More about Cavallo Point
Not what I requested but okay in the end......
My husband and I booked one of the historic rooms for a two night stay at Cavallo Point. Upon check in, we were told that we'd been "upgraded" to another room because they had "a full house". When we were driven to our room (on the back side of the property - room 2203), we found that we'd been upgraded to a junior suite in one of the contemporary buildings. While the room was technically an upgrade, it was not what I'd requested and I was a little disappointed. Our room was nice by any standard, but it was not the experience I'd hoped for.
We went down to the bar and inquired about dinner at the only resturant at Cavallo Point, Murray Circle. We were told that the resturant was booked for an event, but that we could order from the bar menu. I asked about dinner for the next night and was told they were again totally booked. I completely understand that my requests were last minute, but the only other dining options offered to us were a very limited bar menu and an even more limited room service menu. My advice: either plan ahead or pack a lunch...there's not much to eat around here!
Almost everyone with whom we interacted was pleasant and willing to assist, when possible. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience - even if it wasn't what I was anticipating!
Tranquil Setting, Contemporary Design
We stayed a week at Cavallo Point over 4th of July. As people who travel frequently for business we're often ready to get home after a few days in a hotel room. Not so with Cavallo Point. We could have happily stayed another week. This property is on an old army base. That sounds like of odd, but it's actually very well done, and it's located near great nature opportunities. It's just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, 5 minutes from the charming seaside town of Sausalito and the Marin Headlands hiking area. Plus it's well situated for day trips to the wine country. The grounds are very pretty, they have outdoor gathering areas and fire pits, and a nature area encircles the property. From our room we saw deer, red-tailed hawks, hummingbirds and a coyote.
We stayed in a Suite in the newly constructed Contemporary Buildings with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. It was large and well designed with nicely done modern finishes like slate and bamboo. There was no need for central AC/heat because the windows opened for cool breezes, the floor had radiant heat, and there was a double sided fireplace to also warm the space. The bathroom was thoughtfully designed with a big tub and two sink areas. We found the open design of the shower to be a little breezy, but it was big and had great water pressure. There was a high window that spanned the length of the bathroom that offered great views of the nature area behind the hotel. We also enjoyed the private deck and sitting in a love seat that had windows on 3 sides. The living room had a flat panel TV and a wet bar area with coffee pot and mini fridge. People who are not fit might consider a room that's not so far from the entrance. Cars are not allowed to park up by the Contemporary buildings. So it's a good hike up about 100 stairs to get there, but the hotel has golf carts that will gladly take you to and from your room. We enjoyed the extra exercise.
Service at Cavallo Point was very friendly. When we checked in they gave us a suite on the ground floor and we decided we wanted to move to a 2nd story room with a little better view. That took a few phone calls but they did accommodate us. We were a little surprised when we checked out that they had charged us $4 per night on the nights we accepted their turn-down service. Oh well, we did get a couple of bottles of water with that. Parking was $20 per day with valet service mandatory but it was efficient.
We did not try the main restaurant or their room service but did eat in the bar a couple of nights. It had a fun atmosphere and most of what we ordered was good. If you go into Sausalito be sure to try Angelino's -- really good Italian food.
They offer free yoga in the mornings and other daily activities like nature hikes. And there is a new spa where I got an excellent massage. Cavallo Point is on the high end price-wise, but we left feeling we got a good value. We would definitely return or recommend it to friends.
Quietute, Quality and Quintessential Service
Well, the five-star, boutique hoteliers of Big Sur's Post Ranch Inn, Maui's Hotel Hana Maui, Fiji's Cousteau Inn and Sea Ranch have done it again with the new Cavallo Point, The Lodge at the Golden Gate.
In need of a much-deserved mini vacation from Carmel to Elsewhere, my wife and I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge in thick fog and, as we peered below, we got our first peek at the sun-drenched Fort Baker Coast Guard Station buildings basking in sunshine.
We took the first exit to Sausalito and meandered to the old-fashioned red and white buildings at the retired military base. We checked in and, person-by-person, we discovered a new world of hospitality just two hours from home.
Everyone greeted us warmly and made us feel welcome as were escorted in a golf cart to a very contemporary new room above the more traditional rooms in the elegant, refurbished military buildings surrounding the parade grounds below.
The details in the rooms are stunning. From the contemporary ceiling fans to the gravity shower, from the two-sided fireplace to its second use as a closet---nice touches, surprises everywhere: from the friendly comfort of Farley’s Bar to the casual elegance of Murray’s fine dining restaurant.
We had superb service from our server, Sierra, and even met the executive chef, Joseph, who stopped by our table to chat. After enjoying our first gourmet meal at Murray’s, we invited some friends in Marin for a second evening of dining delights.
The hassle-free and complimentary internet access was another delightful surprise. My wife enjoyed a facial in the Spa and I’m hoping for a massage tomorrow before leaving. The Mercantile Shop carries unusual resort and gift items that was a unique shopping experience all by itself.
The ceilings in the public areas were as classy as the public facilities were contemporary. Everywhere, every staff person exuded the spirit of hospitality and could not have been more pleasant. It was also a treat to leave the car behind and access our room only by electric cart, which allowed total quietude with so many nice touches....
As I sit at the desk in our room writing this, I have a clear view of both towers of the Golden Gate Bridge framed between the Eucalyptus trees. With every change of light and summer fog, like a Japanese painting, this “bridge of bridges” is mesmerizing, calming, inspiring. I took several photos capturing many moods of the bridge.
Return? I’m looking forward to becoming exhausted again soon so we can take another five days for a refreshing retreat.
perfect local get-away
When the grandparent’s offered to watch the grandkids for a night so we could celebrate our anniversary we wanted to find something close-by so we wouldn’t waste all of our kid-free time driving somewhere, just to turn around and drive home. We’ve done the wine country a lot so this time we decided to try Cavallo Point. It so far surpassed our expectations that I just wish we had more than one night to enjoy all it has to offer.
Our room (in what used to be a military quarter) was absolutely huge and so comfortably decorated it felt like we were in a lovely home, and not a hotel. It is really nice to see the juxtaposition of old with new, and we loved sitting out on the large wrap-around deck watching boats sail through the bay.
The spa is gorgeous and although we didn’t have time for treatments we did have a chance to use the soaking pool (101 degrees!) and steam/hot tub in the locker rooms. We couldn’t believe the spa use was free for hotel guests – we’re so used to getting nicked with a ‘day use’ charge for those kind of extras! What a treat.
We had a fabulous dinner in the restaurant (Murray Circle) where the food and the service were both flawless. With young kids we find it hard to make time for a nice meal, so when we are finally able to head out to something besides grilled cheese we hate more than ever to end up disappointed. We feel extremely lucky that this was one of the best dining experiences we’ve had in years. It provided everything we had hoped for - inventive food, relaxed service and a great overall vibe. And after dinner we had a drink in the bar – sat in huge leather chairs and had the best sidecar cocktail I’ve ever tasted! What a perfect way to end the evening.
In the morning my husband walked up to get a coffee from the restaurant, but came across delicious complimentary coffee, muffins and croissants at the front desk. Those ‘value-added’ things sure do jump out.
The nicest thing about this place is that it is good for all types of travelers. At check-in and check-out we saw couples, families, special occasions like us, and people arriving for a business trip. So even though it was perfect for our anniversary we’re now looking forward to going back with the kids to explore the north bay.
Disappointing; Very Poor Experience
I use Trip Advisor frequenty to check on hotels, but I have never written a review before. I hesitate to bother to write this review because my experience was so ridiculously bad you might think it's just me!
First of all, I agree with the several previous negative reviews of this hotel. The recurring complaints about service and readiness cannot just be anomalies.
We have been guests in the past at the Post Ranch Inn, so we had high expectations, but Cavallo Point is a joke compared to the PRI, and the owners should be embarassed.
Why? In short, amateurish, clueless, staff and service, and too many kinks not worked out for this hotel to be open. They should wait until all construction is over and the staff is properly trained before opening their doors and charging full tariffs for such a poor quality experience. Here's why:
--We arrived at 2:30pm or so, and since we figured it was too early for check-in we went to have lunch in the small bar fillled with day tourists. Why the bar? Because the restaurant had just closed (even though, clearly, with a line of guests and tourists at the door, they might want to extend their hours a bit). The bar had a VERY limited menu (and please don't order the $15 crabcake appetizer -- I think they are frozen, and if they aren't, there is no excuse for how bad they are). The bar has very limited seating but there are these silly high round tables in the middle of the room, but with no chairs -- don't ask to move any of the bar chairs to those tables cuz you can't -- they are getting chairs for those tables, some day.
--After an overpriced and uninteresting lunch we walked next door to reception at 10 minutes before 4:00 (check in time). There were two people behind the desk but only one was doing check-in so we waited. When it was our turn, we were told by the young woman at the desk that our room wasn't ready yet, according to the computer, and she then informed us that "check-in is at 4:00". I laughed and pointed out it was now 5 mins to 4:00, so should I just wait there until 4:00, or what? She said she'd check on the room and then disappeared for a few minutes. She returned (it's now 4:00) and said oh, yeah, it's ready.
--We were driven up to our room in a shuttle by a very nice bellman who spoke proudly about the property (we were still excited about it at this point). I was traveling with my young adult daughter and we had requested two queen beds. Our room looked okay, but a bit barren. The building it was in was a new one, right next to an ongoing construction sight. I had opted not to pay $450 (instead of $350) for a room with a bay view, so I wasn't expecting a great view. BUT, I also was not expecting to look out of the window of our ground floor room and see a tractor RIGHT OUTSIDE THE WINDOW and a gigantic Hertz equipment bin sitting in a pile of dirt off to the right!! Again, I had to laugh! I called the front desk and asked if they had any other rooms cuz we didn't think they should be renting rooms in front of the construction equipment, especially if they weren't at full capacity. I was told there were no more 2-queen rooms available. This was after the bellman had just told me the hotel was at about 60% capacity, and clearly the building we were in was pretty empty. The bellman said that he overheard my call to the desk and that he was really sorry about this because he agreed the room was not acceptable (he also didn't think we should be paying to look out at a tractor), and that there were in fact other rooms available. He was genuinely embarassed and said just wait, I'll take care of this and I'll be right back. Sure enough, he returned with keys to another 2-queen room two buldings over (still no bay view, so not a courtesy upgrade, but better) and helped us move in. I just want to say I was incredibly impressed by his actions and realized not all sense of service is lost in this world! Kudos to the bellman who took it upon himself to do the right thing!! We never received a word of any kind of apology or acknowledgment about the move from reception.
--We were going into SF for dinner and a party on Saturday evening and when we arrived down at the valet station there was no one in sight, except another couple also looking for the valet! A harried young valet eventually came running up and apologized. We were all fine with it, since clearly he was overworked and couldn't keep up, and we told him if he gave us our keys we'd walk back up the hill to get our own cars, which we did. On the way to our cars, we chatted with the couple (who were there for a romantic getaway) and we all agreed the place had a lot of kinks to work out.
-- We returned to the hotel from SF just after midnight and went to valet park (as we were told was required) but we couldn't find a valet, or anyone else, and the property seemed deserted. We drove ourselves around the property until we found an empty space in a dirt parking lot somewhat in the general vicinty of our room. We stumbled around in pitch darkness (oh, yeah, we had the room key light!) in the dirt, right past that tractor (oh, the construction sight!) trying to make our way to our room. This was actually funny since I'd begun to give up on the hotel by then!
--The next day was check-out for us (we were only staying one night). Since we'd been out late in SF we wanted to sleep in. I forgot to put out the Do Not Disturb placard, and sure enough, inexplicably, maid service banged on our door at 9:30am and would not stop until I got up to answer the door. Maid service at 9:30am? TO DO WHAT?? Clean the room??? We were leaving!!! Did I mention we did not get a turndown service the night before??? For a resort that is supposed to be luxury level, turndown should be automatic.
--Brunch on Sunday? Nope, all full. Day tourists and all. Oh well, glad not to have another reason to be disappointed...
--The coup de grace? During the move to our new room, the bellman left my daughter's dry cleaning in the other room's closet. We called downstairs to ask to have it retrieved, but it did not arrive before we went into SF for dinner, so we asked them to just put it in our room. When we got back that evening, it wasn't there so we called down to recpetion. They still had it and said we could get it when we checked out. When we checked out the next day, they forgot to give it to us and we forgot to ask for it. I called from the airport and asked if they could UPS it to my daughter. They said fine, but before I could give them all of the address info, the young woman demanded to know how I was planning to pay for the shipping charge. I was appalled, not so much at the idea of paying, but at being so rudely interrupted, and her tone was so incredibly inappropriate under the cicumstances! I couldn't believe my ears. Yes, you could say it was partly our fault that the dry cleaning was left, but also partly theirs, and after paying a $774 bill for a less than stellar one-night experience, that seemed like the last straw. I didn't argue, I just told her to find out the shipping costs and call me on Monday about it. Bascially, I just decided to completely give up on this place and chalk it up to a bad experience best soon forgotten.
This is not the way a top class hotel should operate. I think some of the staff are just too young, inexperienced, and immature to understand good service and correct attitude, and they seem to have a strange air of self-importance, bordering on arrogance. We had just come from a really pleasant stay at the Four Seasons in Palo Alto before arriving at Cavallo Point so the contrast was especially striking. Cavallo Point should either learn from the Four Seasons or adjust their pricing and self-proclaimed level of luxury.
Also, this place is not as great a romantic getaway spot as it might appear from the website. It does not have a secluded feeling at all. The setting, former military baracks, is odd-looking, and feels very open to the public (why pay top dollar when you can just drive out, have lunch, enjoy the view from the oversized and unkempt grassy knoll, right alongside the paying guests, and just go home?). Be aware that the website does not represent very well what this place actually looks like -- we were quite surprised by the appearance and how many people were randomly walking around. I expected it to be much more woodsy and bucolic, like the luxury retreat it appears to be on the website. I also did not find the room decor to be very beautiful or of great quality. For a new room, ours seemed to be already wearing badly (I actually had a torn bath towel!!).
-- The spa and the massages were great!! Only there did I feel like this was a class operation. However, someone should have thought of making the jacuzzi big enough for more than two people at a time. It's just not fun sitting cheek to cheek (so to speak) with naked strangers!!
Make your own decision, but I cannot reccommend this place to anyone. It is far too expensive for what it offers and how it operates.
A ruined romantic getaway
We had a confirmed reservation for a "bayside room," but our view was of asphalt and some old garages. As the hotel is on a bay, we expected a "bayside room" to have a bay view. When I inquired, I was told that "bayside room" refers to a room type--i.e., size and layout.
When I requested a glass of cabernet sauvignon by the name of the winery, I was told that the hotel was offering another wine that was comparable. However, when I got the bill that glass was $30, 2.5 times the price of the one I initially requested.
Check-in was pleasant, but check-out was not because I commented on our negative experience. One staff member was defensive and another surly.
We stayed at two other less expensive hotels in the area during the week. Each had a water view and reasonably priced wines.
Ok for 1-2 Night stay--Valet parking makes little sense
Location, location, location! This was a fun location. The room was somewhat overpriced and they pushed their services and anything else to improve their cash flow. The front desk service needs improvement. The rooms were mostly vacant (<50%) during our stay. Upon check-in we asked for a room that didn’t have as the only view the parking garage and they were willing to switch us, but wanted a premium price; so we kept the room with the sucky view. The title of the room suggested a bay view! The food service was average or maybe a little less than my expectations. We had our own dinner on the covered porch in the evening, which was great. Parking makes absolutely no since to me. My point of view may be different because I have been trained in customer satisfaction and to make things efficient & convenient when possible. This leads to the valet parking issue. You can pay to have someone drive & park your car for you and then you need to have them bring your luggage along with you in a golf cart to your room (house). Now, when you want your car you will need to get transportation back to the valet or walk. The thing that makes sense is to be able to park your vehicle in front of the housewhere you are staying. There is plenty of parking room on the one way street in front of the houses(their employees drive the wrong way on the street). That way you can easily get about without un-necessary delays and related expenses. In conclusion, the valet is for them to make money and not to provide a convenience for their customer. This issue really needs to be addressed. Get the AAA discount, which helps with the expenses. By the way, I don’t think it is close in comparison to the Ahawahnee as I had read before we made our reservations. In conclusion, a fun one or two night place to stay, but I recommend you not stay much longer unless you see it first.
went for business, extended for pleasure
Had to go to a little, quick business conference for work, and was so impressed and curious about this place... I called my lady over and we spent the weekend there when business subsided!!!!
Less than two minutes off the bridge, and you end up in a national park, at a stunning lodge... seemingly in the middle of Yosemite? Then spin around and remind yourself you are a stone's throw from one of the most exciting and culturally active cities in the world. Quite a juxtaposition.
Contemporary room with a view - it was awesome. They say it is LEED GOLD, or going for it... and I can tell.... but it was quite nice that being green didn't impact the amenities of the room.
Most comfy bed I have slept in in years.
Didn't have a spa appointment, but toured it with a free glass of something greenish. Not sure what it was, but it tasted yummy. The spa is BEYOOOOTIFUL! Just stunning.... No one seemed around, so it was nice to be there before it was out and out swamped with business
The restaurant - pricey, but worth it. Best wine list I have seen in years. Farley Bar... same food, basically. Service was good. Best Burger I have ever had. The brunch, I thought, was a bit much at $18.... but the GORGE YOURSELF UNTIL YOU DIE aspect was amazing. I went back a couple times for the best fruit and granola I have ever had... meh to the chaffing dish quiche and bacon and sausages, nothing too special....
Without a doubt, tho... best croissants and muffins I have ever had in my life. Including France, this is the best pastry chef I have ever seen... the bread, the chocolate croissants... everything... SOLID.
I am really excited to watch this place develop... and will be back in the coming months to enjoy it!!!
Dog friendly... my pooch came too!
My family, including my children 2 y and 4 y, visited Cavallo for a wedding. It was wonderful! We stayed 2 nights in a 2 bedroom suite in one of the older homes. Although the stairs were a good workout up to the 3rd floor unit, we loved every minute. The staff acknowledged us throughout our stay, the dining room staff was accommodating and nice to our children, and the glorious grounds were a wonderful place for us all to run. And my kids loved the discovery center also located at Ft. Baker.
Urban escape still ironing out some wrinkles
My husband and I stayed as part of a larger wedding party. The grounds and the facilities themselves are beautiful. It's a priceless view with the Golden Gate bridge in the background juxtaposed to the skyline of San Francisco. Some other member of the wedding apparently had some check in problems (i.e. waiting 1.5 hours for the room to be cleaned, then inspected, and then failing inspection because it was missing a hanger.)
With this in mind, we stayed in a historic building and while I've read some problems about climate control, ours was more an issue of heat rather than cold. The historic buildings apparently hold their heat much more than the contemporary building. We needed an engineer to come out to fix our gas fireplace, but the heat levels still stayed high. Sadly, the only option for cooling was a ceiling fan, not doing too much for us in our two night stay.
Other than this though, my husband and I truly enjoyed everything the resort had to offer. The gym is very modern with good equipment. The grounds are beautiful (while fighting a bit of jet lag, we watched the sunrise down by the water next to the bridge watching birds fight over crabs, spotting a sea lion and in the distance a coyote and deer).
The rooms are beautifully appointed with high end hotel expected amenities (fireplace, BOSE iPod speakers, soaking tub, rain shower, flat screen TV, and gorgeous bed).
Staff goes out of their way to help you with anything and you feel they sincerely want to do whatever they can.
Highly recommended for a weekend getaway.
The High Road and Low Road
One of Two Deck Areas
Hurricane Richard (I know that guy)
Walking Along the Street