The Award Winning, Shining Star of Green Hotels...
Cavallo Point, The Lodge
at the Golden Gate
By Ann Nelson
Point is the perfect destination for eco-conscious travelers and the first hotel on the
National Register of Historic Places to receive LEED certification
from the U.S. Green
Building Council. When it comes to historical restorations, few projects
compare to the brilliant work on display at Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito,
set amongst 45 natural acres on the historic Fort Baker Army Post, was
given a new life as it was transformed into a 142-room hotel within the
grounds of what is now
the Golden Gate National Park. This military base, originally
established in 1905 for the purpose of protecting The San Francisco Bay, served as an
army post until the mid-1990’s. Today Cavallo Point is the perfect
representation of a premier
environmentally-sustainable “base camp” and a model for “adaptive reuse” at its best.
Seventy-five percent of the original
interiors were salvaged
during the remodeling retrofit. Much of the lodge is made up of recycled
materials and non-toxic products. Flat solar panels, drought-tolerant landscaping
and a water-reclamation system save 2 million gallons of water a year. In short, the hotel
strives to promote green hospitality practices and has partnered with sustainability
institutes and community-minded
foundations, including The Institute at the Golden Gate and The Good Night
Foundation. The property is presently under the jurisdiction of the National
Cavallo Point has won numerous
other awards, including the 2013 Travel + Leisure Global-Vision Award in the
Sustainability category and is ranked among the “Top 5 Resorts in the U.S.” by
Travel + Leisure. The lodge is the perfect destination for a wedding or
When arriving at this natural
wonderland, guests have a choice of where to stay. New, contemporary suites
with sustainable designs are perched on a hillside and offer spectacular views
of the Golden Gate Bridge. Impeccably-restored historic
buildings, including Officers’
duplexes and homes, are situated around the 10-acre parade
ground. These elegant and spacious quarters feature original
pressed-tin ceilings, and
fireplaces and foyers with beautiful hand-carved stairways and
porches. Either option will serve as the ideal place to
unwind and take in the
view while rehashing the day’s adventures. All of these special moments may be shared with
your dog by your side. Cavallo Point is pet friendly.
After watching the sunset from
your front porch or from the hillside, it is time to walk across the
parade ground to The Murry Circle Restaurant, one of the Bay Area’s top culinary
destinations. The elegantly-restored
1903 barracks building retains the original tin ceilings and is accented with
fine art photography and warm fireplaces. Menu choices emphasize local, organic
ingredients and focus on California cuisine with a French accent. The
13,000-bottle stellar wine cellar showcases select wines ranging from small
California producers to the best vintages from Europe’s top estates.
asleep in a cozy room
filled with history, while wrapped in the soft scrumptious comfort of organic
cotton sheets is easy. After a good night’s sleep, it’s simply a joy to wake
up, stretch out by the fireplace and look out the windows to the Golden Gate Bridge
shimmering in sunlight.
Explorers, artists and adventurers have been drawn to this area for generations, as it is largely bounded by protected acres
of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, encompassing
over 80,000 acres.
Days may begin with yoga in the
Mission Blue Chapel, a hearty breakfast at The Murry Circle Restaurant or a hike
in the nature trails behind the lodge. Explore the coastal wild lands, ride a
bike, or go kayaking. Monday night is “local’s night” with live music in the Farley Bar.
Wine in the lobby is offered from 4-6 p.m., Saturday to Thursday. Frequent walking tours and guided hikes are
available, including the Golden
Gate Bridge Walk and the History Walkabout. A list of daily activities are
posted in the reception area by the front desk.
Cooking schools are becoming
enormously popular and the
cooking school at the lodge is the best, rated the #1 Hotel Culinary
School by Gayot.com Director Jayne Reichert, along with
world-class guest chefs, will teach and inspire you with their farm-to-table
The Healing Arts Center and Spa, nestled
in the pine and eucalyptus
trees, is the perfect place to design your own personal
retreat. Unwind in the library
lounge by the fireplace, treat yourself to a wellness drink in the Tea Bar, or soak in
the outdoor meditation pool, surrounded by the quiet sound of nature. All body
treatments and baths feature organic or wild-crafted ingredients with a
focus on restoring peace and balance. The spa also arranges private consultations
in energy work, acupuncture, nutrition and other specialized practices
in healthy living.
Integrative Health Packages are offered
through Cavallo Point’s resident doctor, Dr. Brad Jacobs, graduate of Stanford University. He is recognized as a
national leader in integrative medicine, health and
wellness, and has held workshops for Oprah’s “O You!” event. He presents free monthly
lectures at the lodge on topics ranging from stress management, sleeping well
and brain fitness.
Leaving Cavallo Point won’t be easy.
However when time comes, there is a good chance you’ll take a renewed sense of energy, spirit and hope
with you! This valuable piece of history was preserved with loving
care, attention and respect. It seems to me that true conservation at Cavallo Point was more
important than the bottom
line. In today’s world, this is inspirational!
Ann Nelson is a
freelance writer residing in San Diego.
Point Lodge & Community Engagement
Cavallo Point – The Lodge at the Golden Gate - Call: (415)
339-4700 or (888) 651-2003, or contact: www.cavallopoint.com
The National Park Service – The park service cooperates with
partners to extend the benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation
and outdoor recreation throughout the U.S. and the world. Contact: www.nps.gov
The Institute at the Golden Gate - The
institute, in partnership with the National Park Service, advances
environmental preservation and global sustainability. Call: (415) 339-4786 or
Foundation - This foundation partners with leading hoteliers to raise
funds for health, education, poverty and the environment. Contact: