A Secret Garden Hideaway with Beauty and Creature Comforts where you can Rest, Restore and Fall in Love...
Super Clean Modern Design, this bright, wide-open 950 square foot Artistic Space spills out onto a Huge Slate Patio surrounded by Lush Tropical Gardens -- views of the Monterey Bay shimmer in the distance. Wind Chimes ring in the gentle ocean breezes and the Cherry Plum Trees are alive with hungry birds; fat squirrels bounce from limb to limb. At dusk, romantic white lights twinkle in the canopy above.
Wall to Wall Travertine, Vibrant Art, Splendid Design and Attention to Detail make this Wonderful Space visually dramatic yet supremely functional with all of the creature comforts The Custom Bathroom is Palatial --200+ square foot Creative Layout with On-Demand Hot Water. The Simple and Beautiful Kitchenette and Well Stocked Pantry have everything you need and more. There is a Gas Grill on the Patio for BBQ. The Comfy King Bed can be separated to create two XL Twin Beds with a Shoji Screen for privacy. Like the best hotels, Fluffy Towels, Good Linens and Quality Sundries are provided.
The Expansive Deck 30 feet above has sweeping views of the Sleepy Seaside Community, the Blue Pacific and Monterey in the Distance. The Sunsets are amazing and the sounds of waves carry on the wind. Bring up your coffee in the morning and soak up the sunshine amidst the tree tops.
Having worked as a Director in the High End Hotel Industry, the space was inspired by my travels to Five Star Resorts around the world -- stealing their Best Practices. This Gorgeous Custom Loft-Style Apartment is ideal for the discerning traveler. This space occupies the entire bottom floor of my three-story home. It is fully self-contained with a private entry and is perfect for those seeking a quality experience in a peaceful setting.
AN EXPERIENCE TO REMEMBER...
Upon your arrival, you will be welcomed with a Bottle of Wine or Sparkling Juice which you can enjoy lounging on the Dreamy Garden Patio, in your Lovely Room or Up Above on the Ocean View Deck.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Start each day with our Yummy Greek Yogurt Bar with toppings like Fresh Oranges, Local Honey, Pistachios, Shaved Chocolate & Fresh Mint or Blueberries, Walnuts, Hemp Seeds & Agave. Bagels, Muffins and Cereal round out the morning. French Press Coffee, Specialty Teas and "Family Style" Milk & OJ are always provided.
Kick Back and enjoy HDTV with Home Theater, Netflix, Pandora, DVDs, WIFI. Or, you can unplug and go Old School Low Tech with Board Games, Backgammon, Playing Cards, Reading in the Garden.
A SLICE OF HEAVEN....
"Magical... Dream-Like.... Sweet... Perfect... Peaceful... Soothing.... Amazing.... Comforting.... Romantic... Smart Design... A Beautiful Refuge.... Mystical Jungle..." These are just some of the words my Wonderful Guests have used to describe the SECRET GARDEN SANCTUARY since we began welcoming visitors in January.
Rio Del Mar is a Quiet, Safe, Upscale Aptos-Seascape Neighborhood -- a Hidden Gem that feels like it's own little world, but just a hop skip and jump to a multitude of World Class Attractions - two minutes to Highway 1, 10 minutes South of Santa Cruz and 35 minutes North of Monterey / Pebble Beach. Moss Landing Harbor and Elkhorn Slough Marine Sanctuary are just 15 minutes down Highway 1. San Francisco is about an hour 15 up the Coast and the Silicon Valley / San Jose is just "Over the Hill", 35 minutes over Highway 17.
Walk for miles along the best beaches in the county, clean and uncrowded, less than a mile away as the Crow Flies. Go at low tide and collect piles of Sand Dollars for souvenirs. Paddle Kayaks at Elkhorn Slough Wildlife Sanctuary in Moss Landing. Or take a Beautifully Civilized Eco-Tour with Whisper Charters to see Birds, Otters and Sea Lions up close. On Saturday Mornings, stroll with the locals at the Cabrillo College Farmers Market. Seascape Golf Club and the Resort are just down the street. Take a ride on the Big Dipper at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Sip Santa Cruz Mountain Appellations at Local Wineries. Visit the Redwoods at Big Basin State Park. Take the spectacular drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to Big Sur for a tour you will remember forever. Stop in Cute Little Carmel by the Sea for dinner on your way back home. You are welcome to borrow my bikes (and helmets) to cruise the Coast or Nisene Marks. Or just relax and do nothing at all...
Vacations should be Well Lived.
SORRY, NO PETS -- Have them. Love them. But the apartment is an animal-free zone.
Interaction with Guests
I am a friendly, open person. I do, however, respect your privacy and will rarely come down to disturb you. I welcome you to come up to the ocean view deck if you would like to chat. Just text me and we can get together.
Please check out my other listing "SECRET HARBOR SANCTUARY -- Monterey Bay". I have an amazing 50' Custom Built Yacht moored at Moss Landing Nature Preserve, 12 minutes down the coast. "Meridian" is available for Overnight Stays AND Private Whale Watching Tours through my partners, Whisper Charters.
Other Things to Note
Due to Uptight Neighbors, we only permit TWO (2) Guests during your stay. This means that only registered guests are permitted to be on property (no additional visitors).
IS THIS THE PERFECT PLACE FOR YOU?
-- If you are looking for a "partying" type of place, this is NOT the spot for you. We ask that guests respect the peace, quiet and tranquility of the neighborhood -- Imbibe responsibly.
++ WE DO NOT CHARGE A CLEANING FEE. Please leave the place as you found it.
++PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE READ THE HOST DIRECTIONS! YOU WILL BE LOST IF YOU DO NOT. PLEASE.
-=Please park ONLY right next to the RETAINING WALL BELOW THE GARDENS. We don't want to fuel neighborhood parking wars.
-- PLAN TO CHECK IN NO LATER THAN 9 PM.
-- CHECK OUT IS 11 AM SHARP UNLESS OTHERWISE ARRANGED. (Cleaners come and charge extra if they have to wait.)
-- If you have mobility challenges, negotiating the multitude of hillside stairs could be problematic and I would not recommend staying here.
-- Because of the high end custom furnishings, I would not describe this place as "kid friendly".
--Guests are permitted to smoke outside on my patio with all sliding doors closed to prevent smoke sucking into the living space.
--When you depart, please leave the doors unlocked for the cleaners to enter.
--You are welcome to use the Yogurt Bar, fruit, cereals, milk, OJ, coffee, tea, cocoa, popcorn, condiments or other food items in your room, my treat.
--Enjoy your “Welcome Wine”, my compliments. If you need another bottle, please leave $10 for replacement.
--You are welcome to come up to the top deck to take in ocean and sunset views. It is a common area of the home.
--You can borrow my bikes and helmets. There is also a bike rental close by at Nisene Marks.
--There is a gas grill just outside the door for BBQ.or use the one on the top deck.
--The soaps, shampoos and other product are good quality and there for you to use. If you forget your toothbrush, razor or even need a shot of deodorant, don’t worry, that’s there too.
--Please use the make-up remover towelettes that are provided. Eye make-up can ruin the nice bath towels.
--SOUND CARRIES LIKE CRAZY -- Please respect the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. It's always good to keep this in mind, but especially important in the evenings and when coming and going later after curfew (9 pm as noted by the County).
-- ALWAYS PARK DIRECTLY BELOW THE APARTMENT NEXT TO THE RETAINING WALL. We do not want to fuel Parking Wars in the Hood.
--Do not put food or coffee grounds down the kitchen disposal. It is too hard on the plumbing. Composting containers are provided.
--PLEASE USE THE CUTTING BOARDS not the counter.
--CONSERVE ENERGY– Please turn off lights when you are not using them.
--RECYCLE, REUSE – Please use recycling bin inside the pantry.
--BIG ASS RACCOONS + SKUNKS – Use care when coming and going at night so you don’t get “skunked”. Make sure the trash can outside the door is snapped tight.
--STUFF HAPPENS– Please do not flush paper towels, moist towelettes, tampons, condoms or other things down the toilet. A plumbing back up will ruin your trip. There are plastic bags available for trash disposal.
--TILE IS SLIPPERY – Use care when walking in your socks or with wet feet.
--USE WHAT YOU NEED – But please don’t remove items from the property.
I hope you love your visit to my special home. While I have been welcoming family and friends to this super cute space for more than a year now, I am new to Airbnb. I would appreciate your input on ways to make the experience even better!
Hope to see you soon!
What a lovely place to stay in the Santa Cruz area. Karen was a welcoming and friendly host and the place is exactly as she has described and pictured it in the profile. The bed is super comfortable and the bathroom is tremendous with a proper walk-in shower. In the late afternoon it was really enjoyable to sit on the patio directly outside the studio and listen to the birds and squirrels and enjoy the piece and quiet. the secret garden sanctuary is a terrific place and I very much hope to return there one day.
Karen's space is a serene and relaxing escape.
Secret Garden was great. Exactly as described. Spacious, quiet, comfortable and everything worked well. We wanted for nothing. Karen was a very attentive, but never intrusive host.
The Secret Garden Sanctuary was to us, a place where we could really relax, the garden is absolutely stunning! You can tell Karen put a piece of herself in her garden artwork.
It's close to so many nice areas, we drove around Aptos, checked out the beach, hiked in Nisene Marks, beautiful nature.
Karen had a bottle of wine ready, she's a great host and always available :)
The house itself was really clean, modern, spacious bathroom, staying at Secret garden was a great addition to our experience with her other listing Secret Harbor Sanctuary.
We couldn't have asked for a more relaxing, welcoming experience than Karen's Secret Garden Sanctuary! From the bottle of wine to the amazingly comfortable bed, everything was perfect. The garden is so private — full of birds and one very friendly squirrel who feasted on the bird feeders. Karen's place is very convenient to the beaches in Aptos and Capitola and an easy trip down from SF. If you're looking to relax, this is the place!!
This place was a magical getaway and damn near perfect except we had to eventually leave.
Thanks for inviting us up on the deck to meet you and see the amazing view Karen!
Karen is truly one of the greats in hospitality. She made us feel so welcome with all the little details like stocking the fridge with breakfast foods, fruits, smoothies and even a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine. Her house is truly magnificent with exotic tropical plants all over and a terrace that is cut out of paradise. Her house was immaculate with well designed furniture and all the comforts of a 5 star hotel. I highly recommend this place. Thank you Karen for making our stay truly memorable.
This host has 25 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
I LOVE my home in sweet little Rio Del Mar!
I work as a Financial Advisor and am a Franchise Owner with offices in Downtown San Jose and at Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey. My Aptos Home is equidistant between the two locations and every day I feel lucky to come home to this lovely, quiet place near the sea. It is truly my refuge.
In March 2014, after scouring the West Coast for the perfect boat for some time, I purchased "Meridian", a Custom Built 46' Motor Yacht. She is perfect! Captain Brian Ackerman and I transported her from her previous home in the San Francisco Bay to the Tiny Hidden North Harbor of Moss Landing, California. I had researched Santa Cruz Harbor and Monterey but ultimately fell in love with the gleaming sleepy harbor just 15 minutes from my home in Rio Del Mar. Her slip in Moss Landing overlooks pristine sand dunes. Her neighbors are fat Harbor Seals, playful Sea Otters and thousands of beautiful Sea Birds. Perfectly equidistant between Santa Cruz and Monterey, the mouth of the harbor is teeming with pods of whales. Meridian is a spiritual refuge from the Busy World.
I am fortunate to have traveled to wonderful spots around the world and have stayed in some really good resorts. In the 90's, I had a career as a Director in the Hospitality Industry and designing hotel space -- where form meets function -- was my favorite part of the job. I have high expectations for the traveler's experience, both from a professional's perspective and as a savvy, pretty fussy guest. Before breaking ground on the huge, loft-style space, I really put my thinking cap on to insure that every inch was used for a purpose, making it feel fully contained, super functional, inviting and visually appealing. I had fun with the project and am very pleased with how it turned out. It has good energy and I really enjoy sharing it with such excellent people.
The Secret Garden is so amazing because working in the dirt is one of my favorite things to do in the entire world. Besides a therapy, gardening is an art form with so many wild cards in play and a will all its own. It is alive and breathing, adapting to the seasons. These unruly gardens have been a labor of love since I bought my place back in 2008 and they thrive in the gentle coastal climate. Just about every morning, I hit the beach just down the road with my little dog, BooBoo (the Bad Ass). Life, for the most part, is pretty good.
I have lived in Aptos for 30 years and fully appreciate everything this slice of paradise has to offer and never take it for granted. While I'm a pretty busy person, I'm more than happy to share my know-how of the area so that you will have an experience to remember (in a good way!). Just let me know how I can help.
I hope to meet you soon!
Karen, BooBoo, Angel (aka: Angelina Jolie)