parking so if you have a car with you, look for another location where you can park your vehicle. This is not ideal for families because they do not allow children at this hotel.
This is another hotel that is right in the city center. They also have private parking, an on-site restaurant, free WiFi and a fitness center. Their bathroom boasts a bathtub or a shower where you can relax after a day in busy downtown. They also have a swimming pool so hotel guests can go for a swim whenever they feel like it. The booking price for the dates we checked starts at $158.
For families that have kids with them, you should know that only one child who is under 16 years of age will be able to stay at the hotel for free (using an existing bed in the room). The rate for an extra person older than 16 years old is $10 when using the existing beds. The hotel offers designated smoking areas but guests are not allowed to smoke inside their respective rooms.
This hotel offers a great view because it overlooks the Jack London Square and the waterfront as per the hotel’s name. It is only 1.3km away from the center so you may easily get to the top attractions near it. The hotel has free WiFi and this is one of the few hotels that offers a heated swimming pool. They also have a complimentary shuttle service to the city center so transportation is not a problem.
For wine and cheese lovers, the hotel has a free weekday wine and cheese reception. The hotel is pet friendly and also has family rooms. Hotel guests who have checked in here advise that you get a room with a view as it would make your stay extra special. The price for a room starts at $208
This gem is in the city center so many places are accessible on foot as soon as you check in. If you want to go to the waterfront, this hotel is just 11 minutes away from the bay. It offers free WiFi that can be accessed anywhere inside the hotel. The price for a room starts at $153. According to reviews, the facilities are not that great compared to a Clarion since this is an old building. The walls are not soundproof but the beds are comfortable to sleep in.
Parking is a bit difficult here since it is in the city center. There is pay parking near the hotel and it is the safest area where you can park your vehicle. There are reports of cars getting vandalized overnight – including getting their windshields smashed – so it is best to pay the price of $15 for a safer parking option. The rooms are clean and the staff members are great! Pets are not allowed and smoking inside the room is prohibited.
While not in the heart of the business area, this hotel seems to belong in our list of hotels in downtown Oakland, CA. That’s because if you’re looking for a downtown location but are willing to drive or use an uber for 5 minutes, you could be getting a better deal here. And it’s only 3 km away from the city center.
This hotel is visually satisfying and has friendly staff and lots of great amenities. Each room is furnished with a TV, microwave, coffee or tea makers, and a small refrigerator. The bathrooms are also great because it has soaking tubs, glass-enclosed showers, bathrobes, and hairdryers. Their front desk and staff are multilingual so any nationality would not have a lot of problems when it comes to communicating with them. Parking is free here.
and looked what I found! They even have a cool 360 view image in Google Maps –
Many hotel guests commend the hotel for having clean rooms, quiet surroundings, great view, and excellent staff.
Another option that’s not technically within downtown. This one is halfway between the airport and downtown which is actually good for when you need to get to the business center for meetings but also need to leave early for a flight on your way back home.
Free parking and airport shuttle are two of the best amenities that this hotel offers. An on-site bar may also be enjoyed by guests. Most rooms offer a great view of the bay and guests can also pass the time watching those huge flat-screen TVs in each hotel rooms. The cheapest room here is at $205 but if you have two children below 12 years old, they are free of charge. Pets are not welcome and smoking inside is not allowed.
Hotels in Oakland’s Airport Area
This is one of the nearest hotels if you want to get to the Oakland International Airport as it is 3.2km away from the said location. As for its distance from the city center, at 9km away it’s not walking distance but it’s not too far away either if you’re driving so we’re including this one in the hotels in downtown Oakland list.
One good thing about the hotel is that they offer free shuttle service when you need to get to the airport. Another plus is the hot tub and sauna that the hotel offers. The hotel has free WiFi, air-conditioned rooms, LCD TVs, microwaves, ironing facilities, and refrigerators. Breakfasts are also served daily free of charge! The food they usually serve include eggs, meat, yogurt, and waffles.
Those who do not want to miss anything on the news are lucky because the hotel gives their guests free weekday newspapers. The hotel also has copy and fax services so business travelers will find this very helpful. The price for a room starts at $110. If you have children with you, two of them who are under 17 years of age are free of charge if they sleep in the existing beds. If you have one child under 2 years old, their stay is also free if they sleep in a cot or crib.
This hotel offers great breakfast, free WiFi, and an outdoor pool that is accessible all year round. Again, with this Quality Inn, it’s closer to the airport but within easy driving distance from downtown. They also provide free airport shuttle service. Their deluxe breakfast ends at 9 am so it is best to wake up really early in order to get hot food on your plate. The price is economical because room rates start at $88.
Two children under the age of 17 stays free of charge when using an existing bed. Those who are older than 17 are charged $10. If an extra bed is requested, the charge is $50. Pets are not allowed and cards are accepted for payment. Some hotel guests said that noise outside can easily be heard from inside the room but overall, their stay was made better by the staff and the cleanliness of the hotel.
Although this is a bit far from the city center – 9km away to be specific – it is well-loved by hotel guests because the staff are friendly and they have clean rooms. It offers free WiFi, an on-site restaurant, and a bar. They have family rooms available but there are no pets allowed in the property. According to some guests, it was advertised that the hotel offers free breakfast but most of them did not get any food in the morning. You may want to ask about the specific dates for your stay to make sure a breakfast is in fact offered. The price for rooms starts at $113.
This hotel offers rooms that starts at $88. It is just 9 km (approx. 5.5 miles) away from the city center and they provide a free shuttle service to and from the hotel. Guests who do not want to go to the city to eat will be thankful that this hotel has an on-site restaurant that offers great food. Free parking is available as well as free WiFi. Each room has a flat screen TV, a hairdryer, and free toiletries. Breakfast is also included in the room price so you don’t have to worry about your meal in the morning.
Children are welcome but pets are a no-no. Some guests said that one of the elevators did not feel safe and the front desk staff are sometimes too overwhelmed with the many bookings. It is best to be patient with the staff and wait for your turn to be accommodated in order to avoid mix-ups or arguments.
If you are willing to pay a bit more, you might want to consider booking this hotel. Price starts at $114 but you will surely enjoy the hotel’s services as it will be worth the bill. They also have 24-hour shuttle services to Oakland International Airport. You may enjoy an outdoor pool and if you don’t want to miss out on your daily workouts, the hotel offers a gym on site. Free WiFi is a plus and the famed
On location Bistro 150 will fill your tummy after a good night’s sleep as they offer a breakfast buffet from 6:30 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. daily. If you want to enjoy a quiet time in your room, the rooms in the hotel is equipped with a 50-inch cable TV, coffee making facilities, and refrigerators (if you request to have one in your room.) The Oracle Arena is 2km away from this hotel. Parking is available but you have to pay $8 for it. There are also family rooms and smoking is not allowed inside the rooms.
An overview and the Deal Finder for hotels in downtown Oakland
Having covered the list, I’m also including the map which shows you an overview of these hotels in downtown Oakland. Keep scrolling for a special Deal Finder by Booking.com which can help you see the best deals currently available in Oakland.
These hotels currently offer the best deals in for staying in Oakland, CA, according to Booking.com. Add your dates to see what comes up for your particular trip –
And finally, as always, I’d love to read your feedback. Remember that I did not stay in any of these hotels in downtown Oakland, so if you have, please share your own review in a comment below. Thank you!