Why We Like This Place
For years, drivers heading south on Highway 101 through Novato have passed by a tile-roofed motor court that looks like a classic roadhouse from the 1940s. Under its canopy of ancient oak trees, and with a heavily wooded hill as its backdrop, Inn Marin has always seemed like something from the days before California became too crowded, too hectic, too fast.
Built in 1949 just as the roadhouse era was about to end, Inn Marin’s romantic aura has lingered for decades. Several years ago, two brothers who’d grown up in the hospitality industry succumbed to its charms. They bought it, oversaw a striking restoration, and made the property better looking than it had ever been. Within weeks, Inn Marin’s formerly whitewashed walls had burst into a medley of Mediterranean colors—ocher, mustard, yellow and tile-red—accented everywhere by orange-spiked bird of paradise flowers. The brothers added some new units, too, including four suites (two with Jacuzzis) that many wedding parties find ideal for pre-wedding stays.
What the brothers envisioned, and what couples see today, is one of Marin’s best outdoor spaces for ceremonies and receptions. Inn Marin’s buildings cluster Spanish-style around a grand courtyard—a sweeping swath of grass edged by ivy-covered trellises, hydrangeas, palmettos, cypresses, orange trees and a liquid amber that has to be the biggest tree of its kind for miles around. The lawn’s center point is a towering magnolia that, when it’s not sheltering wedding guests, has several “sky chair” hammocks lazily dangling from it. In summer, the high ridge behind Inn Marin blocks the chilly gusts of fog that pour off the Pacific, creating a warm and sunny climatic island. By 3pm, when the sun’s slanting light is a golden wash and the big trees are making velvety shade, the garden becomes almost Edenic, balanced between perfect light and shadow, balmy and cool.
Adjoining the lawn, the Patio Garden and Garden Room are the two primary sites for post-ceremony activities. The Garden Room, which is often used for the cake cutting or for mingling after the wedding reception, looks out through a large bay window and two French doors to the patio, and has an all glass-wall view of Inn Marin’s pool. Large mirrors line the opposite wall, giving the room a spacious feel. The patio, paved with terracotta, is sheltered under umbrellas and another large magnolia. A classic Spanish fountain, water gurgling placidly down its sides, formally marks the boundary between the patio and the lawn. The patio is an easy place to set up a bar, a bandstand or a dance floor, allowing guests to enjoy a fine day outdoors long into the evening.
Inn Marin displays a freshness of design and joie de vivre, from its great central courtyard and generous greenery to the big, robustly colored still lifes by the owners’ mother that adorn the walls. Couples often arrive here a day or two early, just so they can settle in and take temporary ownership of this unique, secret garden.
Max. Seated Indoors: 150
Max. Seated Outdoors: 350
Max. Seated Indoors: 125
Max. Seated Outdoors: 350
Max. Standing Indoors: 150
Max. Standing Outdoors: 500
|Max. Seated: 125|
CEREMONY CAPACITY: The Courtyard holds up to 350 seated guests. Indoors, the Garden Room holds up to 150 seated guests.
EVENT/RECEPTION & MEETING CAPACITY: Outdoors, Inn Marin accommodates 350 seated or 500 standing guests; indoors, 125 seated or 150 standing guests.
Fees & Deposits
10% of the estimated event total is required to reserve your date. The balance is due at the conclusion of the event. Rental fees range $1,750–2,950 depending on guest count and day of the week. Meals range $39–61/person. Tax, alcohol and a 20% service charge are additional.
Year-round, daily, 6am–midnight.
BYO w/ Corkage Fee
Special Events, Parties
Catering: provided, no BYO
Wheelchair AccessWheelchair Accessible
Site ViewsForest/Wooded Area
Venue TypeBanquet Hall/Events Facility
Alcohol: provided or BYO with corkage fee
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