Mountain Top Studio Cottage w/charm

Cabin - Entire home/apt · Panoramic Highway, Mill Valley, CA 94941, United States
Scott N. Derrick

Separate detached cottage with stunning views for sunrise and for sunset. Immediate access to hiking and biking trails. Full kitchen with two decks, dedicated gas grill and parking space. Quick access to beaches, San Francisco, Napa, Mill Valley town

Your host, Scott N. Derrick
54 Reviews
Response rate: 90%
Response time: within a day

Separate detached cottage with stunning views for sunrise and for sunset. Immediate access to hiking and biking trails. Full kitchen with two decks, dedicated gas grill and parking space. Quick access to beaches, San Francisco, Napa, Mill Valley town

The Space

This is a very charming, fully furnished 260 square foot studio cottage on Throckmorton Ridge surrounded by mature redwood, pine and fir trees. The cottage is totally freestanding and independent from the main house so you won't hear loud footsteps from the family upstairs or pounding music coming through a common wall. Instead you'll be in your own very private space. You'll be sleeping on the roomy queen size bed or on the additional small hide away bed which allows the cottage to accommodate 2 adults and a child. You can prepare your meals in the fully equipped kitchen or the dedicated outdoor gas barbecue grill. The kitchen has a full 4 burner stove with oven, under counter refrigerator, small microwave oven, toaster oven and automatic drip coffee maker. There is one European style bathroom with shower. The floors are the original Douglas Fir wide planks that were locally sourced old growth trees. The electronically and remotely operated skylight and many windows fill the space with light and fresh mountain air. There's a sunny and very private brick patio with a tranquil water feature. On the other side of the cottage, the French doors open out to a wooden deck blurring the line between outside and inside living. The views from here overlook Mill Valley, Tiburon and Belvedere in the San Francisco Bay to the east and Muir Woods National Monument and Tamalpais State Park and the Pacific ocean to the west. Unlike places in lower Mill Valley, up here you can enjoy both stunning morning sunrises and evening sunsets. Vistas of the Pacific Ocean are steps away, looking north you will gaze upon the three peaks of iconic Mount Tamalpais. The panoramic San Francisco Bay views extend all the way to Mount Diablo and stretch across the East Bay from Richmond to Berkeley and Oakland. This view is especially magical at night with the lights of Mill Valley eastward to the Oakland and Berkeley Hills twinkling under the moonlight. Without streetlights and other light pollution, the stars fill the night sky with an amazing light show impossible to see almost anywhere else in the Bay Area.
Please be aware that as a registered business entity subject to all rules and regulations in Marin County, we are required to charge a 10% "transient occupancy tax." Specifics can be found in the last paragraph of this description.
Please be warned that with great and easy vehicle access comes some road noise especially during commute times but this is generally a quiet and peaceful mountaintop getaway. There is a dedicated off street parking space for the cottage as well.
Our central San Francisco Bay Area location means you'll only be 10 minutes from downtown Mill Valley for essentials and just 15 minutes to the Golden Gate Bridge, the entrance to everyone's favorite city, San Francisco.
You'll be surrounded by our world famous redwoods and feel like a million miles from the hustle and bustle. There is virtually instant access to hundreds of miles of biking and hiking trails just up and across the road leading to Muir Woods or Mount Tamalpais. It's a 10 minute drive to Muir Beach and 20 minutes to Stinson Beach for surfing, beach combing, and sunset bonfires. Maybe a scenic 45 minute drive to the heart of Napa or Sonoma wine country is what's on your agenda. You may want to take a hike or drive through redwood and fir forests to quaint Mill Valley to shop or hang out in our charming town square. Maybe enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants, catch a comedy show or a concert at the famous Sweetwater Club or the Marin Theater Company. Only a 5 minute jaunt from Mill Valley will take you to the artist mecca of Sausalito. There you'll visit dozens of art galleries, shops, and more restaurants right on the edge of the bay. You can enjoy attractions like the Bay Model and see the world renowned and colorful houseboats, visit the spa at Cavallo Point, overlooking the water with Golden Gate Bridge vistas. You may want to swing by Green Gulch Farm and take a lesson on meditation amongst the famous gardens and organic farmland or take a scenic drive up the coast to Tomales bay and feast on fresh oysters at Hog Island Farm after taking a hike amongst Fallow and Axis deer at Point Reyes National Park following a tour of local cheese making at Cowgirl Creamery. You could rent a kayak and paddle to historic Angel Island passing the ferries taking passengers across the waters of San Francisco Bay. Perhaps the next day you'll be on that same ferry taking in the expansive bay water views.
Of course you can always just hang out, grill some dinner and watch the sunset over one of the last old growth Redwood forests in the world.
Small, well behaved dogs are welcome as we have two probably even less well behaved Basenjis. (Basenjis are small to medium, short haired, willful, disobedient, food focused, African hunting dogs that are unable to bark but well abled to beg). If you plan to bring your furry friend please note, we ask for an extra $20 per night, not to exceed $100 to help with the "fur removal."
Again, as a reminder, we are required by county law to collect a transient occupation tax of 10% for the full amount of your bill. We have chosen to collect it separately as Airbnb will include their service charge in the tax calculation resulting in a higher tax. We hope that in the future they will remedy this but in the meantime we will calculate the fee after we receive your reservation confirmation. At that time we can remove Airbnb's charges so that you won't be taxed on those fees. We ask that your payment be made at the time of check in and be in the form of a check or in cash for which you will receive a receipt per county ordinance. We apologize for any inconvenience but the funds collected are for natural habitat preservation and restoration, infrastructure improvements, and to line the pockets of undeserving, bloated and money grabbing politicians like our feckless, functionless, and squabbling assembly persons, congress persons and senators in Sacramento (our state capital) and Washington (world hot air center).

Guest Access

After parking your car in your own parking space, you enter through your own private entrance gate onto your own private patio. Though guests can enjoy their two dedicated outdoor spaces, the brick patio where you can grill your meals on your supplied gas grill or the wood deck which affords the eastern bay views, our guests have often sat sipping coffee or wine on our main deck which overlooks Mill Valley, the northern San Francisco Bay waters, the hills of Berkeley and Oakland to Mount Diablo, a hundred miles away. Guests can ramble throughout the grounds picking fruit from the pear and loquat trees when in season or gather herbs like rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme or mint from the gardens for their meals.

Interaction with Guests

We live on the property and always let the guests determine the extent of our interaction with them. We would be glad to give directions as well as activity and restaurant recommendations but always respect our guests' privacy and boundaries.

The Neighborhood

We live in a special hilltop community. Our neighbors are diverse and friendly, joined by our mutual love of nature and savoring the proximity of both our redwood studded mountain parks and trails and all the urban offerings of the amazing San Francisco Bay Area. We live among musicians and artists, lawyers and physicians, healers and educators, hiking in nature advocates and enthusiastic trail bikers, lovers of the outdoors and of solitude. There are so few special places in the world where all these different people can live in what we can all agree to be paradise on earth.

Getting around

Though there is a public transportation system, most people choose to drive so that they can maximize their time to get to all the multitude of attractions that the area affords. A 10 minute drive to the Mill Valley town can be a 30 minute downhill hike instead. The same amount of times will get you to Stinson Beach or Muir Beach. Hiking and biking is a great way to enjoy this area fully. Getting there is often the highlight of

Other Things to Note

Please kindly read the reviews. They will give you a better sense of what the place is like for guests.

Room type: Entire home/apt
Accommodates: 2
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Beds: 2
Extra people: No Charge
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Weekly Price: $875 /week
Monthly Price: $2300 /month
Security Deposit: $150
Cleaning Fee: $50
Check In: 3:00 PM
Check Out: 11:00 AM
Cancellation: Moderate
Pet Owner: Dog(s) and Other pet(s)
Overall Guest Satisfaction
Check In
  • I had a wonderful time at Scott and Derrick's cottage! The listing is thorough and accurate and the reviews right on target, so there were no unexpected surprises. The cottage is attractive, comfortable, and stocked with everything needed for a relaxing visit. It is cozy enough to be romantic, yet provides sufficient space for two people to move around. The kitchen is compact and functional enough to make a full meal. We enjoyed breakfast on the patio and the view from the deck. The cottage is a 10 minute drive from town, but worth the drive for such a beautiful location. Trails to Muir Woods are right across the road - no parking hassles. Scott and Derrick were charming hosts - friendly and generous while allowing us plenty of privacy. And my British friend appreciated the Union Jack flag flown for our departure. Highly recommended!

    July 2014
  • This was my first Air bnb stay and Scott and Derrick made it a lovely experience for us. Very helpful and communicative S n D gave us maps, milk, coffee, juice, apothecary and were very friendly letting us use their private deck to experience an amazing view of mill valley. Thank you Scott and Derrick for an amazing weekend.

    June 2014
  • My wife and I just stayed the weekend at Scott N. Derrick's cottage and it was fantastic! The cottage was cozy and warm -- perfect to two. Beautiful view, sparkling clean kitchen and bathroom, good A/V (Satellite and DVD). A wonderful getaway spot.

    Scott and Derrick were the consummate hosts; Scott greeted us warmly, showed us around, and invited us to hang out on the main deck if we wanted -- which offers an amazing view of the North Bay and beyond. Otherwise, they gave us our privacy, but were cheerfully available whenever we needed them.

    I'd highly recommend this cottage to anyone who wants to escape the stresses of everyday life. It's close to everything, but still secluded enough to feel like you've traveled somewhere far away...

    April 2014
  • Scott and Derrick were great hosts who encouraged us to use their own deck to appreciate better views. The unit itself is located at the top of Muir Woods, providing a breathtaking panoramic view. The unit was cozy and is perfect for a couple with a bed, a couch, and a small kitchen. Mill Valley is a hidden gem and this place is a bargain for the area.

    April 2014
  • The Mountain Top Cottage was very sweet, tucked just below the ridge of Panoramic Way. I would definitely stay here again. It's a tiny space, but very well appointed and well organized. We rented the space (me and one friend) so we could do some hiking on Mt.Tam. It's a great location for hikers, with trailheads literally across the road, and also convenient to Mill Valley, Sausalito, Stinson, and points north. Because we had only one full day to hike we opted to drive down to Stinson and do the 7.3 mile Matt Davis-Steep Ravine-Dipsea Loop (HIGHLY recommended, by the way), but had we been there longer it would have been sweet to step out the door and start hiking without needing to drive anywhere.

    The space is probably best for couples, though there is a roll-away bed. My friend, who is taller (and more fussy) than me took the bed, and I slept on the roll-away. Basically, when you open the roll-away, the beds are side by side. Scott was quick to let us know about the proximity issue before we reserved the cottage, but we weren't concerned, since we were there for only two nights. The beds--even the roll-away--were comfortable, but for a longer stay the closeness and lack of privacy might be less desirable. My friend and I have been hiking and camping together for over 15 years, and we are comfortable in close quarters, so the only real issue was getting into the closet when the roll-away was open.

    We didn't get to meet Derrick, but Scott was a wonderful host--very attentive but not intrusive, also very kind, and genuine in his concern for our comfort. If the place were half as nice we'd stay there next time, just because the vibe he creates is so pleasant.

    March 2014
  • Based on all other reviews, my husband and I had high expectations. I can honestly say, they were met. The best aspect of this airbnb is the enthusiasm and pride that Scott and Derrick take in ensuring your stay is comfortable and pleasant. Upon arrival, we were greeted with instructions on how to watch HBO as we were desperate to catch an episode of True Detective! Success! Derrick did indeed make and had left us an exceptional batch of granola and we also were supplied with essentials such as a small milk, juice and waters. Plus a bottle of red wine! Spoiled really. As for the accommodation itself -- it's small but clean, neat and has a airy uplifting feeling due to high-ceiling and clouds mural -- The location is a bit of a climb/drive into the hills but the views are worth it. Once it was clear to our hosts that I am actually from the UK with Irish heritage, we had fun noticing that there was a new flag flown on the property each day we stayed. It's a thoughtful and even educational touch -- I had no idea there were so many flags to represent my nationality! All in all, we look forward to returning if not too booked up! Thank you Scott & Derrick for making our stay so sweet :)

    March 2014
  • Scott and Derrick's mountain top studio cottage was fantastic - exactly as described. Communication throughout the process was excellent. They went well above the call of duty by leaving a bottle of wine for us and providing incredibly detailed notes on area restaurants. We were staying with them as part of our engagement weekend, and they made our celebration that much better.

    Muir Woods is literally next door, so you can't beat the location for views/hiking. You also have a driveway parking spot and a private entrance to the cottage. Scott and Derrick were very friendly and accessible - I got the sense that they would have entertained us all night if we had wanted, but they were also happy to give us our space and privacy. These are the types of hosts that make Airbnb great - highly recommended. We will be back!

    Geoff and Kelley

    March 2014
  • What a beautiful setting! Scott and Derrick were remarkably accommodating hosts. When I arrived, the fountain on the patio was running, soft light warmed the cottage and smooth jazz played over the stereo. All was a welcome and hospitable relief after a busy day of travel. Whether you're in the area for business or leisure, I highly recommend this place for a very comfortable and accommodating stay outside the city.

    March 2014
  • I had the pleasure of meeting Scott and he made my boyfriend and I feel very welcome right off the bat. I organized a last minute getaway for my boyfriend's birthday and we couldn't have chosen a better spot. The cottage is right across the street from stunning trails and mountain views. We chatted w Scott briefly when we first got in and told him how we met in Colorado. When we woke up the next morning, the CO flag was flying high! It was such a unique gesture and we loved it! We left wishing we were their permanent neighbors. The visit was great and we definitely hope to get back soon! VERY reccomended!

    March 2014
  • Derrick and Scott are such sweet hosts and the cottage is beautiful. They left us orange juice, coffee, and a bottle of wine upon our arrival. It was very thoughtful of them and they are really helpful if you have any questions during your stay.

    Plus you can just walk across the street for a gorgeous walk in Muir Woods and up to Mt. Tam.

    January 2014
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Hard Knocks U.
Full time job trying to figure out how we fit in this world and not make it any worse in the process.
We are Mill Valley residents for over 10 years. We love our mountain home with easy access to Muir Woods, hiking trails, local beaches, the wine country and all of the amenities of beautiful San Francisco. We just remodeled our home and have moved out of the cottage which we wish to share with others who can appreciate the very special gift that is living on Mount Tamalpais. We have been together for almost 20 years and most recently adopted two rescue Basenjis, Max and Nepos. Basenjis are medium to small barkless shorthaired hunting hounds originally from Africa. They love to meet new people and cajole them out of whatever edibles they may have with manipulative sad eyes and expectant looks. We love to travel and love meeting fellow travelers as well. Our goal is to see the world while the world is still worth seeing. Our idea of traveling is to sample the culture, lifestyle, food, and traditions of all the places and people we see. Luxury is nice but one of the ways that Americans shield themselves from the surrounding world, closing them off to any real experience of the people and the places they might visit. That's not us. We are lucky to be surrounded by an eclectic group of neighbors, many of whom have become close and dear friends. They include modern artists, photographers, wood artisans, bee keepers, world renowned psychiatrists, engineers and hands on healers. The four of us look forward to welcoming you to our special mountain retreat and are available as a local resource to help access the many offerings of the Bay Area but also respect our guests' privacy and desires to tailor their own experience.
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