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Casual elegance at dog friendly Cavallo Point Lodge

A Cavallo Point guest and his best friend relax and take-in the SF Bay view from the Cavallo Point grounds.
A Cavallo Point guest and his best friend relax and take-in the SF Bay view from the Cavallo Point grounds.Fran Miller

The sights, sounds, and scents of SF Bay-bordering Cavallo Point Lodge beckon inlanders seeking fresh ocean air. Early morning fog horns (for which earplugs are provided at each bedside), a Golden Gate Bridge view, and the aroma of Eucalyptus quickly and magically transport visitors.

Nestled at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge in Sausalito on what was once the Fort Baker military base, Cavallo Point Lodge blends its National Park setting with relaxed sophistication and an award-winning environmental ethos.

Offering cozy, wonderfully appointed rooms, great food, and endless activities, a stay at Cavallo Point makes even the briefest getaway feel like a full-blown vacation.

Cavallo honors its Fort Baker roots by fully utilizing its 24 Colonial Revival buildings, positioned by the original developers to take advantage of the scenery. The former officer’s quarters are now historic rooms and suites featuring expansive foyers, fireplaces, panoramic windows, and front porches.

The newly constructed contemporary rooms and suites, on the hillside, offer views of the Bridge, and feature sustainable design and construction, and organic bedding and linens. (Cavallo is LEED gold certified - Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design.)

Old-fashioned rocking chairs line the two main building’s verandas; Cavallo is always prepared for unpredictable and ever-changing weather patterns, and for those braving the veranda chill in favor of the view, lofty blankets are offered. Fleece is always in fashion at Cavallo, which, if you neglected to pack, can be found at their on-site boutique, the Mercantile.

On any given day, Cavallo Point is host to couples of all ages, families, wedding parties, corporate retreaters…and well-behaved dogs. Cavallo is extremely dog friendly, offering beds, food, water bowls, and a welcome bag of treats, all for a nominal charge. Dogs are welcome on the main building verandas, and can be seen under foot and table as their owners dine and take-in the view.

Activity seekers will find hiking, morning yoga, or kite flying on the parade ground. Kayak and bike rentals are nearby. The Healing Arts Center & Spa offers state-of-the-art treatments, and a wonderfully relaxing outdoor mediation pool. The Lodge also boasts the Gayot.com #1 rated hotel culinary school where guest lecturers are featured throughout the year.

For dining, Cavallo features Farley Bar and Murray Circle. Farley Bar offers creative cocktails, a small plate menu, and live music on Monday evenings. Murray Circle offers a more refined menu utilizing local ingredients.

A great aspect of Cavallo Point is one need not stay overnight in order to enjoy much of what it offers. The restaurants, adjacent fire pits, veranda rocking chairs and Adirondacks placed throughout the property are all open to day visitors. The instantaneous feeling of retreat can be yours for even just an hour or two.

Rates are generally in the $350 - $700 range, but deals are available mid-week.