WHAT’S HAUTE : The Best Cultural Sites, Hotels, Restaurants and more of West Hollywood

Best Shopping

The Village at Corte Madera

The Village at Corte Madera, 1618 Redwood Highway

Corte Madera, CA 94925, (415) 924-8557

This outdoor shopping sanctuary is set alongside abundant flowerpots, whimsical fountains and a fire-pit surrounded by Adirondack chairs for shoppers to take a rest in between purchases. The fabulous retail offerings satisfy sophisticated shoppers in beautiful Marin County with store after store of top-tier names, from, Apple and Kiehl’s to Lululemon and Nordstrom.

Best Art

Marin Museum of Contemporary Art

Novato Arts Center at Hamilton Field

500 Palm Drive #110

Novato, CA 94949

(415) 506-0137

This quaint Spanish-style building is home to the Marin MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art). With new and well-known artists exhibiting their work of all different mediums, this small art haven is not to be missed. With a rotation of shows, one more interesting than the next, the MOCA has something for everyone. This month, be sure to check out Mary Tuthill Lindheim: Agent of Change, on view December 10 through January 15, 2012 with an opening reception on December 10, 5-7 p.m.

Best Hotel

Casa Madrona Hotel & Spa

801 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

(800) 288-0502

Poised on a lush hillside overlooking Richardson Bay, Casa Madrona continues to be the preferred stay for those visiting the upscale Bay Area community since 1885. Located on the waterfront across from the Golden Gate Bridge the hotel is in close proximity to Napa and Sonoma wine countries, downtown San Francisco and National Park scenery. The intimate space has the charm of a historic inn with top quality service and amenities showcasing both sophisticated cottage décor and contemporary design. In addition, we suggest you indulge in the soothing treatments of the 3,000 square-foot spa and fitness center.

Best New Haute Spot

Ram’s Gate Winery

28700 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476, (707) 721-8700

This winery may be 15 minutes away in nearby Sonoma but it’s so haute we couldn’t help but include it on our list. Bringing together the best of wine, design, food and hospitality, Ram’s Gate Winery is a fusion of classic elegance with a youthful spirit. The stunning vineyard estate perfectly captures its natural surroundings while inside is an eclectic mix of contemporary chic and urban cool. For a unique experience, take a drive and enjoy the passion and craftsmanship that goes into each glass of remarkable wine amongst exceptional surroundings.

Best Spa

Healing Arts Center

& Spa at Cavallo Point

601 Murray Circle, Sausalito, CA 94965

(415) 339-4700

Refreshing scents of eucalyptus and pine welcome you to the tranquil yet luxurious Healing Arts Center & Spa at Cavallo Point. Designed for nurturing and renewal, this contemporary oasis of serenity is a place to replenish your body, mind and spirit. Take pleasure in a signature massage or facial, or enjoy a soothing soak in the heated outdoor meditation pool beneath the pines.  With an atmosphere and view so breathtaking, you’ll want to linger by a fireplace with dancing flames for warmth and reflection. Stretch both body and mind in their beautiful garden and sip away stress at the peaceful Tea Bar. Feeling the vibes? Learn more about yourself from their holistic medical practitioners or journey towards inner healing with a renowned shaman as your guide. We highly suggest the Ultimate Detox Body Treatment, a two-hour seaweed detox ritual that highlights an organic line of wild, hand-harvested seaweed products (by Sea Flora) for the ultimate detoxifying effect featuring a scrub, body wrap, sea kelp soak and full-body massage.

Best Entertainment

Marin Theatre Company

397 Miller Avenue

Mill Valley, CA 94941

(415) 388-5208

Located in picturesque Mill Valley between the Golden Gate Bridge and Mount Tamalpais, Marin Theatre Company is a destination for a unique, intimate theater experience and the leading professional theater in the North Bay. Producing a five- to six-show season of provocative plays by passionate playwrights, they are very committed to a comprehensive New Play Program that includes world premieres, playwriting awards, new play readings, workshops and a leadership position in the National New Play Network. In addition the theatre hosts numerous educational programs serving over 6,000 students each year.

Best Restaurant

Murray Circle

602 Murray Circle, Sausalito, CA 94965, (415) 339-4750

Cavallo Point’s Michelin-star restaurant, under the direction of Executive Chef Justin Everett, is one of the Bay Area’s top culinary destinations. Highlighting refined, modern northern California cuisine anchored to its Marin roots, the freshest local ingredients and stunning atmosphere, a meal here is awe inspiring. Settle into the elegant yet comfortable dining room accented with beautifully restored tin ceilings, fine art photography and toasty fireplaces. Outside, soak up the sun on plush outdoor seating on the historic porch, with sweeping views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Sushi Ran

107 Caledonia Street

Sausalito, CA 94965

(415) 332-3620

Ranked among the top five Bay Area restaurants by Zagat, Sushi Ran offers a vibrant fusion of traditional Japanese and Pacific cuisine and an unparalled wine and sake list. With an unbeatable reputation, exceptional and surprising food, its no wonder Gordon Getty chose Sushi Ran to cater his birthday bash last year. A table here is high in demand so we highly recommend reservations for this fresh fare.

Best Property

Villa Belvedere

425 Belvedere Avenue

Belvedere, CA 94920

For more information contact Olivia Hsu Decker

(415) 435-1600

Offered at $45 million, this world-class new waterfront estate is located on a 1.14 acres lot on the San Francisco Bay with unobstructed views of Bay Bridge, San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Sausalito and beyond. This magnificent 15,500 square foot home features 7 bedrooms, 8 full and 2 half baths including 2 magnificent bayfront guest suites, 3-car garage and on-site parking for additional 2 dozen cars, over 6,000 sq. ft. of stone terraces to enjoy the panoramic vistas, gated 200’ long driveway leading to large genuine porphyry cobblestone motor court, 50’Bisazza tile lap pool and spa, terraced gardens and separate pool house, private health club with sauna, steam room and gym, gourmet kitchen with butler and food pantry, temperature-controlled wine cellar, deluxe master suite with his/her closets and bathrooms, home theater and spacious office, elevator to all 3 floors, slate roof, zinc and stainless steel gutter system and stucco exterior with stone columns and trims, walls of glass for spectacular indoor/outdoor living and entertaining. Designed by renowned San Francisco architect Sandy Walker.

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