More about Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge
Avoid this hotel at any cost
I was recently at the hotel for a small conference where the attendants called the hotel "Hotel Bagdad":
The hotel is extremely old and run down making the name very appropriate. Due to the rennovation, we had a hard time hearing the speakers. Also, there is hardly any functioning bathroom that even a 15 minute bathroom break wasn't enough for everyone to take turns using the single bathroom on the first floor.
Not only is the facility in a horrible state, so is the service. I ran in to the General Manager who was very rude after finding out that I am not a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. She had no idea what customer service or hospitality means and treated her staff very poorly as well.
I would advise everyone to avoid this hiotel at all cost, even if it means cancelling your trip.
We were leery of staying here considering that there was obvious construction going on, but we'd ended up without reservations for the final two days of our trip and they had the only rooms available in the area. For the price (we paid $129/night), this hotel is a steal. The room had been just remodeled in a clean, modern style, and was essentially brand-new. The bed was comfortable. We made no attempt to use any amenities of the hotel itself, so I can't comment on anything other than the room.
We were staying in Berkeley for one week to see the San Francisco sites and help our grad student son move into new apt. After reviewing numerous on line sites, was leery of any place in the Berkeley vicinity. Our son recommended Emeryville, because of close location to campus plus good facilities (shopping, restaurants, etc). We stayed 6 nights at Holiday Inn Bay Bridge. Yes, hotel is undergoing significant renovation. Lobby is currently a mess. But hotel staff was friendly, courteous and helpful. Rooms were just renovated, and were quiet, very clean, and exceeded expectations. When there were issues (such as first night, when iron did not work) they were immediately corrected. Location is great for anyone wanting easy access to Berkeley area. Shopping areas plentiful. If you are looking for resort hotel, this isn't it. But if you are going to be out touring all day, or at university, definately consider this hotel. For the price, it is a great deal. I'll stay here on future visits. P.S. for great seafood in the area, go to Spenger's, at University exit on I80.
Very nice rooms
New pictures of the renovations of the hotel rooms are not posted on the Holiday Inn website, but my room during my stay was very nice. It was recently renovated and the newness smell was in the air. The outside of the hotel is dated and the interior of hotel is currently being renovated, but the rooms are just fine (they compare to 4*, though they need new mattresses). The price is good for what you get. I recommend it because the location is good. Walking distance to shopping and entertainment and a nice walk alongside the bay.
Surprisingly Nice Stay
Stayed here during the first week of October for a company training session. Initially, I was less than thrilled to be staying a Holiday Inn & was somewhat dismayed we could not make our own lodging arrangements (like the nearby Woodfin Suites).
After checking in, I went up to the room & found that it had a great view of I-80 heading toward the Bay Bridge, accompanied with surround sound. I then went back to the front desk to inquire if I could get a room opposite the freeway. I did realize my chances were not good because of the special corporate rate the company must have paid & that rooms opposite the freeway are considered premium "bay view" rooms. However, the clerk was helpful & said she could get me in room facing the bay, but it would be located adjacent to the elevators.
I figured a little elevator noise was nothing compared to morning Bay Bridge traffic, so I agreed. The room was actually located behind the elevators & very surprisingly, the elevator noise was infrequent & unobtrusive during my week's stay. The different configuration of the room was actually pretty cool, with no sliding door closet, but a smaller armoire instead, and the bathroom located at the rear of the room rather than adjacent to the entry door.
Upon entering the room, I was very surprised at the decor. Without a doubt, the nicest Holiday Inn I'd ever been in. Nice, new furniture, with a dark wood grain, and an especially nice desk chair - one we've been looking at to purchase at home in fact. The king-sized bed was also very comfortable and the room was very clean.
The first morning of our training, I got my answer - the hotel is to become a Hilton facility on November 1st. In fact, amidst all the construction, the Holiday Inn sign is canvas and draped over a permanent sign bearing the Hilton (Hilton Garden Inn I belive) family logo. That explained the new and "non-Holiday Inn" furniture.
We were provided lunch each day in the hotel restaurant (which I belive was not open yet to the public on the first day - there were as of yet no signs indicating the restaurant was open). The buffet was generally good and offered a really nice selection, with at least some sort of Asian main entree every day. The Korean short ribs one day were very good, much better than I'd thought they'd be. As for value, I don't know as we didn't have to pick up the tab.
We also had a couple of evening receptions & the appetizers provided were very nice, and the bartenders very friendly. While I didn't require much service from the hotel on this trip, staff seemed to be genuinely friendly and helpful and though the location is somewhere I neccesarily wouldn't want to stay (as opposed to across the Bay in the City), I would definitely consider this a viable option if I had to be in Emeryville again, especially after it's run as a Hilton.
The only bad part of the stay was beyond the hotel's control, as a early season storm knocked out the power for a while & the roof was leaking in several parts of the building due to all the construction going on (but not in any guest rooms). The only complaint I would have is that it would have been nice if the hotel let guests know what was going on, but of course, that could have been a double-edged sword as the power went out during the evening & notifying guest would have awakened most of them.
Very nice stay - newly remodelled
I was looking for a relatively inexpensive clean place to stay between Berkeley and San Francisco. I found more than I expected. My room was newly rennovated and everything was brand new. The bed was nice and soft, and the room was very well appointed. It had a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker, an ironing board, desk with free internet connection, hair dryer and a shower with different massage settings. The nice man at the front desk let me have a room on the bay side and it had a beautiful view of San Francisco. The room was quiet. Also, parking is free. The hotel is very easy to get to from Berkeley and it's just an exit away from the bay bridge into SF. Great value for your money.
Very nice, I think they're remodeling is done
This hotel was very nice. The outside may still look older, but they've completely renovated inside. The lobby is big and open, and the room was updated, clean, and comfortable.
This was my first stay here, and my first at a Hilton Garden Inn in general. I was very impressed. It felt more like a full service Hilton. I'll be checking back with this chain in the future.
Clean and Met Expectations
Clean and met expectations for the price of a 3-star hotel. Bed and pillows were comfortable. Great location near the 580 and 80 (Bay Bridge) freeways. Suburban mall complex is only a 3 minute drive away, with Trader Joe's and Jamba Juice.
In-room free broadband ethernet is great. Only thing that didn't work was the free printing, but what can you expect for free?
Will definitely stay there again, when visiting SF or Oakland.
Remodel is a crapshoot
I have stayed here many times, all but the last, as a Holiday Inn. All I can say is, the rooms are much nicer than before, and if you request a bay view room, it is almost hypnotic at night. Angele at the front desk was as good as front desk people get. No place is fun during a remodel, but things seemed to be normal during my stay.