Write, read, play, relax, walk and remember your true self in nature.
Portrait Haus is a quirky little get-away located in the Bay Area's secret wine region Anderson Valley, and just minutes from the Mendocino coast, Navarro river and Hendy Woods state park. Our remote writers, artists, and nature enthusiasts retreat is a mere 2.5 hours from San Francisco and close to the few excellent restaurants, river and beaches famed in the area. We are also minutes from world class wine tasting and big Mendocino County events. Located on a ridge top, on a 20 acre Certified Bee Friendly Farm in the heart of Anderson Valley, a swath along the Navarro River in Mendocino County, Portrait Haus is waiting for you. Our property is also home to a homesteading family who love farming, herbs, bees and living a sustainable lifestyle close to nature. We maintain 20 acres of woods, cultivated land and gardens dedicated to our friendly pollinators. The owner is also a Yoga Instructor, Process Coach and Holistic Health Coach, and is available for private instruction and consultation.
The cabin and surrounding area.
Interaction with Guests
We are happy to be here for your questions and to chat. We never disturb guests and let them have complete privacy. If you are late to depart we may come to give you a gentle reminder.
Our rustic neighborhood is quiet and remote. You may see some cars on our dirt road or not. We are so close to wilderness that wild animals make their home here to. Yet just a few miles away there is world class dining and wine tasting, needless to say great walks just out the cabin door.
You will need a vehicle to come to our hide away.
Other Things to Note
We share some of whatever we have growing in our garden with guests. We have winter greens and herbs, Spring salad makings,Summer tomatoes and veggies, and Autumn fruits.
Arrive before 9pm at the latest. This is a rustic retreat. Tread lightly in our eco friendly off the grid cabin. No plug in appliances please, cell phone okay. No smoking as we are a high fire risk area. Must be a outdoor type, not for the delicate flower. If you are attending a local wedding please know that this is a very rustic cabin. BBQ in our little smokie-joe. Bring your own food and condiments. We supply towels, bedding, cookware and squirrels. Please check out promptly as we may have guests arriving after you leave, Thank you!
New to Airbnb? Here is a pasted article from Seth Porges:
Don't ask to see the place.
A guest (or an in-town pal) can't come check out the digs before committing to stay. It's better not to ask. Airbnb discourages it—as the online FAQ says: "We encourage all hosts and guests to complete their booking through our website before meeting in person to best ensure their safety and privacy." But more than that, the hosts are busy. You come across as a pain. It's easier to just move onto the next potential guest rather than deal with these scheduling shenanigans.
Don't ask to pay in cash.
You don't want to pay Airbnb's booking fee. Fine. In an attempt to circumvent it, some guests ask to go outside the system and pay in cash. The answer is always no. Airbnb's system is the only reason most hosts feel comfortable renting out spare rooms and apartments—the reviews on guests act as a surprisingly solid deterrent to bad behavior, and Airbnb provides an insurance policy in the off chance a guest goes haywire. In addition, if you don't book through Airbnb, the host doesn't get a review or the accompanying search-rank juice. And to a regular host, that last one is huge.
Don't ask what it will cost.
About a third of first-contact messages from Airbnb novices ask "what the total cost will be" for a given block of dates. The fact is: The host has no idea. The total cost, after Airbnb's modest booking fees, is known only to you and Airbnb. Just enter your dates in the site, and it will calculate the total cost before you book.
Don't ask questions the listing already answers.
For the love of God, read the entire listing. You may find important details—like, say, you're sharing a bathroom, or you're renting a room, and not the whole house. These are significant, deal-breaking details. They will be in the listing. Look before asking. Answering the same questions over and over wastes a host's time. And, yes, the host provides towels. Airbnb basically enforces that one.
Airbnb is not a dating site. But one thing about Airbnb is that a host always has to reply—the search rankings take a hit if a host doesn't respond to every single message. Writing back to everyone who wants to have a drink, talk about work, or get a room (in the non-hotelier sense) is a drag.
Don't ignore your email.
Last-minute changes to the host's schedule make it crucial to be in touch as soon as possible. So stay reachable in the days leading up to your stay. And, if at all possible, check your email when the plane lands or before you arrive. Some tenants view traveling as an excuse to shut off the phone and ignore email. If you're using Airbnb, please, at least glance at it.
Don't miss arrival and departure times
Hosts are not running hotels, and they don't have a reception desk. The host absolutely needs to know a firm check in time, as far in advance as possible. Sometimes separate guests leave and arrive on the same day. The place has to be cleaned and prepared for the next visitor. For extensions of check-out times (or the occasional 7 am check-in), a host will try to accommodate. Guests can usually leave luggage behind during the last day, or drop it off early if the room isn't ready yet. Just be sure to ask in advance.
DURING AND AFTER A STAY
Gifts aren't necessary (but they are appreciated!)
Some guests bring chocolate, wine, or some trinket from their home country. Totally awesome. Totally unnecessary. Totally appreciated. Especially the wine and chocolate. Note to hosts serving a younger clientele: Leaving an inexpensive bottle of wine in the guest's room is a great way to get things started on a friendly note.
Be considerate with company
If you book a room for one person, don't assume a friend can stay with you. A lot of hosts charge different rates for extra guests. As for having overnight guests, the short answer is that it depends. Some hosts could freak out over it. But there's some wiggle room. If you're staying for two weeks, and you and the host have gotten to know and trust each other, then inviting a responsible friend over may be fine. But if you're staying two nights and assume someone can join you for both of them—well, hosts can feel like they're running a sleazy motel. And nobody likes that.
Ask about the bathroom schedule
Some arrangements include a shared bathroom. It rarely presents a problem. Unless a guest is in there for an hour while a host is heading out to work. If you're sharing a bathroom, just ask your host when they tend to use it in the morning, and try to be accommodating. It is appreciated.
Go out and have fun
In a shared apartment, the best tenants spend most of their time out enjoying the city. If you're looking to shut yourself in, look for a whole-apartment Airbnb rental.
Hotels have maids. Airbnb has hosts. As Airbnb put it in an email: "Consider stripping the beds or taking out the trash to go the extra mile." Well, that would be fantastic. Use the campsite rule—leave no trace.
Communicate problems or questions
A host hates to read post-visit reviews complaining of not enough towels. You know what? If you want another towel, just ask. The host is not trying to hold out on you, but the host can't know you need something unless you speak up. All hosts want you to have a good stay, but it's up to you to say what to do to make that happen. By the same token, treat the host's belongings with respect—if you're not sure if you can help yourself to that ketchup, ask.
Respect the review
Carefully consider all negative reviews. If the city cut subway service one weekend, or a freak snowstorm struck, please don't take it out on the host. Bad reviews can have a profound effect on these folks' livelihoods, and should be divvied out with extreme discretion. Take into account whether the rental meets expectations—was the listing honest, the price fair, the host accommodating? If you're paying $30 per night to stay in Queens, cheer the fact that you got a great deal, rather than raging at the 40-minute train ride to Times Square.
Staying at The Portrait Haus was an absolute delight. We couldn't have imagined a more restful, rejuvenating weekend. Melissa and Chris were wonderful hosts and the space and silence was totally surreal. I would highly recommend this place for a single or couples getaway.
This house is a true gem – wonderfully rustic and perfectly well maintained and clean. Loved the thoughtful and quirky interiors, the gas stove and the shower with the best view ever. Melissa and Chris were super lovely to communicate with and meet. I'd go back in a heartbeat.
I loved this little house in the woods! Melissa greeted me with a basket of veggies and herbs from her garden and helped me settle in. It's a sweet place for a personal retreat, which is why I was there, or it would be a nice love nest for a couple or small family. The location was amazing and was exactly what I was looking for - remote, quiet, off the grid and in the beautiful wild. It's definitely rustic, but I like that, and it was comfortable in the most important ways (incredible bed!!) so it was perfect. Melissa was a great host, available if needed but gave me the privacy that I required. I'll be back for another retreat sometime.
Portrait Haus was fantastic! I think the other reviews have covered everything really well, so I don't even know what's left to add... we hope to visit again!
I wanted to go camping this Christmas. Something in the middle of the woods. A place to contemplate life without the distractions of my electronic life. Then my partner found Eco Haus...a real bed, a fridge, a guaranteed hot shower, well, I couldn't say no! We were met by Chris who showed us around and the shortly after Melissa joined us. These are such nice folks. Melissa left us a beautiful basket of lettuces and herbs from the garden and some homemade soap.
The specs? Other reviewers had covered it. It is a comfy bed, the wood stove warms up the place easily. It is cute and cozy and the vibe is relaxed. You are being hugged by the redwoods after all! There are magazines and books and games.
The kitchen is an attached, enclosed outdoor space. It is well equipped and has a small fridge that holds a lot. It can be pretty chilly if the temps are low. (I bet it is awesome during the spring and summer) The shower is out there too.
I brought a headlamp which worked perfectly for trips to and from the outhouse. It is marvelously dark in them there woods.
Yes, you can warm your bath towels behind the wood stove but this is still, as Melissa says, one step above camping.
Melissa was a warm host. She picked us vegetables from her garden for our stay. The cottage was cozy and the fireplace insulated the whole cabin within minutes! We had a relaxing and quiet time listening to podcasts and cooking on their vintage gas pilot stove.
We really enjoyed our weekend at the Eco Haus. We had pre-arranged our arrival time around 5 PM, however compliments of Bay Area traffic we ended up running a couple hours late. We were able to communicate with Melissa via (website hidden) and phone which allowed her to do some last minute family errands before we arrived and everything worked out great for both parties. Melissa met us when we arrived after dark and with flashlight in hand she showed us to the cabin. Everything in the house was as advertised. The little wood stove heater does a great job heating the place and honestly the outhouse is a great amenity...you can leave the door open for a fantastic view. The natural surroundings were exactly what we were seeking. The hot shower and competitive game of Pick-Up-Stix were an added bonus. We would definitely return to the Eco Haus.
I have been living in a remote village in the deep jungle of Northern California since 1997. I teach yoga, process classes, and volunteer in the community as a organizer for the soon to be Valley Trail, a 40 mile bike path that stretches from Cloverdale in Sonoma county to the Mendocino coast. I make goat milk soap, grow organic food and dive into as many farm projects as there are hours in the day on our certified "bee friendly farm". We love receiving guests from all over the world and enjoy showing them the beauty of our hidden valley.