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Fancy Free By The Sea In Carmel's Golden Rectangle

Bedrooms 3
Space 1,400 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 30 nights


About the property

2 or 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, sunny deck close to the beach and village shops

Fancy Free: Old Carmel charm with new high-tech conveniences.

Ideally located in Carmel's 'Golden Rectangle' on a quiet street 2 1/2 blocks from the beach, 4 1/2 blocks from Ocean Avenue, Carmel's main street, Fancy Free offers 2 bedrooms, each with full bath, and a flexible office/den/third bedroom on a single level. The front bedroom/bath and back bedroom/bath are separated by the Great Room.

The front bedroom has a queen-size Chattam & Wells pillowtop mattress, two bureaus, electric fireplace, lighted make-up mirror, bookcase, antique chest, vaulted ceiling with skylight view of a magnificent Monterey Cypress, 51-inch Plasma HDTV, 5.1 channel Bluetooth-capable A/V system, Blu-Ray player, Comcast cable with Digital Premier channels and TiVo DVR system. A washer and dryer are conveniently located in the sky-lighted hallway to the front bedroom.

The back bedroom has a queen-size Sealy Posturepedic plush mattress, 39 in. HDTV, 2.1 channel Bluetooth-capable A/V system, Blu-Ray player, Comcast cable with Digital Premier channels, TiVo DVR system, reading chair and ottoman, reading light, desk, lighted make-up mirror, bureau and private deck access.

The office/den/third bedroom provides an HDTV/monitor for laptops/notebooks or Comcast cable with Digital Premier channels, TiVo DVR system, high-speed WiFi internet, VoIP phones with unlimited North American calling, and a multi-function WiFi-connected AirPrint-enabled color printer/scanner/fax on a large gate-leg table, and a leather executive chair, just what the busy tele-commuter needs for a working vacation with family or friends. A built-in double Murphy bed with memory-foam mattress topper in the oak bookcase makes this into a third bedroom, and the gate-leg table makes it a separate dining room. A large skylight fills the room with natural light.

The living room/library area of the Great Room is anchored by floor-to-vaulted ceiling oak bookshelves and cabinets which support the 60-inch Plasma HDTV and 100-inch home theater screen, the focus of the 5.2 channel Bluetooth-capable home theater A/V system, offering 2 sub-woofers, Blu-Ray player, MD player, cassette player, Pandora, Netflix streaming, Amazon Prime Video, Comcast cable with Digital Premier channels, Xfinity On-Demand and TiVo DVR system. Bring your favorite BDs and DVDs, or view ours. Old Carmel charm comes alive with the flames dancing on the remote-controlled gas log in the Carmel stone fireplace.

The kitchen area of the Great Room is centered on the island which houses a 4-burner gas Jenn-Air cook-top with electric convection oven, cabinets with 3-ply stainless steel-clad cookware and a flatware drawer. Five bar stools surround the island, allowing guests to watch meal preparations and enjoy appetizers and casual meals. Floor-to-ceiling oak cabinets house the SubZero refrigerator/freezer, Panasonic microwave oven, Krups coffee maker, Breville burr grinder, K-cup single-serve coffee maker, Tassimo single-serve coffee maker, KitchenAid toaster, toaster oven, Cuisinart blenders, and bakeware. Oak cabinets house the 2-drawer Fisher-Paykel dishwasher and double sink, topped by the Jerusalem limestone counter. Above the sink, a counter-to-vaulted-ceiling multi-pane window offers a view of the grand Monterey Cypress. Floor-to-ceiling oak cabinets flank the sink counter, housing cutlery, glassware, stem-ware and dinnerware service for 12 (additional dinnerware, flatware and stem-ware is close at hand).

In the dining area of the Great Room, a Parsons table seats six, with views of the deck and garden through one of three sets of double French doors on the west side of the Great Room.

Through the middle set of French doors lies a large, sunny deck, bordered by lemon trees, collard tree, huckleberry bush, kiwis and wisteria. A Weber natural gas grill extends the kitchen area to the deck through a separate kitchen door. Enjoy Carmel's beautiful sunsets and relax to the sound of the ocean's waves or your favorite music from the outdoor speakers in this inviting space, warmed by the LP gas fire-pit and infrared electric heaters on the pergola, and watch the Koi at play in the pond below.

More Details

Denis Sperling
Member since: 2014
Speaks: english, german
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 21, 2018

About Denis Sperling

Growing up in California's Central Valley, we always found relief in the perfect climate of the Monterey Peninsula. If Steinbeck's Salinas is 'East of Eden', then Carmel must be Eden -- at least it is for us! Come and see if you agree!

Denis Sperling purchased this house in 1980

Why Denis Sperling chose Golden Rectangle

Fancy Free is perfectly located on a large lot in an incredibly scenic natural setting on a quiet street, a short walk to beach and village shops. We immediately saw the potential of Fancy Free and our vision guided the renovation and expansion of the cozy 1938 cottage into a flexible, open layout, creating two legal residences with privacy and separate access, while preserving the original Carmel cottage charm. The intention was to rent the larger residence and keep the smaller residence for the owners' use, and it has worked wonderfully for 30+ years of long-term rentals.

What makes this house unique

We have realized our vision to create a light, open, airy, harmonious and serene environment which gracefully merges indoor and outdoor living spaces of lush beauty. We continue to maintain and improve Fancy Free, and look forward to sharing our 'Eden' with you.

Guestbook comments from the owner

To simply say that Fancy Free was a magical experience does not put into

words how my husband and I felt when we walked through the front door to

celebrate a December at Fancy Free. Attention to detail was in evidence

everywhere. We felt like we had been personally invited as their houseguests.

We brought our dog, Banjo. He has yet to stop mourning the loss of Gary and

Denis, hikes, the beach walks and abundant restaurants that invited him in. Gary

and Denis love dogs. That was pure serendipity as they were both so embracing

of our Golden Retriever even down to a bed and bowl of his own!

To mention any one restaurant would be to do a disservice to so many, many

great restaurants. A family favorite for many years for us has been Mission

Ranch with views to die for and a piano bar that is quite cozy and fun.

Fancy Free is not worth missing. The Fancy Free description does not do

justice to the beautiful surroundings and kind attention provided us whatever

our needs! Thank you Denis and Gary!
Nov 2015
  • 1 of 1


Golden Rectangle House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 1400 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • pets considered ...
  • not suitable for children ...
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Village
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace ...
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 11 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Back bathroom - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Front bathroom - toilet , shower
  • [Front bathroom]: Tank-less water-heater for endless hot water, curb-less shower, heated tile floor, Hansgrohe shower pipe with overhead rain shower and hand-held shower wand, back-lighted mirror, skylight view of magnificent Monterey Cypress.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Front bedroom - 1 queen , Queen-size Chattam & Wells pillowtop mattress
    Back Bedroom - 1 queen , Queen-size Sealy Posturepedic plush mattress
    Office/Den/Bedroom 3 - 1 murphy bed , Double-size mattress with memory-foam topper
  • [Front Bedroom]: 51 in. plasma HDTV, 5.1 channel A/V surround system, Blu-Ray player, Comcast cable, TiVo DVR, skylight view of magnificent Monterey Cypress. [Back bedroom]: 39 in. HDTV, 2.1 channel surround sound, Blu-Ray player, Comcast cable, TiVo Mini DVR, reading chair, reading light, ottoman, desk, lighted make-up mirror, private deck access.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Music Library ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation center
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • parasailing
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(17 traveler reviews)

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Fancy Free By The Sea In Carmel's Golden Rectangle
average rating of 5.0 based on 18 reviews

The sweetest house in the perfect location!

  • 5 of 5

This quaint, comfortable, convenient, well-cared for "cottage" was ideal for our relaxing yet active winter getaway. Everything was perfect from the well-equipped kitchen to the super-soft linens to the roomy and pleasant deck to the modern entertainment options. Even our dog was provided with luxuries including 2 beds and water and food dishes. The location encouraged daily long walks on the beach, leisurely strolls into town for window shopping or dinner, or a hike up the hill to explore the Mission Trail Park. We also enjoyed easy day trips further afield in Monterrey, Pacific Grove, Big Sur and Carmel Valley. We are definitely coming back.

  • Submitted: Mar 5, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Simply Wonderful!

  • 5 of 5

Having just spent a month at Fancy Free for the first time, we’re reluctant to leave an overly enthusiastic review for fear this special place will never be available again. Why describe the amazing time we spent here, how kind and thoughtful the owners who live on site, how pleasing the decor and amenities, how the kitchen is so well stocked we could host a wedding party, how one of the most beautiful beach walks anywhere in the country is just minutes from the front door, how charming the surrounding neighborhood, and how the daily explorations of Carmel's gorgeous vistas and environs were capped by knowing we'd be coming home to our cozy Fancy Free cottage, all of it bringing our 30 days to a close much too fast . . .well, we'd be fools to recommend this place, at least before we’ve secured our next reservation!!

  • Submitted: Dec 8, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Seaside, FL

In the Golden Rectangle

  • 5 of 5

Beautiful house and patio - service was great, as the owners live on site.

  • Submitted: Oct 25, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Home away from home

  • 5 of 5

We just visited FancyFree for the third year. As you walk through the front gates you get a sense of a warm welcoming. Lovely surroundings, well equipped with all the essentials and then more. Charming and a great location. Operated and owned by very kind and outgoing

people. Looking forward to a return visit next year.

  • Submitted: Sep 24, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Another great stay

  • 5 of 5

We have been vacationing at Fancy Free for a few years in a row and it is an amazing property. The owners, Gary and Denny are terrific and we have already booked for next year.

  • Submitted: Aug 28, 2017
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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November 2016 Trip

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I were very fortunate to stay at Fancy Free for the month of November 2016. We have visited the Carmel area annually since 2000, and have stayed in several VRBO homes. For many reasons, Fancy Free was our favorite in the town of Carmel.

The home itself is lovely, as the pictures show, and Gary and Denny are the consummate hosts. We loved quiet times reading by the fire with the patio doors open, allowing us to experience the beautiful gardens even on cool days. We took the short walk to the beach daily, especially enjoying the sunsets and early morning quiet times. We also walked to town daily for lunch or an early dinner.

The home is wonderful for entertaining, as we had a long visit from our son, daughter-in-law and 4 year old grandson. They loved staying in the very comfortable back room with patio access. The beach toys, board games and children's books were very much appreciated. We also had a weekend visit from my sister...she traveled from San Francisco with a friend. The pull down bed in the study came in handy! She and her friend especially enjoyed the outdoor areas and the wonderful kitchen.

Our favorite experiences in the area:

Point Lobos!!!

Coast drive with breakfast at Deetjen's - not to be missed!

Pfeiffer Beach - can be difficult to find, but well worth the effort - purple sand and arches

McWay Falls - Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Ventana - outdoor dining

Carmel Valley - Georis Tasting Room (our favorite wines in the area), Corkscrew Cafe, Roux

Beach trail walks at Carmel Beach, Pacific Grove and Monterey

Carmel Restaurants: Luca, La Bicyclette, Casanova - lunch in the courtyard, Mission Ranch at sunset, Lafayette Kitchen & Cafe on Dolores for breakfast

The Inn @ Spanish Bay - bagpiper at sunset, outdoor firepits - VERY special

The Lodge @ Pebble Beach - The Bench, firepits at sunset

17 Mile Drive - coast road

The Cheese Shop in Carmel Plaza - sample cheese and wine, fun experience!

If you've never been to this area, do yourself a favor and go! Beauty cannot be matched, and ease of access to all of Monterey/Carmel area and Big Sur coast make it our favorite vacation spot in the US.

  • Submitted: Feb 25, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
7 Miles
Monterey Regional Airport
Nearest Barpub
240 Metres
La Playa Carmel Hotel Bar & Lounge
Nearest Golf
2 Miles
Pebble Beach
Nearest Train
1.5 Miles
Carmel Amtrak Thruway Bus Stop Station
Nearest Motorway
1 Miles
Highway 1
Nearest Restaurant
500 Metres
Aubergine in L'Auberge Carmel Hotel
Nearest Beach
300 Metres
Carmel Beach
Car: recommended

Abundant delights for all the senses! Must see: Point Lobos Nature Preserve, the 'greatest meeting of land and sea in the world.'




Additional information about rental rates

Security/Damage Deposit $500
Refundable damage deposit $500
Pet Fee $500

Minimum stay is 30 nights/31 days per City of Carmel zoning restrictions. Contact owner for longer stays, pet approval, special needs. Pet fee is a refundable pet damage deposit. Security/Damage Deposit is refundable.

For written cancellations 60 days or more before the rental start date, all monies paid will be refunded, less the $500 security/damage deposit.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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