Oakland Travel Guide
All in all, hotel guests have been getting a better nights sleep, courtesy of the new beds at many hotels including Westin, Marriott, and Crowne Plaza hotels, however, like any war, collateral damage is a problem.
Housekeepers who have to single handedly lift these enormous new mattresses are throwing out their backs at an alarming rate.
Researchers guess that three out of four housekeepers are experiencing real pain. At the Oakland Marriott, where housekeepers pull down $12 an hour, housekeeper Lisa Herrman takes Aleve and ices her arms to deal with the pain inflicted by daily bed wrestling.
Another Oakland Marriott housekeeper, Melody Li, recently put on a "bed protest" on the corner of 14th Street and Broadway, showing onlookers some of what she went through on a daily basis.
Now that Jet Blue flies into Oakland, you may want to look into staying on the east side of the bay when making hotel plans. If you do, check out Jack London Square in Oakland Harbor, which is a flutter with activity both night and day...in a good way. The Waterfront Plaza Hotel puts you in the midst of it all, ferries to SF, BART, the Bay, are all at your mercy. The hotels design theme is nautical, highlighted by colorful, airy rooms reminiscent of a beach resort. Most have balconies with views of the San Francisco Bay, or Oakland, depending on which side of the hotel your room is on.
The amenities include free wireless Internet, a fitness center with pool and sauna, though walking Jack's Square will keep you suitably toned. You'll need it too, breakfast in the hotel's Jack's Bistro, where tasty pancakes and eggs are served in full view of the harbor...mmm pancakes.
What's to do? Catch a flick at the multiplex Jack London Cinema, stroll a short distance to Heinold's First and Last Chance Saloon, where London himself once held court. As a youngster, he'd pass hours here, soaking up the dubious tales of sailors and longshore roughs. The yarns served as material for his literature.
Book a date to see a jazz great at nearby Yoshi's nightclub- Oakland Mayor (and former California Governor)Jerry Brown was dining there when I visited. For families, the Square itself has shops, bookstores, and in the harbor you may tour Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidential yacht, The Potomac.
Come on back for dinner at Jack's Bistro, wood-fired rotisserie style, or dig in to wood-fired pizza with the kids. See, and you thought Oakland was nothing more than San Francisco's ugly, drugged out, once convicted, twice condemned step sister.