Best Hotels in the Bay Area

Luxury inns, beautiful vistas, and comfortable places to rest your weary bones

601 Murray Circle, Fort Baker, Sausalito
Spend the night nestled under the Golden Gate Bridge in the most dignified of accommodations: the former living quarters of high-ranking officers in the U.S. Army. Cavallo Point is the result of the luxurious reimagining of a cluster of military lodges located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, just over the bridge in Marin County. Today, the 142-room hotel serves as a retreat for in-the-know travelers and locals looking for an easy, elevated escape from everyday city life. Original brick fireplaces and beamed ceilings mingle with modern finishes and furnishings, such as butter-soft leather sofas and whitewashed Adirondack chairs. The expansive grounds are meant to be explored on foot or bicycle. The Wellness Weekend package includes all meals, prepared with an emphasis on health at Murray Circle restaurant, morning yoga classes, guided hikes, a spa treatment, nightly wine receptions, and plenty of free moments to soak in the serene meditation pool—the very best kind of boot camp.
4048 Sonoma Hwy, Napa, CA 94559, USA
This refined 28-acre resort set in the rolling hills between downtown Sonoma and downtown Napa makes guests feel relaxed the moment they check in. The vistas are unobstructed from the resort’s pool areas, and many of the property’s 94 stand-alone cottages with private balconies and six private homes offer views of the open space, too. By day, lawn games are usually underway on the grassy expanse called the Town Square, while in the evenings, a pavilion provides an unparalleled backdrop for stargazing. This is a hotel that values fresh air, as evidenced by the walls in the common areas, which retract to bring the outdoors in. There are other reasons to fall in love with Carneros—namely, the on-site restaurants. The casual Boon Fly Café is famous for breakfasts, with spicy bacon Bloody Mary drinks and tiny made-to-order doughnuts. FARM, on the other hand, is more formal, with menu items such as braised oxtail terrine and smoked Sonoma duck breast. While the hotel offers in-room massages, it will also reopen its spa after a full-scale renovation later in 2018.
1314 McKinstry St, Napa, CA 94559, USA
One of the most convenient places to base yourself in Napa, particularly if you’re in town for the BottleRock festival, is the Westin Verasa hotel. Set downtown, it’s walking distance to shops, restaurants, tasting rooms, and the fair grounds where the festival will take place. I’m a fan of the hotel’s enormous pool and the outdoor bocce court (a staple in wine country). Make sure to check out the excellent restaurant, La Toque, where chef Ken Frank puts a French twist on wine country cooking. I suggest letting their sommelier guide your wine pairings—she never fails to surprise me and introduce me to a new wine.
875 Bordeaux Way, Napa, CA 94558, USA
Spending a day at a spa was something that never crossed my mind until I heard about the day spa at the Meritage Resort and Spa just outside Napa, California. I decided to give it a go and emerged a believer. Spa Terra is built in a cave under a vineyard behind the resort. The facilities are new, and everything seems perfectly tailored to make the guest feel comfortable. I loved hopping from the hot tub to the steam room and then back again. After relaxing with a cool glass of cucumber water, it was time for a massage, then a shower, and back into the hot tub, after which came wine-tasting in the adjacent Trinitas tasting room and time doing nothing at the outdoor pool. At the day spa, guests choose what they want to do when. Besides the massage appointment time, there is no schedule. I ended my day with a light meal from the resort’s cafe and an invigorating hike in the vineyards above the spa. As a busy writer, teacher, and mom, I felt like I could forget about my day-to-day concerns and just focus on being there in the moment.
8 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94015
With its waterfront location across from the San Francisco Ferry Building on the edge of downtown, the 1 Hotel is an ideal launchpad to explore San Francisco. Rooms have expansive views of the Bay or the city, and travelers can step out onto the Embarcadero for a morning run, to browse at one of three weekly farmers’ markets at the Ferry Building.

The luxury hotel upholds a commitment to environmentalism, using local and reclaimed materials for the biophilic interior design, sustainability sourced bedding, and providing filtered water taps instead of single use water bottles. Rooms are equipped with soft cotton robes, slippers, and yoga mats to help turn a stay into a relaxing, wellness-minded retreat.

On the first floor, the bar and restaurant, Terrene is a lovely place to swing by for a drink or meal—whether you’re a guest or not. If the weather is nice, don’t miss the chance to enjoy a cocktail on their expansive outdoor patio (complete with space heaters) with great views of the Bay Bridge. If you’re looking for something more substantial, they have an excellent selection of fresh, Mediterranean-inspired dishes, like roasted carrots with a feta dip and refreshing tuna tartare.

Pets are welcome and there’s also a rooftop spa on site, complete with stone tubs and scenic views.
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