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Charming Vintage Cottage Featured in Creative Home Magazine in Mill Valley

Bedrooms 4
Space 1,500 sq ft
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

3 BR, 2 BA, sleeps 5; with optional king Garden Bedroom sleeps 7

Our charming circa 1903 cottage in Mill Valley is just 9 miles north of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge in scenic Marin County. This special home has been featured in American Express’s 'Departures' magazine, Better Homes & Garden’s 'Creative Home', the internationally acclaimed design book, 'California Interiors' & the San Francisco Chronicle’s Home Section. Filled with antiques, books, artwork & a 5 ft. grand piano, this is an elegant, comfortable home away from home close to the culture of San Francisco & the natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay Area & Napa-Sonoma wine country. We’re at the foot of Mt. Tamalpais, with many miles of gorgeous hiking & mountain biking trails. Level, scenic bike trails link Mill Valley to the picturesque bayfront towns of Tiburon & Sausalito. Golf, tennis, swimming are all nearby. Muir Woods, sailing & kayaking on San Francisco Bay & Pacific Ocean beaches are 15-30 minutes. Our home has been a favorite of local families hosting out-of-town relatives, artists seeking a quiet retreat, friends & couples enjoying a Northern California getaway.

COTTAGE DETAILS: The cottage is built with rough old growth redwood plank walls & beamed ceilings enameled a luminous white. Douglas fir floors have been whitewashed to a soft pink glow. Generous windows, French doors & the dining room’s glass solarium ceiling flood the interior with warm light filtered through the verdure of a mature garden with climbing roses & wisteria clambering over rooftops & arbors. The rooms are filled with original works of art, antique furnishings & chandeliers, & hundreds of books.

LIVING ROOM: In the living room, a banquette with down pillows, English antique reading chairs & a French Louis XV style love seat circle a wood-burning fireplace. Built-in bookshelves house a collection of art & design books; a drop-leaf desk holds trail maps & guidebooks.

MUSIC ROOM: A wide archway opens on the music room, with a 5 ft. grand piano, velvet chaise, English-style overstuffed sofa & wall-size mirror.

DINING ROOM: A step down from the music room is the dining room, with an antique farm table & vintage Chinese Chippendale garden chairs. Two walls of multi-pane steel casement windows, softened with sheer linen & antique Italian lace curtains, wrap around the music & dining rooms.

DECK & GARDEN: French doors open on an ipe-wood deck with teak furniture, and a courtyard garden with a fountain. Dining room & deck share a glass solarium roof covered in roses & wisteria each spring.

MEDIA ROOM: A half-wall of shelves with a collection of garden books opens the dining room to a small media room/twin bedroom with a twin daybed sofa & a 42” Plasma HDTV with home theater sound system, CD & DVD players, & a stereo jack for your personal music device. There is premium cable (HBO and Showtime) WiFi internet service, a selection of music & videos, Scrabble, puzzles & card games.

Additionally, the full bedroom has a small LCD HDTV with DVD player & there’s a CD stereo in the breakfast room.

GOURMET KITCHEN: The kitchen has custom mahogany cabinets, pink marble counters, a butler sink, and stainless steel appliances. Small appliances include a microwave, toaster, Francis-Francis espresso machine with pods, Chemex manual drip coffee maker, coffee grinder, electric kettle, Cuisinart food processor, blender, rice cooker, waffle iron, ice cream maker & immersion blender. There’s a full complement of cookware & bakeware, sharp knives & handy gadgets. Tableware includes an extensive collection of vintage English china circa 1840-1940. Spices, paper products, & non-toxic cleaning supplies provided.

The kitchen’s breakfast nook is wrapped in bookcases filled with more of our extensive book collection; here fiction, poetry, cookbooks & reference volumes predominate. An antique pine table is drawn up to a cushioned banquette. Residing over all is a marble Buddha in the window.


Three small bedrooms - king, full & twin - have comfortable beds dressed with memory foam mattress toppers, luxury linens, cotton quilts, down pillows & duvets. Robes are provided, as well as slippers for this “No Shoes” Policy house.

KING BEDROOM: Upstairs, the master bedroom has an Edwardian-era English mahogany king bed with a hand-made mattress from McRoskey, a venerable San Francisco institution. A wedding cake confection Murano chandelier hangs from the peaked ceiling. Antique Asian cabinets act as nightstands. A shelved closet & a dresser store clothes.

A Dutch door opens onto a private sun deck & wisteria arbor. Chaise lounges & a built-in seat make this a perfect spot for morning coffee or afternoon sunbathing, overlooking the rose-covered rooftops & the garden below.

FULL BEDROOM:The second upstairs bedroom is furnished with an antique white iron full (double) bed & an Italian marble-topped dressing table. A wall of casement windows looks out on a rooftop covered with climbing roses, a bower of pink blossom in late April & May. A maple-framed wall-size mirror at the foot of the bed enhances the sense of space in this small bedroom.

A large built-in armoire has ample drawers & closet rods, as well as a gas fireplace & flat screen TV. The yellow & white rose wallpaper is a vintage pattern that appeared in the grander setting of Scarlett O’Hara’s home, Tara, in Gone With the Wind.

TWIN BED IN MEDIA ROOM: The small first floor media room has a daybed with a foam/memory foam mattress that can be made up as a twin bed. A half-wall behind the daybed opens onto the dining room: a drape can be drawn across the opening for privacy.


In addition to the 3 bedrooms in the main part of the cottage - the upstairs king and full bedrooms and the downstairs media room/twin, which are included in the standard rate, there is an optional king bedroom available with French doors overlooking the garden, that is available for an extra nightly fee of $75.

If you would like to include this bedroom in the rental, please let us know and we'll send you a special offer that includes it. Groups of 6 or 7 can only be accommodated with the use of this bedroom, but it is also a wonderful addition if you prefer to have 2 king bedrooms, more distance/privacy between bedrooms, or a bedroom on the first floor that can accommodate two guests. Access to the bedroom is through French doors on the garden. It also connects to the front cottage through the laundry room and media room. If you don't plan to use the media room as a twin bedroom, the garden king could function as a suite that included the media room, laundry, and the first floor bathroom with shower.

The garden bedroom's king bed has an organic latex mattress. Two sets of French doors with wood venetian blinds look out on the garden and its fountain. The walls are a gallery of original art. A reading chair with foot stool sits in one corner, an antique Indian dresser with bone inlay in another. Bedside tables with alabaster lamps, sisal carpet layered with soft throw rugs, and a mirrored closet complete the furnishings.

DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM: The first floor bathroom with shower is en suite with the twin bed media room. It has a shower tiled in sea-green glass mosaic, with a steel casement window whose panes of vintage Chicago art glass are patterned in watery tones.

The layout of the first floor bathroom is one of the more unusual design solutions in this cottage with its yacht-worthy use of space. With the doors closed in one configuration, it’s a full-sized bathroom with a generous shower & a red crystal chandelier. Closed a different way, the bathroom disappears & it’s a hallway connecting the kitchen to the media/twin bedroom & the laundry room beyond. This is difficult to describe. But when you see it, you’ll say, “Ah!” It is many people’s favorite clever detail (along with the stair-steps Philip hinged for storage).

UPSTAIRS BATHROOM: The shell-pink upstairs bathroom displays an extensive collection of shells, shell-craft & a delicate brass chandelier found on a beach vacation in Key West. It features a wonderful vintage clawfoot tub with hand-held shower spay. (Shower lovers, please note that the cottage’s only shower is in the first floor bathroom.)

Bath amenities include hair dryers, first aid kit, soaps, shampoo, cream rinse & other toiletries.

LAUNDRY ROOM: Beyond the media room is a laundry room with full-size Bosch washer/dryer, folding counter, iron, & room to store your luggage.

GARDEN & GROUNDS: Mill Valley Cottage is surrounded by Philip’s long-evolving garden of roses, wisteria, hydrangea, herbs, Mediterranean perennials &California natives.

Along with the brick terrace in the small front garden & the deck off the master bedroom, the cottage’s exterior space includes the furnished back porch & the rear garden with its graveled courtyard &fountain.

To the left of the courtyard is a narrow building with French doors, its rooftop covered with roses & autumn clematis, which houses the cottage’s laundry room as well as the optional Garden King bedroom and an office where our bookkeeper works occasionally on weekdays.

A sidewalk to the right of the cottage leads to the rear garden courtyard & beyond that to another small cottage & private garden that is the on-site residence of the owner, Philip Going. There is occasional foot traffic past Mill Valley cottage to reach Philip’s home & office.

We are very respectful of the privacy of visiting guests. We expect you to regard the cottage & its gardens as your home. We keep our comings & goings as unobtrusive as possible.

That said, Philip is a delightful and knowledgeable host who would be happy to chat with you about recommendations for making the most of your stay in the Bay Area - anything from where to eat to the best trails to hike on Mt. Tam for the time of year, length & effort of hike, etc. Feel free to call him on his cell, or give a shout if you see him walk by.

More Details

Dale Going
Member since: 2009
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 23, 2018

Guestbook comments from the owner

What a wonderful experience. We love your attention to details.
Jul 2009
  • 1 of 7


Almonte Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1500 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 7 ...
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
  • Children are most welcome. Note that there are French doors & windows, as well as low glass cabinets, that could be a hazard to careening toddlers.
  • Food and art activities are limited to the tables in kitchen, dining & deck due to vintage/antique upholstery and carpets.
Location Type:
  • Near The Ocean
  • Village ...
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Backpack
  • Basic Soaps
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Filtered Water
  • Fireplace
  • Firewood
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking On Street
  • Shampoo
  • Thermos Bottle
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Water Cooler
  • Wireless Internet
  • fax
  • Blender
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen
  • Lobster Pot
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , tub
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
  • The upstairs bathroom has a vintage claw-foot tub with hand-held shower spray. Appropriately painted shell pink, the bathroom displays an extensive collection of shells and shell-craft. The first floor bathroom has a shower tiled in sea green/blue glass mosaic. A steel casement window in the shower has stained glass panels of Chicago art glass in watery tones. This bathroom is next to the media room, which can be used as a twin bedroom. Both bathrooms are lit with chandeliers. Linens, soap, hairdryer and first aid kit are provided.
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 7
  • Media Room - 1 twin/ single
    Master Bedroom - 1 king
    Double Bedroom - 1 double , 1 baby crib , Portable pak 'n play crib on request
    OPTIONAL GARDEN KING BEDROOM - 1 king , Add to sleep up to 7; $75/night plus $40 cleaning & 10% tax
  • All the beds have comfortable mattresses, quality linens, quilts, down pillows & duvet. Plush robes & slippers provided. The upstairs master bedroom has an Edwardian era English mahogany king bed with a memory foam mattress topper. A Venetian glass chandelier hangs from the peaked ceiling. A second upstairs bedroom has an antique metal double bed tucked against a wall of casement windows looking out on climbing roses. There is an Italian marble-topped table/desk, and wall-size-mirror, and room at the base of bed for a play-n-pak crib. A built-in armoire has drawers, closets, gas fireplace, flat-screen HDTV with DVD. The first floor media room's daybed sofa can be made up as a twin bed with a memory foam mattress topper and an en suite bathroom. A drape draws across the half-wall opening to the dining room for privacy. An optional garden king bedroom is available for an extra $75/night plus $40 cleaning fee and tax.
  • Books
  • Books for Adults
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Music Library
  • Piano
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • VCR
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Beach Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Binoculars
  • Deck / Patio
  • Large Cooler
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Patio
  • Porch / Veranda
  • Small Cooler
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • Wood Deck
  • 6 garden chairs
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
  • arboretum
  • bay/sound
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • coin laundry
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
  • theme parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • sound/bay fishing
  • swimming
  • tennis
Our cottage is on a quiet street around the corner from Whole Foods Market, Marin Theater Company, a yoga studio, and a variety of interesting shops & tasty restaurants. A Golden Gate Transit bus stop is a block away, with service to San Francisco directly or via the Sausalito Ferry.


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(45 traveler reviews)

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Charming Vintage Cottage Featured in Creative Home Magazine in Mill Valley
average rating of 4.8 based on 52 reviews
Los Angeles

a magical stay

  • 5 of 5

we had such a fantastic time staying in this beautiful, comfortable and magical cottage. 5 adults had plenty of space to relax and enjoy our weekend. We took advantage of the perfect kitchen and didn't even go out for dinner.

Can't wait to come back!

  • Submitted: Apr 5, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Amazing charming cottage

  • 5 of 5

The property was so charming and comfortable. It felt like we had already been living in it for years. Our host was accommodating, incredibly friendly and offered tips for places to visit in town. We’d gladly stay here again!

  • Submitted: Mar 21, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Charming and cozy

  • 5 of 5

We had a great time staying in this charming cozy cottage. Good location and everything we needed to make some great memories Phillip was very helpful and gracious. We would definitely return and would enthusiastically recommend this little gem

  • Submitted: Dec 27, 2017
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: Vacation Rentals, from HomeAway
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Wedding central

  • 5 of 5

cozy, old world charm, quirky, great location, lots of light, great host, artsy, very few rules, easy access to Marin.

best for two couples upstairs and extra garden bedroom. Media room/bedroom not so private if you are using the garden bedroom.

Would stay again in a heart beat.

  • Submitted: Nov 9, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beautiful house and plenty of room!

  • 5 of 5

This beautiful house was the perfect place to come "home" to after our busy days at Point Reyes and the Muir Woods. Plenty of rooms to spread out in, kitchen had everything we needed and we enjoyed finding all of the nooks hiding the pantry, microwave and downstairs bath! It was very nice to be walking distance to shopping and dining options as well.Dale & family were great hosts. Highly recommend!

  • Submitted: Sep 28, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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St. Louis

Charming, charming, charming and the perfect location

  • 5 of 5

I was looking for a place outside of the city with a little bit of charm and a great location. I hit the jackpot. This place is minutes from the city, not to mention plenty of restaurants and Whole Foods in Mill Valley AND Muir Woods and that side of the SF area. We had 2 teenagers and 2 adults on the trip and we all had a great time enjoying the cottage and playing cards at the sunny table. The kids loved the place too. This is definitely one of my top spots I have ever rented. I can't wait to go back. Anna, St. Louis, MO

  • Submitted: Aug 16, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
25 Miles
San Francisco Airport or Oakland Airport
Nearest Barpub
0.1 Miles
1 block
Nearest Ferry
5 Miles
Nearest Golf
1 Miles
4 minutes
Nearest Train
14 Miles
Amtrak in San Francisco or East Bay
Nearest Motorway
2 Miles
HWY 101 - 5 minutes
Nearest Restaurant
0.1 Miles
1 block
Nearest Ski
185 Miles
Lake Tahoe: 3 1/2 hours
Nearest Beach
6 Miles
Muir Beach
Car: recommended

Our cottage is on a quiet street near the Miller Avenue shopping district, around the corner from Whole Foods Market, a bus stop to San Francisco, Marin Theater Company, a yoga studio, circuit-training gym, and a variety of interesting shops & tasty restaurants. It’s a 3 min. drive or pleasant walk to Mill Valley’s charming downtown, with boutique shopping, dining, movie theater, bookstore, library, and live music, theater & stand-up comedy at 142 Throckmorton Theatre. Golf, tennis, indoor & outdoor swimming pools are all nearby. Annual events include the Dipsea Race, the oldest trail race in America; the Mountain Play at Mt. Tam’s outdoor Greek theater; the Fall Art Festival in Old Mill Park; and the celebrated Mill Valley Film Festival. From bird watchers to whale watchers, the region is a haven for nature lovers. Muir Woods is minutes away.There's a local Farmers' Market on Fri and a not-to-be-missed county Farmers' Market on Thurs & Sun 15 min. away. San Francisco's 9 miles.

Other Activities: dining, shopping, theater, music, antiquing, biking, hiking, golf, sailing, kayaking, horseback riding, wine tasting, San Francisco




Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $500
Property Damage Protection $59
Cleaning Fee $140 + Tax
Tax Rate 10.0%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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