I wanted to stay in Mill Valley because this is where my mother lived, as a child. Thankfully, we were offered accommodation by the Mill Valley Inn, and glad to be there. Mill Valley has changed quite a bit since the mid-to-late 50's, when my mother lived there. It's an upscale town, now, and the Mill Valley Inn pretty much lives up to that standard.
It's a concrete building that spirals up around what could be a courtyard, but is instead the inn's parking garage. This is maybe not the most elegant view upon exiting a room, but open and interesting, and preferable to the small hallways of most hotels we've seen. The room we have is small, but beautifully decorated with old and/or distressed wooden furniture, amazingly high ceilings, and with gorgeous French doors opening to the town. MVI is the first place we've visited that does not have a Bible in the room. We like this.
Breakfast is all self-serve, but definitely better than the 3-star accommodations we've stayed at, with more and varied fruit options, average sweet/white breads, reasonably healthy cereals, and make-your-own waffles. Self-serve coffee and tea (a nice assortment!) are available, but so are various espresso and steamed-milk beverages, from the kitchen. An open wine-and-cheese reception is held every afternoon in the breakfast room, and I assume that the doors are opened to the patio in better weather (it's raining while we're there).
Although the inn as a whole is clean and quite comfortable, when we asked for a mattress or cot for the children, who were sleeping on the floor, we were given a very old, stained mattress with a sheet over it. This is by far not the worst thing we've seen in hotels on this trip, but not really up to the standard the Mill Valley Inn has set for itself. I am going to assume it was just a glitch.
On the whole, MVI is a lovely, calm, quiet place to stay, close enough to San Francisco without needing to be in the urban madness, and a good place to relax, if you can afford it. It's a great place for an afternoon bit of Asterix-reading: