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Serene Sailfish Retreat with White Water Views of the Pacific

Bedrooms 1
Half Baths1
Space 1,000 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 nights
Popular Features
  • Internet
  • Washing Machine
  • Parking
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Fireplace
  • Hot Tub


About the property

1 Bedroom + studio w/twin pullout bed, 1.5 Baths, (Sleeps 2-3), wifi & hot tub

'Sailfish' is a one bedroom (with studio) home located on the West Meadow of The Sea Ranch. The Sea Ranch is about one hundred miles north of San Francisco and about 55 miles south of Mendocino.

This ten mile stretch of land is an internationally famous vacation spot known for blending architecture with nature. The land consists of majestic bluff tops and accessible sandy beaches, coastal ocean meadows and redwood forested hillsides of approximately 3500 acres. Fifty percent of the land is dedicated to open space, which is shared by all property owners and guests. The Sea Ranch concept is to”live lightly on the land”, with landscape playing a major role in housing design. Architectural review takes place through The Sea Ranch Design Department; There are currently 1801 homes (7/2016). Many activities are available, such as to play a round of golf on a Scottish-style course, hike on the fifty miles of maintained trails, fish, swim, whale watch or kayak. The Sea Ranch has 3 recreational centers, each with a tennis court, a pool and sauna. The Sea Ranch also has a dog park, children's playground called 'One Eyed Jacks' and equestrian barns (no rentals but will board horses for visitors). The nearby town of Gualala provides restaurants, supermarkets, medical facilities and other amenities. For More Information on 'The Ranch' please see the website link.

'Sailfish' was built in 2002 with the idea of bringing a sailboat to land. It is a unique structure architecturally and has the ultimate privacy from the 'commons (open space)' that exist on three sides. It perches on the side of a slope and has views down & across a thicket of vegetation to the rocky shore beyond . 'Sailfish' (Gilbert House) was one of approximately thirty homes featured in 'The Sea Ranch', a book written by Donlyn Lyndon & Jim Alinder, (2004). It is also included in the 2013 edition entitled, 'The Sea Ranch:Fifty years of Architecture, Place and Community on the Northern California Coast'. The houses they chose to include in this 300 page book demonstrate the Sea Ranch 'vision'. 'Sailfish' was described in it as a 'diminutive shingle castle'. The 2004 edition sits on a shelf in the bedroom and the 2013 edition sits on the blue shelf in the entry, so please take a look. Trail access is just below the house . . . some trails are designated for biking and horseback riding. TSR trails map is also available for guests and will be found in the Guest binder on the blue entry shelf. From the house you can walk to Stengel beach in about 10 minutes and to Ohlson Recreation Center in about 15 minutes. 'Sailfish' has many artistic touches throughout and includes original mosaic wall murals. For those interested in preparing gourmet meals, it has a fully-equipped galley kitchen. The downstairs area is open to the loft-style bedroom above, so the house is ideal for a couple and a well-mannered dog, not for young children. Adjoining the bedroom through a pocket door on the other side of the bathroom is a studio space with a twin size pull out bed. 'Sailfish' has a 'No Shoes Rule'.

An addition was added in August of 2016 that includes an owners' studio and one car garage. The existing deck was expanded and now connects to the new addition. The new deck offers additional outdoor dining space and room to relax on 2 chaise lounges. The owners' studio will not be available to guests (vacant during any rental stay). The new garage houses the bar-b-que and washer & dryer and a key for entry will be available.

'Sailfish' has been described by previous rental guests as . . .

'A special place for re-awakening the senses and the passion that lies within each of us, all too often submerged under the pressures of day-to-day life. A retreat designed & conceived, it seems, for lovers like us to know each other a bit more, surrounded by all that nature has to offer along this spectacular coast.' (Don & Brigitte)

'We have stayed in many places up here and yours is one of the best maintained and equipped that we've had the pleasure of renting. We loved the clever use of interior & exterior space and would recommend this house to other couples'. (Shawn, Susie & Ruby, the dog)

Keywords: beach house

ocean view home

Sea Ranch Getaway

Coastal retreat

More Details

Christine Gilbert-Thorburn
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
May 21, 2017

About Christine Gilbert-Thorburn

Christine was born and raised in Sacramento. She received a B.A. in Art/English and a M.A. degree in Educational Administration from California State University, Sacramento. She retired from a thirty-three year career in education in 2007 after working the last 16 years at Folsom High School in Folsom. Once earning a real estate sales license in 2002, she worked part time in both resale and new home sales in the Sacramento area. Following retirement, she moved to The Sea Ranch and into the house she built in 2002. Christine has worked since 2007 in real estate and still has an active license with Rams Head Realty. I will be traveling extensively in the next year thus making 'Sailfish' available to renters. I have a yellow lab named Salty Dog (pictured) that travels with me.

Christine Gilbert-Thorburn purchased this house in 2002

Why Christine Gilbert-Thorburn chose North Coast California

Lot was purchased in 1999 and owner participated in the design & building of the 850 square foot 'Sailfish'. The lot was chosen because of its privacy & white water view.

What makes this house unique

3 viewing decks, hot tub viewing of the stars & sea; close access to trails, beach, town & recreational center, wildlife everywhere! New high speed internet (2017)


Sea Ranch House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1000 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 3
  • Not suitable for children ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets considered ...
  • Non smoking only ...
  • Please remove shoes upon entering home. No dogs on furniture!! Dog yard has a poop bag dispenser
Location Type:
  • Ocean View
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Covered Parking ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Half Bath
  • Bathroom 1 -
    Bathroom 2 - toilet
  • 1.5
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 3
  • Queen size Bed (1), Pull out Bed (1)
  • Books ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Television ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Golf ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Tennis ...
  • 1 bicycles
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Communal Pool ...
  • Hot Tub ...
  • Sauna ...
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • restaurants
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • snorkeling/diving
  • swimming
  • tennis


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(40 traveler reviews)

Serene Sailfish Retreat with White Water Views of the Pacific
average rating of 4.875 based on 40 reviews

Comfortable & Clean!!!

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I have been traveling to Sea Ranch for over 10 years and we typically rent a home through Sea Ranch Escape. This time we thought it would be fun to travel with our 6 year old Doberman. It was her first trip to the ocean! We were looking for a clean, pet friendly home. We decided to book Sailfish because of the reviews and I'm so glad we did.

The home is exactly as described - it's one of the cleanest homes I've been in. You would never know that a dog has been in the home, besides the Igloo dog house hidden under the deck. One thing we couldn't find was a poop-scooper or shovel to clean up after our girl. We ended up being creative with a cardboard box.

The kitchen was well stocked with standard spices, flour, oil, etc. The appliances (coffee machine, toaster) were top of the line. The bed was firm and comfortable. Everything worked well and the instructions for cleaning and operation of the home were easy to find and read. We did have to bother Christine once by text message, and she responded within a few minutes with the answer to our question.

We did a lot of hiking, and ventured up into the forested side of Hwy 1. I would highly recommend using the Sea Ranch trail maps in the binder. There are a lot of great trails on that side of Hwy 1 and the map was helpful.

Overall, this was a comfortable, clean home. I highly recommend it!

  • Submitted: Nov 28, 2016
  • Stayed: Nov 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for the suggestion. Just purchased a pet waste bag dispenser that will be installed on the fence.
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0 0
Sebastopol, CA

Our second visit: better than our first!

  • 5 of 5

We vowed to return to Sailfish after our first visit in 2015, and we did return this past weekend. Once again there is so much to love about this very together, colorful, contemporary little house. In my experience it is rare to find such a well stocked, organized vacation rental. The owner clearly puts care into creating a turn-key place. It was also immaculate when we arrived - even the carport breezeway neatly swept. Since we last visited, the owners have expanded the deck and this really makes a difference in the outdoor experience of the house. We had sensational weather for three days, so we lived on the bluff trails and on the deck at Sailfish. Thank you, Christine, for sharing your home with us!

  • Submitted: Oct 12, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Unreasonable Owner Expectations

  • 2 of 5

We have stayed at Sailfish before several years ago and loved it. When we re-booked this time we were looking forward to a relaxing long weekend before the holidays and finding a Sea Ranch rental we could return to annually. We got an initial email from Christine saying the previous renters had cracked the glass stovetop. Although the check-out procedures seemed simple enough there were little signs all over the house as to how to care for things. The pots and pans required a special cleanser (we cooked every meal which means we had to specially clean them each time), the counter top required a special cleanser and the stove top required a special cleanser. Upon check-out, we followed all of the instructions for linens, trash etc. However, Christine contacted us to tell us she found a glass bowl we had accidentally broken in the trash and she was going to charge us for it. She also mentioned it had been a gift but was still able to somehow come up with a dollar amount for its value. She not only charged us $40 for the bowl but also $13 for internet overages (yes, she limits you on kb usage. We streamed a music service while making dinners. No movies.). Finally, she took the time to rate us on VRBO and give us low scores on everything including 'cleanliness' despite deducting nothing additional from the cleaning deposit for excessive cleaning needs. It seems unreasonable to us, as renters who have rented multiple locations throughout the country, that we would be responsible for incidental breakage of a bowl. Did she charge the previous renters for breaking the stove-top? Also, there was a significant sacrifice in comfort and relaxation when you are expected to clean with such specific requirements despite a cleaning deposit and housekeeping service. It was offensive enough to be made to feel responsible for something like a glass bowl but even worse when the same owner takes the time to give you a bad review on VRBO. It seems that owners of rentals should have some expectation of incidental damages when you have scores of people staying in your property and to stock the property accordingly with things that are not of personal value. It truly is a beautiful home, the upgrades done to it have made it even better than we remember, but there is nothing relaxing or reasonable about the owner's expectations for her renters.

  • Submitted: Oct 6, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: The rental agreement states the following: "Verizon wireless internet is available in the house-password is ...... please limit usage as follows to avoid added charges: No more than 1,000 emails & 2,000 web pages daily; no movie viewing (500 MB maximum daily use-additional GB @ $-- per GB). Free internet service is available @ Trink’s Café in Gualala. Sea Ranch new fiber optic program coming soon ." The rental agreement also addresses return of security deposit if , "No damage (or loss) to unit or its contents, beyond normal wear and tear". The broken bowl will need to be replaced and the charge reflects only the cost of a similar item.
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1 0

One of my best vacations ever

  • 5 of 5

My partner and I recently spent 3 nights at the Sailfish, along with our dog. We had a fantastic time—it was one of our favorite vacations we've ever taken! Whether sipping coffee under the umbrella on the deck, reading on the lounge chairs while sneaking peeks at the ocean, looking up at the stars from the hot tub, or strolling down the garden path to the bluffs, the place is a dream retreat.The owner's communication was outstanding, and the new updates she made to the property make it extra special. Every detail of the house and the property feels well thought out, and it has a great personality that is welcoming and charming. We brought some food with us and supplemented with the lovely grocery in Gualala. It was a great kitchen to do some cooking if you like to do that. We have stayed at several places before in Sea Ranch, but this one was by far my favorite. Highly recommended!

  • Submitted: Sep 23, 2016
  • Stayed: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you, glad you enjoyed your stay😀
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0 0

Beautiful place, difficult owner

  • 3 of 5

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Review #15454361 “Serene Sailfish Retreat with White Water Views of the Pacific”

Beautiful place, difficult owner

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This is a lovely home with great views. The pictures represent it well and it is obviously well loved. I have been renting homes from HomeAway for several years and this is the first time I've had trouble with an owner. This owner docked me because "additional laundry was required for using the studio bed". This bed is advertised as part of the home on the site. Also, I removed the sheets from both beds, washed them (in 1 load to conserve energy) and put them in the dryer before I left. I pointed out to her that this was not part of our agreement and she said I "misunderstood", then added this to her long list of rules and closing duties. My family also rents properties so I'm ok with rules. I strive to be a good renter and do these things anyways. When I told her I would include this charge as part of my review she sent me back an email saying

"Just FYI, they have opened it up for owners to write reviews of guests now and I certainly want to be positive.:)". The money is not the end of the world. The exchange with this homeowner left a sour note to an otherwise nice vacation. I will not be working with her again.

Reviewer location


Date of arrival

July 19, 2016

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  • Submitted: Aug 8, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: The rental agreement signed by this guest explained that "The cleaning fee amount may be higher than standard if the housekeeper is required to do additional cleaning (i.e. bar-b-que) or additional laundry. These charges would be applied based on housekeeper time @ the rate of $. . . an hour." This guest used two beds instead of one requiring additional laundry. The small additional amount was deducted from her deposit.
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0 1
Oakland, CA

Look no further

  • 5 of 5

We spent our 20th anniversary at Serene Sailfish last February, and returned in November for no reason whatsoever. I've talked to people who say they pick a different place in Sea Ranch every time they visit. I can't imagine finding a better spot for the two of us, and our dog - than this perfect hideaway, complete with ocean views, complete privacy, and a gentle walk to the water. Not to mention the hot tub with ocean view. The place is perfect. No need to look elsewhere. We'll be back - for no reason whatsoever.

  • Submitted: Nov 18, 2015
  • Stayed: Nov 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0



Rates & Availability

Sea Ranch House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee $40
Standard Cleaning Fee $80 + Tax
Refundable damage deposit $300
Tax Rate 15.5%

Sea Ranch Connect high speed internet available to guests after January 9, 2017.
County of Sonoma Transient Occupancy Tax Certificate Number: 922N

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
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