What We Love
- Golden Gate and San Francisco views
- Choice of historic or contemporary lodgings
- Drinks on the porch of the Farley Bar
What To Know
- The Healing Arts Center & Spa will be closed for renovation until March 20; in-room spa services are available
- Foghorns might wake you up at night
- Some guest rooms have better views than others
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
At the northern foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, on beautiful grounds full of pine and eucalyptus trees, Cavallo Point offers unrivaled views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the skyline beyond the bay. Built as Fort Baker in the early 1900s, the original structure served as a military post through World War II. Of the 142 rooms Cavallo Point, 68 historic rooms and suites are in the enchanting Colonial Revival buildings that once served as officers’ quarters, complete with gas fireplaces, pressed-tin ceilings and open-air wraparound porches lined with rocking chairs. There are also 74 contemporary accommodations in earthy colors, with bamboo furniture and the best views of the bridge and bay. Regardless of where you decide to bunk down, you can rest assured that your carbon footprint is next to nothing — both the new and old wings are LEED Gold certified. The Michelin-starred restaurant Murray Circle, helmed by Joseph Humphrey, is known for its emphasis on all things local and artisanal. That ethos threads its way through every aspect of Cavallo Point. By day it’s a great jumping-off point for all kinds of outdoor activities and for exploring the Bay Area, but the in-house offerings are equally entertaining. The lobby chalkboard keeps track of the day’s activities, which include yoga, hikes and wellness seminars. Native plants flourish all over the 10-acre parade grounds, and visitors nod to the history of this forward-thinking lodge. Spa devotees will want to check in for an organic treatment or acupuncture at the Healing Arts Center, which also has a lovely heated outdoor meditation pool, garden and tea bar.
In the Area
Cavallo Point is inside Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a national park that surrounds the bay and one of the most visited in the nation. Marvel at the mile-high Muir Woods or take a boat to Alcatraz. The charming burg of Sausalito is just seven minutes north of the resort, and is sometimes called the Riviera of the city. Browse the shops and admire the view on Bridgeway, the main drag, but head inland to Caledonia Street for lunch at Sausalito Gourmet Delicatessen.
How to Get There
Despite visiting during the bad fires in Northern California, we had an excellent stay at Cavallo Point. The staff was so professional and helpful during the difficult time and our room and spa experience was wonderful. Unfortunately the views were obstructed by the bad air quality, but all other aspects of the resort were top notch. From the quiet, pleasant spa area (and the outside hot springs pool) to the beautifully appointed rooms, our visit could not have been nicer. They have a lovely coffee and pastry service in the lobby in the mornings for a casual nosh before or after the complimentary yoga class in the chapel, and there is a relaxing "happy hour/wine tasting" in the afternoon to wind down before dinner and sample some regional wines. The rooms are lovely. I prefer the contemporary rooms to the historic, but both are beautiful and well appointed. Little lavender sachets and ear plugs (in case the fog horn blows) on the bed insure a good nights sleep and the Nespresso coffee makers in each room give you a morning "pick me up". The staff is very responsive and pleasant. Our room was not available when we arrived early but they brought us our key at the spa and took our luggage to our room, making it easy to just relax and enjoy our afternoon at the spa. The hotel is well located for hikes, a visit to Napa, tourist activities in San Francisco and Sausalito or for just relaxing and enjoying a peaceful getaway. I was worried that the quality had declined after my last visit, but if this stay is an indicator, they are back as a top notch 5-star facility.
Where do I begin to tell you about this wonderful get-away? Ft. Baker is part of the National Register of Historic Places and is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Cavallo Point is a very well managed hotel with seemingly very happy employees. One has a choice of the older, remodeled former Officer's Quarters or newer, seemingly out-of-place condo-like structures on the hill (supposedly they are lovely). The high points: The food! Wow. Probably one of the best Thanksgiving meals I have ever had. We had reservations for the buffet and it was superb. Well timed so no waiting in line and not so crowded that one could not have a normal conversation at the table. So many choices for all sorts of dietary needs. All fresh, creative and very delicious. All meals in the bar were superb - not overly priced as one would expect. We were there during the romaine lettuce recall and I inquired about this with one of the servers. The Chef actually came out from the kitchen and spoke with me explaining where they sourced their greens. Above and beyond! Bar often crowded due to frequent conferences with attendees staying on site. Best service seems to be sitting at the bar (my opinion). Perks that one gets when staying: Free shuttle into SF one time per day. George was incredible, very polite and considerate. Called me to ensure I would make the pick up at Union Square coming back. Again, service above and beyond. Daily AM yoga, 7 days per week. Diverse, creative instructors (I attended 4x). A wonderful way to start the day! Freshly made pastry and coffee in lobby every morning. Espresso machines in each room with a lovely cheese and cracker/small bottle of wine welcome. Turndown service with wonderful chocolate. Wine tasting in the afternoons. Great on-site and nearby hiking with maps (we had to ask). Dog friendly hotel with all dogs well behaved and no evidence of pets previously staying in the unit we were in (fleas, smells etc). Beds and bedding were top notch. In fact, I miss the bed and linens at Cavallo.!
Areas for improvement? Clearly identify managers as it seems there are lots of employees and it's not clear who is in charge (minor issue). Front desk staff not nearly as friendly as the concierge staff-nice enough but really didn't make an effort to go the extra mile when compared to the concierge staff (for example, coming on the other side of the desk, away from looking at the computer to point out a landmark, help with directions etc. I am being very picky.....). Frequent trash found on trails around hotel and around the actual building area. Again, minor but this took away from the idyllic and beautiful nature of the area. Maybe have one of the employees walk the trails and 'police' the hotel grounds for trash on occasion? A few items (paper, earplugs) had fallen behind the night stand and had been missed by housekeeping for days...again, minor. I would still give Cavallo 5 stars and look forward to my return. Well worth the splurge.
We stayed in part because of their reputation and it was the destination of a wedding we attended. How disappointed we were upon entry to our room. We opened the window (no air conditioning) only to encounter a black widow spider. The carpet appeared dirty, only to be confirmed when I got down on the floor looking for an electrical outlet. Instead I found the previous guests medicine on the floor. That means the room was not vacuumed after the previous guests departure. I had to call for maid service as it wasn’t done while we were out of the roomduring the day. After the maid service there were still dirty glassware left in the room. I sent an email to the hotel voicing my disappointment after our stay and received not even an acknowledgement of their receipt of my email. Very poor service.
Our family, including our dog, stayed at Cavallo Point in a contemporary bridge view room five years ago and just recently. Both times were great in their own way, and the room both then and now was modern and clean. Waking up to see the sun rise and the bridge glow was fantastic!
Five years ago, we took advantage of the family package where kids ate free. This was the first time that our then 8-year-old and 4-year-old kids had ever had room service, and they were also spoiled with cookies with the turndown service. Both then and now, we were able to have our dog stay with us on the veranda of the restaurant which was much appreciated.
I love that Cavallo Point offers morning yoga and the wine in the afternoon. During the latest trip, I was fortunate to have an outdoor yoga session with Sam who asked if I would be interested in seeing the Golden Gate as the sun rose since I was the only one in the class. I've practiced yoga for 20 years, and I will always reflect upon the beauty of seeing the bridge, the City, the bay, and the flight of birds from that morning and the challenge of taking in everything and yet staying focused. In contrast, the amenity that my kids love is the complimentary wi-fi.
We appreciated the welcome that our dog received the first time when he was a puppy although he was warmly greeted by the staff on our recent visit, too. The canine amenities both then and now include a comfortable bed, dog dishes, dog waste bags, and treats. The hotel also stocks dog waste bags on the grounds in case people forget to bring their own. Five years ago, the concierge connected us with a friend of hers who lived nearby in Tiburon and had the same breed. Our dog usually runs around for 5 minutes at a dog park and gets bored. That time, he ran and played for over an hour with her friend's dog who was also a puppy at the Sausalito dog park. That was a good omen. The concierge also offered and took our puppy for a walk when she knew we weren't going to be able to take him with us into the City. We were very grateful to her for this!
During our recent stay, I purchased a map of the Marin Headlands from the hotel's mercantile shop and challenged our now 13-year-old and 9-year-old to a 12-mile hike. We made it all the way to Rodeo Beach and climbed up Hawk Hill on the return trip. The kids then enjoyed a late lunch while my husband and I celebrated the conclusion of the hike with a glass of wine. I highly recommend Cavallo Point as a starting point for short walks and longer hikes.
The staff at the front desk, at Murray Circle, at the Mercantile, and at the bell desk/shuttle service were friendly and helpful throughout our stay. We were concerned about getting to Sausalito on the shuttle to take the ferry and were assured that they would get us there in time for departure. We then had a nice chat with George, our shuttle driver, who gave us his card in case we needed a shuttle ride from the City or Sausalito later in the day. The breakfast and dinner that we had at Murray Circle were excellent, although we were a little disappointed that they only had the Farley Bar menu as an option the evening that we chose to go.
There are very few places where one can be so close to nature and to urban life. I love San Francisco as both my husband and I used to live there, but we would much rather stay across the bridge at Cavallo Point. Most likely, we'll be coming back in five years, if not sooner!
We have stayed at Cavallo Point several times over the past few years. It's always fun to travel only 20 mins to feel like you are away and on vacation. The views are mind blowing. Great walking around the hotel and the spa is beautiful.
We were really surprised they do not provide robes. During the stay we kept commenting on the fact that that would have really helped make to stay better. We also had problems all three days we stayed at the hotel with our telephone which was a problem as we were treating a friend for her BDay. In the evening when they did (Minimal) turn down they did not place ice in the ice bucket. I know these are all small issues but they do add up esp when you have stayed at properties that get the small things matter.
When checking out only one person was working and helping a couple so it was a really long wait while others who worked on the property were walking around the room playing like they did not notice i was waiting.
Like I said it's the small things that make a big difference.