|Minimum Stay||3 nights|
The island of Alameda is considered by some as the hidden gem of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Your hosts have turned their circa 1890s detached carriage house and stable into a welcoming garden cottage. This tastefully appointed guest spot is perfect for a quiet getaway or extended academic or corporate visit.
Nestled in a quiet neighborhood, you are just walking distance from Park Street, Alameda's central shopping district. Here you'll find everything you need....antique shops, cafes, restaurants, boutiques and the newly renovated Alameda Theatre. Less than a mile away you'll find a pristine beach park with stunning views of the San Francisco skyline.
Want to head into 'The City'? You are just 25 minutes away from all SF has to offer. We are close to the Alameda ferry, AC Transit and BART. A quick drive over the Bay Bridge drops you right into the heart of downtown San Francisco.
The Carriage House: The owners have spent decades collecting antiques and designing interiors and have used their talents to create a comfortable,quiet vacation space for those who appreciate a green way of living.
Virtually every item, from floor to ceiling is recovered or recycled in some way.
The Garden: The bungalow is covered by a gorgeous and legendary Wisteria tree that is the star of the spring season.
The practice of 'Living Green' extends to the lush surrounding gardens. Old San Francisco cobblestones, recovered copper downspouts and perfectly placed architectural elements create a serene garden so creative you'd think you were on a movie set.
A Coi pond that is sometimes visited by elegant egrets, sits just outside the bungalow door. The garden is surrounded by three small aviaries that house small families of canaries. Their song and the sound of flowing water will lull you while you read a book in the sun on your own private patio.
The Neighborhood & Beyond: Developed in the late 1800s as a beach resort community, the modern day version still holds much of it's charm from the early 20th century.
Take a drive through the different neighborhoods and you'll see beautiful examples of California architecture. Perfectly restored Victorians share the same street with cute California Bungalows and Craftsman style homes.
The talents of your hosts, John and Arthur, have appeared on HGTV’s Curb Appeal and in a series of books on Arts & Crafts bungalows by Paul Duchscherer – The Bungalow, Inside the Bungalow and Outside the Bungalow. Their business, House of Orange, specializes in European Arts & Crafts furnishings, and some of their most outstanding pieces are now in the homes of local collectors who have become close friends over the years.
Their carriage house – circa 1890, has been turned into a garden guest cottage – and except for a few planks, tiles and a sofa bed, the cottage and its contents are all recycled in some way. The wood interior and exterior siding are bits and pieces from old projects, and with their creative eye, all the pieces work: as ceiling and wall sections, windowsills, door jambs, storage closets - you name it!
Their recycling even extends to the surrounding yard. Reclaimed copper downspouts from the roof divert rainwater into the koi pond and an existing well. The outdoor lighting is on a sensor to save energy, and old lanterns were rewired as lamps. Chimney liners were turned into water features and pulley hooks into sturdy plant hangers. All plants need little to no watering and bloom beautifully.
Wisteria Cottage – a name given to it by friends and guests – may be small, but every idea John and Arthur used was big on result and can easily translate on an even grander scale. They provide decorating, remodeling and landscaping services and advice.
John and Arthur are called the “Green Giants” because they are all about reducing, reusing and recycling in a BIG and BEAUTIFUL way. Whether shopping at thrift stores for clothing, repaving their driveway with old cobblestones from a San Francisco street, or resurfacing floors with reclaimed wood, they make mindful and creative use of materials with spectacular results!
We recently visited for 4 days visiting friends and attending to some personal business. Having lived in Alameda for over 25 years before moving to Central Oregon, we were a bit skeptical about finding a place that could match our current home Paradise and allow us to feel at home again in the town we left, but we were beyond pleasantly surprised! We have stayed in many VRBO homes (and now own one ourselves) and this one is by far the best we have ever stayed in. The cottage is warm, cozy, comfortable and well appointed, we instantly felt at home and as though we had been there before (which will be true in the future!) The surrounding gardens with aviarys, Koi pond, and meandering paths through the gardens were perfect for relaxing and enjoying catching up with our friends and family. John and Arthur were amazing, and as with the cottage, we felt as though we have known them for years....this was truly a great find, we will be back many times in the coming years...thank you Arthur
We have stayed in many vacation rentals, and this one is at the top of our favorites list. The cottage's well-appointed and comfortable furnishings provided all that we needed for our 4-night stay. We especially liked the skylights and the gas stove for heat. John and Arthur are gracious hosts and take great pride in their property. The unique garden with koi pond, aviaries and a multitude of flowering plants was a quiet and tranquil place to enjoy a glass of wine after a busy day with our daughter's family. We especially liked the lighting provided when we returned after dark. We hope that we can stay here again when we visit Alameda.
I recently spent nearly 3 weeks in this lovely cottage. It is comfortable and serene, yet walkable to Park Street with restaurants and shops. I visited my daughter's family, which was also within walking distance. The location could not be better. John and Arthur have thought of every detail of what would make the stay enjoyable. I liked that the cottage was separate from the owner's home, yet they were close by in case I needed anything. They were very unobtrusive, yet available.
"Neverland" is one child's word for Wisteria Cottage - Nirvana, Shangri-La, Heaven also come to mind. Descriptions are accurate but can't convey the sense of wonder a guest feels here. John and Arthur provided everything everything I needed or wished for. John and Arthur's cottage and gardens are glorious. Opening the gate feels like "coming home." Factor peaceful down time into your schedule early on, and invite family or friends for a home-cooked or take out meal here. They will thank you. Hours spent at Wisteria Cottage, "at home" alone or with my friends, were more joyful than most of the big events that brought me here in the first place. I'm eager to return.
My daughter and I were fortunate enough to stay at this little gem when our previous lodging fell through. We loved the gardens, ponds and care that went into creating this hideaway
We recently spent almost 2 weeks in the converted carriage house in Alameda. Our first grandchild is nearby, so it was a quick drive to our family's home nearby. First impressions proved correct as we found a wonderful breakfast for the next day waiting in the kitchen for us plus a bottle of wine if desired.
The location is ideal. Owners John and Arthur are great sources of info on sites, eateries, and are more than accommodating for our every need. Crisp white linens and towels are always available. The bathroom is equipped for travelers if they need various toiletries. The place is spotless.
The property is an oasis and is fascinating with antiques, botanical displays, lemon and apple trees, koi ponds and live canaries in large enclosures. Every effort was made to make us comfortable. We hope that next time this coming winter, we can take the time to get to know them better.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event|
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
If you must cancel, our cancellation policy is as follows:
- Within 30 days of arrival date = 50% will be refunded.
- 30 days or longer from time of arrival = 100% will be refunded.
Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (USD) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.