There are plenty of chain hotels in Oakland, which can be perfect for a short overnight stay or business trip. However, if you desire something a little bit out of the ordinary, you’re in luck: there are some more unique choices in town, too. Smaller and boutique options are rare and far-between, but if you know where to look you can discover some hidden gems, and they can be much more economical than some of the traditional chain hotels. Another plus about Oakland is access to BART, the fantastic Bay Area Rapid Transit system, which makes it possible to get all around the Bay without relying on a car.
In downtown Oakland, there’s a lesser-known secret called the West Oakland Hostel. More of a bed-and-breakfast than a hostel, guests can rent out a private room in this large home owned by a local artist. The bathroom is shared, unless you want to spring for the one room with a private bathroom, but with prices around half of most of the other hotels in the area it’s not a bad trade-off. Especially since everything’s clean, and the kitchen’s available for cooking throughout the day so you can save on meal costs as well.
For a different kind of stay, the Hills Bed and Breakfast is on a hill in North Oakland overlooking the bay. With a quiet single room available for rent, this is another place where you have a full kitchen (that’s stocked with food on arrival!) but also the rest of the house at your own private disposal. With fruit trees in the yard and a patio, there are few better options in Oakland for a romantic getaway. Sit outside with a bottle of Northern California wine and revel in the beautiful evening views of the sunset over the water. It’s also a great spot for traveling with family – safe and off the busy streets of downtown, kids can feel at home, and there’s even a porta-crib available in the house.
A more conventional bed-and-breakfast stay can be found at the Quayle Estate, located in East Oakland. In a large, window-covered estate house built in the Dutch Colonial style, rooms are named after authors and designed with historical décor and flair. With meals served in the formal dining room or on the patio and luxurious queen and king beds, this is a place more suited for a couple’s vacation rather than a family trip.
[photo courtesy of Hitchster]