How to Pick the Right Sausalito Hotel
I’ve been very lucky and have had the chance to travel to many interesting cities on business. In places like Berlin and Hong Kong I think that your decision on where to stay can produce even more dramatic differences in your experience than the same decision in London or Paris.
Now Sausalito has just 7,000 residents so we’re not in the same league with those big cities, but different travelers on different schedules and with different objectives will want a very different Sausalito hotel.
In the sections below I share different criteria and how to align your trip with these insider tips to get the perfect Sausalito hotel.
Choose by Quality and Price Alone
If you have a reason to stay at a Sausalito hotel and you already know that the only factors are quality and price, we can help. Twice a year we take surveys of Internet sentiment about local hotels and do price checks. You’ll find the latest data on our Best Sausalito Hotels page.
For Vacations & Honeymoons: Should We Stay in San Francisco or Sausalito?
Here are some factors to consider when deciding between a Sausalito hotel and one in San Francisco:
If you’re on your honeymoon or celebrating an anniversary, there are some fabulous Sausalito hotel choices. We list them on our Most Romantic Sausalito Hotels page.
If you like edgy or gritty urban environments and a city with lots of sounds all around you at night: you’ll prefer San Francisco. We have our colorful characters and our under-the-radar retreats, but on those criteria we can’t touch San Francisco.
If you want to be someplace with (relatively) quiet and safe streets at night: Sausalito is a great choice. When I’ve stayed at a downtown Sausalito hotel as part of a corporate event the only loud sound was the last few buses of the evening going down Bridgeway, and they stop around midnight. Hotel Sausalito and Casa Madrona guests in some rooms may faintly hear music from the bands at the No Name Bar but the volume isn’t the kind of thing that will keep you awake. Oh, and we do have the occasional kid blasting his speakers at 200 decibels with the car windows down, as does every town in America!
If you want to go clubbing: San Francisco has lots of clubs. The only dance venue in Sausalito is the Sausalito Seahorse.
If you’re looking for lower hotel prices, the entire Bay Area is expensive but you often get more for your dollar in Sausalito. There is so much demand in the safer neighborhoods of San Francisco that it drives up prices for hotels in those areas. It’s not always less expensive here because there some high-end Sausalito hotels, especially the Inn Above Tide and the Cavallo Point Lodge.
Insiders Tip: The majority of Sausalito hotels are listed on Hotels.com, and it’s easy to compare prices there and see any special deals that are being offered. We frequently see prices on Hotels.com (and on other services that list fewer local hotels) that are significantly lower than the numbers from our spot surveys. Note: Hotels.com has now become one of our sponsors.
If you’re hiking in the GGNRA, Sausalito hotels are going to be a much shorter drive out in the morning and back in the evening. The Cavallo Point Lodge, near the Golden Gate Bridge, is actually located inside the GGNRA.
If you’re planning on using hop-on hop-off buses to tour San Francisco and Sausalito, you can stay in either city. Multiple services serve both downtown Sausalito and the Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf areas of San Francisco. Big Bus Tours has the widest combined coverage of the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito. In addition to the usual downtown Sausalito route, Big Bus has stops at both ends of the Golden Gate Bridge, and at Fort Baker and at the Bay Model. (Note: because of this we sought them out and they are now an OurSausalito sponsor.)
If you want multiple choices for dinners with a great view: Only a handful of San Francisco skyscraper restaurants can rival the top Sausalito view restaurants, in part because you can appreciate the San Francisco skyline when you’re inside San Francisco. We have wonderful nighttime views of the City from places right on the water. We list the best Sausalito view hotels here.
Business Trips to San Francisco
If you’re here on business and have to travel into San Francisco in the morning: You’ll want to be close to the ferry pier (if you’re not driving) or to Highway 101 (if you have a car), since getting from central Sausalito to the highway can take extra time during commute hours.
If you’re driving to the Presidio or Marina districts, Sausalito is an easier place to stay than downtown San Francisco because of traffic patterns. Best choices from our Top Ten Sausalito hotels would be:
- Cavallo Point Lodge, near the Golden Gate Bridge
- Holiday Inn Express, next to Highway 101 in Mill Valley
- Acqua Hotel, next to Highway 101 in Mill Valley
If your business is in the Financial District (FiDi), South of Market (SoMa) or Fisherman’s Wharf then the Sausalito Ferry services will take you to the right area and allow you to skip the traffic. The best choices close to the Ferry pier are all classy and have interesting architecture:
- Inn Above Tide, pricey but with killer views right on the water adjacent to the Ferry pier
- Hotel Sausalito, a Victorian hotel, also right by the Ferry pier
- Casa Madrona, a larger hotel one block from the Ferry pier (sensing a pattern here?), with Victorian and modern wings
- Gables Inn, a small, unique Victorian hotel about three blocks from the Ferry pier