The Waterfront Hotel is located at (in?) Oakland, California's Jack London Square, which may cause you to immediately think of White Fang or The Call Of The Wild, but which is actually an urban-mall-ish attempt to make the Oakland waterfront a hip 'n' trendy place to hang and shop.
Being on the waterfront, the "recently renovated" Waterfront Hotel throws down a heavy nautical theme, beginning with the front facade.
The "Ahoy, Matey" motif continues with your key card holder:
Carries into the wallpaper behind your bed,
Right through one of the lamps in the room.
All that effort, however, is interrupted by the decidedly non-nautical hallways. They're pretty much generic looking wallpaper and dark green carpeting.
The room was nice and fresh, so the "newly renovated" claim appears to hold water. The wireless internet is free, everyone was super nice, and there's a pool which, this being January and all, I didn't use. One of my cranky-by-nature co-workers was disappointed by the gym, but he's cranky about lots of things, so take that with a grain of salt water. (Hah! see how I managed to get in a nautical joke there?)
Here's another plus. The Waterfront Hotel is two blocks away from Yoshi's Jazz Club, one of America's premier jazz venues. In fact, I was lucky enough to run into one of the world's greatest jazz guitarists, John Abercrombie, who was staying at the hotel.
(I stole that image from John's website, but since it's an ad for him, I assume he won't get mad and send his lawyers after me.)
So, if you're a jazz fan, you might run into one of your heroes here. (I did). If you're a fan of mini-bars, you're out of luck, as I couldn't find one anywhere in my room. There was coffee, though, so I was happy.