We prized Villa Montagna’s expansive views over moon valley, Sonoma, the Bay area and the nearby vineyards. We found it an ideal getaway home, especially during warm weather months, for a family. Though the guest bedrooms were modest in size, the property’s abundant and inviting social space provided plenty of areas for family members and friends to spend time together indoors and outdoors. Our cooking enthusiast appreciated the large open sunlit kitchen with professional Viking and Kitchen Aid appliances.
What a view! Blessed with fabulous weather, we were curious of what awaited us behind the discrete Inn façade when we arrived at the narrow Inn entrance. Once inside, we marveled upon discovering the magnificent view from our penthouse suite. The Inn’s promotional materials said, “There are hundreds of hotels around San Francisco bay, but only one on it…” It delivered on its subtle promise of a waterside location and surpassed it with attractive accommodations, capable staff and more. From our suite’s desk, living area and porch we had an unobstructed marvelous view of San Francisco and part of Sausalito. If a picture is worth a thousand words, we had many thousands of words of a picture perfect view.
We arrived at Navio, named for the Portuguese ships that first sailed to Half Moon Bay in the 1800s, ready for a hearty meal. After a day of traveling and nothing to eat since breakfast we sacrificed a late lunch for a 45-minute massage at the Ritz spa. From the moment we arrived, we felt welcome and anticipated a pleasant dinner. We spent a delightful evening sampling the chef’s specialties, well paired by Michael, a perceptive and patient wine steward, at this beautiful restaurant by the sea. We relaxed watching an artistic sunset from our window facing table which had a memorable view of the hotel ’s golf course and Pacific Ocean .
What a marvelous way to discover San Francisco ! Our GPS (global positioning system) guided talking GoCar tour in the two passenger yellow “car,” lasted about two hours. Following its prompts we traveled through San Francisco’s greater and lesser known sites in a fun, stimulating and independent way. After a brief familiarization, explanation and experimentation phase that lasted a few minutes, we donned our helmets and were on our way. We stopped at landmarks like the famous Fisherman’s Wharf and viewing spots for picturesque sightings and memorable photo opportunities at our own pace.
: We arrived at Aqua, located on the ground floor of a restored post 1906 earthquake building, early on a Sunday night anticipating we would have the restaurant to ourselves. To our surprise, the popular restaurant was buzzing with the sound of diners’ conversations and meals being served. It was already almost full and remained so the whole night. We floated effortlessly through our delicious multiple course meal while other diners completed their evening and new ones arrived. The large high ceiling dining room, was decorated in muted shades of sepia and gray which created an elegant yet casual ambiance. Two larger than life mirrors drew visitors’ eyes to the side wall and enhanced the feeling of spaciousness.
: Tru lived up to its name. The ambiance, treatments and service we received were as described and better. Our treatments and overall experience were rewarding and memorable. The facilities were aesthetically pleasing and spotless, the treatments excellent and a good value, and the staff competent, polite, and client oriented. The decorative style, centered on crisp, clean contemporary lines, enhanced our confidence. Every room, including the bathroom, we were in was immaculately clean and there was a pleasant scent throughout.