16 November, 2015
Sense of Place

Offering a sweet escape just 15 minutes from the thrum of the beautiful city of San Francisco, Cavallo Point – the Lodge at the Golden Gate is a special place that defies easy definition. It’s a sprawling resort, an award- winning spa, a Michelin-starred restaurant, a historic site, and a nature retreat – sitting, as it does, in a national park at the base of the Marin Headlands and  beside the the Golden Gate Bridge. The icing on the cake? Epic views across the harbour to San Francisco, available from almost anywhere on the horseshoe-shaped property.
Although the Cavallo Point has only been open since 2008, its immaculately restored historic buildings lend it a charming authentic quality. The lovingly maintained Colonial-style structures, previously officers’ quarters on the Fort Baker military base, form the foundation of the resort complex. These are complemented by 74 light and airy ‘contemporary’ rooms and suites, each featuring radiant floor heating, lovely bamboo furnishings and floor-to- ceiling windows, and all housed within a two-storey complex built to exacting green standards, right down to the solar power panels and low-VOC paints and carpets.
Both the historic and modern accommodations feature thoughtful amenities such as organic bedding and deliciously cosy robes and slippers, as well as Cavallo Point’s own signature spa products in the bathroom. And, for those of us with furry travelling companions, pet- friendly suites are available.
Cavallo Point’s own Healing Arts Center is a beautifully appointed spa with an outdoor meditation pool and fire pit, all surrounded by fragrant eucalyptus plants, where one can relax and breathe in the fresh air with a herbal tea or healthy snack prior to a holistic treatment to polish off a truly unique stay.
The resort follows  guiding principles to make it as environmentally responsible as possible, while giving visitors a truly memorable stay and maintaining the historical and cultural significance of Fort Baker. The re-use of historic materials, meticulous landscape restoration with native plants, and plenty of green building elements all contribute to the resort’s LEED Gold certification, awarded in 2010, as well as the Green Seal Environmental Standard for US Lodging Properties.
It doesn’t stop at the certification, however. Throughout the property small measures are taken to help  educate visitors about environmental issues, without intruding on the relaxing holiday experience. The meeting rooms are named after local rare, threatened and endangered species;  eco-friendly  clothing,   books and  local  artisan   designs   are featured in the Mercantile shop; and a variety of informative guided hikes and walkabouts are offered for guests. The art on the walls supports local artists, and the popular cooking classes often feature local produce and healthy recipes.
As part of Cavallo Point’s commitment to sustainability, The   Institute at the Golden Gate was created in partnership with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and National Park Service. The Institute’s purpose is to promote dialogue, collaboration, shared problem solving and action through the gathering of global leaders in the nonprofit, government and business sectors. Its programmes focus on sustainability, national parks, protected areas, environmental arts and communication, and resource conservation. Groups  are  invited   to   host   meetings at special rates,  and  local  residents  in the Bay Area are also invited to discuss environmental topics and attend lectures.
There’s more. Cavallo Point is also a partner of The Good Night Foundation, which is based on the concept that a guest’s hotel night can contribute to doing good in the community and beyond. A four-dollar charitable donation is deducted from each guest’s nightly charge, and contributed to funding programmes that improve health, education, poverty and the environment.
Ultimately, the guest experience is paramount for any resort, and Cavallo Point nails it by balancing genuine concern for the environment and community with impeccable accommodation, service and style. We will be back.
Awards: Winner – ‘Sense of Place’, National Geographic World Legacy Awards 2015; #1 – Best Hotels in the San Francisco Bay Area, Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2015

From US $399 per night
Photos by Kodiak Greenwood

By: Ecozine Staff


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