In addition to a tandem skydive over Fox Glacier in New Zealand, a beach vow renewal in Tulum, or an anniversary dinner at the French Laundry, make one of your 2017 #couplegoals a cozy Valentine's staycation in the penthouse at the Inn Above Tide.
This luxurious shingle-side auberge, lovingly handbuilt by local businessman Bill McDevitt in 1961, is dramatically cantilevered over the shoreline in Sausalito. (While the penthouse may seem like a lofty ambition, we think it's worth at least three V-Day celebrations, so if you spring for the $1370-per-night room this year, you are hereby off the gift-giving hook for this particular holiday until at least 2020.) Of the Inn's 28 rooms—recently renovated by San Francisco designer Ana Maria Delgado with luxurious earth-toned textiles and glamorous touches that include bedside pendant lamps that appear to be dripping in gold—only the penthouse includes a mini glass-enclosed aerie just for the deep soaking tub.
This alone might justify the splurge because really, what are the merits of a romantic staycation without some time spent steeping in a hot bath for two in a glass-enclosed aerie? There are none, if you ask us. It was from this rare vantage point that we witnessed, awestruck, one of the recent rainstorms ravage the ocean—and marveled at a few intrepid kayakers who would not be deterred from their daily row across the bay. You know that pleasing warmth and coziness that fills your chest when you're safe and dry at home, hot tea in the mug and a crackling fire in the hearth, while the elements wreak havoc on the world around you? At the Inn Above Tide, where all rooms have views to the bay, that sensation is multiplied by a factor of 10.
Don't worry, we're not hinging this Valentine's Day fantasy on a hot bath and limitless ocean views alone. We know that lovers need more to do on an amorous getaway than admire the virtues of water. An in-room couple's massage by two traveling bodyworkers is always an option, if only to get relaxed for the events of the evening to come, which should include a visit to the Inn's guests-only wine-and-cheese mixer, starting at 5 p.m. Since there's not much that could come between us and a wedge of softened brie, we emerged from our seclusion to brave a brief mingle with the other lodgers, being careful not to fill up too much on the bountiful spread because of our forthcoming feast at Copita, the Mexican restaurant and tequileria across the street.
Local celebrity chef Joanne Weir, one of the owners of the popular cantina, happened to be tucked into the booth next to ours, and she was happy to divulge her favorites on the menu, which included the charred-chile ceviche (a bracing and spicy appetizer of lime-cured sea bass, chile chilhuacle, serrano, and mint) and the fried pork-belly tacos (expertly prepared so that the cubes of pork were satisfyingly crisp on the outside, but unctuous and tender on the inside). We devoured the birria, a rich stew of chile de arbol, sesame seeds, and spoon-tender lamb served with homemade corn tortillas. That evening, Weir thought the dish was a little salty, and recommended instead the duck enchiladas with duck confit and mole. But we crammed for our meal by watching diners on Check, Please! Bay Area rave about Copita's birria, and we just had to see for ourselves what all the fuss was about. We weren't disappointed.
Like us, at some point during your hearty dinner, you'll probably go past the point of satiety. This is normal—don't let the fact that you'll have to release the top button on your jeans deflate your self-esteem. So strong will your desire be to assume a position of repose that the mere two-minute walk back to the Inn will seem as daunting as the 800-kilometer trek through Spain's El Camino de Santiago. For your trouble you'll be rewarded with two fluffy bathrobes and a wood-burning fire: The Inn's new Fireplace Bundles program includes pinecone kindling (a kind of forest aromatherapy), a bottle of Caymus cabernet sauvignon, Recchiuti chocolates, and a deck of brain teasers. Everything you need to safely re-enter seclusion, as the pale moon rises and coaxes the tides. // 30 El Portal (Sausalito), innabovetide.com