A Retreat in the Bay Area
January 1, 2011 3:12 AM   Subscribe

Where can 10-12 people stay for an overnight retreat in or close to the Bay Area (California)?

I'm part of a non-profit group that would like to hold a retreat as a way to orient new volunteers. We only need a place for one night, preferably one with a good view/location (i.e. it should be "retreat-y"). Do you have any suggestions on how to find such a place? Is there any Mefite who'd be willing to rent out their beautiful place to us for a night (January 22-23)? Craigslist and airbnb haven't been all too useful even after hours of scouring.

We're trying to keep the cost as low as possible, so our upper limit is $200-240 (~$20 per person) for the night.
posted by mahoganyslide to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (13 answers total)
That is a really, really low upper limit. Can you fundraise for this?
posted by lunasol at 6:20 AM on January 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Try www.vrbo.com which stands for "Vacation Rental By Owner." It may be too late to rent out an entire B&B, but that would be ideal.
posted by carmicha at 6:39 AM on January 1, 2011

Check the Headlands Institute. They're just across the Golden Gate in Marin, and I'd call it retreat-y, for sure.
posted by rtha at 7:09 AM on January 1, 2011

Yes! The Headlands! Amazing. And inexpensive, although, your price limit is sort of intense. (You may not be able to secure overnight for that level, but.) Anyway it is the retreat site of choice. Slightly "rustic."
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:22 AM on January 1, 2011

One other avenue to explore might be to have your retreat at a monastery. The Benedictine tradition in particular has a rule of hospitality, and some monasteries don't charge a set fee for guests (I stay at one here in Michigan where contributions are completely voluntary, for instance). I googled a little but I don't know the geography of the area well enough to know whether anything that turned up would be close enough for you. It's another avenue I'd explore in your situation.
posted by not that girl at 7:40 AM on January 1, 2011

I don't even think you could find a public campground for those rates.

posted by elsietheeel at 7:54 AM on January 1, 2011

With that budget I think I'd look for something in the Sacramento delta. I don't think you'll have much luck finding something coastal and affordable within a reasonable distance of SF.
posted by foodgeek at 8:12 AM on January 1, 2011

Now that I'm awake and have more coffee in me, I withdraw my Headlands Institute recommendation. I misread something on their site that made it look like their rates were a little more in your range, but they're not. Apologies.
posted by rtha at 10:24 AM on January 1, 2011

Seconding VRBO. There are some nice victorian homes right in SF that I saw recently that could sleep that number at that price, but you can look for more wooded or beach-y or whatever. Search by date and number of beds and/or rooms.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:25 AM on January 1, 2011

Oh, wait, I read that as 200 per night. Sorry. 20 dollars per night is really difficult. That's like group camp (as in ,bring a tent and camp in it) numbers, but you'd never want to do that in January.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:26 AM on January 1, 2011

Best answer: You might look into the Marin Headlands Hostel. It's at Baker Beach, which is on the seaward side of the spit that heads into the Golden Gate. Here's a photo gallery.

Prices start at $22 per night; they charge extra for couples and recommend booking a reservation for peace of mind. Per their FAQs, there is no longer an age limit for staying at hostels in the U.S.

Contact info:

(415) 331-2777

If you are interested in getting a little further out (away from the bay), there are hostels in the Point Reyes Seashore (further north up the coast), at Point Montara, and at Pigeon Point (south of the Bay Area).
posted by Graygorey at 12:06 PM on January 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've used Walker Creek Ranch in Petaluma for slightly larger gatherings. Beautiful place with wonderful staff. As others have said, $20 per person is quite low for the Bay Area, but Walker Creek is one of the most reasonable priced places I've found. www.walkercreekranch.org
posted by hwickline at 6:48 PM on January 1, 2011

Marin Headlands Hostel! I was trying to think of that all morning and couldn't remember for the life of me. I stayed there 25ish years ago with a school group and it is probably exactly what you're looking for.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:11 PM on January 1, 2011

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