2 guests

1 room

1 bed

1 bath

2 guests

1 room

1 bed

1 bath

Please set the number of adults.
Please set the number of children.
Ages 2 - 12
Please set the number of infants.
Under 2
2 guests maximum. Infants don’t count toward the number of guests.
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About this listing

A Secret Garden Hideaway with Beauty and Creature Comforts where you can Rest, Restore and Fall in Love...


Security Deposit: $195
Weekly Discount: 5%


The space

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.

The Secret Garden is a fully self-contained apartment with a private entrance. It occupies the entire bottom floor and surrounding gardens of this huge 3-Story, 3400 Square Foot Ocean View Home. 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. 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. It is the "Common Area" of the home and you may meet me when I'm there. (I am out and about most of the time.) 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. It is perfect for those seeking a quality experience in a peaceful, private setting.


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, Bagels, Muffins, Cereal or Organic Eggs. French Press Coffee / Keurig and Specialty Teas. Organic Whole Milk & OJ are always provided.

YOU ARE WELCOME TO BORROW MY MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM GUEST PASSES to take in this Spectacular Experience. Go VIP -- directly to the front of the lines to the "Member's Window"!

Kick Back and enjoy the large 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.

Book a Private Luxury Sunset or Whale Watching Charter on Lovely 50-Foot Motor Yacht "Meridian". She hails out of Moss Landing Harbor where the Deep Water Canyon terminates -- THE Favorite Hang Out Spot for Humpback Whales, Otters, Sea Lions and Sea Birds. This Intimate Two-Hour Cruise costs $495 and includes Captain, Crew and Local Taste Treats. It is an experience you will never forget. See her at "Secret Harbor Sanctuary -- Monterey Bay" and book ahead.

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.

Or just relax in The Garden and do nothing at all...

"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.

Vacations should be Well Lived.

SORRY, NO PETS -- Have them. Love them. But the apartment is an animal-free zone.

Guest access

The entire bottom floor of this 3-story house is exclusively yours during your stay along with the attached slate patio and surrounding gardens. I live on the top two floors of this huge home, but I come and go from a different street entry, so we may never cross paths.

The very top deck with spectacular views is a "Common Area" for the home and you may meet my family there if I am around. I will give you privacy when you are up there but I am happy to chat if you'd like. I am most often out and about, however.

The property is limited to registered guests (1-2 people) and if you would like visitors, please clear this ahead of time.

Interaction with guests

I am a friendly, open person. I do, however, respect your privacy and will rarely come down stairs 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.

Getting around

Sadly, there is not great public transportation in this neighborhood. A bus does run on the main streets, but it is a hike up the hill to my home. There is always taxi or Uber.

Other things to note

Absolutely No Pets are permitted due to dander left behind which causes allergies in some people. Because of Zen Nature of our space, we only accept reservations for two (2) Guests (including children).

House Rules
Not suitable for pets
No parties or events
May not be safe or suitable for children (0-12 years)
Check in time is 3PM - 9PM
Check out by 11AM

-- 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. No Pot Smoking.

++ WE DO NOT CHARGE A CLEANING FEE. Please leave the place as you found it.


-=Please park ONLY right next to the RETAINING WALL BELOW THE GARDENS. We don't want to fuel neighborhood parking wars.

--Because we are in a quiet residential neighborhood, we only permit TWO (2) Guests during your stay. This means that only registered guests are permitted to be on property (no additional visitors).

-- PLAN TO CHECK IN NO LATER THAN 9 PM. It gets very dark and very quiet at night and I need to make sure you make it in safe and sound before I go to sleep

-- 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.

--Guests are permitted to smoke outside on my patio with all sliding doors closed to prevent smoke sucking into the living space. Please do not smoke out in the street by the neighbors homes or leave butts anywhere.

--When you depart, please leave the doors unlocked for the cleaners to enter.


--You are welcome to eat any of the food and snacks provided.

--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.

--There is a gas grill just outside the door for BBQ or you may also use the Weber 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.


--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).


--Do not put food or coffee grounds down the kitchen disposal. It is too hard on the plumbing. Composting containers are provided.


--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!


You must also acknowledge
Dog(s) lives in the house



Cancel up to 7 days before your trip and get a 50% refund plus service fees back.

Safety features
Carbon monoxide detector
First aid kit
Fire extinguisher
Smoke detector

2 nights minimum stay

395 Reviews

Check In
Jenny User Profile
April 2017
Beautiful space with an attentive host. As other guests have mentioned, Karen is very responsive and accommodating. Place is very clean, great kitchen to cook in, open layout with lots of TV streaming options if you want to stay in. There's a separate entrance and the only connection to the rest of the house is through outside staircase (that leads to open terrace on 3rd floor), so it felt very private. It was unfortunate (but still beautiful) that it was raining during our trip. We would definitely book again to enjoy the garden and terrace during the summer.
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
Thanks Jenny! Now that the drought is at bay, we want SUNSHINE!
April 2017

Amanda User Profile
April 2017
Karen is fantastic. The apartment is spotless and the garden is beautiful. It's the perfect place for a relaxing weekend away from city noise. Karen helped me so much for this particular trip. She tipped me off to some restaurants and bars in the area and she even went so far as to pick up a cake for me from a nearby bakery so it would be there when we arrived. She is very clear about house rules and leaves detailed instructions on how everything works (ie tv, netflix, lights, etc.). Such a cozy and beautiful spot, I would absolutely recommend the location and the host.
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
Thanks Amanda! I have eaten nearly ALL of the cake you left for me! Darn you!
April 2017

Dean User Profile
April 2017
Karen's hospitality was great. Bagel, yogurt, tea, granola. All the little fixings to make an overnight well worth it and extra special. Thanks!
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
You are welcome!
April 2017

Anthony User Profile
April 2017
very very quiet and private despite the residential setting. easy to access and with an understanding that 'the little things are the big things', this Karen and place excelled
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
Thank you Anthony!
April 2017

Phillip User Profile
March 2017
Karen's place is unbelievably beautiful, quiet, & peaceful!! My husband & I were just here to celebrate our anniversary...what a perfect place for that! Lots of snacks & breakfast items, Keurig machine....& nothing better then a bottle of wine waiting for you! Close to tons of beaches, restaurants, & shops. This was our 1st Airbnb stay...& our only fear is it ruined us for future visits elsewhere!! THANKS KAREN, YOU'RE A WONDERFUL HOST!!!
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
I will take good care of your parents when they arrive in May! Hope to see you again soon!
March 2017

Stephanie User Profile
March 2017
Such a great place! Very true to the photos. Everything is well stocked, with so many details thought of. It was the perfect place for a quiet weekend retreat. Check in/out was easy, and Karen was a great host, and easy to get a hold of. I would stay again, and recommend to anyone looking for a calming, relaxing place.
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
Thanks Stephanie!
March 2017

Lucinda User Profile
March 2017
Karen's place was wonderful. I felt as if I were in an oasis, peaceful and in my own world. She was helpful in every way. When I said I usually only had fruit and cheese for breakfast, Karen had mandarins, an apple and a wedge of Gouda for me. As you review the photos showing her place, you need to realize they do not do her home justice. Truly an amazing place. There were even fresh flowers and chocolate truffles waiting for me. I highly recommend her place and if I am in the area again, I would definitely try to stay there again.
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
I hope you will be back!
March 2017

This host has 35 reviews for other properties.

View other reviews

Rio del Mar, California, United States · Joined in November 2012
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.

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)

Response rate: 100%
(past 30 days)
Response time: within an hour

Exact location information is provided after a booking is confirmed.