VRBO is part of the HomeAway family, the world leader in vacation rentals with over 1 million listings. We offer the largest selection of properties for any travel occasion and every budget. We’re committed to helping families and friends find a perfect vacation rental to create unforgettable travel experiences together. Learn More
Seventy-thousand acres of rolling hills, pine forests, ranch lands, and uncrowded open beaches, nearly all of it a national seashore, the Point Reyes peninsula, only an hour's drive from San Francisco—this is the backdrop to the celebrated house that, in the 1970's, renowned ecological architect, author and artist Sim Van der Ryn designed and built for himself. The Highland Eco Refuge home, with its five lush acres of bishop pine, bay, and native oak as well as a large edible garden, orchard, berry patch, and chickens, is now available for exclusive rental for corporate retreats or personal getaways. We are able to accommodate small gatherings of no more than 20 people at one time during the day. The Eco Refuge is a quiet, restful, retreat from the world in a natural setting and is not suitable for large events.
Designed and built in the 1970's and renovated in the 1990's, the Highland Eco Refuge is a 3,500-square-foot, three-story house—a traditional pole barn with attached Japanese-style pavilion—includes three bedrooms and four baths. The house sleeps 6-8 comfortably. The ground floor comprises a yoga/exercise/massage space; one bedroom and one and a half bath. Also, on the first floor is a 1,000-square-foot open kitchen/dining area. It is a room that's ideal for dinner parties, talks and gatherings, a room with an operable window wall that seamlessly merges it with a large outdoor terrace overlooking a pond, water elements, and the forest. The house's second floor is a living room/work corner, all of it wrapped in windows with vistas of the gardens, and a second bedroom and full bath. • A spiral staircase in the living room concludes at the house's third floor, the master suite and master bath. • Each room is equipped with wi-fi, and displays Van der Ryn's own watercolors and other art collected over 40 years. The house includes his personal multi-thousand-volume architecture and ecology book collection. • All linens are from Cuddledown; quilts and blankets are from travels in India and Europe.
Surrounded by grand bishop pine, native oak, and bay trees, the five-acre grounds surrounding the Highland Eco Refuge provide ample opportunity for privacy, quietude, and intimate encounters with nature. • There is a secluded jacuzzi, a star-gazing platform/outdoor bed, a regulation bocce court, an extensive edible garden, an orchard and berry patch, and chickens. In the fall, deer graze the apple orchard beside the house's terrace.
Opportunities for contemplative walks or rigorous hikes abound in the surrounding forested hills, meadows, shorelines of ocean and bay, and in the villages of Inverness and Point Reyes.
The house's water supply is sourced from mineral-rich, chemical-free on-site wells. • Electricity is supplied by solar panels. • In the winter months, indoor temps are controlled by fast-heating energy-efficient gas heaters and/or two wood stoves that burn a supply of oak harvested on-site.
For up to six people, rates start at U.S. $575 per night, with a minimum three-night stay ($1,700); or $3,500 per week; or $10,000 per month. Additional guests over 6 (up to 8) pay an additional $125 per night. • no cats, dogs, or children under 13. • extra charges include cleaning ($200), 10% county tax, and security deposit of ($500). The security deposit is returned within 10 days of departure when the house is returned in good condition.
While the house has complete privacy, Highland Eco Refuge owner Sim Van der Ryn resides within walking distance and is thus usually available to respond directly to any questions or concerns.
By special arrangement, guests of the Highland Eco Refuge can meet Van der Ryn for one-on-one talks on ecological architecture and on his many related books. If interested in having Van der Ryn speak during your stay, please include this as part of your booking request and you'll be notified of his availability.
Other services available upon request include a master chef, yoga instructor, and masseuse.
Massage, Ayurvedic treatment or consultation are available at the house. Bookings need at least 1 week advance notice.
To book, please email email@example.com
or call 415.847.3780
The house includes owner Sim Van der Ryn's personal multi-thousand-volume architecture and ecology book collection. ...moreless
This fully stocked kitchen has everything you need, including dishwasher, two sinks, espresso & coffee machines, and ample counter space for prepping fruits and vegetables from right outside your door...moreless
* Approximate Monthly rates, actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay
Additional information about rental rates
Fees and Rental Conditions:
Property Damage Protection$69
There is a $200 cleaning fee per rental.
100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Book with confidence
Paying through this free service protects your payment up to $10,000 against listing fraud. If you are not paying through HomeAway Payments always call the owner at the number listed on our website and never use instant money transfer services such as Western Union and MoneyGram.
Adding our Vacation Protection services can make sure your getaway goes smoothly, no matter what. We offer Cancellation Protection, Carefree Rental Guarantee, and Damage Protection so you can truly relax.
Protect your payments in case you need to cancel.
Guarantee the rental meets your expectations.
Ensure you're prepared in case of accidental damage.
About the owner: Sim Van der Ryn has been a teacher, writer, researcher, and practitioner of design for forty years. A leading authority on ecologically sustainable architecture and design, he is Emeritus Professor of Architecture at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1961. As California's State Architect in the 1970's, he initiated landmark programs in energy-efficient building and environmentally appropriate technologies. His innovative designs for homes, sustainable communities, retreat centers, schools, and commercial buildings have received many awards and been widely published.