Oracle Openworld

For the moment, many companies are shunning business travel. But if you're ready to get back on the road, Oracle OpenWorld is a tempting destination.

For the moment, many companies are shunning business travel. But if youre ready to get back on the road, Oracle OpenWorld is a tempting destination.

Oracle touts OpenWorld as the ultimate event for its partners, database administrators and senior-level technology managers.

Even if you dont believe the hype, attending OpenWorld is a great way to weigh Oracles application strategy vs. that of Siebel Systems, PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards.

Dozens of San Francisco hotels and restaurants are a short cab ride from the event, which will be located at the Moscone Center. But if youre looking to stay away from the crowds during the evening, we offer the following recommendations.

Lodging

A typical San Francisco hotel can cost $200 to $300 per night. If youre willing to forego upscale chains like the local Marriott, we strongly recommend the Handlery Union Square (www.handlery.com; 415-781-7800), a delightful bed and breakfast ($149 per night) that also has modernized rooms for business travelers ($169 per night).

Weve stayed at the Handlery Union Square more than 20 times since 1992, and weve never been disappointed.

Food & Drink

Fishermans Wharf is a popular destination for many tourists, but the locals know that most of the restaurants there are overrated and overpriced.

One exception is A. Sabellas (2766 Taylor Street, 415-771-6775), which is a reliable choice for seafood and dessert (try the cheesecake). Expect to pay about $20 to $45 per entree.

If youre on a tight budget and want a quick meal without paying for atmosphere, swing by Lefty ODouls (333 Geary St., 415-982-8900), a popular piano bar located two doors down from the Handlery Union Square.

Lefty ODouls serves breakfast, lunch and dinner at nominal prices ($5 to $15). Think of it as a "Cheers," done San Francisco style.

Entertainment

Several hotels have worthwhile nightclubs and bars. Three reliable stops come to mind: The Compass Rose at the St. Francis Hotel (335 Powell St., 415-774-0167); Gold Dust (247 Powell St., 415-397-1695) and the Redwood Room at the Clift Hotel (495 Geary St., 415-775-4700). Call each location for attire requirements.