Even San Franciscans don't know about this tiny houseboat turned B&B that stands on pilings on Sausalito's waterfront. With bright white walls and floors, plenty of newly added portholes and other windows, and a quirky collection of rustic antiques and simple, homey furniture, owner Bonnie Metzger has created a light-drenched home away from home. The cozy studio apartment is perfect for those in search of privacy. But what recluse could resist the bay-front deck for a bottle of California wine at sunset?At breakfast time, freshly baked muffins, croissants, maybe even fish-shaped scones are served in your room; more sociable guests can join Metzger for Finnish pancakes. Before leaving, explore the docks and learn a bit about Sausalito's famous houseboat community. "If you're looking for a night at the Ritz, this isn't it," says Metzger. Indeed. It's not likely a five-star hotel would boast about the salty aroma of the low-tide mudflats. But such eccentricities are exactly what make this hideaway worth boarding.

ARK DE TRIUMPH, Main Dock, Waldo Point Harbor, Sausalito, Calif.; 415/331-6240, fax 415/331-6249; doubles $150, including breakfast.