Scenic waterfront location convenient to Sausalito and San Francisco
Contemporary guest rooms, with mini-fridges, robes, and deep tubs
In-room flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, mini-fridges, and robes
Most units have water views, and some have balconies or patios
Some Junior Suites have wood-burning fireplaces
Free hot breakfast buffet with eggs and an espresso bar
Free coffee, tea, and ice water available in the lobby all day
Free daily wine and cheese reception and fresh-baked cookies
A fleet of loaner bicycles are free for guests to use
Lobby business center and meeting space
Valet dry cleaning and laundry service
Free on-site parking and Wi-Fi throughout
The smallest guest rooms are a cramped 150 square feet
No in-room microwaves, kettles, or coffeemakers
No full-service restaurant or gym on-site
The mid-range Acqua Hotel Mill Valley is a casual, stylish boutique hotel in a scenic waterfront location that's convenient to both Sausalito and San Francisco. It’s just a 10-minute drive north of the Golden Gate Bridge, and a short drive from Mount Tamalpais State Park and Muir Woods. Amenities include a free hot breakfast with an espresso bar, daily wine and cheese receptions, and loaner bicycles. Most of its comfortable 25 guest rooms have water views, and some feature private balconies or patios, but the smallest units are cramped. All come equipped with flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, mini-fridges, robes, and free Wi-Fi, but there are no microwaves, kettles, or coffeemakers. If no on-site fitness center is a deal-breaker, check out the nearby Holiday Inn Express Mill Valley San Francisco Area, which also has a pool.
A modern boutique hotel with a friendly and relaxed vibe
You’ll see mostly tourists at this laid-back boutique hotel, but corporate groups and wedding parties sometimes use its function space. The ultra-modern, concrete exterior looks a bit out of place with the lovely bayfront location, but the attractive lobby has a tranquil and cozy ambience. Simple decor has Asian influences and a fireplace as the centerpiece, with sofas and armchairs covered in purple and chocolate-brown velvet, planters with low ferns, and stone sculpture. The property has footpaths for strolling, and there's a large covered terrace overlooking the water just off the breakfast room. Floor-to-ceiling windows highlight the views and makes the space bright.
On the waterfront in Marin County, about 25 minutes north of downtown San Francisco
The Acqua Hotel is located in Marin County off Highway 101, situated on an inlet of Richardson Bay. Downtown San Francisco takes about 25 minutes by car, depending on traffic. There isn't much in area surrounding the hotel, but there's a Japanese restaurant roughly two minutes away on foot. Sausalito and the Golden Gate Bridge National Recreation Area are less than 10-minute drives, and Mount Tamalpais is 12 minutes by car. Driving to Muir Woods takes about 20 minutes, and Muir Beach is just a few minutes more. The wineries in Sonoma and Napa can be reached in about 45 minutes by car, and San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Oakland International Airport are approximately 40-minute drives.
Contemporary, with mini-fridges, robes, 42-inch TVs, and free Wi-Fi
Contemporary decor takes a somewhat minimalist approach, with a neutral palette that may be a bit bland for some, though spaces are comfortable and pleasant. Walls are kept white and there are padded headboards in cream, with carpeting and fabrics done in a range of hues from beige to taupe. Small framed prints with cobalt-blue and aquamarine desk chairs add color, but it isn't enough to make spaces feel pulled together, and the look isn't as upscale as the hotel's common areas. But most have full or partial water views, and some have balconies or patios.
Rooms are bright, with floor-to-ceiling windows, and furniture has a light-wood finish. There's plenty of storage in armoires with partial glass doors, and upholstered armchairs provide seating in the Deluxe (standard) rooms that come in King, Queen, and Double Queen options. Junior Suites also have sofas in separate living areas, and some feature wood-burning fireplaces. One of the two Junior Suites we saw also had lovely hardwood floors. The King and Double Queen Deluxe Rooms are 215 square feet and Junior Suites are about 300 square feet, but the 150-square-foot Deluxe Queens are cramped. Standard amenities include mini-fridges, bathrobes, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi, but units lack microwaves, kettles or coffeemakers, and safes.
Bathrooms are quite spacious, however, but some have discolored grout on white-tile floors, and there are wall-mounted soap dispensers. Tan or light blue-green subway tile frames shower/tub combos with deep tubs, and Junior Suites have separate soaking tubs and walk-in showers.
Free breakfast and wine and cheese reception, but no gym or full-service restaurant
This contemporary boutique hotel gets its guests off to a good start on their days with a full hot breakfast buffet that includes a waffle station, eggs, and an espresso bar. Coffee, tea, and ice water are available all day in the lobby and the hotel hosts a free wine and cheese reception every afternoon. Free fresh-baked cookies also are available in the evening. There's no full-service restaurant on-site or a gym, but a fleet of bicycles are free for guests to use on the nearby trails. A computer and printer in the lobby serve as the business center, and there's meeting and event space that can host up to 150 people. Valet dry cleaning and laundry is available, and newspapers, Wi-Fi throughout, and on-site parking are free. Pets are welcome with a surcharge in certain rooms.
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