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Charming Vintage Cottage Featured in Creative Home Magazine in Mill Valley

21 Reviews
Bedrooms 3
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights

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Minimum Stay
2 - 7 nights


Photos and Description of this 3 bedroom holiday cottage in Almonte - Mill Valley Cottage

3 BR, 2 BA, sleeps 5

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.

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 Philip’s painting studio & 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.

TRAVELING WITH CHILDREN: Children are most welcome. Please note, however, that there are French doors & windows, as well as low glass cabinets, that could be a hazard to careening toddlers. Because most of the upholstery fabrics & the antique carpets are of unforgiving materials, we request that art & food activities be limited to the tables in the kitchen, the dining room & the porch.

A pak-n-play portable crib is available. It fits at the foot of the full bed in the yellow-wallpapered bedroom, but not in the master bedroom.

There is a playground a couple of blocks away.


Sorry, no shoes in the house, no pets, no smoking.

Arrival is 3 p.m. or later; departure is by 11:00 a.m. If that doesn’t work for you, please ask & we’ll see what’s possible.

Parking is on the street. There is often a spot directly in front of the property just before our neighbor’s driveway.

Philip has a cat. Cats nap. Everywhere. Every chance they get. Including, occasionally, in Mill Valley Cottage, when it’s empty. So although the cottage is kept scrupulously clean, we can’t guarantee a dander-free zone.

While the cottage is not ADA compliant, it is on level ground with only two steps up to the house, a step down to the dining room and the porch. There is a first floor bedroom and bathroom with shower. The second floor is reached by a narrow stairway with no handrail.

If there’s anything we haven’t thought to mention, please ask!

More Details
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible

Dale Going
Member since: 2009
Speaks English
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
21 October, 2016
Call Owner

Guestbook comments from the owner

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


based on 21 holidaymaker reviews

Charming Vintage Cottage Featured in Creative Home Magazine in Mill Valley
average rating of 4.714286 based on 28 reviews

Great place

  • 5 of 5

Really cute cottage. Great location for touring Marin County.

  • Review Submitted: Oct 18, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Lovely Cottage Living

  • 5 of 5

This home was so inviting and comfortable. It is a great place to relax and slow down. Everything you need is there. Our family loved it. The location was perfect and within walking distance to shops and restaurants. We loved it.

  • Review Submitted: Oct 13, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Wonderful weekend in Mill Valley

  • 5 of 5

We really enjoyed staying in this beautiful home, relaxed on the back patio, browsed through the books and had a super peaceful weekend. The close proximity to Whole Foods (just a 5' walk) is a bonus and we also walked to town to browse shops, coffee at Equator etc. It was also great to be so close to Muir Woods and get an early start to beat the crowds. Thank you to all the Goings for your coordination and for welcoming us!

  • Review Submitted: Aug 26, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Comfortable, Clean, Convenient--and charming!

  • 5 of 5

A lovely guest house that is very well maintained with clever built-ins and lovingly decorated. If you are a family you will be very pleased with the spacious comfort--and convenience. My son in particular liked staying in his cozy room (the media room). All the beds had the most comfortable mattresses we slept on the entire trip. The drive into San Francisco never took more than 20 minutes (of course not during rush hour). We were very happy with the quick walk to Whole Foods (and an excellent one at that). The neighborhood town center was equally charming. There is some construction on the street below, but that's to be expected in a thriving neighborhood that continues to grow. Would definitely recommend this great little house!

  • Review Submitted: Jul 28, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Great cottage in Mill Valley!

  • 5 of 5

We recently stayed in the cottage in Mill Valley and loved it. The place has so much character and charm but is also comfortable and inviting. From the breakfast nook surrounded by books, to the chaise in the living room and the media room for the kids, we all found our favorite spots in the house. Philip was very helpful when we arrived and when we had questions, and the slippers and robes were a nice touch on chilly mornings. The location was great for us having lived in Mill Valley previously but in a different part of town. Walking to whole foods, restaurants and an easy drive to our favorite coffee place downtown were just a few of the highlights. All in all, we would recommend the cottage and hope to be able to stay there again when we return.

  • Review Submitted: Jan 5, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Dec 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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New York suburbs

Charming and Convenient

  • 5 of 5

A lovely cottage right near restaurants and good markets. Pretty furnishings, comfortable dining area and bedrooms, the owners have made this a delight to stay in. We've returned again and again, and plan to keep making it our Mill Valley special place. Our grandchildren love the quirks of the cottage and frankly, so do we.

  • Review Submitted: Oct 1, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2015
  • 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


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday cottage in Almonte, The Bay Area

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
Christmas & New Years
16 Dec 2016 - 6 Jan 2017
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights

Additional pricing information

Cleaning Fee £111
Refundable Damage Deposit £410
Tax Rate 10.0%

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
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Available arrival


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Almonte, USA

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 1200 sq. ft.
Location Type:
  • near the sea
  • village
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • 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 Flask
  • 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
  • Hob
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Room
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath (no shower)
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
  • 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.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Media Room - 1 Single Bed
    Master Bedroom - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed
    Double Bedroom - 1 Double Bed , 1 Cot , Portable pak 'n play crib on request
  • 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, Italian marble-topped table/desk wall-size-mirror and a wall of casement windows looking out on climbing roses. A built-in armoire has drawers, closets, gas fireplace, flat-screen HDTV with DVD and premium cable. 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.
  • Books
  • Books - Fiction / Non-fiction
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Music Library
  • Piano
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Video Player
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Deck Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Binoculars
  • Terrace
  • Large Cooler
  • Garden
  • Patio
  • Veranda
  • Small Cooler
  • veranda
  • Wood Decking
  • 6 garden chairs
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
  • arboretum
  • bay
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • laundrette - not serviced
  • forests
  • library
  • live theatre
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • synagogues
  • theme parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • horse riding
  • outlet shopping
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • 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.

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