Easy access to museums, parks, eds and meds — plus a swish bar and comfortable rooms — makes this the perfect Oakland nest.
Considering Oakland’s historical importance and centrality to Pittsburgh’s two most significant talking points — eds and meds — it was a longtime oversight that there wasn’t a top-flight place for people to stay in the neighborhood. Enter The Oaklander Hotel, part of the Marriott Autograph Collection, which opened in a new building last year. Ascend 10 floors to the hotel’s bare-bones check-in desk (or skip it altogether and go straight to your room with Marriot’s keyless BonVie app) to begin your stay.
The Oaklander’s expansive lobby draws inspiration from the neighborhood, with echoes of classic academia and Age of Industry design peppered throughout the comfortable space. The Oaklander’s attached restaurant and bar, Spirits & Tales, melts into that lobby and offers sweeping vistas of Oakland. There’s a small attached patio for outdoor relaxation when the weather is nice.
The rooms feel spacious, and the cushy bed is dressed with high-thread-count sheets and blankets. It’s a nice touch that you can log into your account with Netflix, YouTube or other streaming services on the large, flat-screen television while relaxing on your room’s chaise lounge. Some of those rooms offer an outstanding view. (Others face a construction project. And it should be mentioned that there are some understandable growing pains evident; on our visit, someone knocked on the door at 8 a.m. to ask about checking out, even though check-out time wasn’t until 11.)
You will want to get out of that room, however, as you’re in one of the city’s most engaging neighborhoods. The complex that houses the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History, the main branch of the Carnegie Library and the Carnegie Music Hall of Oakland is a five-minute walk, as are Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and the Cathedral of Learning.
The spacious shower features a rain-style showerhead and high-end bath products.
There’s a decent fitness center located on the second floor. It’s equipped with a few weight machines, free weights, four treadmills, two stationary bikes and three elliptical machines, as well as weighted balls, yoga mats, towels — and oranges.
The Oaklander’s room service menu is a distilled version of the Spirits & Tales menu. It’s prepared in the same kitchen, which means you’re getting what might be the best room service meal in town. There’s a catch, however: Every menu item is upcharged, there is a $3 delivery fee and a 22 percent service fee — and you’re still encouraged to leave a gratuity for the person who delivers the food.
The building itself is a new build, but you’re surrounded by history in the neighborhood.
5130 Bigelow Blvd., Oakland | 412/578-8500 | theoaklanderhotel.com
Valet parking is available for $35/night