Towards the end of this last August, when I learned that a very generous friend had gifted my traveling companion and me with a night at the Cavallo Point Inn at the Golden Gate, I was not only very touched by the gesture, but eager to experience this exceptional Bay Area resort about which I had heard good things, but had never visited.
The Inn is situated at historic Fort Baker in the Golden Gate National Parks at the shore of the San Francisco Bay just inside the Golden Gate between the North Anchorage of the Golden Gate Bridge and the picturesque little town of Sausalito, with its scenic bay front promenade, upscale boutiques, fine dining, and bohemian houseboat community.
The Inn occupies re-purposed officer's quarters and club buildings dating from the early 1900's, along with several attractive newer inn buildings, a well-appointed spa complex, and a conference center.
As we approached the Inn, driving the few miles of two lane road from Sausalito, I was struck by the unique characteristics of the place: invisible from nearby busy Hwy 101, the gracious vintage buildings are are set in a hollow of the land opening down beyond the green of the old parade ground to a small cove with a marina and views of San Francisco, and of the Bay, with its endless procession of ships, fishing vessels, and pleasure craft. Such an idyllic, scenic, and expansive space right in the heart of one of the world's most densely populated, busy, and expensive places is a precious resource indeed.
Cavallo Point was developed and is operated by Passport Resorts, who also run Big Sur's exclusive and exquisite Post Ranch Inn. This elite pedigree showed itself in the really exceptional service and quality of amenities we experienced. From the very alert, friendly, and helpful valet parking staff to the efficient and informative reception clerks, to the housekeeping crew, to the restaurant servers, the quality of service was top-notch without being in any way obsequious.
Our " View Historic King Suite" in one of the old officer's residences was very thoughtfully renovated and well-appointed. Many of the original interior architectural details of the unit had been preserved, while the bathroom was impeccably done and had fine toiletries and linens, and the sitting room had nice furniture, a big T.V., a mini-fridge, a Nesspresso coffee maker, electric tea kettle, and a Britta water filtration carafe.
The bed and its linens were excellent as well.
Throughout the resort, the management has placed fine original art (Mostly art photography with local relevance by more than 20 mainly local photographers).
In our unit there were archival quality prints of works by Judith Selby Lang with images of sea-weathered plastic objects found on the Marin County coast.
We did not eat dinner this time in the resort's well-regarded Murray Circle restaurant in one of the old buildings facing the parade ground, but did have a very good made-to-order breakfast there as part of our lodging package. The evening of our arrival, we did partake of the complimentary afternoon wine service, which we enjoyed sitting on the veranda, talking with some very agreeable fellow guests while watching the "Golden Hour" unfold across the scenic Golden Gate.
In lieu of taking advantage of the deluxe amenities of the resort's spa facility, the morning after our night at the inn, we entrusted our car and our luggage to the staff, and fulfilled a lifelong desire to walk the Golden Gate Bridge, setting out on foot from Cavallo Point, up a moderately easy trail to the North end of the bridge and then across the span to San Francisco, and back again. This wonderful little adventure was accomplished in a couple of hours without being in a car, dealing with parking, or spending any additional money.
Cavallo Point offers its guests a frequent complimentary shuttle service to and from the Sausalito Ferry Terminal, enabling the convenient possibility of a very rich automobile-free experience to visitors from both near and far.
It would be remiss to not mention the very real commitment of the Cavallo Point management to being mindful of providing locally oriented environmental educational resources and health-enhancing activities, and of striving for sustainable facilities management and sourcing of food and other supplies.
Overall, I highly recommend the Cavallo Point Inn at the Golden Gate to anyone able to afford a premium travel experience who is looking for something exceptional, and is willing to do a little homework to get the most out of a visit to this unique environment.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set in an idyllic location on the San Francisco Bay at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, Cavallo Point offers unique historic and contemporary lodging options. Kid friendly and pet friendly, Cavallo Point offers a multitude of activities and services to choose from.The Healing Arts Center & Spa offers innovative spa treatments in a serene, tranquil setting. Filled with natural light and top-of-the line culinary equipment, the Cavallo Point Cooking School is an intimate place to taste, create and learn. Murray Circle Restaurant is one of Northern California's top culinary destinations. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cavallo Point Sausalito
- Cavallo Point Hotel Sausalito