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By Michael Hepworth

San Rafael , just about 15 miles North of San Francisco is an ideal place to stay when visiting the city giving its local access to Sausalito and the Napa Valley wine region.  A recent visit there saw us staying at the San Rafael Four Points by Sheraton, a perfect place to stay in the area, and really good value. The hotel is only one of three “chain” hotels in San Rafael , but don’t let that put you off in staying here.  Average price of a room is $131, so if you are expecting a 4 to 5 Star experience then this is not the place for you, but considering that the hotel is only a 2-star, it is terrific value.  Although the hotel is located close to the freeway, insulation in the rooms is so good that the noise is completely obliterated, at least if you are looking onto the pool. The hotel has just gone through a major renovation, and it clearly shows, although even the manager admits that the elevators are really in bad shape and extremely small and very slow. 

The front desk is maintained 24 hours, and we were very well treated considering that we screwed up our departure time, got lost on the way and arrived in the middle of the night. Parking is free, and there is a fitness center (arguably also small) and an outdoor heated pool. Businessmen are well catered for with a 24 hour fax and copy center as well as a daytime business center.  The rooms, and in particular the suites have a whole host of amenities including, but not limited to free wireless high speed internet, coffee maker, hair dryer, rollaway beds, bottled water, 32’ LCD televisions and more. Suites are two connecting rooms that are extremely spacious with high ceilings, and very good value. The only problem is with the bathrooms that like the elevators are very cramped, with very low shower heads.

There is so much to do in the local area that there is something for everyone. If you are a golf enthusiast then the closest course is Mcinnis Park Golf Center , with others in the local area such as the Peacock Gap Golf Club, Mill Valley Municipal Golf Course, and the San Geronimo Golf Club.  I enjoy traveling to Sausalito which is conveniently located just down the freeway.  A major effort to upgrade the restaurant has paid off handsomely, and the couple of meals I had there were both top class. Any chef that fully utilizes mushrooms liberally is fine with me. The steaks are all very well presented and prepared, and although San Rafael has a fairly extensive range of restaurants, spend some time in the hotel restaurant, as they really do a good job.  How about a martini bar that only charges about $8 per drink. Although the selection at this time is somewhat limited to about two dozen, how about trying a Chocolate Martini, with Vodka (Ciroc or Level please) and Crème de Cacao.

When you make your way to the Four Points Sheraton, San Rafael, keep your ears open for you may hear the actual sounds from a real "Guitar Hero".  The famous rock guitarist Carlos Santana makes his permanent residence in San Rafael, California.


Fact Sheet

Address: 1010 Northgate Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903 

Phone: 1-415-479-8800







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