Hotel review

Hotel Review: Lodge at Marconi

Written by Kimberley Lovato
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Hotel Review: Lodge at Marconi

 

BeSeeingYou at: Lodge at Marconi

Location: Marshall, California, USA

Number of rooms and suites total: 45

Date of Stay: March 2024

Website www.lodgeatmarconi.com

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Hotel Review

Lodge at Marconi is an ideal jumping off point to explore Point Reyes National Seashore

Why book?

Drive about 50 miles northwest of San Francisco and congested highways give way to redwood forests, rolling hills and some of the state’s most glorious scenery. Overlooking Tomales Bay, the recently opened Lodge at Marconi sits on 62 wooded acres and feels like a grown-up’s sleep-away camp surrounded by gnarly oaks, green meadows and hiking trails. The forty five room retreat is located within Marconi State Historic Park and is a jumping off point to discover Point Reyes National Seashore, sample cheese at local dairy farms, slurp oysters at waterside restaurants and peruse old-timey small towns.

Who’s staying?

Couples looking for a romantic getaway, foodies, wedding guests and honeymooners, fans of oysters and the outdoors, and anyone looking for a an alternative to more crowded Napa and Sonoma Valley wine tasting weekends. Hikers won’t find a better place to stay if they want to spend long days criss-crossing West Marin County’s scenery.

Lodge at Marconi hotel review

The contemporary rooms at Lodge at Marconi have a cool retro feel

Does the hotel have a past?

Does it ever! The property was originally built in 1914 as a radio receiving station by Guglielmo Marconi, credited as the inventor of radio. In the early 1960s, a rehabilitation facility known as Synanon took over the site and eventually morphed into an “alternative lifestyle community” and then became the headquarters of one of America’s most dangerous cults. In recent years, Maroni served as a site for corporate retreats, conferences, and weddings.

Rooms & Suites

The décor leans contemporary cool and mid-century modern, with lots of natural wood, neutral fabrics and high thread count sheets, with pops of colour in its velvet pillows, accent chairs and retro tiles. The lodge offers several different room configurations including the King Suite with a sofa seating area and a separate workspace. The Deluxe King Loft has a twin loft above the king-sized bed, and the roomier Double Queen Room has two queen beds plus a twin loft, with more rooms for friends that want to stay together.

Guest should know there are no TVs in any of the rooms, so if that’s important to you, book elsewhere. The WIFI worked well. Rooms also have a selection of tea and coffee as well as a small mini-fridge to store BYO snacks and drinks.

Spill the tea: how’s the food and drink?

As of the review date there was no restaurant on site but, according to the general manager, one is slated to open soon. For now, however, a grab-and-go market  is set up in the lobby with snacks and drinks. Luckily, the hotel is just a stone’s throw from some of Tomales Bay’s famous oyster restaurants such as The Marshall Store and Hog Island Oyster Co. The town of Point Reyes Station is 11 kilometres/ 7 miles south and has a bakery, cafes and restaurants, as well as a Saturday farmers’ market  (June – October) and a general store.

Lodge at Marconi

Lodge at Marconi sits on 62 acres overlooking Tomales Bay, an estuary known for its oysters, hiking and kayaking

Neighbourhood 

If you’re looking for a getaway from San Francisco or just want to escape city life and beeline it directly to the country, you’ll be hard pressed to find better scenery than West Marin County. The town of Point Reyes Station is the largest near the hotel, but the area is also full of small dairy farms to visit. Aside from oyster eating, Tomales Bay is known as a kayaking spot and a morning paddle on the water is a must. You’ll also want to make time to visit Point Reyes National Seashore.

How was the service?

Since there is no restaurant or bar, it’s hard to comment on service. However check-in was friendly and seamless, and the front desk staff are happy to offer recommendations, make dinner or farm-visit reservations and chit chat.

Amenity central

Lodge at Marconi just opened within the last several months so amenities are rolling in with the tides. On the horizon is a full-service restaurant, spa, and expanded private event space. Still, there are lots of reasons to stay, including a cozy living-room style lobby where you can sip coffee or wine and admire a small collection of antique radios. There are also miles of trails around the property as well as places to sit and enjoy the pristine nature. If you’re looking for a quiet place to getaway, read, sleep, or just be, the Lodge at Marconi is ideal. A communal fire pit surrounded by Adirondack chairs was also a nice place to hangout under the stars each night.

 

Lodge at Marconi

The lobby doubles as a cozy living room with serene views out onto nature

Green scene?

I am happy to say this place embraces an ethos of protecting the planet. Rooms are equipped with non-plastic water bottles and there is a refill station in the lobby.  The bathroom amenities are also bulk—no little plastic bottles.

Extra! Extra! Or Pet Peeves?

My one small complaint: the walls are paper thin, which might be why the hotel provides earplugs and sound machines in each room. There’s not much road traffic out there, but you will hear your neighbours if the hotel is full.

 

 

 

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Editor’s note: Kimberley stayed as a guest of the hotel. Opinions are her own. Photos courtesy of Lodge at Marconi

Kimberley Lovato
Kimberley Lovato writes about food, lifestyle, hotels, and adventure from California, but loves to hit the road in search of a good story. Her bylines have appeared in the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, AARP, Virtuoso: The Magazine, Robb Report, HemispheresShondaland, Ciao BambinoCN Traveler and many other print and online publications. A lifelong Francophile, Kimberley spent several months a year sipping champagne and exploring  "l’Hexagone from her pied-a-terre on the Cote d'Azur. She’s also the author of a culinary travel book about the Dordogne region of France, which received a Gold Lowell Thomas Award from the Society of American Travel Writers.  When she’s not booking plane tickets or practicing French verb conjugation, she’s writing children’s books, sailing, hiking, cooking, and forever contemplating why it’s so hard to keep her basil plant alive. www.kimberleylovato.com Instagram: @KimberleyLovato

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