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The Award Winning, Shining Star of Green Hotels...

Cavallo Point, The Lodge at the Golden Gate

By Ann Nelson
 



Cavallo 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, California. 

The lodge, 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 Park Service.

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 retreat.

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.

Falling 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 concepts.

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.


 

Cavallo Point Lodge & Community Engagement

Contact Information

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 contact: www.instituteatgoldengate.org 

The Goodnight Foundation - This foundation partners with leading hoteliers to raise funds for health,       education, poverty and the environment. Contact: www.goodnightfoundation.org