Cavallo Point, The Lodge at Golden Gate

Apr 08, 2010 Avatar Dan Ilves Dan Ilves

Nestled in the Marin headlands just on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge is Cavallo Point Lodge, opened in 2008 on the grounds of Fort Baker and within the Golden Gate National Parks. The lodge, a part of the Passport Resorts group, is a quiet respite from the bustle of San Francisco, or for that matter, Sausalito (just a mile away), and is San Francisco’s first national park lodge. (On site is also the Bay Area Discovery Museum, a one of a kind children’s museum, and nearby, the Headlands Center for the Arts, The Marine Mammal Center, and the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory

Cavallo Point is a gateway for miles of coastal and inland trails and offers diverse recreational and cultural opportunities.

There are various room types from studio to two bedroom suites, and a choice to be made from the newly built modern rooms or the historic ghomes that were former officers quarters. It’s a difficult choice because while the homes are completely refurbished, they are a bit “homey,” with features typical of the turn-of-the century homes in the area. Our two-bedroom family suite in one of the homes had 1 1/2 bathrooms, one with with a very large shower and single sink, (no bathtub), the other with the toilet and a single sink. Bedrooms were very spacious, each with a wardrobe (no closets), and the sitting room was comfortable, with a sofa and side chair and flat screen TV. The officers homes have a front porch, Adirondack chairs on the lawn, and convenient parking. The homes mostly line the large lawn in the center of the property, and overlook the edge of the San Francisco Bay and the city.

In the newer units up the hill from the central lawn, there are four rooms per building, slightly further from the reception/restaurant, with some having views of the Bridge, with those commanding a premium price.

The only source for food is the main hi-end restaurant, Murray Circle, and adjacent Farley Bar, which is unfortunate, but then most guests probably don’t spend the full day on property. There’s no place to pick up snacks or a less expensive sandwich (though Sausalito is close enough). Complimentary cofee and croissants and pastries were available in the reception area in the mornings, a nice touch. (Coffee makers also in the room.)

The newly built Healing Arts Center and Spa is a new two-story building, with a large pleasant waiting area, tea bar, outdoor rest area with a pool and a store. Dressing rooms are large and well done, with steam room and jacuzzi for both men and women. Complimentary yoga classes are offered in the mornings (not sure frequency). A fitness center is adequate, mostly treadmills and step masters.

Cavallo also operates a cooking school, with classes offered periodically.

Cavallo Point is an ideal getaway for people in the city who want to get away, as well as a lovely location for those that don’t need accommodations in San Francisco proper, and are fine being in a natural setting and using it as a place from which to visit the city, or for excursions to Muir Woods and elsewhere. We were very relaxed here, and it’s quiet. The staff was friendly and eager to be helpful. There are a number of meeting rooms at Cavallo, and it’s a great place for a meeting or retreat. A complimentary shuttle is offered throughout the day to and from Sausalito.