Two weekends ago (even though it feels like literally yesterday) I decided to ~ treat myself ~ and take a weekend for a staycation here in the ‘Burgh. Newly opened, The Oaklander resides in Oakland, AKA where Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh are located. Being a Pitt grad, it was truly amazing to see from a birds-eye view the very buildings I lived in, the classrooms I took classes in, even the streets I walked five years ago. Even more, it was such an eye-opening nostalgia to think about where Hungry Grl was created and how it’s back and growing even more exactly where it was started.
What’s more, I was able to take some much-needed time for myself away from my everyday working spaces, as well as take a step back from being constantly immersed in my work. Though I’m lucky to do what I love everyday, it’s more than necessary to find time and spaces away from what you’re used to.
So, let’s get into allllllll of The Oaklander deets, shall we?! I’m going to take you through a look into my stay and the amenities they offer guests, including their fitness center and unique restaurant, Spirits & Tales.
Friday: Check-In Day
TGIF was my MOOOOD the moment I checked in. That was a long week full of switched meetings, taking on some odd gigs (think: babysitting) and just being TIRED. Regardless, I was excited to check in (with half of my closet with me because content creation is important and unpredictable) and see the room. The staff was welcoming and excited about every aspect of my stay, especially setting up my experience at Spirits & Tales for the night.
After putting my things in my room (which was literally the most stunning hotel room I might have ever stayed in) I was able to explore Spirits & Tales, one of the hottest new restaurants to hit the city, for dinner. From their decor and illuminating bar to the large windows providing endless natural light and views of iconic Oakland landmarks, such as Soldiers and Sailors and the Cathedral of Learning, the space is nothing short of exciting and busy… in the best way.
The drink menu is worth exploring, and I highly recommend the craft cocktail list, especially the Volpe’s Revenge. Though the food menu is constantly changing, I dove into the Horseradish Gnocchi with kale, oyster mushrooms, and black pepper ricotta. The gnocchi was French, so flour-based instead of potato-based (as Italian gnocchi is) and was light, airy, and a great mixture of flavors.
Saturday: Self-Care Vibes
I had an early-morning meeting and a brunch plan, so I knew Saturday would be a low-key day to check out the fitness center and other amenities at the hotel, such as the event rooms and spaces for guests to spend time and work. There’s a little library-like area off of the restaurant where guests can read the newspaper, have coffee, or just plug in and work, which is where I spent time getting some work done for clients.
After brunch and a face-mask, I did a workout in the fitness space and obviously had to take a selfie to document it.
Sunday: Brunch O’Clock
As we all know, brunch is one of my favorite meals of the day, right? Though I wish I could have treated my mom to brunch for Mother’s Day, I had a Bloody Mary in her honor and chatted it up with the bartenders, while also diving into some soft scrambled eggs. It was the quiet Sunday morning I needed and hadn’t taken for myself in quite some time.
Post-brunch plans consisted of a visit to the Carnegie Museum since it’s about a 10 minute walk away (if that) and then room service provided for some comfort food, AKA burgers for all and a dose of dessert. The weekend was topped off with some Rosé and a looooong, relaxing bath in the beautiful, claw-foot bathtub.
From the staff to the decor and views and of course the food, I’m already planning my next staycation for both my sanity and enjoyment. While my mind is always about traveling and going somewhere new, I am learning to not overlook the moments and spaces for exploring right in the city I live in.
Have you been to The Oaklander yet? Tell me about your experience at email@example.com!
This blog post was written in conjunction with a partnership with The Oaklander.