3 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, Sleeps 6-- 9
About Wendy Rockwood
Wendy and Chuck are longtime residents of Santa Barbara and Big Bear California. We are happy to share our love of these communities with guests. In fact, that is what makes being vacation rental owners of six properties and managing them ourselves so rewarding. We have made many happy memories in all of our properties (we have lived in each one of them) and can share all the special features and local ideas with guests. We love gardening, biking, walks on the beach and spending time with our own family which includes three grown children and five grandchildren and a great granddaughter on the way!
Wendy Rockwood purchased this House in 1986
Why Wendy Rockwood chose Oak Park
We lovingly restored this 100 year old Grand Dame of a Craftsman style Bungalow to provide for current day amenities. All the while we maintained the overall decor so it is hard to see where the old ends and new begins. 'Lilyhaven' or 'Secret Garden Hideaway' as it has come to be known is truly that, a secret garden treasure in a downtown location. It is amazing how many birds inhabit the yard and the beautiful garden giving this property an outdoor presence in addition to its spectacular indoor rooms.
What makes this House unique
Tall ceilings and large rooms there is space for everyone. Each bedroom is very private from the others and has it's own bathroom. This make family gatherings easier as everyone can retreat to their own privacy should they want some space from group events. The large living room and outdoor and indoor dining areas as well as the kitchen truly add that spacious feel. Work at the kitchen sink and take in the garden through the french doors opening on the scenic backyard. With having a direct relationship with the owner/manager you will deal with one person from your booking to any necessary details during your stay.
Canceled bookings will not receive a refund
Best winter migration ever
We are experimenting with three-month house rentals to escape winter in Maine, and we fell in love with both Secret Garden and Santa Barbara. The house was perfect for us (and our dog, Boo), with comfortable beds, great kitchen, lots of storage space, and a private, beautifully landscaped backyard that Boo loved -- once we walked around the city, we realized what a rarity that is (the neighbors are close, but that didn't really bother us). The house is located right around the corner from Cottage Hospital and medical community, which came in handy when we had to have some unexpected tests. We love to walk, so taking a two-mile stroll up and back to downtown was a pleasure, and there's coffee house and great ice cream a few blocks away. The house is close to five supermarkets, great local hiking, beaches (Arroyo was our favorite) and sightseeing, and equidistant to wine country of Santa Ynez and Channel Islands ferry in Ventura. Tons of restaurants and take-out. We also ended up buying a bike from a local nonprofit ($75) and returning it at the end of our trip. In short, we loved our stay, and, Wendy, we hope to be back. Boo gave it five barks!
The Secret Garden was for 2 months the perfect haven for my son’s recovery after surgery
Our stay was of 9 weeks, during Fall of 2018. My 20 year old son and I spent the whole time at the “Secret Garden Hideaway “, which allowed him to recover from the jaw surgery at the Goleta Cottage Hospital. We had guests stay with us the first week after surgery, and for Thanksgiving, and we all fit comfortably together in the 3 bedrooms and sofabed of the living room.
This house was perfect for us in so many ways. Three bedrooms, well appointed with comfortable queen size beds, desks, each with a full bathroom. Two bedrooms on the first floor, one on the second floor. The kitchen made daily cooking a pleasure, because of the light and greenery coming in from the garden and thanks to all the equipment within easy access. The living room had comfortable seating for all of us, and we enjoyed watching television with a big screen, listening to music and playing the piano and the guitar.
The light and quiet that envelop the house was a gift, day after day. The location is perfect, it is in Santa Barbara, within walking range of the Santa Barbara street, the Mission, the many parks and downtown. It is within a 10 minutes drive of the airport (SBA), the hospital, the groceries stores (Gelson’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and more), the shopping centers, cultural venues and gourmet restaurants. It is easy to go to places with no traffic, from the city to the beach and to the mountain.
The weather was another bonus: welcoming sun, blue skies and fresh temperatures between 60F and 70F (18C and 25C).
The garden at the back of the house is a treasure and the house’s secret treat. It is a small paradise, with lots of green and flowers, bushes, a big avocado tree with delicious and creamy fruits and a small lemon tree.
There were many things to do. We walked every afternoon, watched the sunset from the hills at Franceschi Park or at the Mission, from the beach at Stearns Wharf, the Harbour or Arroyo Burro Beach. I recommend the booklet “Walk Santa Barbara” by John McKinney, we enjoyed many of his walking tours. I strongly recommend the docent led tours of the Mission, the Courthouse, the Casa del Herrero and Lotus Garden.
Wendy and Chuck were gracious hosts, very attentive and quick to provide assistance and guidance with all things of the house and of Santa Barbara.
I look forward to returning to the Secret Garden with my husband and all of our children for a family reunion that will be just as memorable for all of us as this stay was for my son and I.
Thanks Maria! It was a pleasure to host you and your family. We hope you will visit again!
Great house for a large group
We loved Secret Garden! It was perfect for our family reunion. The kitchen is great for a few cooks working together and the backyard is the perfect spot for entertaining.
Perfect family spot for a wedding weekend
We stayed here for three nights with my mother, our daughter, her husband and their baby, for our other daughter's wedding. With a large, open floor plan and three spacious ensuite bedrooms, the home was ideal for our group. There was plenty of privacy but also ample communal space to gather together. The location was close to our favorite breakfast spot -- the Daily Grind -- but on a quiet residential street away from the tourist bustle closer to State Street. The house was nicely furnished, clean and had everything we needed. Wish we had more time to take advantage of the upstairs balcony and the outside dining area and garden. It really does feel like a hideaway! We definitely recommend it and would come here again!
Wonderful House and Location!
This house was perfect for our large family...we loved the layout as we could all be together in the open common areas but retreat to our separate areas when necessary for the babies. The location was excellent, close enough to walk to State Street, but just a short Uber ride if we didin't want to walk. Was concerned at first about no a/c but it wasn't an issue at all. Was cool with the windows open and at night had to close some. The back yard was lovely and we enjoyed wine every night at the outdoor dining table while the babies played in the yard. Would highly recommend and would stay again!
So glad you had a good visit! It is the appreciation of guests like yourself that make all our efforts to provide quality vacation properties worthwhile! We are so happy to know families are able to make special memories in our homes and we are thankful when they share what they enjoyed. Please visit us again!
The house was comfortable for our family -- including two teenagers and a toddler. Everyone had ample space -- both for shared activities and individual relaxing. It was clean and well-stocked (with soaps, spices, etc.). Wendy was on top of every detail and provided great support throughout. It's a longer walk to downtown than we anticipated -- but certainly doable. And the location is generally convenient to getting around town (to the beach, freeway, etc.) quite easily. Recommend it.
Other Activities: Wine Tasting & Whale Watching