Why Peter Bruce Photo & team bELLE like Acqua...
Worldly travelers will tell you that 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.
The Acqua Hotel in Mill Valley is just like that. Travelers along the 101 freeway behind it see a three-story building with an inconspicuous façade of warm stucco and some windows. But wait 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 wide up. There, across a sweep of water, loom the wooded ridges of beautiful Mill Valley and the southern part 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 Mid 1999, and 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 bay side 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 San farncisco bay and hills, the walkway can double perfectly as a bridal aisle to her wedding.
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 3 smaller rooms of needed.
Catering for weddings is provided by Piazza D’Angelo, a Mill Valley restaurant which has consistently ranks among local residents’ favorites in the Pacific Sun’s annual “Best in Marin” contest. The hotel provides a liaison who works with the caterer and client.
We hope this gives you an inside to Acqua hotel and we hope that we can work with you on your wedding one day.Please let us know what you think.Best Peter Bruce & team bELLE