Cavallo Point - The Lodge at the Golden Gate

Apr 10 2014

Student Spy

On the Road

3 min read

Cavallo Point is more than just a resort, it’s an eco-paradise and wellness destination. Located on the San Francisco Bay in a national park, Cavallo Point features world-class views of the famous Golden Gate bridge, a renowned gourmet restaurant, spa and an on-site photography and art gallery featuring a private collection of acclaimed artists. Minutes from downtown San Francisco, the Marin Headlands and the charming seaside town of Sausalito, Cavallo Point is a luxury lodge unlike any other.

Spas in the San Francisco area offer treatments that range from cutting-edge science to natural and organic, with most offering a blend of the two. As a coastal city, San Francisco is strongly influenced by the ocean, and spas reflect this in their menus with seaweed wraps, salt scrubs and other treatments that highlight the gifts of the sea.

The Healing Arts Center and Spa at Cavallo Point

Cavallo Point Spa has a striking aesthetic, offering ocean views, an outdoor meditation/soaking pool and an on-site café.

The wet sauna is advertised as a "Eucalyptus Steam Room", but on my visit I couldn't detect any eucalyptus in the sauna and it could have used it, as the steam room had a bit of a stale, sweaty smell and the tiles could have used a good scrub, as they were dingy and grey.

Cavallo Point Healing Arts Center and Spa

What were the treatments like?

I tried the Detox Facial, which promised to be "therapeutic and stimulating" integrating "organic seaweed products"  to "replenish the skin, improve skin tone, and calm both the body and the mind". Unfortunately, the facial didn't rock my world. The hand and face massage included in the facial was uninspired and lacklustre, the products used were so-so, (I wasn't wild about the smell or texture and my skin didn't feel all that different afterwards). Perhaps most disappointing was that the special touches I usually love so much were disappointing. Instead of steaming hot towels at the end of the facial, I received lukewarm towels that felt clammy. I also thought it was strange that during an organic detox facial, plastic bags were placed on my hands and then covered by hot warming mitts, trapping my skin in toxic plastic. Overall, I was expecting better from Cavallo.

The meditation pool at Cavallo Point

Food facts

There are two dining options at Cavallo Point Lodge: Murray Circle Restaurant, which is known as a culinary destination in the bay area and features a locavore influence, strongly influenced by its Northern California location. Farley Bar is a more casual dining experience that offers a full menu of gourmet bar food and artisan cocktails and spirits. Room service at Cavallo Point is deluxe. We enjoyed a house-made bagel topped with lox, whipped cream cheese and capers for breakfast during our stay. It was delivered promptly and tasted delicious.

Tea at Cavallo Point

We loved

Our spacious suite was spectacular, with a stunning view of the bridge and San Francisco Bay, a two-sided fireplace, visible from both the bedroom and the living room area, and a two-person soaking tub that had both complementary natural bath-salts and bubble bath. A small outside porch area was perfect for watching the sun go down over the ocean. I also particularly appreciated the Numi organic brand tea that was offered in the room with a special tea kettle for water, as I'm not a coffee drinker and usually need to bring my own teas and heat water in the coffee maker. I also appreciated that the room did not have a mini-bar offering of overpriced snacks.

Service throughout the lodge was impeccable, from the valet who took our car upon arrival and whisked us away in a golf cart to our room, to the front desk clerk and room service waiter, everyone was friendly, personable and eager to help.

Though I didn't have the opportunity to experience them myself, on-site complementary yoga classes are offered morning and evening. Cooking classes are also offered regularly for an additional fee as well as other educational workshops and experiences.

A suite at Cavallo Point

Who would like it? 

San Francisco newbies with money to spend, wellness aficionados, locavore foodies and honeymooners.

For more information on Cavallo Point, visit

What is a good spa? Read the Good Spa Guide article to find out what to look out for!


Student Spy

10th April 2014

Spy Likes:

Good food; friendly therapists; decent music to listen to during a treatment; therapists who understand that exams make you feel really stressed.

Spy Dislikes:

Robes that are too big for people who are only five foot tall; swimming pools with no room to swim; too much healthy food.

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