Once a bootlegging hub during the Prohibition era and one of America’s major shipyards during World War II, Sausalito is today a thriving tourist hotspot just north of San Francisco. The mansion-studded hills and creative houseboat communities make for a diverse society, and the surrounding woodland is home to many hiking trails. If you’re partial to fresh coastal air and idyllic views of San Francisco, take a look at some of the best hotels in the area.
The Casa Madrona started life in 1885 as a lavish mansion, and would go on to survive decades of mudslides, disrepair and demolition orders before becoming the elegant hotel you see today. One of its timeless features is the striking views across the Bay – seen through the French doors of some guest rooms and even from the outdoor hot tub of the luxuriously large Alexandrite Suite. If you’re in need of some pampering, the holistic spa offers treatments such as the “oceanic bliss wrap,” which cocoons you in seaweed serum, Japanese ume plum extracts and sea fennel to give you silky smooth skin.
Cavallo Point Lodge is home to one of the top cookery schools in the country. The former military base has been reimagined as a seaside oasis, with irresistible dining options and a serene spa. Treat yourself to a traditional Swedish massage, soak in the outdoor meditation pool or dig in to market-fresh fare under the restored tin ceilings of the Murray Circle restaurant. You can also take a stroll through the idyllic zen garden for views of the fog-wrapped Golden Gate Bridge, before heading out for a hike and picnic in nearby Muir Woods.
Situated in the heart of Sausalito, the historic Gables Inn dates back to 1869 when it catered to local travelers and shipyard workers. Its classic elegance is preserved with antique furnishings, large Victorian windows and a creamy color palette in the rooms. Most have the added perk of whirlpool tubs and brick fireplaces, while upgraded options spoil you with sweeping views of the Bay seen through porthole-style windows and from wide balconies. A complimentary breakfast is included, though there are also numerous bakeries, seafood restaurants and waterfront cafés a short stroll away.
The peach facade of Hotel Sausalito’s Mission Revival-style building has been turning heads since 1915. A diverse bunch including writers, gangsters and railroad workers have passed through its storied doors. You can find peace in traditional rooms with sunset-colored hues, fruit art and handcrafted furniture, then wake up to views of the Viña del Mar Park or the harbor through stained-glass windows. Plan your adventures on the sun-drenched, Mediterranean-style terrace and, if you’re looking to explore the slopes of San Francisco, be sure to catch the ferry that sets sail from right outside the front door.
Wake up to the soothing sounds of lapping waves in this luxury waterfront hotel on San Francisco Bay. Rooms are designed with floor-to-ceiling windows – and even include a pair of binoculars for taking in killer views of the city skyline, Alcatraz and Angel Island. Some include wooden decks for morning coffee in the salty breeze, while sprawling suites have pillar-style fireplaces, deep spa tubs and plush sitting rooms. The locally sourced continental breakfast is served up in the Drawing Room, or for an extra charge you can get it delivered to your door. You can also order in-room spa treatments and indulge in some complimentary wine and cheese every evening between 5-7pm.