Floating Guest Cottage (houseboat)

House - Entire home/apt · Yellow Ferry Dock, Sausalito, CA 94965, United States
Your host, Lois
36 Reviews
Response rate: 100%
Response time: within a few hours

The Space

Just 12 minutes across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, this unique floating guest cottage offers the very best of the Sausalito houseboat experience. Located at the end of one of Marin’s most coveted houseboat docks, the Yellow Ferry Harbor, this freestanding floating home blends the nostalgia of the houseboat experience of the 1960’s and 70’s with today’s amenities.

The last boat on the northward leg of the dock, the floating guest cottage has sweeping views of the bay, the surrounding rolling hills, and in the distance, the majestic slopes of Mt. Tamalpais. An inviting public jetty extends into the bay between the cottage and the scores of sailboats berthed in the nearby Richardson Bay Marina. The gentle music of their riggings in the breeze will mesmerize you.

Enter through the main front room, whose dining table for six, comfortable sofa, and rocking chair can easily accommodate small gatherings of friends and family. The potbelly gas stove adds warmth and coziness on a rainy (website hidden) is a pleasure with a full-sized gas range, oven, and other modern appliances.

At the rear of the main floor, the smaller of two bedrooms sleeps two in a day bed with a pop-up trundle underneath. The large north-facing window frames the Marina and Mt. Tam beyond. The entire second floor is a master bedroom, a luxurious double bed nestled under the graceful curve of its arched ceiling.

On a sunny day – and this area is known locally as ‘The Banana Belt’ – enjoy outdoor dining on the spacious upper deck with its panoramic views. Or sit and read in the Adirondack chairs on the front float, surrounded by flowers. For recreation, paddle out in the kayaks or pedal away on the great Marin bike trail or to the Sausalito Ferry for the half-hour cruise to San Francisco. (No children under 13 in the kayak.) Bike rentals are a mile away.

Otis Redding fans will appreciate that he wrote Dock of the Bay while a guest on one of Sausalito's storied docks, some say this one. You are assured a serene and magical time, watching the tides roll away (thank you, Otis) and enjoying the herons and egrets, frequent visitors to your front yard.

This is the ideal rental for a couple or a single guest looking to get away from the everyday, but still seeking the convenience and fun that Sausalito offers. Families will experience the San Francisco Bay from a unique vantage point. Ideal for families with middle-schoolers or teenagers. Parents should realize that from a safety perspective living on a houseboat is no different than being on a boat. For that reason, no children under 10 are allowed as renters or as guests of the renters. Two couples may also share the guest cottage, though the bedrooms are small and storage is limited.

Since we charge only a modest cleaning fee, we expect guests to leave the floating guest cottage clean and in good order. If not, a reasonable deduction will be taken from your security deposit. We do not expect guests to wash or change the bed linens or towels. Also, local Marin County taxes are included in the fee.

The rental includes a parking space in the Yellow Ferry Harbor lot, and your houseboat is located just a five minute drive from downtown Sausalito, ten minutes from Mill Valley, twelve minutes across the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco and approximately an hour to the wine country.

This is a truly special residence in an unforgettable natural setting.

Room type: Entire home/apt
Accommodates: 4
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
Beds: 3
Extra people: $20 / night after 2 guests
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Security Deposit: $300
Cleaning Fee: $50
Check In: 3:00 PM
Check Out: 12:00 PM (noon)
Cancellation: Moderate
Overall Guest Satisfaction
Check In
  • Lois and Bob were wonderful hosts. Everything we needed for the four of us. My mate and I slept downstairs, son and his husband upstairs. Beautiful linens, fully equipped kitchen. Be prepared, no television, which was fine, except for those wanting to watch the Giants. I would recommend for three, not four people. The downstairs bedroom requires moving furniture, making the room very crowded. The mattresses on the trundle beds are thin so you feel the metal bars supporting the bed. I would rather have a double bed and bed side table.

    July 2014
    Response from Lois:

    We appreciated the feedback on the bed and have remedied it. While the downstairs bedroom is small, couples with children have enjoyed its use. Parties with two adult couples also have found it comfortably cozy, but some might find the room crowded when the pop-up trundle bed is pulled out.

    July 2014
  • Lois and the houseboat were as delightful as promised. It was private, comfortable, organized, and quiet. Lois greeted us, made us feel very comfortable, the "rules" were extensive but very reasonable. I would def stay here again.

    June 2014
  • My wife and I have stayed at several vacation rental homes, and this place hands down is the best place we have stayed to date.
    First I'd like to start with the description, It is very accurate, however there is so much more to say about the Floating Guest Cottage, it is very very clean, comfortable, quiet and very well equipped with everything you need for your stay.The bed is so comfortable which is pretty important when your away from home for a goodnights sleep! We spent a couple days just hanging out around the houseboat just relaxing, had dinner on the upper deck and coffee on the front deck. Lois and Bob were attentive and had great idea's for places to go eat and sights to see. It is a delightful place to stay and Lois a great host. I will be referring this place to all my family and friends!!!!

    June 2014
  • We are really thrilled about our stay at the floating cottage. It is exactly as the description and the photo's say. Lois and Bob are nice people and they help you with whatever you need. It is really a must see location. It is also a great start to discover San Francisco which is a 20 minute drive (Pier 39). Great stay, great people so enjoy!

    May 2014
  • We absolutely loved everything about this stay. Lois and Bob were great. The location is absolutely magical - it's easy to see how Otis Redding was inspired to write about "sitting on the dock of the bay." The houseboat is adorable, cozy and well appointed - I truly did not want to leave!

    April 2014
  • While this was my first airbnd experience, I am confident that Lois has got to be the best host on here. We stayed on her boat for three nights, and my only regret was that we couldn't stay longer. The accomodations where very comfortable, and the view was stunning. Pictures do not do this place justice. Lois is very helpful, without being intrusive, and we definitely how to stray here again in the future.

    Thanks for everything, Lois - the flowers for my new bride were a wonderful touch. Hope to see you again sometime.

    April 2014
  • What can I say except 'ahhhhh'? Lovely, relaxing, welcoming — the absolute perfect getaway. It does complete justice to the pictures. Lois and Bob are terrific. They lead busy lives, so even though they're next door, they're helpful but never intrusive. The bed was comfortable, with the well chosen linens and coverlet of a four-star hotel. The kitchen had all the pots and pans we needed to make dinner 'at home,' the heater works beautifully, the shower is strong and warm, and the French press (with the 'starter beans' provided) gave us a boost each morning! We took advantage of the tandem kayak, went for a walk downtown, ate at nearby Fred's Cafe' (best breakfast ever!), and took the winding drive into gloriously beautiful Muir Woods and Beach. The houseboat is a 15 to 20-minute trip into the City over the bridge, but the moment we got there, we wanted to be 'home' again. (To be fair, we've been to SF a lot.)

    So thank you, Bob and Lois: we so look forward to doing this again!

    March 2014
  • Once again another delightful stay at the floating guest cottage. Lois and Bob continue to make it a wonderful experience. I can't wait to go back!

    March 2014
  • We had a fabulous time in this amazing houseboat! Although it appears small, it had plenty of space and met all our needs! It was updated beautifully.We took advantage of the kayaks provided and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the area! If we travel to this area again we would certainly consider staying here again. It was a great location to explore both north and south of there as well as San Francisco! Lois was very easy to communicate with and offered many great suggestions for us.

    March 2014
  • We very much enjoyed out stay! Lois was a great host--we got in late, but she was able to meet us to orient us about the houseboat. The houseboat was petite, but lovely! Very nicely redone and comfortable with lovely views! We used the downstairs bedroom as a dressing room (right next to the bath downstairs) and slept in the upstairs bedroom. Because you need to walk down a walkway (which includes a few steps at the bottom) that adjusts with the tides (level at high tides, steeper at low tides) to the houseboat and use stairs to get to the main bedroom, this location may not work for those with mobility problems. It was rainy and overcast while we were there, so we didn't use the outdoor patio areas, but I especially enjoyed reading on the couch next to the free-standing old fashion style stove (you can see the gas flames through a window like a fireplace)--it was very warm and cozy. There is wireless wi-fi, but be aware there is no TV. I would highly recommend this location to everyone who is not mobility impaired and wants a unique vacation get-away (without a TV)! We hope to stay there again in the future.

    March 2014
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Lois recently retired from a legal career in the non-profit sector. A year ago, she and her husband Bob moved from San Francisco to their houseboat in Sausalito, which is next door to the guest cottage. Bob is a physician in Marin County. Lois is a tennis fanatic, they both love swing dancing, and Bob plays banjo in a jug band. As long time Bay Area residents, they are happy to provide suggestions. Should guests need anything, they will be happy to respond.
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