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Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076
Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076

Secret Garden Cottage for your Special Getaway

Bedrooms 1
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 30 nights


About the property

Whimsical and cozy. This 1920's cottage will take you back to the Carmel of years past. A small cottage tucked away in a quiet, private setting, yet only a short walk to town and the beach. Spend the day exploring Big Sur, Carmel and the Monterey Peninsula. Walk the mission trail to the historic Carmel mission. After a fun filled day, return to your peaceful cottage and enjoy a relaxing glass of wine, or just relaxing on the patio while you listen to the crashing waves off in the distance. Walk to town and take your pick of a vast array of wonderful restaurant choices. Return to the cottage to enjoy a restful sleep on the very comfy bed where you will feel like you are sleeping on a cloud. Experience Carmel as if you lived here.

Maria Dondero
Member since: 2012
Speaks: english, portuguese
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 19, 2017

About Maria Dondero

We live in California about two hours away from Carmel. We have been visiting Carmel for years and we finally had the opportunity to buy our little home away from home! We visit every chance that we can get away from our busy schedule.

Maria Dondero purchased this cottage in 2011

Why Maria Dondero chose Carmel By the Sea

We think that Carmel is one of the best places in the world. It is truly magical. It is beautiful, relaxing, fun, a food mecca, and historic. You can stay here and feel that you are away from it all but yet have many of the comforts of home.


Southeast Carmel Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 2
  • pets considered
  • non smoking only
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
  • Pillow top queen size bed (1) New bed July 2015.
  • DVD Player ...
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo ...
  • Television
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
Our cottage was actually built for the teacher who taught in the first (private) school in Carmel. The school was next door.


Excellent! 4.6/5 -
(32 traveler reviews)

59% Complete
37% Complete
3% Complete
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Secret Garden Cottage for your Special Getaway
average rating of 4.5625 based on 32 reviews
PALM DESERT, California

Great Cottage

  • 5 of 5

Our stay in this cottage was wonderful. Location, location, location!!! It was clean, quiet, relaxing and an easy walk in to town. It had everything we needed. The bed is very comfortable and the cottage is very charming. We will definitely return to this little cottage that we called home for 4 nights!

  • Submitted: Aug 26, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Very basic indeed.

  • 3 of 5

This small cottage met our needs. It is nestled deep in the back of a lot which allows privacy and that was nice. We never met the owner, so it felt a bit odd to stay at a place with no greeting, not even a note once we found the cottage. It is difficult to find as the streets of Carmel are winding and the homes are poorly marked.

The cottage has a comfy queen bed and basic kitchen facility. However, the shower was super small, the toilet seat was cracked (ouch) and the window blind would roll up unexpectedly (whap!).

I think this place provides a better idea of the whole Carmel vibe but love it would be a stretch. Liked it? Absolutely.

  • Submitted: Aug 2, 2017
  • Stayed: Jul 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: I'm glad that the cottage met your needs. You are right, Carmel by the Sea roads are windy in many spots and most houses do not even have a house number as our house does, but I do feel that it all adds to the Carmel charm. I do provide very detailed directions and several contact numbers for questions or concerns. I strive to attend to any concerns as soon as I am aware of the them because I really do want my guests to have an enjoyable stay. I'm glad that you liked it and I appreciate your feedback.
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0 0

Quaint little cottage in a great neighborhood!

  • 5 of 5

We stayed 4 nights, and the place had everything we needed. We didn't meet or speak with the owners, but their info was available to us, the letter provided before our stay supplied us with all the answers to our questions, and more. We would definitely stay here again. The kitchen is sufficient to make small meals, however, I probably wouldn't try to make anything too extravagant. We also loved being able to bring our dog, and the cottage has a little yard she could run around in. It was perfect for us!

  • Submitted: Jul 17, 2017
  • Stayed: Jul 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for the lovely review. We are glad that the cottage met your needs. We do feel that it is suitable for one or two guests and a furry friend. We strive to make it a peaceful and comfortable accommodation. Take care.
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Chico, CA

Very cute, great location

  • 4 of 5

What I LOVED: The location - safe, quiet, manicured Carmel neighborhood. Awesome walking trail at the end of the block that takes you to magical deep woods trail... which leads to "Flanders Mansion" and breathtaking view of Mission and bay. Garden (even cuter than pictured). Hot water, quickly. Nice big closet. Lots of shelves in bath & kitchen, which helped with storage in the small space. Dog friendly - complete with dog door, dog bowl, dog towel and even dog treats. Very comfortable bed and bedding w/lots of pillows. Kitchenette. Larger clothes closet. Wood floors (tile in bathroom). Hospitality (thanks for wine, water, specific instructions and recommendations, phone numbers and photo of house... all very thoughtful).

What I liked a lot: appliances available (microwave, toaster, coffee maker, fridge). Coffee/tea/spices/cooking utensils/pots on hand. Heater worked well, quickly and on thermostat. Windows with view to front and back.

Some small issues: As advertised, it is very small. Although it worked great for me and my dog, it would not have been big enough to add my husband to the mix. Walkways are "single lane," we would have been in each other's way. Also, shower head has been changed from the photos, it is short (I had to bend my knees to get head under it and I'm 5'6"), and shower/bathroom is tight - no room to towel off with door closed. There were no screens on the windows, so a couple of flies did pop in. Ceilings are low, which adds to the "tight" feel. I agree with another review that exterior bistro set out front would be great as the front garden and the temperate air are astonishing, and there is not much elbow room inside. The table and chairs that were in the main room were nice for my laptop and adult color book, but no ideal for even a simple meal. I sat outside on the stoop a lot. I think the house is lacking a few basics for extended stays (I was there for a week) and so I'm sending the owner a separate email with suggestions. (i.e., dust pan, dresser, small fan, folding beach chair... others). One thing to note, the doors are the kind where if they shut behind you - you can lock yourself out easily. Careful!

All that being said, if traveling alone I would definitely stay there again. Those gardens were so nice to come home too... the positives outweighed all those little issues.

  • Submitted: Jun 2, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Stratford, ON

Super little cottage for two.

  • 4 of 5

We would have enjoyed a little bistro set in the front patio area to sit more comfortably outside although we did enjoy the muskoka chairs (this is what we call them in Canada) in the backyard paradise. Not realizing that parking is in such short supply in Carmel until we got here, we really appreciated having parking available during our week-long stay. Breakfasts in and being able to make light meals at the cottage made my Big Sur 21-miler experience the best that it could have been The cottage is charming and clean and made a very special holiday spot. And that comfy bed that others have mentioned--very true!

  • Submitted: May 2, 2017
  • Stayed: Apr 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for the feedback and lovely review. We will add an outdoor table in the near future. We're very happy to hear that the cottage met your needs and expectations. I'm so impressed by your 21 miler! It's such a grand setting for a marathon!
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The Secret Garden Cottage was a Wonderful Place to Stay!

  • 5 of 5

The Cottage was very quiet and very clean! We really enjoyed our stay and hope to return again someday soon! Thank you very much!

  • Submitted: Apr 24, 2017
  • Stayed: Apr 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for the lovely review. Our gosl is to meet the expectations of our guests. We hope to accomodate you again in the future.
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Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Damage Insurance $59

$59 minimum damage protection fee required.

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.

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