Finishing up the hotels from our 2014 visit to the Bay Area, I finalize reviews from the trip with our stay at Casa Madrona in Sausalito, CA.
This was a very different stay for us because we decided to ride our bikes over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco to get to Sausalito. You can read my earlier article on biking the bridge to learn about that experience. But, we were excited for the adventure as we have stayed in town before and really enjoyed the quiet charm of the scene. While San Francisco offers more options for activities, Sausalito offers the chance to rest and relax.
For this visit, I decided to try Casa Madrona which had a nice rate for weekday stays. I have stayed at Inn Above Tide in the past (before I started the blog) but their prices were too high for a two night stay. Though, looking back today it is still one of my favorite overnight stays at a hotel. You can actually see the hotel in this video from our ferry ride back to the Ferry Building. It is located on the water right next to the ferry dock.
But this review is for Casa Madrona. Located on the main street of this small art town, the hotel includes a spa. This was a very enticing addition, as I was excited about the idea of a massage following our bike ride, so I booked a massage for each of us along with the rooms.
I was also interested in seeing the new addition to the hotel, a mansion that was located next door that had been broken up into luxury rooms. These rooms cost more, so we ended up in the older section as we could not splurge at that level if I wanted massages. However, I did an informal tour of the new space and it had amazing views and a much more updated style. I think staying in this section might have upgraded our experience.
Upon arrival, we were greeted very warmly and our bikes were put away by the staff. We found our way through the maze of the hotel to our room which had a partial water view and ample space. The bathroom was especially huge, and included both a tub and a walk-in shower.
Though the hotel is priced for a four-star experience, I felt like updates were needed to the room. For example, we had a broken sink, the carpet was industrial, the room did not smell fresh and we were not offered the pillow menu. The spa was also awkward because our appointment felt rushed and to get to the massage rooms, you walk outside of the spa in a public area in your robe. The masseuse was still very good, but it was just not one of my top spa experiences.
On the other hand, there is a very convenient restaurant on the first level of the restaurant, and we were able to pick-up drinks to take to the room each night. There is also a nice looking gym, but unfortunately my husband was not feeling 100% and we were not able to use it.
What we did enjoy is the huge bed and the fireplace as he rested to overcome his oncoming cold. However, we did keep the curtains closed despite the water view because we had a perfect view into the room of another amorous couple. This was rather unfortunate and uncomfortable, but at least the room was big.
Overall, we had a good stay but I am not sure that it was worth the price tag. And after fantastic stays in San Fransisco and also at the Inn Above Tide before, we felt like something was missing. Maybe it felt less-than because those were boutique stays with luxurious additions, but Casa Madrona did not impress us with an above-and-beyond experience.
On the other hand, we really enjoyed our stay in Sausalito again and I look forward to returning on a future visit. But I think next time that we might splurge and return to Inn Above Tide…