SECRET GARDEN SANCTUARY Rio Del Mar

House - Entire home/apt · Vista Del Mar Drive, Aptos, CA 95003, United States
Karen
Your host, Karen
137 Reviews
Response rate: 98%
Response time: within an hour

The Space

A VERY SPECIAL PLACE...

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.

Room type: Entire home/apt
Bed type: Real Bed
Accommodates: 2
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Beds: 1
Minimum Stay: 2 nights
Weekly Price: $1090 /week
Security Deposit: $100
Check In: 3:00 PM
Check Out: 11:00 AM
Country:
City:
Neighborhood:
Cancellation: Strict
Pet Owner: Dog(s)

Overall Guest Satisfaction

Accuracy
Communication
Cleanliness
Location
Check In
Value
  • Karen couldn't improve the experience because it was perfect! Thank you!

    July 2014
    Karen
    Response from Karen:

    Thank you Evita! But, I am always trying to improve it and I'm glad it shows!

    July 2014
  • This location is perfect - close to the best beach, and easy to find. The neighborhood is quiet and peaceful - away from the mayhem of Santa Cruz. Karen was really thoughtful - and left us special treats and made us feel welcome. The "Sactuary" is beautiful, romantic, and private. It was the best part of my birthday weekend!

    July 2014
    Karen
    Response from Karen:

    Lana, I am so happy we could make it work for your special day! Stay longer next time!

    July 2014
  • Karens home was everything we hoped and more! An absolutely beautiful sanctuary, so peaceful and relaxing. We had everything we needed, the space was clean and spacious , with beautiful decor! Karen added lovely amenities which made the stay extra special; She is an amazing host, very communicative and helpful during our stay, we only wish we could have stayed longer!

    June 2014
    Karen
    Response from Karen:

    You two are sweet! Angel says "hi!"

    June 2014
  • Pretty simple. This is the best Airbnb. Karen takes great care to create a welcoming environment, and the garden patio outside of your spacious open concept apartment is worth the visit, just to sit and watch the birds, squirrels, and take in the calm. Add the great breakfast, and french press coffee, and I just can't imagine that anyone would be disappointed with their choice of this Rio Del Mar apartment. The bed and linens are extremely comfortable, Karen is available to answer questions, and was timely in all her dealings.

    It is awesome, just book it. There is much to do in the area from walks along the beaches, to fantastic drives in both directions, many restaurants to explore, a perfect base to check out this part of the CA coast. We drove up to Half Moon Bay as we had done Big Sur in the past, but either is a day trip.

    Just stay for more than one night or you'll be disappointed you didn't get enough time to settle in.

    June 2014
    Karen
    Response from Karen:

    Janet, Great Review! I like your private recommendation of adding a "bullet" for smoothies. I just added a Kuerig Coffee Maker for folks that weren't fans of the French Press. I am always open to ideas for THE perfect stay!

    June 2014
  • Karen's place truly is a sanctuary. She has everything you could possibly need and was a wonderful hostess. The neighborhood is quiet (a big plus) and although the streets are narrow creating tight parking, the view from her top deck more than makes up for it. We would definitely stay here again.

    June 2014
    Karen
    Response from Karen:

    Yes, parking is tight in the Little Hood! It's part of living up on the ridge. Hope to see you again!

    June 2014
  • Karen's space is everything she describes. Perfect for us with a beautiful porch we enjoyed both nights of our stay. Thank you so much for hosting us and we would energetically suggest to anyone that they stay in your beautiful home.

    June 2014
    Karen
    Response from Karen:

    And, Happy Trails on your future adventures!

    June 2014
  • Karen has created such a lovely experience for her guests. The garden is amazing and the place couldn't be more delightful. Everything for your stay has been considered. From beautiful hand-made soaps and plush towels, to a fridge full of tempting breakfast goodies.
    Comfy bed, and a good nights sleep. Wish we could have stayed longer!

    June 2014
    Karen
    Response from Karen:

    Trudi, thank you so much for the adoreable piece of pottery! You will see it gracing the bath on your next visit. The gift made my day!

    June 2014
  • We absolutely loved our stay at the Secret Garden Sanctuary! Karen went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we needed and more. The garden is magnificent and the design and decor inside is functional and cozy making for pleasant and relaxing stay! Wish we could have stayed longer!

    June 2014
    Karen
    Response from Karen:

    Jennifer, I hope you come back again AND stay longer!

    June 2014
  • I stayed at this airbnb with my beautiful and amazing girlfriend. We absolutely loved it. When you walk in, there is a bottle of wine waiting for you. Karen, your host, is absolutely wonderful. We spoke to her for a combined 15 minutes and we both could tell she is an outstanding person. Super easy to talk to without knowing her. The moment we walked up the steps to the entrance, we immediately began to unwind. We enjoyed sitting outside and eating our breakfast both mornings (delicious yogurt & toppings provided by Karen). The sounds of the fountain and birds chirping added to the calming ambiance. When Sunday rolled around, we were sad to leave! We definitely recommend this place to anyone who is looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and have a nice relaxing weekend away. The location is a close 15 minute drive to downtown Santa Cruz. It was great to go up there for the day and nice to retreat back to the sanctuary at night. We cozied up in front of the chiminea our last night with some wine, a perfect end to a great weekend.

    June 2014
    Karen
    Response from Karen:

    Jacob, you loved Secret Garden for all of the same reasons I do... happy to share it with you.

    June 2014
  • This really was a wonderful garden sanctuary! Such a beautiful patio with wind chimes, bird feeders, flowers and plants. Inside was just as wonderful - very clean and spacious, interesting industrial chic furnishings and the most comfortable bed ever. Complementary wine and breakfast fixings and coffee topped off a great experience. The only downside was having to leave!

    May 2014
    Karen
    Response from Karen:

    Your Guest Book entry was lovely. I am adding a Sketchbook to capitalize on all of the talent that passes our way.

    May 2014
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School
Chula Vista Senior High, San Jose State University
Work
Ameriprise Financial
About
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. 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! kt + booboo
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Response Rate
98%
Response Time
within an hour
Calendar Updated
yesterday
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