160 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, CA
Reservations: 866-823-4669 Hotel: 415-332-5700
Neighborhood: Mill Valley near the border with northern Sausalito. Website and reservations are here. Free parking in lot adjacent to hotel.
The Larkspur Hotel did not appear on the Top Three on the OurSausalito.com Best Hotels List for Winter, 2013
Fast Forward SummaryTM: Recently renamed The Larkspur Hotel in Mill Valley, this is often the least expensive hotel close to Sausalito during the summer. Right by a branch of the Bay, with a jogging-walking-bike trail that runs from the hotel into Sausalito, but almost to three miles away from downtown Sausalito so most guests have a car. This is a very standard mid-range business travel hotel. Note: This hotel is just north of the Sausalito city limits. "Larkspur" is the name of a another nearby Marin County town to the north of Sausalito, but in this case "Larkspur" is a brand name rather than an indication of its location.
Larkspur Hotel: The Details
The Larkspur Hotel in Mill Valley (just north of Sausalito) is going to be a great choice for two groups. Check this place out if you're someone who says things like:
"I don't care how fancy the hotel is, so long as it's clean, safe and comfortable. We're going to spend all our time out and about anyway. We'll use the money we save on the hotel for having fun."
"I'd love to have a hotel right next to a good bike path. We could get up in the morning, ride (or jog, or walk...) down into Sausalito and enjoy the day."
If that sounds like you, this place belongs on your short list of Sausalito hotels.
This is a typical U.S. mid-price business travel hotel. Functional, clean rooms at a good price, nothing fancy. This was until recently a Holiday Inn Express, and if you were happy with other hotels in the chain, you'll probably be happy here. The new owners, Larkspur Hotels, are a much smaller chain and we have already seen online ratings for this place rise since the acquisition.
The best feature of the Larkspur Hotel is that it borders a nature preserve on the edge of Richardson Bay (the arm of San Francisco Bay that is adjacent to Sausalito). A bike path and jogging and walking trail goes directly past the hotel, and extends for a couple of miles down into the heart of Sausalito, where it joins the northern end of Bridgeway. In places the path runs along the edge of the Bay and is a beautiful place for a walk or run or a bike ride.
It's close to 3 miles from the hotel to the heart of downtown Sausalito. Unless you have plenty of time and/or want the exercise, the hotel is too far from the Ferry pier and from downtown Sausalito to walk. A Golden Gate Transit bus stop is nearby, and the bus will take you into Sausalito. Realistically, most guests at this hotel have cars.
The hotel is next door to Frantoio, a good Italian restaurant with a massive working olive oil press displayed in a back room. (Since our hotel ratings cover places adjacent to Sausalito, Mill Valley's Frantoio is not part of the area we cover in our Sausalito-only restaurant rankings.)
This is principally a business travel hotel, so you really save money during the high visitor season in summer and on holidays. Pricing during the cooler months is not that much lower than the downtown Sausalito hotels, which have far more charm and individuality.
The extras like the free breakfast and free parking also represent a significant savings over some competitors. Of course, some visitors think that Lighthouse Cafe, Fred's Coffee Shop, DiVino, Poggio and Taste of Rome make it worth skipping that free breakfast and coming into Sausalito hungry!
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