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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Beautiful and Lush Hidden Wisteria Cottage

Bedrooms 1
Space 750 sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

1 bedroom, 1 bath, sleeps 2

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.

More Details

Property Manager
Melissa Burnley at Bella Bay Vacation Rentals
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 22, 2017

About Melissa Burnley at Bella Bay Vacation Rentals

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.

Why Melissa Burnley at Bella Bay Vacation Rentals chose The Bay Area

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.

What makes this cottage unique

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!


Alameda Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 750 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 2
  • not suitable for children ...
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only ...
Location Type:
  • Downtown
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Fireplace ...
  • Gas Heating
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Area
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking ...
  • Parking On Street
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Wireless Internet
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 2 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • VCR
  • Video Library
  • Barbecue
  • Courtyard
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Entertainment Area
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Patio
  • 4 garden chairs
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • arboretum
  • bay/sound
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • outlet shopping
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • sound/bay fishing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(65 traveler reviews)

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Beautiful and Lush Hidden Wisteria Cottage
average rating of 4.9846153 based on 65 reviews

A Perfect Experience

  • 5 of 5

We often use VRBO when we travel from Portland OR to visit our daughter in Alameda, but this time we decided to find a place within walking distance of her house. When I booked Wisteria Cottage, I had no idea that we would be staying at a property so enchanting and unique. John and Arthur, the warm and witty hosts, have done most of the work themselves, and it has clearly been a labor of love. The cozy cottage has every amenity you could possible want. And the gardens! Our young grandchildren visited us and were transfixed by the koi pond, the canaries, and all the little bridges and seating areas. John and Arthur were happy to share the history of the house, and we felt that we had made new friends. We're already planning our next trip!

  • Submitted: Aug 30, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: What can we say ? You truly have become one of our friends ! The pleasure you got from our efforts was all one could ask for , who could ask for more ? And such a delight to see the children explore the nooks and crannies and discover so much with glee ! We look forward to your many more visits ! Our Best Wishes ! John & Arthur
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Gaithersburg, Maryland

A must stay!

  • 5 of 5

John and Arthur's tranquil and peaceful cottage will be a must stay for my fiancé and I when we travel back to San Francisco, and we already planned our return visit before even checking out. You could not ask for more hospitable hosts, I truly feel that we made new friends during our recent trip. We're used VRBO for years and this stay was by far the best yet. The cottage was perfect, more amenities than expected, quiet, peaceful and charming. The garden truly represents John and Arthur's passion for nature and Zen. The location is wonderful for a short stroll to Alameda's quaint downtown boutiques and restaurants, and a quick ferry ride to San Francisco. Thank John and Arthur for the wonderful travel suggestions, you two contributed to our best vacation to date, and we'll see you next spring.

  • Submitted: Sep 10, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Little Rock, Ar, USA

Perfect place for a couple to stay while in alamefa

  • 5 of 5

Lovely little cottage

Has everything you need

  • Submitted: Jul 27, 2017
  • Stayed: Jul 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Wildomar, CA


  • 5 of 5

I stayed here with my daughter for a trip to San Francisco, and I can't explain how perfect this little cottage was! Our first day we were greeted by John and Arthur, who were so warm and welcoming. The cottage is so cozy, and the garden is absolutely stunning. There was never a morning when I didn't wake up to the sound of birds chirping, and the flowing water from the fountain outside as well as the koi fish pond. John and Arthur have created such a beautiful oasis that it made saying goodbye harder than I thought it would be. The city is just a short ferry ride away, but even if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, Alameda is perfect. The town is so safe, and there are so many cute shops and restaurants around that you can easily spend a couple a days exploring. Parking was easy to find for the most part, and walking to restaurants is ideal if you want to familiarize yourself with the town more. My daughter and I hope to be returning soon, we already miss our home away from home! Hope to see you again. :)

  • Submitted: Jul 20, 2017
  • Stayed: Jul 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Wow ! Truly a delight meeting you , and so happy that such a small place like ours gave you such pleasure ! This weekend we open that bottle of wine you gave us from your vineyard for our friends to enjoy and speak of you ! We're glad you liked our little town and your comments so appealing to the ear ; that I want to go out and see the town anew ! Please come again so we could have a sip of your wine by the pond and make the fish envious ! Yours , John & Arthur
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Garden Oasis

  • 5 of 5

John and Arthur are the best hosts! They helped us with all of our travel needs including the best sites to visit in the short amount of time we had to stay, and best car routes to take. The yard is filled with ornamental trees, lush greenery, mature happy koi in a beautiful pond and much more. The kitchen is well stocked with everything you need for cooking and grilling. Our hosts even had wine, cheese and crackers waiting for us upon arrival.

You will not be disappointed with your stay at Wisteria Cottage if you plan on staying outside of San Francisco.

  • Submitted: Jul 17, 2017
  • Stayed: Jul 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Rita & Brent , I was so nice to help you on your way with little details of the city which we love so much ; it was like going there with you , thinking of all the great views you would be seeing and the exhibit at The Legion of Honor and it's fabulous location ! Thank you also for the care your showed our little cottage ! It truly showed how much a home it was to you . It gives us great pleasure to know how comfortable you said it was . P.S. the fish are still hungry ! come back so you can feed them again . And don't forget , the wisteria will bloom in March a site to behold ! Yours, John & Arthur
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Secret Garden

  • 5 of 5

Our stay was simply wonderful! Cozy, comfortable cottage, marvelous hidden garden, everything we needed. A short walk from Park Street shops & restaurants, but a world away from hustle & bustle. Garden features: privacy, sun, shade, native trees & plants, recycled stone & wood materials, canary aviaries, koi pond. How relaxing and peaceful! John & Arthur have designed and built a perfect get-a-away and were the most thoughtful and gracious hosts. Alameda is charming - small town feel, minutes from Oakland, short ride to San Francisco, and a heavenly climate (as we write from hot & humid, coastal Virginia).

  • Submitted: Jul 15, 2017
  • Stayed: Jun 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Guests , Amy & Paul , It was such a pleasure to meet you and have the conversations in the morning walking through the garden feeding the koi . We so appreciated your attention to details , many we forgot we did over the years . Your care of the cottage , showed how much this place meant to you ! It meant a lot to us !!! . We hope you will return when you visit your children in our charming town . More awaits to delight you here . Yours , John & Arthur
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Nearest Airport
5 Miles
Oakland International Airport
Nearest Barpub
1 Miles
Walking distance
Nearest Ferry
4 Miles
Ferry Point
Nearest Golf
2.5 Miles
Alameda Municipal Golf Course
Nearest Train
10 Miles
Emeryville - Amtrak
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Walking distance
Nearest Beach
1 Miles
Walking distance
Car: recommended


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $100

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.

Manager's Cancellation Policy

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

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