House - Entire home/apt · Vista Del Mar Drive, Aptos, CA 95003, United States

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. Windchimes 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.


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 morning with our Fabulous Greek Yogurt Bar with toppings like Fresh Oranges, Local Honey, Pistachios, Shaved Chocolate & Fresh Mint or Blueberries, Walnuts, Hemp Seeds & Agave. So Yummy! We also provide different house specialties like Veggie Fritatta made with Neighborhood Chicken Eggs. French Press Coffee, Specialty Teas, Milk and 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.


"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. 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.

Room type: Entire home/apt
Bed type: Real Bed
Accommodates: 2
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
Beds: 1
Weekly Price: $1050 /week
Monthly Price: $4000 /month
Security Deposit: $100
Check In: 3:00 PM
Check Out: 11:00 AM
Cancellation: Strict
Pet Owner: Dog(s)

Overall Guest Satisfaction

Check In
  • The secret garden is truly a sanctuary. Beautiful views from both within and without your room.
    The space has been furnished stylishly and comfortably with nothing to ask for.
    Karen is a considerate and gracious host and I couldn't rate her highly enough.
    Would live to come back.

    April 2014
    Response from Karen:

    Keep up the good work so the boss will send you back my way!

  • Wow! How to describe the Secret Garden? Well, I wanted to move in permanently!

    My husband and I enjoyed four great nights in Karen's lovely Airbnb and it was charming. The location is perfect as you can reach so many interesting things to see, do and eat from the APTOS location.

    Karen was delightful and she even left us some yummy treats to enjoy while we were there.

    My only problem was that I could not stay longer! I highly recommend this location!

    Lydia and Michael

    April 2014
    Response from Karen:

    You are lovely people! I hope you might come visit the new Yacht Airbnb once she's up and running!

  • This is a really special place.
    Karen is a wonderful host. The communication with her at the registration stage was very fast and she provided us all the required information including tips on activities in the area. she asked if any special food required and saved us a bottle of wine for us. The place is amazing, very clean, very comfortable and got all you need. once we will be back in this area for a vacation , this is defiantly will be one of the first places we will try to book again.
    Very Recommended !!!!

    April 2014
    Response from Karen:

    Thanks Addy! I hope the rest of your trip was good, as well.

  • The place was very nice with lots of space on the inside and a little patio outside. The food left for us in the fridge was delicious along with the complimentary bottle of wine. It is really nice to be able to not have to pay a cleaning fee.

    Also we appreciated the eco-friendliness. There was a trash, recycling bin and even a compost well labeled.

    April 2014
    Response from Karen:

    As long as I get good guests cleaning up after themselves, I won't charge a cleaning fee. It is my biggest gripe as a traveler!

  • We really enjoyed our stay here! It was our first Airbnb experience, and it was awesome! Very lovely place with a lot of cute stuff. Our breakfast was prepared as well, and I loved the banana chocolate muffin! I would recommend it to anyone :)

    March 2014
    Response from Karen:

    Thanks Daeki! Hope to see you again!

  • exactly what you'd want and more! Karen was a fantastic and generous host, it was gorgeous and romantic, the home and area are a great location to explore from. We spent two evenings and could have stayed so much longer, cant wait to go back and visit, what a treat and delight, very relaxing and rejuvenating. All the amenities of home plus more!

    March 2014
    Response from Karen:

    It makes me so happy when Nice People come to stay and leave feeling delighted, relaxed and rejuvenated!

  • First off, this place just flat out looks amazing!! It's gorgeous inside and out. As you walk up you are immediately taken to your own private jungle, all if the plants and decor look amazing and are absolutely calming. Karen was an amazing host, she was very accommodating and a pleasure to be around. The view from the top deck is uay he's and a perfect way to watch the day come to an end.

    March 2014
    Response from Karen:

    You'll have to stay longer next time!

  • Karen made my first airbnb experience exceptional. She thought of everything to make our stay easy and comfortable from her clear communications and a list of local recommendations she sent ahead of time to the first rate amenities & welcome bottle of wine upon arrival.
    Thank you, Karen, for a wonderful weekend get away :)

    March 2014
    Response from Karen:

    I'm so happy it was a good one! Come back again soon!

  • Karen's Garden Sanctuary is AWESOME! My boyfriend and I stayed for 3 nights and had a wonderful experience. When arriving we felt like we had entered a tropical oasis. Everything is just like you see in the pictures only more amazing. Upon arrival we opened our complimentary bottle of wine, heated up the home made vegi frittatas, accompanied by a pair of yummy bagels and played cards. The sanctuary is cool and inviting, there is a heater in the bathroom you can switch on while you shower and it makes it so nice and comfortable, no chills. Everything is decorated beautifully and has an island/modern feel, with tropical plants, bright beachy artwork and the orchids are so beautiful in the pad. On the porch we had a blast watching a squirrel who is obviously spoiled by Karen, he's so cute. Karen has everything you could possibly want here to make your trip flow smoothly. We went to the beach everyday and at night it was always relaxing to return to the sanctuary. Stay here! You will not be disappointed, favorite Airbnb stay to date!

    March 2014
    Response from Karen:

    Thank you for the thoughtful review! I hope you will be back!

  • Karen's home was just wonderful, beautiful, tranquil and special. Every detail met, amazing views of the ocean on the upper deck, lots of lovely plants everywhere. Truly magical place. And Karen is so warm and welcoming, we can't wait to come back again soon!

    March 2014
    Response from Karen:

    Thank you for the wonderful gift!

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Chula Vista Senior High, San Jose State University
Ameriprise Financial
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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