Why We Like This Place
Experienced travelers will tell you that in Mediterranean countries, the long, often blank public walls of houses and buildings hide marvels within—fountains and gardens that create soul-nourishing private islands of repose.
Acqua Hotel in Mill Valley is like that. Travelers along the freeway behind it see a three-story building with an inconspicuous façade of warm stucco and some windows. But step into the hotel and walk through to its other side—the one that unfolds along an arm of Richardson Bay—and suddenly the world opens up. There, across a sweep of water, loom the wooded ridges of Mill Valley and the southern flank of Mt. Tamalpais. Many of the hotel’s rooms, designed by a canny architect, have balconies and front on this side, facing the mountain.
The ultramodern Acqua, opened in August 1999, has quickly acquired a local reputation as a hip, stylish location. Its spare visual details rely on an expert meeting of horizontal and vertical planes made from stark and simple materials. Even the concrete floors, unadorned but buffed to a high shine, lend an industrial elegance to the hotel. Variations in paint tones, such as brilliant flat whites juxtaposed with light earth tones, make the eyes race from one pleasing volume and shape to another. The waterfall that flanks the fireplace in the airy lobby has a deliberately sculptural feel to it.
The hotel’s bayside area, accessed through the lobby’s great glass doors, is a natural wedding site. A spacious lawn runs from one end of the property to the other, bordered on one side by a pedestrian promenade that runs along the water and on the other by a large patio area that has quickly become a favorite gathering place for knowledgeable locals seeking a drink or meal with a beautiful view. A wide brick walkway bisects the lawn and connects the promenade to the patio. With its backdrop of bay and hills, the walkway can double perfectly as a bridal aisle.
The main architectural element of this hidden-from-the-freeway side of the hotel is a dramatic outdoor spiral staircase that leads from the patio to a second-floor terrace. The terrace is sheltered under a large arching steel canopy, itself a beautiful architectural statement. Couples often marry on the terrace, then glide down the staircase in a stately procession to a reception on the patio.
Indoors, the Richardson Room features floor-to-ceiling windows, with easy access to the bayside patio. This event space can be divided into three smaller rooms.
Catering for weddings and meetings is provided by Piazza D’Angelo, a Mill Valley restaurant that consistently ranks among local residents’ favorites in the Pacific Sun’s annual “Best of Marin” contest. The hotel provides a liaison who works with the caterer and client.
The Acqua Hotel is part of a welcome trend among suburban Bay Area hotels: small, stylish suburban properties that meld city sophistication with the great natural beauty surrounding them. When you come to visit, take a few moments to relax in the lobby with one of Acqua Hotel’s exotic collection of Oriental hot teas (a refreshing little amenity provided for guests). From your comfy couch you can appreciate the hotel’s serene interior and the equally calming view. Listen to the fountain and watch the clouds float by…you have all the time in the world.
Max. Seated Indoors: 0
Max. Seated Outdoors: 120
Max. Seated Indoors: 120
Max. Seated Outdoors: 0
Max. Standing Indoors: 120
Max. Standing Outdoors: 0
|Max. Seated: 120|
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Bayside Lawn holds up to 120 seated guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION CAPACITY: The Richardson Room accommodates up to 120 seated guests.
MEETING CAPACITY: Event spaces accommodate 18–120 seated guests.
Fees & Deposits
The rental fee is the deposit, and is required to reserve your date; the event balance is payable at the event’s conclusion. Rental fees range $2,500–3,000 depending on space(s) rented. Rental of the lawn for a standing ceremony is an addtional $2,000. Meals range $36–150/person; tax, beverages and labor charges are additional. The gratuity is optional. The in-house caterer, Piazza D’Angelo, may be reached directly at 415/388-2000 or email@example.com.
Year-round, daily, 7am–10pm.
Special Events, Parties
Catering: provided by Piazza D’Angelo
Wheelchair AccessWheelchair Accessible
Venue TypeBanquet Hall/Events Facility
Alcohol: provided, no BYO
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