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Ecological Architecture Surrounded by Nature

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A corner of the Eco Refuge House's front. This & other photos by Richard Olsen.

Calendar

Last updated: 01/22/2015
Check availability
23 Available
21 Unavailable
22 Today
23 Selected dates
  • Minimum stay:2-5 nights
  • Internet:Yes
  • Pets considered:No
  • Wheel chair accessible:No

Point Reyes Station house description

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.

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Property Type

  • House
  • 3500 sq. ft.

Accommodation Type

      • Vacation Rental

      Meals

          • Guests Provide Their Own Meals

          Onsite Services

          • Concierge
          • Massage
          • Private Chef

          Suitability

          • Long-Term Renters Welcome
          • Non Smoking Only
          • Not Suitable For Children:

            Due to the multiple levels, the home may not suitable for young children....moreless

          • Pets Not Allowed:

            We are strict with our no pet policy....moreless

          • Wheelchair Inaccessible:

            Due to multiple levels and stairs throughout the house the home is not wheelchair accessible....moreless

          Bedrooms: 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6, Beds for 6

          • Bedroom 2: 1 queen

            On second level, 1 queen bed with full bath en suite...moreless

          • Bedroom 3: 1 queen

            On 3rd floor, 1 queen bed with full bath on same floor...moreless

          • Bedroom 1: 1 queen

            Ground Floor, 1 queen bed and full bath en suite...moreless

          • 3 bedrooms

          Bathrooms: 3 Bathrooms, 1 Half Bathroom

          • Bathroom 4: toilet

            on main floor off kitchen/dining area...moreless

          • Bathroom 1: toilet, shower

            en suite with bedroom on the main floor...moreless

          • Bathroom 2: toilet, combination tub/shower

            en suite with bedroom on 2nd floor...moreless

          • Bathroom 3: toilet, combination tub/shower

            On 3rd floor with 3rd bedroom. ...moreless

          • 3 1/2 baths

          Other Amenities

              • Massage, Ayurvedic treatment or consultation are available at the house. Bookings need at least 1 week advance notice. http://www.marinayurveda.com/marin-ayurveda-services-at-the-van-der-rijn-eco-refuge.html To book, please email simone@marinayurveda.com or call 415.847.3780 ...moreless

              Entertainment

              • Books:

                The house includes owner Sim Van der Ryn's personal multi-thousand-volume architecture and ecology book collection. ...moreless

              • DVD Player
              • Satellite / Cable
              • Stereo
              • Television

              Theme

              • Adventure
              • Away From It All
              • Family
              • Historic
              • Romantic
              • Spa
              • Sports & Activities
              • Tourist Attractions

              Attractions

              • Churches
              • Festivals
              • Library
              • Live Theater
              • Marina
              • Museums
              • Playground
              • Restaurants
              • Winery Tours

              Local Services & Businesses

              • ATM/Bank
              • Babysitter
              • Fitness Center
              • Groceries
              • Laundromat
              • Massage Therapist
              • Medical Services

              Leisure Activities

              • Antiquing
              • Beachcombing
              • Bird Watching
              • Boating
              • Eco Tourism
              • Horseshoes
              • Paddle Boating
              • Photography
              • Scenic Drives
              • Shelling
              • Shopping
              • Sight Seeing
              • Walking
              • Whale Watching
              • Wildlife Viewing

              Location Type

              • Mountain View
              • Rural

              Sports & Adventure Activities

              • Cycling
              • Deepsea Fishing
              • Equestrian Events
              • Fishing
              • Fly Fishing
              • Freshwater Fishing
              • Golf
              • Hiking
              • Kayaking
              • Mountain Biking
              • Pier Fishing
              • Sailing
              • Sound/Bay Fishing
              • Surf Fishing
              • Surfing
              • Swimming
              • Tennis
              • Wind-Surfing

              Dining

              • Dining Area
              • Seating for 8 people

              General

              • Clothes Dryer
              • Fitness Room / Equipment:

                yoga/exercise room/meditation room...moreless

              • Garage:

                carport for two compact vehicles....moreless

              • Heating:

                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....moreless

              • Internet
              • Linens Provided:

                All linens are from Cuddledown; quilts and blankets are from travels in India and Europe. ...moreless

              • Living Room
              • Parking
              • Telephone
              • Towels Provided
              • Washing Machine
              • Wood Stove:

                House has two wood-burning stoves...moreless

              Kitchen

              • Coffee Maker:

                Nespresso cappucino machine....moreless

              • Dishes & Utensils
              • Dishwasher
              • Kitchen:

                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

              • Oven
              • Pantry Items
              • Refrigerator
              • Stove
              • Toaster

              Outside

              • Deck / Patio
              • Lawn / Garden:

                includes regulation bocce court...moreless

              • Outdoor Grill

              Pool / Spa

                  • Hot Tub
                   

                  Reviews

                  Write a review 5
                  from 8 traveler reviews
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                  Rental basis: Per property
                  Dates Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
                  Off Season
                  Jan 23 - Mar 31, 2015
                  2 night min stay
                  $480
                  $3,000 $10,000
                  Spring
                  Apr 1 - May 21, 2015
                  3 night min stay
                  $480
                  $3,000 $10,000
                  Summer
                  May 22 - Oct 31, 2015
                  5 night min stay
                  $500
                  $3,000 $10,000
                  My Standard Rate
                  3 night min stay
                  $575
                  $3,500 $10,000
                  * 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
                  • Cleaning Fee $200
                  • Tax Rate 10%

                  Notes:

                  There is a $200 cleaning fee per rental.


                  Cancellation policy:

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


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                  Calendar

                  Last updated: 01/22/2015
                  Check availability
                  23 Available
                  21 Unavailable
                  22 Today
                  23 Selected dates
                   

                  Location

                  40 Miles
                  Nearest Airport
                  SFO or OAK or STS
                  0.5 Miles
                  Nearest Barpub
                  Saltwater or Vladimir's
                  10 Miles
                  Nearest Golf
                  San Geronimo Valley
                  2 Miles
                  Nearest Motorway
                  Highway One
                  0.5 Miles
                  Nearest Restaurant
                  Saltwater
                  1 Miles
                  Nearest Beach
                  Chicken Ranch or Hearts Desire

                  Car: Necessary

                   

                  Owner info

                  Year Purchased: 1970

                  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.


                  Contact us

                  Speaks: english, spanish

                  Guestbook comments from the owner

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                  1 of 1
                   

                  Photos

                  • A corner of the Eco Refuge House's front. This & other photos by Richard Olsen.

                    A corner of the Eco Refuge House's front. This & other photos by Richard Olsen.

                  • The house's rear elevation is engulfed by a thriving edible garden.

                    The house's rear elevation is engulfed by a thriving edible garden.

                  • Among the attributes of the site are its many informally defined outdoor rooms.

                    Among the attributes of the site are its many informally defined outdoor rooms.

                  • The occasional wildlife sighting is part of the Eco Refuge experience.

                    The occasional wildlife sighting is part of the Eco Refuge experience.

                  • Sim Van der Ryn on the ladder-accessible stargazing platform/outdoor bed.

                    Sim Van der Ryn on the ladder-accessible stargazing platform/outdoor bed.

                  • The house's entrance has a chainsaw-carved door made of reclaimed redwood.

                    The house's entrance has a chainsaw-carved door made of reclaimed redwood.

                  • The open kitchen was designed for casual entertaining.

                    The open kitchen was designed for casual entertaining.

                  • One of three first-floor bedrooms has a portion of the Van der Ryn library.

                    One of three first-floor bedrooms has a portion of the Van der Ryn library.

                  • The second-floor includes a living room and work area.

                    The second-floor includes a living room and work area.

                  • The third-floor master suite's bedroom offers total privacy.

                    The third-floor master suite's bedroom offers total privacy.

                  • The arch in the Eco Refuge's meadow, looking up to your bedroom window.

                    The arch in the Eco Refuge's meadow, looking up to your bedroom window.

                  • The five-acre property's entrance gate.

                    The five-acre property's entrance gate.

                  • A root chair next to the pond and fountain—another quiet zone.

                    A root chair next to the pond and fountain—another quiet zone.

                  • The Eco Refuge's regulation gravel bocce court.

                    The Eco Refuge's regulation gravel bocce court.

                  • The rear terrace with its rosemary and apple trees.

                    The rear terrace with its rosemary and apple trees.

                  • The entrance hall was painted by Tibetan monks in traditional style.

                    The entrance hall was painted by Tibetan monks in traditional style.

                  • In the Japanese pavilion, opposite the kitchen: the den/dining area/TV corner.

                    In the Japanese pavilion, opposite the kitchen: the den/dining area/TV corner.

                  • The spiral stair was built of telephone poles and salvaged wine-tank parts.

                    The spiral stair was built of telephone poles and salvaged wine-tank parts.

                  • In the second-floor bath, more architectural salvage and a carved wood sink.

                    In the second-floor bath, more architectural salvage and a carved wood sink.

                  • The yoga/meditation/massage room.

                    The yoga/meditation/massage room.

                  VRBO #508338

                  There have been  visitors to this page since the counter was last reset in .

                  This listing was first published here in 2013.

                  Date last modified - Saturday, January 24, 2015

                  $480 - $575 per night (USD)
                  Minimum stay: 2-5 nights
                  Dates are unavailable
                  Please stay a bit longer. A stay of nights or more is required for these dates.
                  This listing requires that rentals start on a .
                  Book It

                  Detailed Price

                  • Sleeps
                    6
                  • Bedrooms
                    3
                  • Bathrooms
                    3.5
                  • Property type
                    House
                  • Reviews
                    8
                  Owner
                  Member since: 2013
                  Speaks: english, spanish
                  • Response time: Within a few hours
                  • Response rate: 100%
                  • Calendar last updated: 01/22/2015
                  Email owner

                  4156636113
                  Aaron Ely, Property Manager

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                  Ecological Architecture Surrounded by Nature

                  Point Reyes Station #508338

                  3 BR  3.5 BA  Sleeps 6

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