Hosted by Karen
Karen is the host.Karen is a superhost.
2 guests
1 bedroom
1 bed
1 bath
2 guests
1 bedroom
1 bed
1 bath
You won’t be charged yet

A Secret Garden Sanctuary to rest and recharge...

The space

Super Clean Modern Design, this bright, wide-open 950 square foot Artistic Space spills out onto a Huge Slate Patio surrounded by Lush Tropical Gardens -- views of the Monterey Bay shimmer in the distance. Wind Chimes ring in the gentle ocean breezes and the Cherry Plum Trees are alive with hungry birds; fat squirrels bounce from limb to limb. At dusk, romantic white lights twinkle in the canopy above.

The Secret Garden is a fully self-contained apartment with a private entrance. It occupies the entire bottom floor and surrounding gardens of this huge 3-Story, 3000 Square Foot Ocean View Home. Wall to Wall Travertine, Vibrant Art, Splendid Design and Attention to Detail make this Wonderful Space visually dramatic yet supremely functional with all of the creature comforts The Custom Bathroom is Palatial -- 200+ square foot Creative Layout with On-Demand Hot Water. The Simple and Beautiful Kitchenette and Well Stocked Pantry have everything you need and more. There is a Gas Grill on the Patio for BBQ. Like the best hotels, Fluffy Towels, Good Linens and Quality Sundries are provided.

The Expansive Deck 30 feet above has sweeping views of the Sleepy Seaside Community, the Blue Pacific and Monterey in the Distance. It is the "Common Area" of the home and you may meet me when I'm there. (I am out and about most of the time.) The Sunsets are amazing and the sounds of waves carry on the wind. Bring up your coffee in the morning and soak up the sunshine amidst the tree tops.

Having worked as a Director in the High End Hotel Industry, the space was inspired by my travels to Five Star Resorts around the world -- stealing their Best Practices. This Gorgeous Custom Loft-Style Apartment is ideal for the discerning traveler. It is perfect for those seeking a quality experience in a peaceful, private setting.


Upon your arrival, you will be welcomed with a Bottle of Wine or Sparkling Juice which you can enjoy lounging on the Dreamy Garden Patio, in your Lovely Room or Up Above on the Ocean View Deck.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Start each day with our Yummy Greek Yogurt, Bagels, Muffins, Cereal or Organic Eggs. French Press Coffee / Keurig and Specialty Teas. Organic Whole Milk & OJ are always provided.

YOU ARE WELCOME TO BORROW MY MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM GUEST PASSES to take in this Spectacular Experience. Go VIP -- directly to the front of the lines to the "Member's Window"!

Kick Back and enjoy the large HDTV with Home Theater, Netflix, Pandora, DVDs, WIFI. Or, you can unplug and go Old School Low-Tech with Board Games, Backgammon, Playing Cards, Reading in the Garden.

Book a Private Luxury Sunset or Whale Watching Charter on Lovely 50-Foot Motor Yacht "Meridian". She hails out of Moss Landing Harbor where the Deep Water Canyon terminates -- THE Favorite Hang Out Spot for Humpback Whales, Otters, Sea Lions and Sea Birds. This Intimate Two-Hour Cruise costs $495 and includes Captain, Crew and Local Taste Treats. It is an experience you will never forget. See her at "Secret Harbor Sanctuary -- Monterey Bay" and book ahead.

Walk for miles along the best beaches in the county, clean and uncrowded, less than a mile away as the Crow Flies. Go at low tide and collect piles of Sand Dollars for souvenirs. Paddle Kayaks at Elkhorn Slough Wildlife Sanctuary in Moss Landing. Or take a Beautifully Civilized Eco-Tour with Whisper Charters to see Birds, Otters and Sea Lions up close. On Saturday Mornings, stroll with the locals at the Cabrillo College Farmers Market. Seascape Golf Club and the Resort are just down the street. Take a ride on the Big Dipper at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Sip Santa Cruz Mountain Appellations at Local Wineries. Visit the Redwoods at Big Basin State Park. Take the spectacular drive down the Pacific Coast Highway to Big Sur for a tour you will remember forever. Stop in Cute Little Carmel by the Sea for dinner on your way back home.

Or just relax in The Garden and do nothing at all...

"Magical... Dream-Like.... Sweet... Perfect... Peaceful... Soothing.... Amazing.... Comforting.... Romantic... Smart Design... A Beautiful Refuge.... Mystical Jungle..." These are just some of the words my Wonderful Guests have used to describe the SECRET GARDEN SANCTUARY since we began welcoming visitors.

Vacations should be Well Lived.

SORRY, NO PETS -- Have them. Love them. But the apartment is an animal-free zone.

Guest access

The entire bottom floor of this 3-story house is exclusively yours during your stay along with the attached slate patio and surrounding gardens. I live on the top two floors of this huge home, but I come and go from a different street entry, so we may never cross paths unless you choose to.

The very top deck with spectacular views is a "Common Area" for the home and you may meet my family there if I am around. I will give you privacy when you are up there but I am happy to chat if you'd like. I am most often out and about, however.

The property is limited to registered guests (1-2 people) and if you would like visitors, please clear this ahead of time. Our neighborhood is not suited for gatherings.

Interaction with guests

I am a friendly, open person. I do, however, respect your privacy and will rarely come down stairs to disturb you. I welcome you to come up to the ocean view deck if you would like to chat. Just text me and we can get together.

Other things to note

At night, skunks and raccoons frequently visit the patio. No one (except BooBoo) has ever been skunked and they will simply run back into the gardens when they see you. They know the routine, so don't worry.
Absolutely No Pets are permitted due to dander left behind which causes allergies in some people. Because of Zen Nature of our space, we only accept reservations for two (2) Guests (including children).

Free parking on premises
Smoking allowed

Security Deposit ₹13078
Weekly Discount: 5%
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Sleeping arrangements
Bedroom 1
1 king bed

House Rules
Not suitable for pets
No parties or events
Not safe or suitable for children (0-12 years)
Check in time is 3PM - 9PM
Check out by 11AM

-- If you are looking for a "partying" type of place, this is NOT the spot for you. We ask that guests respect the peace, quiet and tranquility of the neighborhood -- Imbibe responsibly. No Pot Smoking.

++ WE DO NOT CHARGE A CLEANING FEE. Please leave the place as you found it.


-=Please park ONLY right next to the RETAINING WALL BELOW THE GARDENS. We don't want to fuel neighborhood parking wars.

--Because we are in a quiet residential neighborhood, we only permit TWO (2) Guests during your stay. This means that only registered guests are permitted to be on property (no additional visitors).

-- PLAN TO CHECK IN NO LATER THAN 9 PM. It gets very dark and very quiet at night and I need to make sure you make it in safe and sound before I go to sleep

-- CHECK OUT IS 11 AM SHARP UNLESS OTHERWISE ARRANGED. (Cleaners come and charge extra if they have to wait.)

-- If you have mobility challenges, negotiating the multitude of hillside stairs could be problematic and I would not recommend staying here.

--Guests are permitted to smoke outside on my patio with all sliding doors closed to prevent smoke sucking into the living space. Please do not smoke out in the street by the neighbors homes or leave butts anywhere.

--When you depart, please leave the doors unlocked for the cleaners to enter.


--You are welcome to eat any of the food and snacks provided.

--Enjoy your “Welcome Wine", my compliments. If you need another bottle, please leave $10 for replacement.

--You are welcome to come up to the top deck to take in ocean and sunset views. It is a common area of the home.

--There is a gas grill just outside the door for BBQ or you may also use the Weber on the top deck.

--The soaps, shampoos and other product are good quality and there for you to use. If you forget your toothbrush, razor or even need a shot of deodorant, don't worry, that's there too.


--SOUND CARRIES LIKE CRAZY -- Please respect the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. It's always good to keep this in mind, but especially important in the evenings and when coming and going later after curfew (9 pm as noted by the County).


--Do not put food or coffee grounds down the kitchen disposal. It is too hard on the plumbing. Composting containers are provided.


--CONSERVE ENERGY– Please turn off lights when you are not using them.

--RECYCLE, REUSE – Please use recycling bin inside the pantry.

--BIG ASS RACCOONS + SKUNKS – Use care when coming and going at night so you don't get “skunked". Make sure the trash can outside the door is snapped tight.

--STUFF HAPPENS– Please do not flush paper towels, moist towelettes, tampons, condoms or other things down the toilet. A plumbing back up will ruin your trip. There are plastic bags available for trash disposal.

--TILE IS SLIPPERY – Use care when walking in your socks or with wet feet.

--USE WHAT YOU NEED – But please don't remove items from the property.

I hope you love your visit to my special home. While I have been welcoming family and friends to this super cute space for more than a year now, I am new to Airbnb. I would appreciate your input on ways to make the experience even better!

Hope to see you soon!


You must also acknowledge
Pet(s) live on property - I have two little dogs upstairs, BooBoo and JoJo.
Some spaces are shared - The very top deck is just outside my home, so you will likely meet us up there.


Safety features
Smoke detector
Carbon monoxide detector
First aid kit
Fire extinguisher

2 nights minimum stay

434 Reviews

Check In
Keith User Profile
October 2017
There are lots of special things about Karen's Secret Garden Sanctuary and the amenities she provides that set it apart. But the most special of all is that patio just outside the very, very large and livable living space. The patio -- beautifully furnished and lush with tropical plants -- is what makes it a sanctuary.
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
The Jungle Patio is my favorite spot, too!
October 2017

Andrew User Profile
October 2017
Excellent place to stay! Great communication! Great value! So nice to have the privacy in such a well designed space! Would definitely stay again!
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
Thank you! I appreciate your kind review!
October 2017

Bob User Profile
October 2017
Karen's place was very spacious and both the interior of the house and patio were beautiful. The kitchen was very well stocked with snacks and drinks and there were also quite a few pleasant surprises ex. chocolate truffles, frozen beer glasses and a complimentary bottle of wine. Overall a fantastic experience that I'd recommend to anyone.
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
Thank you, Bob!
October 2017

Jeremy User Profile
September 2017
Karen's place is absolutely stunning, in a beautiful location, and she is one of the best hosts I've stayed with through Airbnb. She even went above and beyond and made vegan breakfast treats for my wife. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
Your review makes me happy!
September 2017

Danielle User Profile
September 2017
We had an amazing time staying at Karen's little sanctuary. It was easy to find, super cute and serene. She checked in with us to make sure we were all set and gave us privacy to enjoy our vacation. She even got us treats and breakfast options! The beauty of the plants were everywhere - so relaxing. We even danced to our wedding song on the gorgeous patio before we renewed our vows. Spectacular find. Thanks again Karen!
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
So wonderful..
September 2017

Nat User Profile
September 2017
Karen's house is the perfect place for anyone needing a retreat of any kind. The house is spacious and furnished with almost any amenity you can think of. Great location for a romantic getaway or artistic retreat.
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
Thanks Nat! I hope you found some quiet inspiration for planning your future...
September 2017

Doniece User Profile
September 2017
Lovely place, fabulous hospitality. We completely recharged and enjoyed our stay immensely!
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.
Response from Karen:
And you were lovely guests!
September 2017

Rio del Mar, California, United StatesJoined in November 2012
Karen User ProfileKaren is a superhost.

I LOVE my home in sweet little Rio Del Mar!

I work as a Financial Advisor and am a Franchise Owner with offices in Downtown San Jose and at Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey. My Aptos Home is equidistant between the two locations and every day I feel lucky to come home to this lovely, quiet place near the sea. It is truly my refuge.

In March 2014, after scouring the West Coast for the perfect boat for some time, I purchased "Meridian", a Custom Built 46' Motor Yacht. She is perfect! Captain Brian Ackerman and I transported her from her previous home in the San Francisco Bay to the Tiny Hidden North Harbor of Moss Landing, California. I had researched Santa Cruz Harbor and Monterey but ultimately fell in love with the gleaming sleepy harbor just 15 minutes from my home in Rio Del Mar. Her slip in Moss Landing overlooks pristine sand dunes. Her neighbors are fat Harbor Seals, playful Sea Otters and thousands of beautiful Sea Birds. Perfectly equidistant between Santa Cruz and Monterey, the mouth of the harbor is teeming with pods of whales. Meridian is a spiritual refuge from the Busy World.

I am fortunate to have traveled to wonderful spots around the world and have stayed in some really good resorts. In the 90's, I had a career as a Director in the Hospitality Industry and designing hotel space -- where form meets function -- was my favorite part of the job. I have high expectations for the traveler's experience, both from a professional's perspective and as a savvy, pretty fussy guest. Before breaking ground on the huge, loft-style space, I really put my thinking cap on to insure that every inch was used for a purpose, making it feel fully contained, super functional, inviting and visually appealing. I had fun with the project and am very pleased with how it turned out. It has good energy and I really enjoy sharing it with such excellent people.

The Secret Garden is so amazing because working in the dirt is one of my favorite things to do in the entire world. Besides a therapy, gardening is an art form with so many wild cards in play and a will all its own. It is alive and breathing, adapting to the seasons. These unruly gardens have been a labor of love since I bought my place back in 2008 and they thrive in the gentle coastal climate. Just about every morning, I hit the beach just down the road with my little dog, BooBoo (the Bad Ass). Life, for the most part, is pretty good.

I have lived in Aptos for 30 years and fully appreciate everything this slice of paradise has to offer and never take it for granted. While I'm a pretty busy person, I'm more than happy to share my know-how of the area so that you will have an experience to remember (in a good way!). Just let me know how I can help.

I hope to meet you soon!

Karen, BooBoo, Angel (aka: Angelina Jolie)

Response rate: 100%
Response time: within an hour

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