Our passions are traveling, food, and spending time with family and friends.
When we drove up it was dark ...the nanny were a bit on edge. and then all of the sudden - bam! this place is amazing! I wish I could formulate a proper recommendation... safe to say - we are never leaving! The fireplace is crazy and the furnishings are works of art. Helena is very kind and made sure we felt at home. The pictures of the view from here my be verified but they do not grasp the majesty of the valley and the position the property lords over it. There is no tv or internet and the house is straight out of the 50's! If you want to unwind and reconnect, then all I can offer for advise is to stand in line... like I said, we aren't going to leave :) Thanks Helena, you and this property are awesome!
We had a wonderful time last week. It was really hot during the day we got there, but the house stayed cool (we followed Helena's directions to keep doors closed midday). The pool was great and the view was absolutely spectacular. Helena was a wonderful host and was quite responsive to emails and texts. The lack of TV and wifi was fine because we had phones on which to get our email and the weather was too good to waste. The house was not too tidy and definitely 'lived in', but that's pretty much what we expected.
It helped that the house came with cribs and toys, and we had two babies. The house is quite remote, but worth it when you get halfway up the mountain and can look out over Sonoma. And it is so close to great wine!
I would strongly suggest that if you are interested in staying in Sonoma that you seek a better kept and more modern house. This house is very old, run down and in poor condition. After viewing the rental in person we immediately discovered that it did not reflect the pictures that were advertised and decided to not stay there even for 1 night. Please take the 7 of us's word for it and look elsewhere, but if you decide to stay there and have a problem make sure to let Airbnb know within the first 24 hours of your stay.
Helena is an amazing host! Her apartment is absolutely stunning and at the best possible location in SF! She's also been very helpful and made sure that we have a smooth accommodation.
We are a group of nursing school classmates who had our first reunion after so many years of not seeing each other. We stayed at this wonderful house for 2 nights and enjoyed every second of it!!! The house is HUGE with a spectacular view of Sonoma valley, a nice size swimming pool, a big sloped backyard, etc. This rustic vacation home is perfect for relaxing, decompressing and enjoying the beauty of nature. It's at an elevated location and is very private and quiet. We were a bit worried that there's no wifi nor cable in the house but we didn't really need it after all. We just used our phones for internet connection.
We would have loved to meet Helena, the owner, but we didn't get the chance to. She was very very nice over the phone, though.
Overall, we highly recommend this place for a nice vacation in wine country!!! We will not hesitate to come back. Thanks a million Helena!
p.s. We loved the fresh tomatoes and peppers that you picked for us.
They were so tasty, nothing's better than homegrown!
A big positive on the house is the view. It was incredible. The house is spacious and it is very close to St. Francis winery. The kitchen is stocked with everything you will need to cook along with several spices, olive oils, vinegars, salt, pepper, etc. Lots of pots, pans, plates, cups and utentsils.
There is no AC in this house even though the ad listing has a checkmark for air conditioning. We were informed this the day before we arrived in an email. The house gets very hot and the 3rd bedroom only has 1 window that opens. It's uncomfortable to sleep in the second and third bedroom or be in the house during the day when it's hot out. We were instructed to simply open the north facing windows, but it didn't have any significant effect. To cool off, we had to leave.
The water heater is electric on-demand and cannot support two showers at the same time which can create an issue getting ready in the morning depending on the group mix. We were also informed this the day before by email.
The toilet seat in the main bathroom was broken when we arrived. Two burners on the stove weren't working. The refrigerator seemed a little warm.
The bedding is worn.
The chickens were also apparently killed by a fox so there are no eggs until the next year (2013).
The owner stopped by the house on Saturday while we were there. She asked if she could stop by to pick up papers and then spent about an hour at the house in and out of the rooms.
I let the owner know that I would be leaving this review and the subjects I would address. She said if I post a negative review, she would post that someone smoked marijuana in her master bedroom. No one in my group smoked anything in the house.
I came to Sonoma with my husband and 3 other couples for a weekend of wine tasting and catching up. When we arrived at the house we were amazed at the wonderful view and how big the house was. We had a wonderful time on the back patio area and at night we played charades in the large living room. Who needs t.v. or internet when you have friends and games? The bedrooms were all a good size and it is right off the Sonoma Highway making it easy to get around to wineries. It is very secluded which my group really enjoyed. We would definitely stay here again.
Wonderful space! We loved it.
Our stay with Helena was excellent - an excellent (albeit quick) getaway from the city. Plenty of room for a bigger group, and absolutely all of our needs were provided for. Thanks!
I am not only very happy that I stayed at her place and had the best time with my parents, but more happier that I met Helena who is tremendously a generous friend. Helena is not just a great host but also a great friend.
Helena contacted us to rent our in-law apartment for her friend with 2 children, 2 and 6 years old. She requested an earlier date than we had listed as available. We worked very hard to accomodate this request and were able to offer the unit on the requested day, 3 hours earlier than our usual check in time.
She requested we waive our extra person fee due to the age of the child, and we accomodated her request. She suggested several times that they might extend their reservation past the original dates, and we turned away potential reservations based on this request. She stated the father in this family may also join them but did not agree to the extra person fee in case he would arrive, and offered to pay cash to extend the dates, circumventing the Airbnb process. She refused to provide the phone number of her friend who was staying with us.
On the day of check in they used the lockbox we provided to enter our garage and the unit. I arrived home at lunchtime that day to check in with them and found the gate to the street and door to our garage left wide open. Our driveway was blocked. Helena and her friends were in the unit conversing, and seemed unconcerned about this threat to the security of our home and property.
Within 1 day of her friends' arrival, Helena complained that the unit was smaller than advertised, and stated her friend would be leaving. When she did cancel through the website, there was some issue with the dates -- she cancelled the wrong date so her friend stayed one night without a reservation through Airbnb. Working with Airbnb Customer Service, we tried to get her to rebook the night so we would have the protection offered through Airbnb. She refused, due to the $10 booking fee which initially Airbnb could not waive. We offered to reimburse her this $10 in cash, then Airbnb offered to give her a credit in that amount, but she did not respond for more than 8 hours to these requests. When she did respond, she offered to pay cash for the night, which ultimately we did accept.
Upon check out we found 2 items in the unit had been broken during their stay. We made a claim through Airbnb against her security deposit, which went smoothly.
We would not rent to her again.
Helena was an excellent guest and left the apartment better than she found it.
I was one of the lucky hosts to have in my apartment in Rome Helena. She is very kind, generous, trustworthy, respectful guest. I was very happy and pleased with her and I hope that all of my guests will be as kind and polite as she was. Highly recommended !!!
Highly recommended !
Some pinpoints are due for Airbnb and mine seriousness and reliability.
- the initial discount was offered by me because I was told that out of 8 days of stay, the guests would have been away to Florence and Venice for 4 days;
- the day before the due arrival I was informed that the flight was cancelled, and that the guests would have arrived one or two days after; I gave my availability so that they would not loose the 2 days even though the cancellation of a flight was not my business.
At the same time I asked when they would have gone to Florence and Venice, I was told they did not know when and if they would have still gone…
At that point I pointed out that I initially offered the discount because out of 8 they would have been away 4, but if that was not the case anymore, we should have gone back to the initial price agreed; these clarifications all happened before the guests arrived.
- The guests arrived with damaged baggage problem - that they should have solved directly at the airport – I solved it staying one hour on the phone from my house. At that moment it came out that they would have stayed 7 days rather than 8 because they had postponed the trip to Florence and Venice. I therefore deduct the cost of a day from the agreed price (612.50 euros rather than 700 euro).
- The day of the departure, with the taxi waiting downstairs, they left on the table (cash, not going through Airbnb) 30 euros less than the agreed (…) without a word of possible explanation and excuses for the missing of money.
It goes without saying that the salutations have not been great…
- (as for toilet paper issue: I have to say that normally the paper toilet stock is not kept on the dining table…it was in fact in the bathroom in a specific holder, as I very well indicated).