Lodge at Marconi Is a New Nature-Infused Hotel That Will Make You Fall in Love with Northern California

Lodge at Marconi aerial view

As one traverses Northern California’s Highway 1 along the Pacific Coast, verdant green hillsides embrace the meandering road just an hour north of San Francisco in West Marin County. Alongside the tranquil Tomales Bay, an enchanting array of eucalyptus, coastal pine trees, and signature California poppies inhabit these serene grasslands, setting the scene for an eco-centric adventure that awaits at the Lodge at Marconi

Nestled within this sprawling 62-acre stretch of historic parkland, this reimagined coastal retreat turns its fascinating history into anew, offering a unique blend of cultural significance and natural beauty. Initially inhabited by the Coast Miwok indigenous people pre-European settlement, the location was later selected in 1914 as the site for Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi’s pioneering wireless telegraphy station. 

Lodge at Marconi suite living room

In the 1960s, Synanon, a drug rehab facility, acquired the grounds. It later evolved into an infamous’ alternative lifestyle community’ before ultimately becoming the cult headquarters for the Church of Synanon. Inevitably, the cult dissolved, and the California Department of Parks and Recreation, in 1989, took over the land as a nonprofit center.

Lodge at Marconi bedroom suite

Today, Nashville-based Oliver Hospitality acquired the lodge as a part of a 55-year lease term and completed a remarkable multi-million-dollar renovation. Its 45 guestrooms occupy forest green-painted buildings, draw inspiration from its environment, boasting an elevated California ranch house vibe imbued with midcentury-modern motifs and 70s-inspired retro decor: cedar-wood paneling, earth-toned shades, brass fixtures, and vaulted ceilings allow extra room for windows to filter through sunlight. Intentionally omitting televisions to promote connectivity without screens, digital detoxes are encouraged here.

Styled by New York-based design firm Home Studios, the communal spaces reflect the property’s complex history complemented by modern touches—showcasing vintage radio equipment, plus wall cube art inspired by the works of Stuart Arends to amplify this theme. The two lounge areas in the main building sport bespoke fabric furnishings and nook seating, inviting guests to cozy up with a good read plucked from the curated library selection at the lodge by local storefront Point Reyes Books.

Lodge at Marconi restaurant

Guests can spend their days immersing themselves in the scenic 3.5 miles of walking and hiking trails, taking in the wildflower-fringed pathways and sweeping views of the bay. Alternatively, they can indulge in the renowned Hog Island Oyster Farm flagship, known for offering the finest oysters in the SF locale. As the night falls, there’s nothing quite like ending outdoorsy afternoons with stargazing and roasting s’mores around the crackling outdoor firepits.

For those yearning to disconnect from the world’s demands, the Lodge at Marconi offers a tranquil sanctuary, fostering a reconnection with Mother Nature amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Northern California’s coast.

Top Takeaways

Location: Tomales Bay, California

Address: 18500 CA-1, Marshall, CA 94940

Rating: Four-Star

The vibe: A repurposed modern coastal retreat where guests can recharge amidst the soothing embrace of nature’s healing power.

Food + Drink: The restaurant, housed in the Redwood Dining Hall, boasts a mid-century cafeteria-style ambiance, complete with a spacious indoor dining room, an intimate cocktail bar, and an expansive wrap-around deck. Scheduled to open its doors to hotel guests on June 1st, it will serve breakfast and dinner from the outset.

Our Favorite Part of the Hotel: There’s an A-frame cabin on the property with jaw-dropping views of Tomales Bay. It was refashioned into a private loft accommodation for bridal parties hosting weddings on the property. The idea of a photo shoot on the balcony instantly captured our hearts.

Amenities: Hiking Trails; Yoga; Tea/Coffee Maker in All Rooms; Hair Dryer; Robes; Lanterns; Umbrellas; Plant-based Born and Bathing bath products; Market & Pantry stocked from local brands—including Idlewild and Hammerling wines, ice cream from Straus Family Creamery, and cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese

What’s nearby? Point Reyes National Seashore, Tomales Point Trail, Cypress Tree Tunnel, Bolinas Ridge Trail, Marshall, and Hog Island Oyster Co.

Any personal neighborhood recs? You must head to Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese for West Marin’s award-winning cheese, followed by a mead tasting at Heidrun Meadery. (For those who don’t know, mead is an alcoholic drink of fermented honey and water.) A few other neighboring establishments you should notice are The Marshall Store, Nick’s Cove, Station House, and Tony’s Seafood to try the renowned Hog Island Oyster Co. bivalves. 

Rooms: 45

Pricing: Rates start at $245 per night.

Closest Airport: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

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