Casa Madrona looks more like a Victorian mansion than a spa or hotel?and, in fact, it once was. Looming large on Sausalito's hillside, overlooking ships sailing in and out of harbor, the building dates back to 1885, when it was constructed for William Barrett, then secretary-treasurer for the San Francisco Gas and Electric Company. It would take more than a century, plus a multi-million dollar renovation that added cottages and new buildings, to transform Casa Madrona into what it is today: a contemporary escape.
The original mansion?now listed on the National Register of Historic Places?still houses guest rooms that overlook San Francisco's shoreline and whatever giant monster is currently terrorizing it. Larger parties can even rent out the hotel's crown jewel: the 5,000-square-foot Alexandrite Suite. But overnight stays are hardly a requirement for visiting, thanks to the full-service spa.
Here, the treatment menu splits luxury into three categories?body therapy, massage therapy, and skincare therapy? and draws inspiration from nature. The Sea to Shore massage, for instance, sees therapists incorporate aromas of rosemary, cypress, and wild ginger, as well as a signature blend of essential oils, to illicit total relaxation. After a treatment, visitors can cap off their evening at the hotel-adjacent Poggio Trattoria, where chefs cook traditional Italian cuisine.
Seated in your kayak, you're surrounded by cerulean waters that stretch out into the horizon. To your left, the San Francisco skyline looms in the shimmering afternoon sun. You drift by a raucous Giants game, a village of houseboats, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Led through undulating waters by American Canoe Association– and Wilderness First Aid–certified guides, San Francisco Kayak & Adventures' nautical tour groups traverse the San Francisco Bay or Sausalito waterfront during the day, at sunset, and under the light of the full moon. The guides lead their groups through calm costal waters in sturdy, closed-deck tandem kayaks, which keep legs dry and don't require typical Flintstone-style paddling. The guides regale their group with area history while pointing out local marine life. They only shepherd about eight paddlers to keep tours intimate and personal and customize paddling instruction to the ability levels of the group.
Guides also help visitors explore the natural world on land during hiking excursions between redwood trees in Muir Woods, along a coastal trail in the Tennessee Valley, and past ghost-town buildings at China Camp Village. To expand visitors' wilderness exposure, they also lead adventures such as sailing, rock-climbing, cycling in the city, horseback riding on the beach, and sleeping in phone booths.
Located in Tiburon, The Lodge at Tiburon is in the business district and minutes from China Cabin and Old St. Hilary's Church. This eco-friendly hotel is within the vicinity of Golden Gate Bridge and Palace of Fine Arts.
Make yourself at home in one of the 103 individually decorated guestrooms, featuring iPod docking stations and DVD players. Complimentary wired and wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming provides entertainment. Bathrooms have designer toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include desks and irons/ironing boards, and housekeeping is provided daily.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Take advantage of recreation opportunities such as a spa tub, or other amenities including wireless Internet access (surcharge) and concierge services.
Enjoy a satisfying meal at a restaurant serving guests of The Lodge at Tiburon. At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a business center, limo/town car service, and dry cleaning/laundry services. Event facilities at this hotel consist of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom. Free parking is available onsite.
Eva Claiborne grew up in Hungary—a country renowned for its rejuvenating hot springs and lavish spas. She received her master's in skincare after five years of graduate training in Budapest, and in 1989, she moved to the United States. Today, she has more than 30 years of spa and skincare experience, which guides her as she treats women and men of every age.
Eva's specialty skincare services work to diminish an array of skin problems, including age spots, rosacea, and portraits of Marty Feldman drawn in permanent marker. Her luxurious Hungarian-style facials, meanwhile, regale faces with lavish treatments, including one that incorporates a 24-karat colloidal gold serum. Her body treatments range from slimming wraps to her own signature "shell and chakras" therapy, which uses aromatherapy oil and seashells to massage bodies and balance chakras.
The products Eva uses are every bit as luxurious as her services, from her own Inderma line, forged from fair-trade ingredients to treat pre- and post-operative plastic-surgery patients, to European formulas such as Omorovicza and Germaine De Capuccini.
The massive plate windows of The Caprice's main dining room afford panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Angel Island, and the rolling hills of San Francisco's East Bay. According to Gayot, these windows have overlooked the same bayside view for more than 55 years. As sailboats effortlessly glide across water within full view of the tables, diners can enjoy a classically inspired menu of New American cuisine that draws almost as much inspiration from French culinary techniques as it does from the nearby ocean waters. The Zagat-rated eatery's menu brims with a variety of seafood dishes. Appetizers of oysters on the half shell with cranberry mignonette appear alongside entrees of halibut with a sundried tomato-almond butter sauce, quinoa, and wilted spinach. At the same time, the chefs' French inclinations shine through in dishes such as the duck breast a l'orange and the rack of lamb with mint-tinged balsamic sauce. Although the international wine list helps guests complete their meal with well paired bottle, Fodor's says that "polishing off the warm chocolate cake with almond ice cream while gazing out at the sunset and porpoises bobbing in the waves below is a near perfect end to the evening."
The aromas of classic Asian cooking fill the air at Lily Kai Chinese Cuisine, providing diners with a hint of what to expect before they even crack a menu. Learn even more about what to expect by reading our list of pre-meal tips:
Five Tips for Your Visit to Lily Kai