“Every man should be allowed to love two cities — his own and San Francisco.” Gene Fowler
While sitting on the 84th floor at Willis Tower in the heart of downtown Chicago with a cup of coffee and laptop it’s especially warm to remind myself of San Francisco.
City of many visions, cultures and sights, San Francisco is intoxicatingly beautiful, making you to want to come here again and again, every time exploring a new detail.
Commemorated in a multitude of movies, songs and poems, it’s truly a golden handcuff with the key thrown away. Instead of spreading around, it grew up in the hills. Instead of assimilating immigrants, it preserved their communities. Recently San Francisco Bay Area also became one of the biggest U.S. tech hubs, proving yet again that it has so much more to offer.
With so many marvelous spots and destinations, picking the right one to stay in was quite a challenge even for such travel addict as myself. Out of all the variety of any and all possible options, we made our stop at Cavallo Point Lodge. With an intriguing sophisticated slogan “The Lodge at the Golden Gate,” it truly triggered our attention.
Opened in the summer of 2008, Cavallo Point Lodge is an enchanting and truly exclusive place to stay in San Francisco. Located within Golden Gate National Parks at the foot of the famed Golden Gate Bridge, it once was the site of the Fort Baker military base.
Cavallo Point features two types of rooms crafted with character and style. The first type, Historic rooms & suites, once served as officers’ headquarters for Army personnel. There are 68 historic rooms at the hotel, featuring expansive foyers and staircases, authentic tin ceilings, fireplaces, panoramic windows, and spacious front porches. Architectural Resources Group was responsible for the restoration of the historical design, setting the architectural direction.
Second type of the rooms Cavallo Point Lodge offers are 74 newly constructed Contemporary rooms and suites, and this is where we stayed. Set on a hillside, you can enjoy spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge through floor-to-ceiling windows. Waking up with the first sunlight, there is no better view in San Francisco.
Each room has a special collection of Cavallo Point Signature Products, including body lotion, shampoo and conditioner with 100% natural, exclusively formulated scent made with pure essential oils of organic eucalyptus and French lavender, as well as Cavallo Point Signature Lavender Eucalyptus Room Spritz.
Cavallo Point Lodge is not a hotel in a traditional meaning, but more like a town by the Golden Gate. Additionally, to stunning rooms, it also features multiple amenities, including several dining and spa options, and even Cooking School!
Murray Circle restaurant features the French-inspired, ingredient-driven Northern California cuisine of award-winning Executive Chef, Justin Everett and his talented culinary team. Chef Justin sources local, seasonal, farm-focused ingredients selected weekly from the area’s farmers and fishermen.
If you’re looking for a more casual bar menu in a clubhouse-like atmosphere you can always try the adjacent Farley Bar, which also features an outdoor terrace.
Another treasure of Cavallo Point Lodge is an 11,000-square-foot Healing Arts Center & Spa, ranked #4 Top Hotel Spa in the U.S., featuring 11 treatment rooms integrating the best cultural healing practices from around the world. Spa treatments include facials, massages and body wraps, while healing arts services include herbal consultation, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and shamanic journeys. A heated outdoor meditation pool is a focal point for guests, as well as the Tea Bar, featuring teas, snacks and herbal tonics. Spa visitors can also enjoy Guided Meditation Evenings with Tarika Lovegarden on the 1st Wednesday of each month. Based on her Stanford University meditation series, Tarika Lovegarden teaches how to become centered and receptive to your inner strengths and opportunities, as well as the people in your life.
The Cooking School run by Head Chef Tony Adams offers a range of afternoon and evening classes and demonstrations that focus on a variety of topics, such as an ingredient and a geographic region, a cooking technique or the season’s best picks at the farmers market, emphasizing local ingredients and introducing well-known chefs, local producers and vintners.
Located at the very heart of the Golden Gate National Parks, Cavallo Point Lodge grants guests unprecedented access to a multitude of activities, including hiking, biking, bird watching and kayaking. Forming a spectacular 118-square-mile greenbelt stretching 80 miles north to south, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) encompasses more than 30 national park sites, including famous forts, rugged Pacific coastlines, verdant redwood forests and hundreds of miles of spectacular coastline trails. Muir Woods, Angel Island, Alcatraz and the Marin Headlands are all easily accessible from Cavallo Point Lodge. The world-class attractions of San Francisco, Marin, Berkeley, and the fabled wine country of Napa and Sonoma are all a short distance away, and guests may enjoy local farm and vineyard tours, museums, concerts, shopping and sightseeing.
Whether you’re in San Francisco for leisure or business, Cavallo Point Lodge is undoubtedly one of the most exclusive spots to discover the city!
Top five things to do in San Francisco (in no particular order):
1) Travel to Alcatraz Island
Pier 33, B201 Fort Mason,
San Francisco, CA 94122
Discover the site of the maximum security and most advanced U.S. prison of its time, which once became home to Al Capone and other ‘legendary’ figures. Rich in history, there is also a natural side to the Rock—gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views beyond compare.
2) Explore Fisherman’s Wharf
165 Jefferson Street,
San Francisco, CA 94133
One of the most famous waterfront attractions in the area, featuring a range of hotels, specialty restaurants, famous attractions, unique shops, breathtaking scenery and entertainment for the whole family.
3) Drive up (and down) Lombard Street
Known as the “crookedest street in the world,” Lombard Street features grand Victorian mansions and attract millions of tourists each year.
4) Visit Union Square
Designated as a California Historical Landmark, it’s the heart of San Francisco. After a $25-million facelift in 2002, now it’s a true cosmopolitan hub, boasting a huge amphitheater, granite pedestals where street entertainers perform and a tree and flower-lined environment is perfect to enjoy an espresso or an elegant meal.
5) Ride Cable Cars
Since 1873, cable cars have run up and down the hilly city. Seventeen miles of track remain and have been deemed a historical landmark, which allows you to explore the most beautiful parts of San Francisco.