Cavallo Point Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Sausalito, San Francisco Bay Area, California

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Excellent location under the Golden Gate Bridge in a state park
  • Gorgeous views throughout the property of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Interesting history: Hotel was an army base in the late 1800s
  • Charming rooms feature gas fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling windows
  • Expansive spa features a pool and fire pits
  • Michelin-starred restaurant, Murray Circle, serves Northern California cuisine
  • Acclaimed on-site cooking school
  • Great outdoor activities including free morning yoga and hiking trails
  • Free shuttle to San Francisco and Sausalito Ferry Terminal
  • Dog-friendly: Guests can bring up to two dogs for a one-time, non-refundable fee
  • LEED Gold Certified hotel

Cons

  • Daily resort fee
  • Heavy fog in San Francisco Bay can obstruct views and fog horns can disrupt sleep (the hotel provides ear plugs)
  • No fitness center (but outdoor activities are numerous)

Bottom Line

This historic property under the Golden Gate Bridge offers sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay skyline. Located in a state park in Sausalito, across the bay from San Francisco, Cavallo Point feels removed from the hustle and bustle of the city even though it is still accessible -- the hotel operates a free shuttle to the ferry terminal. Originally built as an army base in the late 1800s, the hotel has retained many charming historical details in its two main buildings as well as in its Historic Rooms, which were all formerly officers' residences. Contemporary Rooms, on the other hand, were built into the hillside, and have great views, gas fireplaces, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel also features an acclaimed spa with a pool and fire pits, a Michelin-starred restaurant serving regional cuisine, an on-site cooking school, and many outdoor activities such as morning yoga and hiking. But heavy fog can block the views Cavallo Point is most known for and persistent fog horns have prompted the hotel to include ear plugs in every room.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Gorgeous scenery and high-end amenities converge at this historic hotel.

Building with Restaurant and Bar
Building with Restaurant and Bar

Originally known as Fort Baker, the main buildings of Cavallo Point were built in 1886 by the U.S. Army to fortify the north side of the Golden Gate. The 24 original buildings were built around a large grassy oval, which is now a part of the state park on which the hotel was built. Cavallo Point resurrected the fort from its rather unkempt status in 2002 and restored many period details to the original buildings. It has since added other buildings that, while lacking historic charm, are exceedingly lovely. Featuring streamlined, contemporary decor and a bevy of amenities, these spaces feature floor-to-ceiling windows and gas fireplaces. Choosing which rooms to stay in is a matter of taste; be sure to request one or the other when making reservations.

The hotel is well suited for couples, with stunning views, historical ambiance, and excellent service. But there's also plenty for families: Since Cavallo Point is built on a State Park, there are numerous outdoor activities to engage in, including hiking, free morning yoga, or simply picnicking on the oval. The on-site cooking school is also a bonus for all, as is the Michelin-starred restaurant Murray Circle. Serving premier regional cuisine, the restaurant and bar have a clubby, slightly New England feel to them, with tin ceilings, oversized leather and whicker furniture, and wood-burning fireplaces. In the warmer months, guests can also sit out on the hotel's large porch area and sip cocktails or eat dinner.

The Healing Arts Center & Spa at Cavallo Point is an expansive space offering a wide variety of treatments and a meditation pool (only adults 18 and older can make use of it). The spa is lovely, with fireplaces and fire pits available to linger by before or after a treatment.

 Location

About a mile from charming Sausalito and across the bay from San Francisco

The closest hotel to the Golden Gate Bridge, Cavallo Point boasts amazing views of the San Francisco Bay skyline throughout its property. Its location on a 10-acre state park gives it a remote atmosphere, and outdoor activities are abundant: The hotel hosts free morning yoga sessions and guided hikes of the area are also available.

Cavallo Point is about one mile outside of picturesque Sausalito. This quaint seaside town is a popular day trip for tourists visiting San Francisco, featuring many shops and restaurants. It has a reputation of being an enclave for the wealthy and artistic, with many houseboats dotting the shore. The city also has one of the few ungated marinas remaining in the Bay Area.

The hotel's location across the bay from the city allows it to feel removed from the hustle and bustle while still being accessible to it: Cavallo Point runs a free shuttle to the San Francisco and Sausalito Ferry Terminal.

  • 8-minute drive to the Sausalito Ferry Terminal
  • 30-minute ferry ride to San Francisco Ferry Terminal
  • 10-minute drive to the Sausalito Marina
  • 20-minute drive to Fisherman's Wharf
  • 15-minute drive to the curvy block of Lombard Street
  • 21-minute drive to Chinatown, the largest one outside Asia, with restaurants, herbal shops, and cultural attractions
  • 38-minute drive to San Francisco International Airport

 Rooms

Both historic or contemporary room options

Bedroom in the Historic Two-Bedroom Suite
Bedroom in the Historic Two-Bedroom Suite

Cavallo Point offers both historic and contemporary accommodation options, with different room types underneath each category. All of the rooms feature wonderful views, either of the San Francisco skyline and Golden Gate Bridge or of the surrounding hillsides.

The 68 historical rooms were part of the original Fort Baker structure. Formerly officers' residences, Cavallo Point restored them in 2002, keeping many of the period details that make the rooms charmingly unique. Built around Murray Circle -- the grassy oval for which the on-site restaurant gets its name -- these rooms feature lovely original fireplaces, tin ceilings, wainscoting beams, and archways -- even the radiators are charming. Rooms are bright and spacious, but also retain a certain lived-in coziness that will appeal to history buffs. The hotel has won various awards for its historic renovation and preservation efforts.

The 74 contemporary rooms were built into the hillside and also feature fireplaces, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows to better show off the views of the bridge. Some have patios or balconies. Much like the historic rooms, these are spacious and classically decorated with warm colors. Bathrooms also are bright and airy, and some have deep soaking tubs and separate showers.

Guests can also arrange for add-on amenities to be waiting in their rooms upon arrival, including dog amenities for those traveling with their furry friends (the hotel allows up to two dogs per room, for a one-time non-refundable fee), champagne and cocktails, wine and cheese, and milk and cookies. A personal in-room bartender is also available, as well as a rose petal turndown for couples.

  • Most rooms face south for views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Gas-burning fireplaces in most rooms
  • Organic linens and cotton towels
  • Certified organic cotton robes and slippers
  • Nightly turndown service
  • Flat-screen TVs and alarm clocks with iPod docks
  • Coffeemakers and mini-fridges
  • Ear plugs are provided in each room due to fog horns
  • Dog-friendly: Cavallo Point allows up to two dogs in each room, for a non-refundable one-time fee.

 Food

Michelin-starred meals prepared at Murray Circle for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Farley Bar
Farley Bar

Murray Circle is one of the Bay Area's top culinary destinations and has received a Michelin star. It serves Northern California cuisine from chef Justin Everett, and the menu focuses on fresh, local ingredients. The setting is lovely, featuring restored tin ceilings and cozy fireplaces -- the vibe is decidedly clubby and New England-esque. This carries over into Farley Bar, which is named after the popular San Francisco Chronicle comic-strip character of the same name. With leather club chairs, a bar crafted from a fallen tree, and cozy fireplaces, the space is warm and welcoming. Small plates, creative cocktails, and a good selection of wine and beer are served.

In the spa, the Tea Bar is a relaxing place to unwind. It serves healthy tonics, fine teas, healthy salads, and sandwiches throughout the day.

 Bottom Line

This historic property under the Golden Gate Bridge offers sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay skyline. Located in a state park in Sausalito, across the bay from San Francisco, Cavallo Point feels removed from the hustle and bustle of the city even though it is still accessible -- the hotel operates a free shuttle to the ferry terminal. Originally built as an army base in the late 1800s, the hotel has retained many charming historical details in its two main buildings as well as in its Historic Rooms, which were all formerly officers' residences. Contemporary Rooms, on the other hand, were built into the hillside, and have great views, gas fireplaces, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel also features an acclaimed spa with a pool and fire pits, a Michelin-starred restaurant serving regional cuisine, an on-site cooking school, and many outdoor activities such as morning yoga and hiking. But heavy fog can block the views Cavallo Point is most known for and persistent fog horns have prompted the hotel to include ear plugs in every room.

Things You Should Know About Cavallo Point

Address

  • 601 Murray Circle, Fort Baker, Sausalito, CA 94965

Room Types

  • Contemporary Deluxe
  • Contemporary Room
  • Contemporary Suite
  • Historic Deluxe
  • Historic Room
  • Historic Suite
  • The Frank House

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Hotel Features

Pool: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Sausalito, San Francisco Bay Area
Address: 601 Murray Circle, Fort Baker, Sausalito, CA 94965
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