|Minimum Stay||3 nights|
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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!
This was our first stay in Wisteria Cottage although John and Arthur have been friends for over 30 years. BUT, whether you know them for 30 yrs or 30 minutes you will be delighted to have the pleasure of these unique people and their unique property. As seasoned vacation renters, we knew this would not be another run of the mill experience – everything about the carefully crafted and curated cottage as well as the remarkable garden oasis are truly out of the ordinary! Down a cobbled path the cottage is completely private with lovely views from every window and a cozy interior with a flickering fireplace. EVERY comfort has been provided and every corner is immaculate – there really is nothing like it. We had an enjoyable evening at the live theatre in Alameda but there are many other fun, stimulating or just relaxing opportunities in the area and the Ferry Building as well as all of San Francisco is just a ferry ride away. Can’t wait to visit again!
My husband and I spent our 24th anniversary at the Wisteria Cottage because our usual reservation at Tassajara was canceled due to the fire in Big Sur. We were lucky to find this special place in Alameda that shares a similar spirit of natural beauty and thoughtful craftsmanship. We found ourselves spending a lot of time in the cottage and garden as it fulfilled our desire for a relaxing retreat. We especially enjoyed breakfast and evening appetizers in the garden areas nestled around the koi pond. Alameda gave us plenty to explore within walking distance, historic homes, quirky shops, a classic movie theater and excellent Burmese food. The Bay Area had lots to offer also. We spent one day in Oakland and Berkeley and the next we took the ferry into San Francisco. It was a pleasure to meet Arthur and John. They were helpful easygoing hosts. This anniversary was all we hoped for and much more. We highly recommend a visit!
Our stay at the Wisteria Cottage was incredible and memorable! The hosts were exceptionally gracious. We plan to return and stay longer next time.
Great place, relaxing atmosphere, can't wait to go back.
Wisteria Cottage is a unique respite from the cacophony...Created over a 50 year span with conscious intent it provides beauty, meditation and solace. Water, flowers, trees, fish, birds, chimes...and exquisite plant life all contribute to the "Space" art. For the inquisitive mind.
We recently stayed in this beautiful Wisteria Cottage. What a wonderful sanctuary for the end of our California experience. We have stayed in many vacation homes and this has been by far our favorite. The carriage house was warm and charming, with wonderful details and design, meeting our every need. The surrounding grounds were an oasis, a place that we could not get enough of. It is evident that this retreat was created with love and great eyes for detail. Authur and John were exceptional hosts, opening their home and sharing travel experiences with us. We so enjoyed visiting and sharing a glass of wine with them after our days of being "California Tourists". Their suggestions on restaurants and 'out of the way' areas to visit were enjoyed and appreciated. This beautiful retreat is a must see, and we would love to visit again in the future. Thank you John and Arthur!
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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.