About this listing
Humble cottage, great view: Hilton Village. Views of James River from every room. Walk-at-night, non-cookie-cutter '40s neighborhood; walk to fishing pier, playground, min drive to shopping, dining. ANSWERS in detailed description below. PLEASE READ.
PLEASE, PLEASE READ THIS. The answers to MOST FAQs are here: location, dog policy, what kind of space, etc. We offer two rooms and full bath on the second floor; once you book, whether single or a group, we don't rent to other guests; you have the entire floor and don't have to share bathroom, etc. That is why it shows as an apartment instead of a room or two rooms; if you only need one bedroom, the other room is your "lounge"! The suite has a privacy door if you want to keep it locked (ask for key). You also have use of the downstairs and of course the yard and beach. WE LIVE ON FIRST FLOOR, and are available to help, but we don't invade your privacy, although you are welcome to hang out with us if you like (we are generally working indoors or outside gardening).
I've found Airbnb easy to use, but some don't understand when they see a per-addl-person price ($30) and/or the Airbnb service charge. The price comes up once you enter dates and # of people (before you pay). We could not do this without airbnb, so please don't ask us to contact you by phone, website or email until you've booked. We do not discount except for a baby sleeping in the bed with you. If our home is out of your budget, this area has plenty of hotels, some as low as $50 per night.
We have a Great Dane, "Rosky", who is mild-mannered. He has the run of the first floor; after he meets guests he is easygoing and tends to sleep when he's not outside playing or going for a walk. Once in a while, someone books a group where one doesn't like dogs or is allergic, which means their stay is not as nice as it could have been; WE TELL YOU NOW so this doesn't happen to you! You may shut Rosky out of the second floor, of course; it has a door that locks. Your 1 or 2 dogs are welcome but you must get a petsitter if you want to leave the dog with someone while you are out longer than for a meal (2 hrs). Dogsitters can be found online but we have friends who are willing to petsit. If you ask us to accept your dogs, we expect them to be well-behaved and to get along with Rosky (so far, so good). You may leave them here when you dine out, but if you have plans to leave them behind for longer than an hour or two, please understand that we expect you to get a petsitter. If somehow the dog is left with us for longer than an hour or two, you will pay us a petsitting surcharge of $35 per hour.
No cats, sorry. I'm allergic to them.
We aren't pristine or spotless; we have some peeling paint here and there…we think shabby chic describes our house. Sterile it is NOT. Our 1940s bathrooms are not retro, they are the real thing; we just happen to like them and other quirky things about this house, but they are old and as clean as we can make them.
Our friends tend to drop in without knocking...you have a lock for the second floor and need not meet our friends and neighbors, but you are welcome to hang out downstairs, except in our bedroom!
You have privacy upstairs for meals (hotel room sized refrigerator, 2 microwaves, toaster oven, coffeemaker and all the dishes/cutlery, etc) or use our kitchen to prepare what you want from what we supply, or let me know if you'd like me to make your breakfast (You have to call me in case I am asleep when you are getting ready to come down; we generally are up by 7 or 8am). First floor has dining room, eating nook/bar; the deck is nice for coffee (or meals when it's not too windy or cold); the overlook is great for coffee or cocktails and of course, the view. We have even served breakfast to guests out there. Our backyard has garden beds, pictured, in varying stages of needing to be weeded (you're welcome to cut flowers for your room, I only put them in there if you tell me you want them…some folks are allergic).
We landscaped for privacy: we love our views of the 5-mi-wide James River and sky; at night, the lights of the JR bridge and the other shore. Some nights the moon is so bright and its reflection on the river so wide that it wakes us! We love that...but if you don't, you have curtains and/or blinds on your windows.
We live on the first floor; those who want company can find us, and those who want privacy come and go as they please--no need to knock or ring the bell, just come on in at whatever hour you like. We're fine either way: what could be worse than a host who wants to chat all the time or push a big breakfast on you when all you want is a cuppa joe and a sweet roll or fruit or handful of almonds. We always have breakfast supplies to satisfy all tastes (so far) and can cook for our guests, but do call in the morning to make sure we meet your schedule if you want us to cook. Specify gluten free, vegan (etc) foods; we always have breads, eggs, bacon, juices, etc. There are always breakfast foods, snacks and drinks upstairs.
We are within walking distance of Amtrak. With luggage, maybe a haul (about 8 blocks), but we can get you to and from the train station...or the airport at NN (PHF) if you want a free ride (taxis are available but I'm not sure of their rates). Car rentals are available at the airport or nearby but crazy as it sounds, you can't find a car rental agency that stays open after 5:30pm. I'm working on that.
Norfolk (20 miles, but 45 mins or longer) and Richmond (1 hr or longer) airports may have transportation other than cabs. We can't transport from either of those airports; cab ride is probably about $100 (as opposed to maybe $25 from PHF).
Sheets, towels, beach towels, linens, and just about any toiletry, safety or or need supplied in bathroom or the linen closet across from bathroom.
We have never felt we needed a house cleaning deposit or fee. Help us keep it that way. I won't stay in an airbnb home that makes me pay a housekeeping deposit or fee unless the rate is so low that it's worth it!
No cable or satellite TV but a DVD player, selection of movies & small TV screen in one of the rooms; excellent WIFI.
Don't expect fancy accommodations; this is our home and we live the way we want to--dogs can be rough on a house! You probably will spend more time looking at the river than the house: the view alone is worth the stay.
We have no light rail and little bus service that doesn't involve walking or biking; there is a bike shop around the corner that may rent. Summer traffic is congested and the 20-30 mi trip to VA Beach can take 2+ hours.
We have had to turn away folks who thought we were an hour from Annapolis MD or Charleston SC. Let us know why you are coming; we redirect a lot of people who think that our location 20 miles from Norfolk means we are 20 minutes away.
Newport News is not a destination--it is a cheaper place to stay while touristing. We don't like to be nosy, but we want our accommodations to be the right fit for you, so if you tell us your plans, we may be able to enhance your visit; or there may be an airbnb property you haven't considered that might suit you better. We have a flexible check-in/check-out and cancellation policy, altho you have to pay airbnb fees if you cancel. So let's be sure this is what you want before you book!
We do not supply daily maid service; we leave your room alone unless you ask for something to be put there or cleaned while you are out.
When our contact details are released to each other, you can text or call for the fastest response. I will be in touch regardless.
The sleeper sofa (junior twin) may not be perfect for someone with back problems, but I have slept on it and at age 58 was comfortable all night, and that was before I added mattress toppers to it. But I don't have back problems! The full size (double) bed in the East BR has been described as heavenly by many guests. Full does not mean queen size! We have a junior twin cot, too. The futon (also a full, not a queen) in the West BR has a great mattress (yes, I have slept on all of them, even the window seat, or how could I expect you to?). The foldaway twin size cot, should you need it, is also not recommended for bad backs.
Any questions? Ask them before you book. We want guests to know the answers before they book. If you arrive early and we have guests departing that day, there may still be someone here since we have a flexible arrival/departure schedule; so far this has never happened. Because the house has a lot of room and a big yard, chances are this wouldn't bother you anyway, but I need at least two hours to prepare for guests.
We do not mind being awakened for late arrivals, if the internet has gone crazy or the toilet runs or there is anything you can't find…whatever the problem, we have solutions always.
No pet baths or wet dogs indoors. We have "dog towels". Fleas have NEVER happened while we have lived here with our various and visiting dogs, 15 yrs. If we have any trouble with guest dogs, we'll just stop allowing them. Please don't be the reason for that; we love dogs and have had great luck with visiting pets.
We are not "childproofed". We ask that you bring things needed for safety (outlet covers, stair-blocking gate, etc.) and that you watch your child. We would hate to have to ask you to sign a waiver but we've found that some think of us as babysitters. Children are the responsibility of their parents or guardians while they are here. Please empty your trash outside if you have diapers to discard.
Our neighbors, mostly older folks, will call the police if we make too much noise or they see anything "funny" going on. You may smoke outside (there is a large deck for outdoor eating or hanging out, and an overlook on the river with chairs, benches and lounges), no loud music after 10pm; no heavy partying. So far we have been amazed at how many great people we have hosted. Most have treated us and our property nicely. If we end up having to make a house rules book, we'll just stop doing this.
There is also a powder room on first floor, in Doug's office just off the kitchen.
My stay with Cary and Doug was all I had hoped it would be. The large, rambling home was in a lovely old neighborhood and gave me the opportunity to take many long, leafy walks. Cary was generous and helpful - I had everything I needed in my upstairs suite - including thoughtful snacks and beverages provided by my hosts - and all the privacy I could want. I was able to come and go whenever and I never had the feeling that I was encroaching on their own world. Cary even made me a delicious breakfast one morning and - when I left at dawn and forgot my phone charger - she plunked it in the mail to me the next day.
Cary was a wonderful hostess. She's very available and helpful. Quiet sleep. Great breakfast. It was a fun stop.
Cary's home was welcoming and comfortable (as were Cary and Doug!) The sweet quirky house reminded me of an aunt's house growing up and I felt immediately at home. The upstairs was spacious and had all the amenities I needed (microwave, toaster oven, coffee pot). The bed was comfortable, the shower hot and strong and the views of the river were lovely. I opened all the drapes just to see it all the time. I loved sitting down by the river in the evening and early morning. Cary left no stone unturned to assure that I was comfortable and felt welcome (Rosky helped with that, too!) I enjoyed chatting with Cary and Doug and Rosky whenever our paths crossed, but they were very considerate of my privacy and space. During my stay, the house had a few technical issues as old houses will (a small plumbing leak and one air conditioner out), but none that impacted my stay at all. I had everything I needed and was completely comfortable the entire time. I wish I had stayed one more night and I will definitely go back if I'm in the area!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay with Cary, Doug and Rosky (the Great Dane!) They were welcoming and friendly and we could not have asked for a better location for our visit. The neighborhood is peaceful and quiet, and view of the river (especially at sunset) is spectacular. The two rooms and bathroom were nice, neat, and fully stocked with all of the essentials, including a mini-fridge stocked with fresh fruit, yogurt, cheese, juice, and other assorted goodies! We visit Newport News often, and will definitely be back!
This is a duplicate review of essentially the same stay for the same tournament, which for technical reasons got divided up into two reservations: A tennis teammate and I stayed over a tournament weekend with Cary and Doug. Their house is beautiful, on the river, a couple minutes from the Huntington Park tennis center where the tournament was held. They are great folks, really friendly, Cary made terrific breakfasts each morning. Roscoe, their Great Dane, is a handsome, young, sweet dog. Booking, 'check in', coming and going from matches and outings with the rest of the team, who stayed up at City Center, were all easy as pie. Drinks in the minifridge, little chocolates in a basket, great conversations on the patio overlooking the 5 mile wide James River - all added up to a most memorable and enjoyable stay.
A tennis teammate and I stayed over a tournament weekend with Cary and Doug. Their house is beautiful, on the river, a couple minutes from the Huntington Park tennis center where the tournament was held. They are great folks, really friendly, Cary made terrific breakfasts each morning. Roscoe, their Great Dane, is a handsome, young, sweet dog. Booking, 'check in', coming and going from matches and outings with the rest of the team, who stayed up at City Center, were all easy as pie. Drinks in the minifridge, little chocolates in a basket, great conversations on the patio overlooking the 5 mile wide James River - all added up to a most memorable and enjoyable stay.
Loved the place. Highly recommended both for the location and the house. Had to tear my goddaughter away from the dog.
About the Host, Cary
My husband and I are quiet, friendly homebodies. We are happiest at home on the river. We work from home. We have hosted hundreds of people here. He is more private than I, comes out to meet guests but generally leaves you alone if that's your choice; I love to cook and host but understand that some want privacy, some want the "people experience". I have used airbnb to book accommodations too; it's a great service and it always is less expensive even than a B&B for the quality of places we have stayed. Since I added our home to the list I have found this to be fun, rewarding, and best of all, it makes me clean house and tend the garden much more often than I would if we didn't have guests!