Historic Victorian Hotel with Hillside Cottages
New Spa and complete make-over.
In the summer of 1885 Clara and William Barrett stood on the hillside gazing east toward Tiburon, Angel Island, and San Francisco Bay. Recently, they had moved across from the city to the seaport town of Sausalito. On that day the Barrett’s had good reason to feel content with their position in the world, for they had just settled into their new home, a luxurious “casa” built in the face of the sharp cliff overlooking the town center.
California-style, luxury homes hug the
Marin hillsides along San Francisco Bay.
The location presented a wide-angle view of the Bay and its islands, teeming with powerful freight ships, elegant yachts, and side-wheel, paddle-ferries that connected inhabitants of Marin and San Francisco before the 1937 opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. More than a century and a quarter after they took residence, the Barrett’s great house is still there, and in 1980 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a treasured landmark.
A terrace view over Bridgeway Street
toward the city’s century-old marina.
The magnificent view, which the Barrett’s enjoyed then, can be found today at Casa Madrona; the historically hip, now chic, 63-room hotel offering guests the best location in Sausalito. And this is the time to visit; the hotel has just opened a new chapter in its rich 126-year history with the completion of a multi-million-dollar renovation.
The destination has always been a romantic hideaway for San Francisco and California residents – now savvy travelers from farther afield will enjoy the hotel’s extensive makeover. The year-long project included top-to-bottom guestroom renovations, and the addition of a new 3,000-square foot spa.
“The combination of a rich history, the property’s hillside, and oceanfront location is what gives Casa Madrona such a strong sense of place,” says Ryan Schoen, General Manager of the hotel.
The Redesign is a delicate balance of history and modernity.
Drawing inspiration from the sea, sky and its own unique features, the new design pays homage to cottage accommodations and the Barrett mansion, an architectural beauty with original details still intact in ten “Victorian rooms” located atop the property. The goal of the renovation was to refresh and modernize Casa Madrona while preserving its history. For instance, cottage bathrooms and the new Spa now have bottle-green countertops and shelving created from recycled sea glass – dynamic touches that play off the area’s nautical life.
Small, stained-glass windows from the original hotel
are preserved throughout Hillside Cottage rooms.
Similarly, lobby signage displays the Casa Madrona logo on sailcloth – hung and backlit against an ocean blue wall behind the front desk. The lobby has 30-foot ceilings and a fireplace inspired by the hearths in each of the hotel’s 22 hillside cottages. Bookcases extending 25-feet on each side of the lobby fireplace are lined with reference works on the marine and artistic heritage of Sausalito.
Guests are invited to sit by the fire that warms the
reception area and read of Sausalito’s marine history.
Renovated features – glass-enclosed
showers and modern fixtures.
The redesign of Casa Madrona can be seen as a backdrop to the incredible view that greets guests – essentially, the same as the Barrett’s enjoyed in the city’s first days. Morning, noon and night, the quality of the light, the sea sounds and views are breathtaking. Newly renovated Cottages, located on the hillside above, offer casual elegance; rooms face the water and many have balconies offering vibrant bay views. The Cottages provide spacious accommodations ranging in size from 530 to 800 square feet. Thirty-one “contemporary rooms” fit brilliantly in a newly renovated wing designed with bayside-style décor. The rooms boast high ceilings, four poster, king-size beds, and luxurious bathrooms with over-sized soaking tubs. Some are loft style with the upstairs bedroom area accessible by stairs; many face the Bay, while others face the Courtyard.
The spa’s nail room awaits your manicure.
Guest room amenities smooth your stay:
Televisions with cable service
Ralph Lauren bedspreads
Starbucks coffee and Tazo tea
In-room coffee maker
Extra pillows and blankets
Telephones with data ports
Voicemail and speakerphones
Alarm clocks and/or wake-up calls
Daily housekeeping services
Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout
Valet parking ($24/night)
A new kid on the block, this spa aims to compete.
The Spa at Casa Madrona describes itself as “centered on the life-giving power of water therapy through an extensive menu of nourishing treatments.” Newly appointed Spa Director, Karen McFarlane, is a passionate devotee of wellness, healing and beauty therapy, and among the first items on McFarlane’s list was securing new product lines. She selected from both Body Bliss Pino Spa Therapies, and Thalgo skin care, which are derived from ocean elements and rely on natural or organic ingredients. In addition, McFarlane is working with a local botanist to develop products for massage and body treatments that include organically sourced herbs and plants.
The spa lounge where you’ll relax in simple
sophistication before or after your treatment.
The spa menu includes massages, body therapies, skin therapies and nail care. Bringing ancient wisdom into modern day, those same elements reflect Casa Madrona’s unique location with Shore (Earth), Wind (Air), Sun (Fire) and Sea (Water) finding their way into treatments.
“We’re thrilled to have Karen on board to launch our newly renovated spa,” says GM Schoen. “Karen brings both spa and hospitality experience, and we’re delighted to hand her a big opportunity to oversee what is sure to become one of the best spas in the area.”
The Spa at Casa Madrona is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. For reservations call 415-354-8308
Gourmands summoned to nearby
California-infused, international cuisine!
Sausalito boasts some of the Bay Area’s best,
most-innovative restaurants – all nearby.
Gimme’ sushi or seafood, maybe pizza and pasta – any way you like it, this colorful locale boasts some of the most innovative and imaginative cuisine in the world. Bon Appétitmagazine has ranked San Francisco and the surrounding Bay area as one of the top five restaurant destinations in the United States.
Pick one of the sometimes superb, frequently
funky restaurants only a few blocks away:
Sushi Ran — This creative Japanese Pan-American Sushi fusion restaurant has been awarded a prestigious Michelin star. The sushi chefs are top notch and the Sake selection is one of the best in the state of California (6 blocks)
Angelino’s — Bringing a taste of Southern Italy to Sausalito, Angelino’s cuisine ranges from classic Pizza Margherita and exotic Insalata Polpi con Patate (octopus salad) to Fettuccine Bolognese (fettuccine in a meat sauce) and Pollo alla Diavola (spicy chicken). (1 block)
Scoma’s — This waterfront restaurant serves seafood and pasta dishes against a beautiful backdrop of San Francisco Bay. (2 blocks)
Spinnaker — Located on Richardson Bay, this waterfront restaurant serves seafood and pasta dishes. (2 blocks)
Lighthouse Café — This popular, 30-seat restaurant melds classic American dishes with Scandinavian specialties – such as Norwegian Salmon and Danish Meatballs – for a truly unique dining experience. (4 blocks)
CIBO — Open for breakfast and lunch this café and bakery, specializing in local and natural foods will satisfy your sweet tooth or savory wishes. (3 blocks)
Fred’s — A historic breakfast option in Sausalito, home to mouthwatering classics, including a mind blowing French toast. (1 mile)
Get a taste of extraordinary, Bay-area
lifestyle any day of the year.
A 19th Century shipbuilding port, Sausalito hosts hundreds
of sailboats along scores of waterfront marinas.
The official poster of the 2011 Sausalito Arts
Festival is a scene drawn from
the hotel’s street-side restaurant.
Blessed with excellent weather, unusual boutique shopping and spectacular waterfront views, Sausalito is often compared to the Mediterranean Riviera. Casa Madrona places travelers in the heart of one of America’s premier art communities and within proximity to San Francisco and wine country. From heart-racing outdoor fun to playful marine life to the storied Alcatraz —activities and attractions near Sausalito include: sailing, kayak and wooden boat tours, Stinson Beach, Muir Woods National Monument, Bay Area Discovery Museum, Angel Island State Park, and the Sausalito Marine Mammal Center.
Each Labor Day weekend the Sausalito Arts Festival showcases more than 250 painters, photographers, craftsman, jewelry and fine glass designers, mixed media artists, woodworkers and sculptures for a three-day fest that draws some 35,000 art lovers who flock to the festival for art, music on two stages, gourmet food and wines from beloved California wineries.
Ask for a Casa Madrona stay package.
Overnight accommodations in a Courtyard King Room, a $30 gift certificate for breakfast at CIBO — wake up with steel-cut oatmeal or vegetable hash, a $100 gift certificate for dinner at award-winning Sushi Ran for jumbo bay scallops and a variety of sushi rolls. The Simply Sausalito package starts at $177 and is available seasonally.
Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa
801 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965
Phone: (415) 332-0502
Fax: (415) 331-3125
U.S. Reservations: (800) 288-0502
— Feature by Jim Hollister, Jetsetters Magazine Luxury Travel Editor. Photos by Jim Hollister and courtesy of Casa Madrona.