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Professor of City & Regional Planning, UC-Berkeley
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This was my first experience with airbnb and I couldn't have chosen a better place to stay. Karen's eco-friendly cottage is very well laid out for being a smaller space. Very functional and cozy and could easily live there comfortably. The backyard is a plus, especially if you're a dog owner. Karen's dog is very friendly and her daughter is simply adorable. Very gracious household and would recommend this place to anyone who is looking for a warm and welcoming place to stay, that is a bit more unique than your run-of-the-mill home. This place has charm and then some.
As far as the neighborhood, it's conveniently located right across from a park, great food and shopping, public transportation and much more. The area has a little something for everyone.
My partner, dog and I stayed at the eco-cottage for two weeks, and overall our experience was positive. Karen was a very communicative host, and the location in terms of price and proximity to all that Berkeley has to offer (by foot), as well as Oakland and San Francisco (by BART or car), was very valuable to us.
Our only complaint during the stay was lack of privacy. As previous guests mentioned in their reviews, the cottage is in the center of all backyard activities, and the host's dog, Clay, roams freely. We felt like we were in a "fishbowl" at times, especially when people were hanging out in the backyard, doing yard work, or working on the cottage exterior.
Privacy aside, this is a sweet space for one or two people, and having access to a pet-friendly fenced yard was great too.
As with any urban dwelling, if you want privacy you have to pull down the shades! But we were doing some extra maintenance during their stay because a TV crew was visiting, so our guests were lovely to be so patient with us.
The eco-cottage was a wonderful place to stay for the summer! Karen and her daughter were incredibly nice and helpful and not too overbearing. The dog and cat were well behaved as well and the backyard is beautiful. The house is wonderfully set up and has great amenities.
Karen's cottage is well thought out, a pleasure to stay in and conveniently located in a pleasant neighborhood close to shops. I was impressed with the retreat-style feeling of being in the cottage while still being in a residential area.
Booking the cottage was a breeze. Karen is responsive, personable and quick. At one point the internet became unresponsive (a large problem for me since I worked from there). I mailed her about this and within 45 minutes it was fixed. Fantastic.
I recently moved to Berkeley and stayed at Karen's eco-cottage for a month. It was one of the most thoughtfully-designed spaces I've ever stayed in. The cottage was comfortable, homey, filled with natural light, fully equipped with all the minor conveniences, It was also perfectly located for my transition into the Berkeley lifestyle: the cottage is just a few blocks away from the 4th Street shops, and all the interesting industrial artist studios, workshops, restaurants, bars of West Berkeley. And those highly touted grocery stores of Berkeley are all just a short drive away. It was super easy from the cottage to get onto the freeway, and drive to SF and Oakland. Karen and her little daughter are fantastic, sweet, welcoming hosts. Karen accommodated my crazy changing schedule, and helped me in every way to get to know the area. The cottage was very clean and private, the bathroom, kitchen, closet and work area are all full sized, and the sleeping loft was a very peaceful hideaway. I just had a wonderful time staying with Karen and couldn't recommend her cottage more.
We enjoyed our stay at Karen's cottage and all our woodworking friends had to come by to take a look at this modern design for city living. They loved it! The cottage is as advertised. It is three years old and in good shape, but could use some updating on supplies. The place is private from the street and we felt safe enough to leave our door open during the day while we were working so our dog could go in and out. It is not private from the main house and there is some coming and going which if you want privacy will require you to keep your blinds drawn. The bathroom is full size and great. Towels are provided. You will need to bring other necessities including tp, paper towels, etc. The bed is more like a futon than a real mattress so a long stay may be uncomfortable for some. We appreciated the use of the washer and dryer.
The only down side is the neighborhood. While the 4th Street business area is a short walk away and great for coffee and deli (and a great wine shop), there were a few disturbing incidents nearby while we were there and quite a bit of police activity in the apartment building directly across the street. There is also a homeless population in the park across the street. However, we never felt personally threatened or unsafe. The neighbors were all friendly.
Karen, John, Lexi, and Clay were all kind to us and we appreciated their hospitality.
Karen was a fabulous hostess and the cottage was a wonderful place to stay. It is efficient and comfortable. The area is great, lots of places to visit and see nearby.
Karen's Eco-Cottage is a very pleasant little nook in the heart of West Berkeley. Though it is quite small and the ceiling height on the upper level (about 5') takes some getting used to, it has a beautiful bathroom, excellent kitchen with a dishwasher (!!!), and is nicely furnished. Karen was also a gracious host and very helpful with any questions we had about San Franscisco and the East Bay.
Her luscious backyard and amazing dog, Clay, greeted us every morning in sunny California - we miss you Clay! In addition, this Eco-Cottage is a stone's throw away from Berkeley's 4th Street shopping district (i.e.: Design Within Reach, CB2, Sur La Table, Restoration Hardware, and a slew of nice restaurants and cafes) - easily the best shopping area in town. The North Berkeley BART station is about a 15-20 minute walk East on Delaware, and that will take you directly into Downtown Berkeley, Oakland, or San Francisco. There is also the 51B University Ave. bus that will take you right into the UC Berkeley campus and Rockridge.
My husband and I moved to California without a car and I would probably say, that if you plan on staying in West Berkeley for more than 3-4 days, a car (or at the very least, a bike) is of absolute necessity. Otherwise, you'll miss out on alot of areas that are more easily accessible by car.
Thanks again Karen for letting us stay in Eco-Cottage - with our cats no less! We'd definitely recommend the Eco-Cottage to anyone visiting West Berkeley.
We stayed in the cottage and enjoyed Karen's gracious hospitality for six weeks this summer. We loved every minute of it! It is a great location for access to public transportation and an easy walk to shopping, dining, etc., on 4th street.
The cottage has all of the comforts of home and an inviting front porch for reading and relaxing.
If you have a chance to stay here, don't miss it!
We had a wonderful stay in this studio. Everything from the well equipped kitchen, to the bath, the comfy bed upstairs, and the wonderful garden where we picked some delicious veggies thanks to Karen made us feel like were in the comforts of our own place. I would highly recommend staying at this beautiful studio. Thank you Karen
Karen and her guests were great. Great communication before, during and after the key exchange. Left the apt very clean, welcome back anytime.
Karen and her daughter were very kind and easy to communicate with. They were flexible as well. Highly recommended!:)
You would have never guessed a little girl stayed at Liberty Belle! Karen and her guests were lovely. Easy to communicate with and left the apartment very tidy. I would highly recommend them and they are always welcome in Philadelphia!
Karen and her sweet dog were wonderful guests! I never heard a peep out of them and they were very patient with my less than silent canine companions. The apartment was immaculate when they left. My only regret is that I didn't have more time to talk to Karen and get to know her better!
It was a pleasure to host Karen and her family, we have a great communication, they left the flat clean.
Always welcomed to come back and stay.
Karen and her lovely daughter Lexie are simply adorable. Such a delight to have hosted you two and hoping that you do come back!