Director Randal Churchill, "The Teacher of the Teachers"™
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San Francisco International Airport
From the San Francisco Airport take the Marin Airporter (phone: 415/461-4222; $20 one way) from any of the blue pillars downstairs at ground level. This bus comes through on a regular schedule (usually every half-hour) which is posted on the pillars. Get off at the fourth stop (about an hour drive) at Larkspur Landing, which is within a mile of our class location. From there take a taxi if you are going to the Marin Suites Hotel or another nearby motel. If you are staying at the Corte Madera Inn, call 924-1502 from Larkspur Landing for their complimentary shuttle.
You can also take the Marin Door to Door Airport Shuttle from the airport. $40 one way; $12 for each additional person. The cost of this 24-hour service has stayed almost the same for 13 years! Call 415/457-2717 to make arrangements. If you call by noon the day before, they will meet you on time for your flight arrival.
Oakland International Airport
The Oakland Airport is just as close to our class location as the San Francisco Airport. Some airlines may charge less to fly into Oakland.
From the Oakland Airport take the Sonoma County Airport Express (phone: 800-327-2024; $26 to San Rafael) which leaves the Oakland airport every 2 hours from 6 am to 9:15 pm. Buses pick up passengers directly outside baggage claim in the center island at the regional transportation stop. It is about an hour's ride to the San Rafael Transit Hub. From there you can take a taxi south to Corte Madera, which is about 3 miles.
Marin Door to Door Airport Shuttle (see above) is $50 from this airport.
Reasonable Automobile Rentals|
at Both Airports
Here are the car rental agencies with offices near the San Francisco and Oakland Airports that are usually the most reasonable. Note: car rental rates via websites are sometimes higher than via phone calls. Also, there are often much better deals further in advance.
Enterprise Rent-a-Car @ SF Airport, www.enterprise.com, 650/697-9200, extension 5. Cconomy car rates as of early 2013 for HTI students as of early 2012 to: $173/week and $690/month plus tax and airport fees. Contact contact us for the discount code to get these rates.
Dollar Rent A
Car, www.dollar.com. Call
1-800-800-4000 and mention the corporate ID# CX0633 from HTI. Rates at least a month in advance are $198/week or $753/month, plus tax.
Thrifty Rent a
Car, www.thrifty.com. Call 1-800-THRIFTY and mention the corporate ID# 004X000186 from HTI. They have the same price structure as Dollar Rent A Car.
All of the above rates include generous free mileage, but not insurance, nor extra fees for persons under age 25. Be sure to confirm all costs when reserving your car.
For all of the above agencies, if your arrival is at the San Frnacisco terminal, take the blue AirTrain via short term parking and ride to the rental car center for offices on the fourth floor.
This page is fully updated for 2013.
See above for Local Transportation
See below for Directions to Class
After classes begin, motel rooms can usually be arranged to be shared with another student to slash prices in half. (It may not be as easy to share accommodations for those who need to stay over just for occasional class nights.) See "Reasonable Accommodations" below for details. The first Inn listed in the left column is where our classes are held, and the next two are within walking distance.
Be sure to mention HTI to get special rates offered to our students. Most of the rates below are promised throughout 2013, but we can't guarantee all of them. Besides the discounts listed below, if you stay in a California hotel at least 31 consecutive days, you can arrange to avoid paying sales tax.
Reserve EARLY! This is a very popular area. These hotels can get booked on some days several months in advance.
Corte Madera Inn, Corte Madera
An excellent Best Western Inn with a lush, five acre resort-like setting, this is where our classes meet. HTI's hugely discounted single or double occupancy rate is $119/night plus 11% tax, including continental breakfast through April 2013. So that works out to $59.50/night plus tax if you're sharing with another student. The price is $138 per night in May through October 2013. Facilities include launderette, shuttle, wireless & high-speed internet, fax and secretarial services, picnic area, putting green, heated pool, two whirlpool spas & fitness center. Rooms have refrigerators. The large, charming "Town Centre" shopping center across the street has a supermarket and many restaurants and shops.
Marin Suites Hotel, Corte Madera
A three block walk from class, this has wireless internet, an exercise room, sauna, whirlpool spa and heated pool. Most units include either a kitchen or kitchenette (all have at least a refrigerator and a microwave). Rates include a complementary continental breakfast. The steeply discounted HTI daily rates for Spring 2013 are studio: $99; 1 bedroom: $109 for 1 bed, $119 for 2 beds; 2 bedroom with 3 beds: $159, plus tax. For example, sharing a 1-bedroom apartment with 2 beds would cost $59.50/night per person. Summer 2013 is $10 more on weekdays & an additional $20 on weekends. HTI students may even get further discounts, depending on length of stay & availability. Check with Director of Sales Jose for discounts or for any monthly stay needs.
Best Value Inn, Corte Madera
|| fax: 415/924-6153
A 15-minute walk from class, this small 18 room motel is close to the "Town Centre" shopping center. Rooms have internet access, fridges, microwaves, & satellite including HBO. The owner Ken has dropped their special HTI room rates dramatically for 2013 to only $420/week plus tax including breakfast, but reverts to regular current rate if the stay is shortened from the time originally booked.
Motel 6, San Rafael
This new privately owned motel at 737 Francisco Blvd E. is a 7-minute drive north of class, so you will need a car or to share one with a classmate. Current rates through April: $350/week, plus tax. May-October: no weekly rates but 10-15% off regular rates, which are usually $79 on weekdays and $89 on weekend days for 1 person.
Extended Stay Deluxe, San Rafael
This new hotel is a 7-minute drive north of class, located at 1775 Francisco Blvd. E. in San Rafael. It has full sized kitchens and DVD players in all of the rooms as well as free wireless internet throughout the property, on-site laundry, indoor heated pool, outdoor hot tub, meeting room, Continental breakfast, business center and fitness center. Current monthly discount is $79.99/night through April 2013, then $89.99/night during the Summer with no tax charged if you stay 31 nights or more. There are also weekly discounts.
Econo Lodge Inn and Suites, Novato
This is a 12-minute drive north up Hwy. 101 from class, between Novato and San Rafael, so you will need to have a car or share a car with a classmate. The current rate is $51.59 per night for a queen. Rooms have refrigerators and microwaves.
Presidio Inn, San Francisco
This friendly inn with kitchenettes is close to the Golden Gate Bridge, at 2361 Lombard Street in northern San Francisco. Much closer than most S.F. accommodations, it is a 20 minute drive to class. The special rates for HTI students as of this writing approved by manager Ricky: $59.99/night plus
tax per room with a king bed, or $1300/month. Show our brochure to claim the rate, if it still applies.
Encore Express, San Francisco
This is at 1353 Bush Street, in a prestigious S.F. area. As
of this writing, our very low rates for one queen: $275/week
with shared bath, or $300/week plus tax with private bath.
Summer rates are typically $50-75/week higher. Check the
rates with general manager Michael and be prepared to verify
that you are our student.
This is an agency that rents completely furnished and equipped studios and 1-3 bedroom apartments (with an extra roll-away bed available), within a 10-minute drive of class. These rentals start at $115/ day for 1 bedroom, $135/day for 2 br, and $160/day plus tax for 3 br, 2 baths. Includes all utilities, wireless internet, cable TV, long distance phone, housewares & linens. Move-in ready.
American Youth Hostel
There are four local sites of the American Youth Hostel chain in the area:
Marin County site
Marin Headlands (Sausalito): phone: 415/331-2777
The Marin Headlands Hostel is the closest, most reasonable and perhaps nicest of the Bay Area hostels, and draws adults of all ages. It is in a National Park near Sausalito (the three others are in San Francisco). Prices are $24-26/night in a dorm. Private rooms: $82-92/night total for up to three persons. There is no tax or membership fee. There is a 14-night per year limit per hostel. Cooking facilities are available. Like the closer S.F. hostels, Marin Headlands Hostel is a 25 minute drive from class. You will need to have a car or share a car with a classmate because there is no public transportation except for Sundays and holidays.
San Francisco sites
Ft. Mason (Fisherman's Wharf):
Building 240, Fort Mason
San Francisco, CA 94123
Downtown (Union Square, San Francisco):
312 Mason Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
685 Ellis Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
The 3 San Francisco hostels of the American Youth Hostel chain have public transportation and are convenient to S.F. attractions. Call for reservations.
Marin Park (an RV Park)
Tel: 415/461-5199 fax: 415/925-1584
Only one mile from class at 2140 Redwood Highway, Greenbrae, CA 94904.
Rates are $270/week, then expected to be $300/
week in summer 2013, plus tax, for 1-2 people, including water, electricity
& cable TV. Discount: 10% for AAA & Good Sam.
Reasonable Accommodations Ideas
First, let's again emphasize that if you stay at least 31 consecutive days at the same accommodations, you can arrange to avoid paying sales tax.
Local hotel prices are reflective of this being an upscale, popular area between San Francisco, beautiful parks and beaches, and the wine country. However, we've negotiated much larger discounts with many accommodations for 2012. Then sharing can in most cases help you slash the cost in half.
All of our accelerated classes have students from other states and countries who are actively seeking to share accommodations, but it is much better to arrange this once classes begin. (In fact, you can begin to meet classmates at our optional get-acquainted meeting the evening before class begins.) Plan on having your own private room for the first two or three nights, then a motel room can usually be shared for the remainder of the time.
Or other opportunities may be even more appealing. For example, we have connections for rooms in private homes in town for reasonable prices. And once classes have begun, another possibility may be to get a room at a local classmate's home, which would cost considerably less than motel rates.
For those of you who have a travel trailer or other camping gear and like the outdoors, there are some lovely parks in the area with reasonable rates. There is also Marin Park, (a trailer park) about a mile from class (see above).
There can be many creative ways to keep costs down. For example, the Marin Headlands Hostel tends to draw mature adults of all ages who appreciate nature. Sharing a private room with two classmates could cost $28 per day each, and if a car is needed the costs can be shared of a reasonable rented car as described above.
The classes and introductory meetings meet at the Corte Madera Inn, Corte Madera (next to Hwy 101, a 10 minute drive north of the Golden Gate Bridge). If you want to use your GPS, Google Maps or Mapquest.com, the address of the Inn is 56 Madera Blvd., Corte Madera CA 94925, which is not our mailing address. There is plenty of free parking.
Directions from San Francisco: Going north on Highway 101, take Paradise/Tamalpais exit, then turn left to cross the overpass. Turn right on Madera Boulevard. Turn right at the first street past the shopping center. The Inn is on your left.
Directions from the East Bay: Take Highway 580 across the Richmond/San Rafael Bridge. Take the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard exit to Highway 101 and go south. Take the second exit, Madera Blvd. The Inn appears immediately on your right.
Directions From the Sacramento area and beyond: Going west on Highway 80, take Hwy. 37 to Hwy. 101 and go south, then continue with the following directions below.
Directions from the North: Going south on Highway 101 past San Rafael, take the Madera Boulevard exit, which is soon after the Sir Francis Drake Boulevard exit. The Inn appears immediately on your right.