City or country?
Suburban resorts promise the best of both worlds -- plenty of transportation options, beautiful surroundings and a nearby city within easy reach for downtime or add-on adventures. Following is a look at seven unique properties that offer groups relative seclusion, all within an hour of a major metropolis. Cavallo Point Lodge
Just across the bay from San Francisco, Cavallo Point Lodge lies within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In addition to its proximity to all the color and culture of the city, the site is an excellent jumping-off point for day trips to Napa and Sonoma wine country or the picturesque towns of Monterey and Carmel.
The 142-room resort is dotted with landmark houses that once surrounded historic Fort Baker, complemented by contemporary two-story lodges with floor-to-ceiling windows, fireplaces and private entrances. Hiking and guided tours of the property are available, as well as complimentary morning yoga classes. The on-site Healing Arts Center & Spa offers massages and facials and features a unique outdoor meditation pool.
Approximately 30,000 square feet of event space includes venues such as the divisible Verbena and Surfbird rooms, each spanning 2,050 square feet. All meeting space features high-speed Internet access, drop-down projection screens and built-in speakers. Groups also can spread out in several outdoor areas like the Mission Blue Lawn.
Two restaurants and a cooking school are on-site. Murray Circle, a fine-dining venue focused on local ingredients, has several private rooms for groups. Some 2,000 bottles of wine are in the cellar, with 30 wines by the glass on offer. The more casual Farley Bar focuses on oysters, charcuterie and cheese -- not to mention dessert.
The 1,200-square-foot Cavallo Point Cooking School has four fully equipped kitchen workstations and can accommodate up to 20 attendees for a class and 30 for a food demonstration.