| All Photos courtesy of Cavallo Point
Ten visits over the course of 13 years might not necessarily make us ‘regulars,’ but my husband and I are undoubtedly Cavallo Point devotees. As Bay Area residents, we find few spots in the region that are as well suited to a getaway as this Sausalito-based sanctuary, nestled at the foot of the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge.
Having grown up just on the other side of the orange icon, my husband finds instant comfort in the sounds, sights, and smells of Cavallo: early morning and late evening fog, Bay views, and the scent of Eucalyptus instantly transport him to a less complicated time. The rocking chairs that line the resort’s two main building verandas help complete the idyllic atmosphere, as do the numerous fire pits around which fleece-wearing guests gather to ward off the evening chill.
Since its opening in 2008 on what was once the Fort Baker military base, Cavallo Point blends its National Park setting with relaxed sophistication and an award-winning environmental ethos. The Lodge honors its Fort Baker roots by fully utilizing its 24 Colonial Revival buildings, each of which was built between 1901 and 1915. Even then, developers knew the value of a great vista and positioned all construction to take advantage of the breathtaking San Francisco Bay scenery.
These buildings now house Cavallo Point’s two restaurants, administrative offices, and meeting rooms. Former officer’s quarters serve as the resort’s historic rooms and suites, each featuring expansive foyers, fireplaces, and front porches. The sleek contemporary rooms and suites, each featuring large picture windows that further emphasize the stunning views, are sustainably designed, leading the resort to earn a coveted LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) gold certification.
Decidedly important environmental ethos aside, here are the reasons that my husband and I love Cavallo Point:
1. The Views
Rows of strategically placed, Bay-poised Adirondack chairs are scattered throughout the verdant property. The resort’s two main building verandas feature line-ups of sun-facing, old-fashioned rockers, providing the perfect spot for enjoying the complimentary evening wine hour and complimentary morning coffee and house-made pastries. Lofty blankets are provided for when the inevitable fog rolls in under the Golden Gate – a dramatic visual that simply never gets old.
2. Never a Dull Moment
Activity seekers can find hiking, morning yoga, or kite flying on the Main Parade Ground’s green expanse. A fleet of retro Vintage Electric Café bikes allows for easy and endless complimentary exploration throughout the hilly terrain or across the bridge. The Children’s Bay Area Discovery Museum is within walking distance, and the Marine Mammal Center is also close-by. The Cavallo Point Cooking School provides hands-on classes within its state-of-the-art, open kitchen. And tucked behind the resort’s acclaimed Mercantile gift shop (from which the near entirety of my husband’s wardrobe is derived) is Cavallo Point’s Art Gallery – a small, atmospheric public space that stages work by such artistic luminaries as Imogen Cunningham, Ruth Asawa, and Ansel Adams.
An appointment at Cavallo Point’s Healing Arts Center & Spa is alone worthy of an overnight stay. This contemporary oasis integrates the finest cultural healing practices from around the world and is simply a gorgeous and perfectly illuminated spot in which to relax or reenergize. Pre or post-treatment, enjoy the heated meditation pool and the warmth of outdoor and indoor fireplaces. As a devotee of facials, I can say that the signature facial here is a memorable favorite; ultra-luxe Luzern Skin Care products make the experience exceedingly decadent.
4. Hot Wheels
Cavallo Point partners with Lexus, the luxury car brand that shares the resort’s values of quality, design, and exceptional service with a focus on sustainable initiatives. The partnership means that guests are provided access to the newest in the Lexus fleet. Take a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge in an NX hybrid, or sporty RC F – the San Francisco city skyline your vista as sailboats glide across the Bay. Or borrow an LC Convertible for a drive into downtown Sausalito for dinner. These Lexus driving opportunities are the cherry-on-top to an already deluxe hotel stay.
5. Room Choice
Go historic or go modern. The resort’s historic rooms and suites feature expansive foyers, fireplaces, and classic front porches. The sleek, contemporary, modern rooms and suites on the hillside each feature large picture windows that emphasize the stunning views. In every room, you’ll find luxe linens, cozy robes, rich textiles, gas fireplaces, and coffee makers.
The Lodge offers shuttle service into Sausalito where one can find an array of dining options, but with two great restaurants on-site – Farley Bar and Murray Circle – it makes sense to stay put. Farley Bar is the resort’s convivial heart, offering creative cocktails, a full menu, cozy fireplaces, leather club chairs, and a bar top crafted from a fallen tree. Murray Circle’s elegant dining room is accented with restored tin ceilings, fine art photography, and multiple fireplaces. The refined menu includes delicious and beautifully plated seasonal selections made with farmers’ market ingredients. Both spots feature both indoor and patio dining.
7. Day Trippers Welcome
One of the great aspects of Cavallo Point is one needs not to stay overnight in order to enjoy much of what it offers. The restaurants, adjacent fire pits, veranda rocking chairs, and Adirondacks placed throughout the property are all open to day visitors. Friends, who at my urging have dropped in for even just a few hours, comment on the instantaneous feeling of retreat.
“Here at Cavallo Point, our team has an undeniable energy and passion for the role we play in taking care of others,” said General Manager Brendan Carlin. “We strive to create a place for people to gather, relax, discover healing and tranquility, explore, and foster meaningful connections. The friendly and engaging manner with which we do so reflects the people and values of the Bay Area, and our overall devotion to the guest experience for visitors from both near and far.”
And that is why we return again and again.