Earlier this year while staying in San Francisco, a friend and I took a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and ended up in the charming, yacht friendly town of Sausalito.
A favorite getaway for San Franciscans, this quaint bay side community bustles with commerce, restaurants and tourism. We paused for a lunch break, and happened to stumble upon the café below the historic Casa Madrona, one of the oldest and most frequented hotels in town.
Turns out the “casa’s” history goes back to 1885 when William Barrett, Secretary-Treasurer for the San Francisco Gas and Electric Company, built a lavish home on the hillside overlooking the center of Sausalito.
With wide views of San Francisco Bay and ideal access via the ferries and yachts that populate the waters, the property eventually became a hotel and bed & breakfast in 1906, enjoying a steady success for nearly 40 years.
Since then, the building was used as lodging for military families during WWII, became a hangout for beatniks and then celebrities in the ’50s and ’60s, was threatened with demolition after devastating mudslides, saw major renovations that included 16 new bungalows, more rooms and a spa, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, it thrives once again as a glorious hotel, inviting a new set of travelers eager to experience the delights of historic Sausalito.
Recommended Resort: Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa. Ten minutes from Downtown San Francisco and a short drive from Napa and Sonoma, and Sacramento, Sausalito makes for an easy and enjoyable getaway for many Northern Californians.
With new additions, the hotel now offers 63 guest rooms in two very unique architectural styles.
The legacy of the original Victorian gingerbread mansion survives in the rooms and cottages that make up the 32-room Historic Section, while the new contemporary building boasts streamline and modern accommodation with luxurious bathrooms and linens.
Check In: 801 Bridgeway in Sausalito. 800-288-0502, casamadrona.com.
Check Out: Shopping and dining in Sausalito. One of the big perks of a Mini-Moon in Sausalito is easy walking access to all this town has to offer.
The streets are full of fun shops, from great gift boutiques to seaside décor specialists. Like neighboring city San Francisco, the tiny enclave is also home to some great eats, with colorful menus that range from sensational seafood to excellent Italian eats.
Some highlights include Piccollo Teatro, a wonderful setting with Venetian-style tapas, Scoma’s Sausalito, a waterfront eatery overlooking San Francisco Bay, and the Lighthouse Café, a popular restaurant that blends American and Scandinavian specialties.
Don’t Miss: The Spa Getaway. One of the best additions to Casa Madrona in recent years is the relaxing spa facility. Intimate and invigorating, the hillside spa is the perfect way to start or cap off a day of shopping and dining.
Whether a signature massage or facial, the expert staff will leave you more refreshed and revived. If you prefer something in the comfort of your room, your therapist or technician will gladly bring the service to you.
Blog Post by Always a Bridesmaid Columnist Darren Elms.
Photos courtesy of Casa Madrona
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