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Tahoe-like setting in Sonoma County wine country

Bedrooms 2
Half Baths1
Space 1,300 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

2 BR, 1-1/2 bath, sleeps 5

Treat yourself to a quiet stay in a fully-equipped home for less than the price of a hotel room. Just an hour from San Francisco, this is the home of traditional jazz musician Lu Watters (1912-1989). The immaculate 1300 ft brick home is furnished with old-world Tuscan elegance, and has Italian tile and artwork throughout. Enjoy the 44' plasma TV with Bose sound system or listen to Lu Watters recordings from the days of his nightclub, Hambone Kelly's. Amenities include utilities, well-appointed kitchen, large capacity washer/dryer, natural fiber linens, and wi-fi. Easy access to highway 101 and the Sonoma/Napa wine country hot spots in the Alexander, Dry Creek and Napa Valleys, coastal beaches, Valley of the Moon, and the spa towns of Calistoga and Sonoma. Sonoma State University is on the same street, but on the east side of the freeway, downwind of the highway fumes Lu despised.

The man behind it all: The Sage Hen takes its name from 'The Sage Hen Strut,' a popular song Lu wrote on September 11, 1944, on his way to Hawaii on the SS Antigua, three days prior to composing Hambone Kelly. After the war and a three-year stint arranging for Bing Crosby, Lu opened his own nightclub, Hambone Kelly's, in El Cerrito, where he was the chef by day and the leader of his famous Yerba Buena Jazz Band by night. Lu had had his fill of celebrity by the time he settled in Cotati, preferring to open his home to the wild bird population rather than his two-legged fans. Lu was on a first-name basis with the coastal gulls, as he took regular trips to feed them hot dogs while he combed their beaches for stones and driftwood. His grounds are still a sanctuary for wild turkeys, mockingbirds, hummingbirds and raucous bands of blue jays, which Lu distinguished as 'the west jays and the east jays.

What some have to say: After arriving at the Sage Hen, this went from a good vacation to a great vacation! --John & Maria, New Jersey

First time here and exceeded expectations. --Rich & Eileen, Missouri

Never a more hospitable place. --Gary & Cheryl, Tennessee

We now feel like we're 'coming home' when we arrive @ the Sage Hen. --Hugh, Mary, Neil & Virginia, Vancouver BC

Great oasis in the beautiful Sonoma Valley. --Linda, Cam, Susanne & Paul, Canada

Awsome home! Loved every minute. --Nancy

One visit is all it takes to make it a habit. --Winnie, Nevada

Walking, wine-tasting, whale-watching, visiting redwoods, hike in Muir Woods...very nice week. David & Lucy, UK

Beautiful home, so clean, central location. --Ken & Gail, Rhode Island

Amazing choice for our honeymoon. --Keith & Melody, Michigan

Southern hospitality out west! --the Hendersons, South Carolina

You have a slice of heaven here. --Ruth & Bill, Ohio

We loved the European touches and American comfort. --the Muratore family, Belgium

What others have to say: We loved the history. Perfect location, convenient to everything. --Alice & Dave, Arizona

Cool, comfortable, soothing. Cotati is a great little town, too. --John & Laurie, Illinois

The homey atmosphere and quality are tops. --Mike & Linda, Michigan

A wonderful stay; beats a hotel any day. --Christine

We are 'repeat offenders.' No way could we stay anywhere else. --Denise & John, Ohio

House is superb. Very well located and spotlessly clean. --Stan, Ireland

Love the location and the wild animals. --Consuelo, John & Maile, Mexico

One of our favorite places. --Kimberly & Richard, Minnesota

A great house. Wish it was mine, I'd ship it home! --David, Scotland

More Details

Member since: 2005
Speaks: english, italian
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
June 21, 2017

What makes this house unique

Since passage of prop.64 we are 420 friendly.

Guestbook comments from the owner

The Sage Hen was the perfect setting for a relaxing Christmas week. Thanks, Ron, for teaming up with Lu Watters to provide this tranquil retreat in the lovely rock gardens Lu built. The view, the grounds, the decor and your hospitality combined with Lu's history and positive legacy made for a wonderful backdrop for our family memory.
Dec 2007
  • 1 of 5


Cotati House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1300 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • Events Allowed
  • not suitable for children
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Rural
  • Away From It All
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen
  • Twin trundle bed in laundry room.
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Music Library
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Video Library
  • Barbecue
  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Patio
  • Porch / Veranda
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • 3 garden chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • coin laundry
  • festivals
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
  • theme parks
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • horseshoes
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • golf
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • paragliding
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • skiing
  • snorkeling
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
With Prop. 64 we are 420 friendly.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(34 traveler reviews)

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Tahoe-like setting in Sonoma County wine country
average rating of 5.0 based on 39 reviews

Our Holiday Stay

  • 5 of 5

My partner and I booked the Sage Hen for the holidays. The place was immaculate and looks exactly like the pictures, so you know just what you're getting. We loved sitting by the fire and being able to cook meals at home instead of going out to eat every night. It was also in close proximity to the freeway, wineries and beach. I would recommend this property to anyone that wants a stress free stay in a beautiful location.

  • Submitted: Jan 6, 2009
  • Stayed: Dec 2008
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
4 0
Valley Springs, CA

Suited our needs perfectly!!

  • 5 of 5

Thank you for having us in your lovely home. It was clean and comfortable and as good, if not better, than portrayed in the photos. I have rented on HomeAway several times and your home was the best equipped (especially the kitchen) of all we have stayed in!

Your hospitality was much appreciated! We'll be back....

  • Submitted: Jul 6, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Glad you enjoyed your stay. We will be looking forward to seeing you again.
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1 0
Vacaville, CA

Charming and comfortable!

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I stayed here when my son attended orientation at Sonoma State University. Very charming, elegant, comfortable, and peaceful. You feel like you are in the mountains with all the landscaping yet are close to everything in the Rohnert Park area without seeming like you are. We will definitely stay again when we are in the area and explore more towards the coast.

  • Submitted: Jun 11, 2015
  • Stayed: Jun 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0

Excellent property

  • 5 of 5

We had such a great stay here. The home was beautiful and cozy. Ron was excellent to work with, and very accommodating. The location was perfect, close to freeway access and it sensed to be central to everything we wanted to do. The home was well equipped with everything we could have possibly needed. We can't wait to be back!

  • Submitted: Nov 19, 2013
  • Stayed: Nov 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
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2 0
Merced, CA

Beautiful quiet oasis

  • 5 of 5

Ron is just the best man. I booked this vacation rental at the last minute and he was so accomodating. I have booked rentals all over the world and was impressed by the quality of the furniture in the home. The kitchen has everything you could possibly need and basic such as seasoning etc were there although we never cooked. The kitcen is nicely appointed with granite and nice appliances. The bathrooms are beautiful. the livingroom has nice high end furntiture a fireplace and a Bose sound system. Everything is first rate. The house is large, comfortable and quiet. While the pictures look beautiful, they really don't do the place justice. The house is situated in a park like setting. The rental is peaceful and private. I look forward to returning. My only regret is that I didn't get to spend enough time enjoying this beautifl property as we were gone alot.

  • Submitted: May 16, 2013
  • Stayed: Apr 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for the great review--we like to keep things the way we would want them ourselves.
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3 0
New Ulm, MN

A peaceful retreat in a spa like setting!

  • 5 of 5

This was an excellent place to get away from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco. We stayed in the main house and it was immaculate and well furnished. The property surrounding the house in park like and very private. The owners were very accomodating and I would highly recommend this as a place to stay. If you have a large party, there is more than one house to rent. Very clean and relaxing. We will stay again if in the area.

  • Submitted: Apr 11, 2013
  • Stayed: Apr 2013
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: You make our job a real pleasure. Hope to see you again soon!
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2 0


Nearest Airport
15 Miles
Santa Rosa
Nearest Barpub
0.3 Miles
Apple Valley Center
Nearest Ferry
40 Miles
Larkspur Landing
Nearest Golf
1 Miles
Washoe Creek
Nearest Train
60 Miles
Nearest Motorway
0.5 Miles
Hwy 101 & Hwy 116
Nearest Restaurant
0.3 Miles
Apple Valley Center
Nearest Ski
200 Miles
Nearest Beach
20 Miles
Bodega Bay
Car: recommended

Sonoma County, historically known for its apples and Santa Rosa plums, was once called the Redwood Empire. The agricultural focus has shifted to grapes, helping the wines in the tri-county wine production area (Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino) top the export charts by 9 out of 10.

Luther Burbank, a well-known botanist, lived and worked in Santa Rosa, where is home and grounds are open to the public. Jack London, America's most successful writer of the 20th century, built his home, Wolf House, in nearby Glen Ellen. His property is now a state park.

The well-loved creator of Snoopy, Charles Schulz, lived and worked in Santa Rosa, where visitors to the area can enjoy the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Snoopy's Home Ice, one of the 'most beautiful ice arenas in the world.'


Rates & Availability

Cotati House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
Year round
Jan 1 2017 - Jan 1 2018
2 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

none $0
Cleaning $65
Per-person (over 2) $25

2-night minimum, $200 deposit (no deposit for returning guests).
$250/night, $1,400/week; $3,400/month
$25 per additional guest over 2

$200 deposit to hold reservations. Balance is paid after arrival.
Check or cash.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.

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