About this listing
Enjoy a retreat-like, tranquil, magical little house, with private kitchen and half bath, the charming companion of a large and colorful Victorian home, only 2 blocks from BART, close to cafes, bakeries and the celebrated Berkeley Bowl grocery.
This charming Old Lady, a century old Victorian Home, is an artistically colorful and inspiring refuge and place to find rejuvenation for your soul. I have several guest rooms. If this room is full, click on my photo or name to go to my profile and see my other listings. See my profile here:
Rooms are single occupancy to help preserve the quiet environment.
NOTE: If you are interested in staying 5 days or longer, contact me to ask about the possibility of getting a discounted rate! I often give discounts to those who want longer stays. To contact me, click on the "contact host" button lower on this listing page.
THE HOUSE AND THE LOCATION:
This house is very conveniently located in the Berkeley-Oakland border region 2 blocks from the South Berkeley (Ashby) BART station, the local subway. This allows you to travel to most any San Francisco Bay Area destination without a car. You can quickly arrive to downtown San Francisco within 30-45 minutes by BART.
Within walking distance of 5 blocks, you can find: several ethnic restaurants, 2 cafes, 2 bakeries, La Pena Latin American cultural center, Starry Plough Irish Pub, a low-fee acupuncture clinic, and Berkeley Bowl grocery store, with its celebrated enormous offering of fresh produce. Walk a little farther north, and within 30 minutes or 1 mile you will come to downtown Berkeley, and the University of California at Berkeley, movie theatres and many shops, restaurants, and other attractions such as bookstores, comics/games stores. (Downtown Berkeley is also just one BART stop away.) By walking East, you come to the attractive Elmwood avenue shopping area within ¾ mile, and its shops, restaurants, movie theatre and Metaphysical bookstore.
Walkscore gives my location a high score of 88 out of 100 for walkability: any higher a rating and you would have trouble finding a place to park. Speaking of parking, there is plenty 2-hr parking on my street, and there are smaller areas of unrestricted parking on my street and nearby.
This attractive Magical "Hobbit" house available for you is the most private room I have available. Even though one can feel like being on a retreat in most any room in my house, the Magical Hobbit house has the most retreat-like setting. It has a very unique charm, including knotty oak floor, three skylights, and several windows to look out at the honeysuckle tree and various parts of the backyard garden. The room features a full size bed with memory foam mattress, table and chair, dresser, small closet, and shelves stocked with many interesting books for you to browse through. The room has no bedrooms adjacent to it, and the room adjacent to it I only use to store things and enter only briefly. This means that this will be the quietest room in the house in the sense of your privacy and not hearing other guests. Clean sheets and towels provided. The walls are an avocado color, and windows and doors have redwood trim. Be inspired by the art on the walls and in the windows, while you look out at birds and squirrels.
The Magical Hobbit house also features other amenities which allow you to live fairly independently during the time you're here, such as a private half bathroom with toilet and sink, and a private kitchen including refrigerator, stove/oven, microwave, toaster oven, coffeemaker, blender, sink and counter.
Note that this room is close to the chicken coop, so you will probably hear the clucking of chickens in the morning and when they hear someone come into the backyard (they always like to say hello...) You might hear or see myself or others in the backyard at times, though it is not typical for anyone to spend extended amounts of time there. The backyard is small but attractive, with a small pond and many fruit trees.
Some guests will keep all Hobbit House curtains closed for privacy, but I suggest having them open at least some of the day, otherwise you can't see the garden, and the room is darker and less attractive.
Note also that being in the backyard, you may see or hear wild animals. It has been known for a raccoon mom and her kids to walk across the Hobbit House roof, or peer in at you through the skylight. You may see a beady eyed rat dash across the yard or the sound of a squirrel running across the roof or chattering in the tree, or view a pink opossum tail as the slow walking marsupial beastie scurries under a hiding spot. When windows are opened, it is possible for a spider or fly to come in the house. Once a small bird flew in when I had the door open.
It gives me comfort that the Hobbit House is a natural place and not an hermetically sealed, sterile environment. If you are uncomfortable seeing or hearing wild animals, or if you are unable to remove a spider from a room by yourself, or swat a fly without help, this room would probably not be the best choice room for you. Other rooms in the house will give you more distance from urban critters. Please also note that due to this room's "Cabin" like setting, it tends to have small little cobwebs that form in corners and crevices -- again, a friendly reminder that we live with other kinds of "people" in this world. If such dainty tracings might bother you, again I suggest you look at my other room listings as the other rooms lack as many of these insect ornaments.
PLEASE NOTE that since I keep chickens, it is nearly impossible to not have a rat or two at times in the yard, as they are attracted to the chicken feed which must be left out for the chickens. I do try to remove the rats when I see them, but it is not possible to guarantee that you will not see a rat, so please don't book this room if this is something that would bother you. Having chickens brings me joy and I hope it will to you too. They like visitors, by the way, although the way to their hearts is through their beaks so they'll appreciate tidbits handed out.
Heat: THis room has its own wall-mounted, direct vent gas heater. In the colder seasons, I have set heat to come on in the morning and late afternoon/evening for a few hours each, which is sufficient to keep the room comfortable around 70F. In order to prevent energy waste and expense, heat does not run at night when guests are asleep (I provide extra comforters/blankets), I do not heat the room to 75F or 80F, and guests are asked to wear attire appropriate to the season (eg long-sleeved shirts in winter, instead of shorts and t-shirts). If you need the heat adjusted please let me know and I can adjust the settings. Given the quite reasonable rate you are paying for this private space with its private heater, realize that if you want significantly more heat than is provided, a price alteration to your reservation may be necessary to compensate for a large increase in utilities costs.
This space is only available for stays of 4 weeks or less, because I like to use the space myself in between guest visits. The Magical Hobbit house is single occupancy only and guests may not bring others to this room at any time. This is a very rejuvenative, healing space and it is suitable for a quiet person. Talking loudly or late at night is not appropriate for this space.
There is wifi and laundry available on site.
The common areas of the main house are professionally cleaned once a month, and I clean these areas weekly. Apart from this, guests are required to clean up after themselves when using common areas, (see house rules for more info) so for Hobbit House guests this means you must clean up the common bathroom you use for bathing.
I have spoken to my internet service provider, Xfinity, and their technical staff tells me that no internet service can be guaranteed available 100% of the time. So there may be times from 10 to 30 minutes when the wifi and/or internet is down. Additionally, if too many people are on the internet at once, service may be slower. For this reason I suggest that my house is not the best place for those who need to do a lot of regular internet work from here, and I ask that guests do not regularly watch videos or play video games online, as these uses put a greater demand on the system and cause service to slow down for others. it is best for you to have an alternate means of internet access, such as via a smartphone, so you are not overly dependent on the house ISP. Of course no one should be doing any illegal downloading -- doing that can cause your reservation to be terminated.
I have a bicycle which is available for guest use with the payment of an additional security deposit to cover its potential loss.
Architecturally, the main house is a colorful and playful house, where you won’t find white or “off white” rooms. The rooms have ten foot high ceilings and attractive moulding. All the original redwood moulding and redwood panel doors remain. The spacious kitchen is orange with a blue countertop and green tile floor, featuring an antique Wedgewood stove and basic staples for you to use for your cooking. Feel free to enjoy the fresh chicken/quail eggs I have placed in the kitchen, from my backyard flocks. In the kitchen I have also placed free maps which will help direct you to local attractions.
Most of the time the Meditation Room is not available as a guest is staying there, but when it is not occupied, feel free to enjoy the meditation room and library, the colorful front room of the house featuring 3 bay windows. Browse my book collection or sit in silence for meditation, yoga, reading or writing, art or any other silent activity: guests may talk in the room during hours 3-7pm.
Also feel free to enjoy the backyard garden, perhaps visiting the hens, or sitting by the pond with running water. I try to create a magical environment here: those with eyes innocent enough might even be privileged to glimpse rare sights such as a fairy riding bareback on a chicken, or standing up inside a rabbit's ear.
Please read house rules before booking a reservation to make sure you will be comfortable with the setting. I ask that prospective guests fill out a complete profile, including photo, and verified email and phone number. Please tell me a little about yourself and the purpose of your visit to my area. This is not a hotel, it is a private home, and so I like to know a little about who will be staying at my house.
Parking: 2 hr parking on most streets in the area, but there are some sections of the street with unrestricted parking.
Prospective guests often ask about area safety. Guests have said that they felt quite safe in this area, and I can say that neither I nor any of my guests have ever been accosted/robbed in my neighborhood in the 9 years I've been here. Apart from these facts, I cannot answer general questions about "how safe" the area is, or "will I be safe doing X", any more than I could answer a question about how likely you are to get hit by a car when walking around my neighborhood. Safety is both subjective and relative, and is also dependent upon use of common sense, such as being observant of one's surroundings, and not walking down the street while talking on the phone and advertising one's expensive electronics. Robberies do occur around the Ashby BART area and throughout Oakland and Berkeley. No area is completely safe.
This house has been a community house of one kind or another for over 40 years, and I have over 9 years experience in renting rooms in my house and learning how to create a tranquil environment for others to enjoy. It's a large house, and you won't feel crowded here: it's a great place to stay if you like your privacy and enjoy your independence.
I welcome you to come enjoy a tranquil retreat from the workaday world and rekindle your sense of delight and enchantment!
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Private kitchen, private half bath. Also guest has access to another 2 bathrooms, full use of laundry facilities for those staying 3 days or more, use of backyard. Use of Meditation Room if it is not occupied by a guest staying in that room.
Interaction with Guests
I like to talk with guests when they arrive, but I am a pretty private person as well as someone needing large blocks of private time for creative projects, so after I get home from work I tend to spend time alone. I also am out a lot on weekends. I tend to chat with guests when I them around...if you like interacting with others, there is always more than one guest at the house and you are likely to be able to get to know other people from around the world.
The immediate area is a one-block long very quiet residential neighborhood of mostly single family homes, but we are also one block away from a main street which has several cafes and restaurants, and we are walking distance from downtown Berkeley and the UC Campus.
BART (the local Subway) is only 2 blocks away, and there are bus lines 1 block away. It is easy to get to San Francisco by public transit, or to most Bay Area destinations.
In order to provide a rejuvenative, tranquil and retreat-like atmosphere for guests, as well as a healthy, comfortable and safe environment, the following are the rules of my house. It is your responsibility to not only read these rules once, but to be aware of and follow all of them throughout your stay at my home. Most of what follows is common sense or common courtesy. The rules serve to protect you as a guest by helping ensure that the environment you find here is the one that I intended to create.
Please keep in mind:
You will be sharing common areas with other guests, and thus the cleanliness of the common areas is far more dependent upon all guests cleaning up after themselves, than it is upon my once a week cleaning. Most guests do very well in keeping common areas clean!
Kindly remove shoes upon entering the house. Please do not drag luggage up the front stairs.
Please leave things as they are in your room: do not remove pictures from walls, don't move furniture around, and do not remove the comforter cover from the comforter or the mattress protector from the mattress. Also, it should not be necessary to say, but since some guests have done this, I must add: please do not take any of my personal possessions out of my home for any reason.
No smoking or "vaping" of any substance inside or outside house, and please do not smoke on the sidewalk in front of the house as this results in dropped butts littering the street.
No pets/animals may be brought to my home. If you like animals, there are some in the backyard who enjoy being visited! Any guest who intends to bring an animal, MUST disclose this prior to booking. In the case of a guest who fails to disclose that they intend to bring an animal prior to making a reservation, and arrives with an animal, their reservation will not be honored and they will be turned away.
For the better health of all, this is a fragrance/chemical free environment --no fragrances --no perfumes/colognes, “air fresheners”, laundry soap with fragrance, fabric softeners, incense. Shampoo with fragrance is fine.
Due to danger of fire, no candles, space heaters or open flames may be used in the house.
Rooms come already furnished, and guests may not bring additional furniture. Guests may not bring a huge amount of belongings -- please limit yourself to 2-3 suitcases.
Please observe hours for laundry facilities.
No heavy/greasy cooking in the kitchen. Please, if you spill things on the stovetop, clean it up. Do not leave spills to bake onto the stovetop, which makes them hard or impossible to clean off.
In the shared bathroom, please don't store your items anywhere but in your designated storage space, labeled with your room name, or they may be removed or discarded, as I will assume a departing guest has left them.
Please do not consume food or beverage in the bed as this can cause damage to linens. Dishes may not be stored in the guest bedrooms.
Do not leave personal belongings in common spaces when done with those areas. Each guest will have designated bath and kitchen storage areas for your own personal use.
AFter use of the bathtub/shower and sink, please clean out hair from the drain/floor area and sink area and make sure tub/shower is basically clean. Do not remove the drain screens from tub/sink as those help prevent clogs. Do not use hair dyes in tub/shower as this will cause damage to the facility.
Common areas are cleaned once a week, and guest rooms are cleaned in between guest visits. Apart from this, guests are expected to clean common areas after use and clean their own rooms during their stay.
Longer term guests: in order to prevent the problem of stale, unpleasant odors emanating from rooms and into common spaces or other's rooms, room windows need to be opened periodically to air out the room. If stale odors become a problem, I will enter guest rooms to air out these spaces.
Rooms are single occupancy only, and guests may not bring any others to visit to my house, neither overnight or during the day. No exceptions will be made.
House quiet hours are 9pm to 8am, and laundry hours are 9am to 9pm. To help preserve the tranquil environment, please keep electronic players and/or voices down at all times, and do not have cellphone conversations in the house after 10pm to avoid disturbing others. No socializing in the house after 10pm.
Please use computers, radios, electronic players and cellphones in your room only and do not bring these into common areas.
Please always lock deadbolts of exterior doors when passing in/out through the doors.
If you have a bicycle, there is a bike storage area outside where you can put it: please do not bring bikes or additional furniture into rooms. Because bike storage space is limited, please ask me before bringing a bike to the house, as there may or may not be room for additional bikes. I do have a bike available for guests to use if an additional security deposit amount is paid to cover its potential loss. Bikes may not be parked/stored anywhere on the property except in bike storage area.
I had hoped that I wouldn’t have to say this, but because some guests have done this I have to say: you may not be present in my house in an intoxicated state. Neither I nor other guests at my house want to have to interact with an intoxicated person or have our sleep disrupted by someone who arrives drunk late at night. Persons who are intoxicated in my house will be asked to leave my house and find another place to stay.
No mail may be received by guests at my home. I used to allow this but due to repeated abuse, I cannot allow this any longer. I get an enormous amount of mail for people who no longer live here. There are UPS and Fedex places nearby where you can receive mail. Unauthorized mail will be refused delivery and returned to the mail carrier.
Please exercise common sense and good judgement throughout your stay. Examples of not using good judgement: piling up dishes too high on dish rack, so they fall out onto the floor. Putting on makeup or hair gel and then lying down on my linens, thus damaging them.
Internet: Service interruptions in internet/cable can and do occur which are out of the control of the homeowner. No discount or compensation will be made for Internet/cable interruptions of any length.
Guest agrees to pay Host for damages or loss for any of Host's property damaged/lost by the Guest.
In order to save myself and my guests from trouble in the case of any guest refusing to follow house rules, significant violation of house rules may result in immediate termination of the reservation, forfeiture of the total cost of reservation, and/or a $20 fee per incident.
When checking out, leave room door open, go out front door and lock exterior door, then place the keys in the mailbox. Note check out time of 11am. You must leave no later than checkout time.
I will orient you to the house when you arrive.
I look forward to meeting you!
Arbitration. All claims and disputes for total amounts greater than $5000, with the exception of Unlawful Detainer actions, arising under or relating to this Agreement are to be settled by Binding Arbitration in the state of California. An award of arbitration may be confirmed in a court of competent jurisdiction.
Deborah was very responsive and helpful, and the neighborhood felt safe. I found parking across the street every day. The Magical Hobbit House was better than I expected. It was incredibly cozy, with lots of greenery visible through the windows and the sounds of quietly clucking chickens and splashing water coming from the courtyard. It is so close to BART and city life, but tucked behind the main house so it feels very tranquil. There's an excellent library of books. One drawback is that there's only a "half bath," which means a sink and toilet, so I had to go into the main house to take a shower or bath. But I never had to wait for a turn in the 6 days I was there.
Deborah made special arrangements for my late check-in which is much appreciated! The Hobbit House (HH) is a place full of character. Part of my travels is about eating out so I didn't use the kitchen but if you cook while traveling, this place is perfect. The kitchen is well-stocked and VERY bright. There are THREE (yes, three!) skylights in HH so gloomy Bay Area days are no match for them. I loved hearing the pitter patter of squirrels on the roof, even when the fruit (?) they were picking fell on the roof, and the cackling of the chicken.
Unique, comfy place with character
Private cottage in the back of the property, behind the house
Stellar & very bright private kitchen (including yummy biscotti)
Private & decent half bath next to said kitchen (note that although the space doesn't have a door, there's a curtain and a shelf that makes a clear boundary from the kitchen)
Excellent location VERY close (less than a 10 min. walk) to Ashby BART (the walk is perfect, too) and the main street of Shattuck
Highly responsive & helpful host
However, I'd like to point out that having the shower area in the main house (you have to get out of HH to shower) is not for everyone esp. since you have to bring your own toiletries. There are 2 showering options and both are very decent but I much preferred the roomier one upstairs. For the value/price though, I don't mind the separate showering situation.
In summary, I recommend this place esp. if you're not tall (hence, the name, right?). I'm 5'7" and I still bumped my head a couple on a shelf near the kitchen door. I'd stay here again in the future if I can!
The Magical Hobbity house is a sweet haven in a tranquil area between Berkeley and Oakland. This little cottage getaway is the perfect place to recharge and rest in the big city. The quail and hens are a charming (and chatty) presence. Deborah is attentive, helpful and present. There are a good few house rules, but they are designed to make things flow better for the various guests coming through. The kitchen is well stocked. The bed had a bit of a dip in it, but I think that is going to be addressed. I adored my two weeks here.
I had a great stay. Deborah was very nice and the place was just as described. It has a great atmosphere and is super close to the Bart!
Had a lovely relaxing time at the Hobbit house- the space was cozy, quiet and inviting with a fantastic selection of books, on a quiet residential block but just 1 block from the Bart so easy access to all of the Bay area. Deborah was very easy to communicate with, provided clear directions for key pickup/drop off and immediately accommodated my request to extend my stay.
The Hobbit house has a private toilet and kitchen. Shower access (clean and well-maintained) is in a separate building shared with other guests.
The Hobbit House is very nice and my stay is very pleasant. Geborah is so very nice to explain me things patiently and nicely, so I would definitely recommend the Hobbit House to others.
Only one thing: the internet connection in the house is a little weak, so probably if that can be fixed, then it would be perfect.
It's always nice to have a guest as communicative and friendly as you, Lei!
The internet in the rest of the house is pretty strong, but for the Hobbit House can at times be a bit weaker. However, I do have an ethernet cable connection that all guests can plug into and use if needed at the kitchen table on the ground floor.
The Magical Hobbit House was very pleasant. The kitchen has everything you need for cooking, and the adjoining room is great for storage very comfortable and cozy with all the necessities . Quiet and close to conveniences and Bart . Deborah was very helpful . I can highly recommend Staying here.
This host has 190 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Deborah
I have a passionate interest in cultivating the life of the soul of the human psyche. In the past I worked as a counselor and led a dream group. For many years, I have studied mythology and Jungian psychology, and practiced Active Imagination and dreamwork. I use Tarot as a tool for spiritual/soul growth as well as the Divinatory Arts, and I study and practice Horary Astrology. I enjoy Early Music (medieval), Baroque, and chamber music, and Sacred vocal music, and am an avid bicyclist. I also spend time taking long walks in the many Bay Area parks we are so fortunate to have available here. I also love creating beautiful spaces, and having an opportunity to do so creatively is one of my favorite types of projects to undertake in my professional life in home design. I've spent a lot of time making a more beautiful and inspiring space out of my own home, and I feel grateful to be able to make this space available to others!
I am an introvert, a visual artist, writer, astrologer and book lover and also spend a great deal of my free time either browsing bookstores, or at home engaged in the enchanting world of a good story or compelling mystery book, doing pen sketches and small watercolor or acrylic paintings, or working on the mystery novel I"m writing.
I love that the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the richest spiritual centers in the world, with a marvelous diversity of teachings, retreat centers and workshops available here. We are extremely fortunate in this regard. In my own spiritual path, the role of Imagination and Creativity are very important, and the type of Meditation I practice is music/devotional meditation rather than Vipassana, though I do attend Buddhist retreats and workshops from time to time.
Here I am participating in the Airbnb contingent in the recent San Francisco PRIDE parade! Celebrating freedom to marry, and hoping for more national freedom to homeshare: