The 335-acre Fort Baker became national park property in 1995, and the last soldiers left in 2000. Cavallo Point opened in 2008 with LEED Gold Certification and has made environmental sustainability one of its guiding tenets. To reduce its footprint, the lodge employs native plants, energy-efficient appliances, planet-friendly building materials, and bamboo furniture. The green theme extends to the lodge’s restaurant, Murray Circle, and cooking school, where local, organic ingredients play a starring role. Take the holistic approach one step further and reserve an acupuncture or hypnotherapy session at the spa. Once you’re ready for city life again, Cavallo Point runs free shuttles to the Sausalito Ferry Terminal and San Francisco.
Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon.
Dining options:The Cavallo Point Cooking School leads hands-on and demonstration classes in its 1,200-square-foot kitchen outfitted with stainless appliances and communal wood tables. Themes range from gluten-free baking to cooking from the farmers' market. Call (888) 651-2003 for reservations. The restaurant Murray Circle also embraces the farm-to-table ethos with dishes that highlight local meats and produce. Try the Prather Ranch grass-fed burger or the Liberty Farms duck a la plancha. Helmed by chef Justin Everett, who worked at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, it serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. A tasting menu is also available Friday to Sunday. Reserve a table on the lodge’s website. For something more casual, check out Farley Bar, which serves small plates and craft cocktails. Pull up a seat at the rough-hewn bar carved from a fallen tree or sink into one of the leather club chairs.
Spa and gym details:The two-story Healing Arts Center and Spa makes relaxation an art form with its heated meditation pool, tea bar, and warm wood accents. Treat yourself to the signature massage with aromatherapy or the purifying detox facial. A fitness suite is open 24 hours.
Our favorite rooms: The Contemporary Deluxe King Suites are outfitted with a window seat and a deck to fully enjoy the views of the Golden Gate Bridge. The gorgeous glass-enclosed sunroom in the historic Frank House is the stuff of vacation dreams. The house also has two bright, airy bedrooms, a kitchen, and striking views of Fort Baker and San Francisco.
Instant wheels:Rent a bike from the hotel to see the Golden Gate Bridge, just a 10-minute ride away, up close. You can also pedal to downtown Sausalito or hit the 50 miles of trails that surround the property. Rentals cost $40 a day.
- RoomsFine organic linens, certified organic cotton robes and slippers, gas-burning fireplaces in most rooms, desk with reading light, comfortable chairs, ottomans and throws, windows open and rooms have ceiling fans
- BathOrganic cotton towels, fine bath amenities, hairdryer, some rooms feature separate bath and shower
- ViewMost rooms face south and many enjoy views of San Francisco, the bay, or the Golden Gate Bridge
- TechLarge flat screen TV in rooms, alarm clock with iPod plug-in, mini-refrigerator, in-room movie and music selection through the TV system
- SpaHealing Arts Center & Spa - massage, aromatherapy, body treatments, and water therapies in spa; acupuncture, clinical massage, energy work, hypnotherapy and guided imagery, and nutrition at healing center
- RestaurantMurray Circle - modern California cuisine with a focus on fresh, local ingredients
- BarFarley Bar - Creative cocktails, small plates, cozy atmosphere; Wine Hour in lobby from 4-6 pm
- FitnessWell-Fit Outdoor Fitness program available; morning yoga classes; Cavallo Point is near many hiking and walking trails
- MiscellaneousBellman and concierge services available, Lexus vehicles available for guest use, complimentary shuttle to San Francisco and Sausalito Ferry Terminal, add-on amenities available; art collection throughout property on display; cooking classes available through The Cooking School
- Historic RoomsHistoric Rooms offer a king or queen bed with vintage architectural details and fine amenities. First floor guests enjoy shared front porches with rocking chairs. Rooms average 375-420 square feet and are pet friendly.
- Historic With Sitting AreaThese rooms feature sitting and sleeping areas with either a king or queen bed with vintage architectural details. First floor guests enjoy shared front porches with rocking chairs. Rooms average 430 square feet and are pet friendly.
- Historic Deluxe With ViewEach Historic Deluxe With View features a king bed, vintage architectural details and an inviting gas fireplace. All feature breathtaking views of San Francisco Bay, ceiling fans and windows that open. Rooms average 490 square feet and are pet friendly.
- Historic King SuitesHistoric King Suites feature a king bed, vintage details and exceptional amenities and average size of 540 square feet. A separate living room features a gas fireplace and queen sleeper sofa that can accommodate two additional people. Some suites have panoramic San Francisco Bay and city views. The first floor has a shared front porch with rocking chairs. Historic King Suites are pet friendly.
- Historic Two-Bedroom SuitesCavallo Point’s most-spacious accommodations, Historic Two-Bedroom Suites feature two bedrooms and one bathroom. Some include San Francisco Bay views. One bedroom features a king bed and the second bedroom has one queen bed. Another option is a suite variation, The Loft Room, a third floor walk-up with two twin beds in the second bedroom. Both variations include a separate living room with gas fireplace and queen sleeper-sofa, which can accommodate two additional people. These suites are pet friendly.
- The Frank HouseThe Frank House is a historic residence offering 1,175 square feet of living space and is ideal for families and small groups. The distinctive house features two bedrooms with queen bed, walnut furnishings and period details. House highlights include sweeping view of Fort Baker and San Francisco bay, a private glass-enclosed sunporch, and a separate living room with gas fireplace. A small kitchen is equipped with a refrigerator, stovetop, microwave, coffeemaker and other appliances. The Frank House is pet friendly.
- Contemporary KingContemporary King Rooms offer modern design, one king bed, bamboo furnishings, an inviting gas fireplace, and a private deck. Most feature stunning views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Rooms are 350 square-feet and pet friendly.
- Contemporary Two QueensContemporary Two Queens offer modern design, two queen beds in one room, and an inviting gas fireplace. Some rooms enjoy views of the Golden Gate Bridge or San Francisco Bay. Rooms are 450 square-feet and pet friendly.
- Contemporary Deluxe KingContemporary Deluxe Kings feature modern design, one kind bed, bamboo furnishings, gas fireplace, window seat, luxury amenities, and patio or deck with outdoor furnishings. Most feature stunning views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Rooms are 478 square-feet and pet friendly.
- Contemporary King SuiteContemporary King Suites are spacious and secluded, with separate bedroom and sitting area with window seat. Suites feature a two-sided gas fireplace to enjoy from both spaces, a king bed, double sinks, separate tub and shower, and a spacious patio or deck. Most suites have breathtaking views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Suites are 578 square-feet and pet friendly.
Enjoy one complimentary night: pay for two nights and stay for three. Available on select Historic and Contemporary rooms.
601 Murray Cir Sausalito, CA 94965, (415) 339-4700. This appeared in the March/April 2013 issue.
I could tell you about the state of the art spa, where I spent several blissful hours in the heated outdoor meditation pool, inhaling the eucalyptus and watching the clouds dance above. Or the amazing short hike that takes you behind the property with picture perfect postcard views of the Golden Gate. Or breakfast on the terrace. Or the complimentary yoga class I took one morning that left me set and centered for the day ahead.
But as luck had it, I arrived the evening that an exhibit of legendary photographer Ansel Adams works was to be unveiled. Not only were some of Adams most iconic pictures in the show, but the photographer’s son gave the artist talk, reminiscing about apprenticing with his father. Talk about picture perfect.
The wine and beer lists are long and include excellent and sometimes surprising choices. Cocktails range from classic (Sazerac) to seasonal (the mezcal-based Unspoken Word). Don't miss Monday nights, when Farley Bar hosts live music from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
All of the white-washed buildings are spacious, but the two-bedroom suites are particularly family friendly. Many are also dog friendly if you want to bring your pup along.
As we crossed the bridge to exit the city on a cloudy week-day morning, I remember turning back and noticing, "hey, that bridge is red not golden". Way to throw me off, SF.
I was able to capture some wonderful foggy memories standing in that park, looking out over the bay and wrapping my sweater closer around me (didn't expect such cold weather in July!).
I particularly love the little harbor at the bottom left of this view, with all the sailboats lined in a row.
The hotel is in a national park so there’s adventure all around. Rent a kayak from Sea Trek (+1 415 332 8494; www.seatrek.com) and paddle your way around the bay. Ask a hotel guide to show you the sights of the Golden Gate National Park, or make your way to Alcatraz for a tour of the incarceration island.
We are so glad we did. The views of the bay and the city are spectacular. The crew at the Cavallo Point Lodge are amazingly kind and tops in their craft and the outdoor fires and delicious cocktails and appetizers make for a wonderful afternoon.
Cavallo Point has a way of making you feel you are in the era of the Great Gatsby with everyone in linens and the large lawn surrounded by white buildings with red roofs.
It is truly a gem of the Bay Area!