If you want to flop after you shop it can be a long trek up to Sonoma County to the comfort of your bed after taking in the Christmas scene in San Francisco. But instead of blowing your gift money on urban accommodations, cut your drive time in half and stay in the quiet of Marin, where you can decompress by getting out into nature.
The Larkspur Hotel in Mill Valley has recently been reimagined from a corporate Holiday Inn into a cozy, custom inn overlooking peaceful wetlands. And the price is right, starting at $109 a night midweek with a AAA card.
The inn is offering some clever amenities beyond the usual breakfast. It has available to guests free of charge, a fleet of brand new state-of-the-art Specialized Cross Trail bikes for use in exploring the trails of nearby Mt. Tamalpais and Golden Gate National Park. All two-wheelers come equipped with helmets, water bottles and locks, plus a list of trails.
If you’re more inclined to explore nature on foot, the hotel allows guests to borrow a free Hike in a Bag kit, which includes a fanny pack equipped with a water bottle, a small compass, a first aid kit and waterproof trail maps of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Mt. Tam State park. For those who want to conjure up the sensation of camping in the middle of December they will guests the fixings to make S’Mores out at their poolside firepit.
It’s located at 160 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley. 415.332.5700 or Larkspurhotels.com.