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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992

You've just found San Diego's most unique family gathering place.

Bedrooms 5
Separate WCs1
Space 3,500 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

A Unique, Private , Close-In, Family Friendly,11 Acre Estate

A one of a kind family friendly gathering place. 11 private acres of fruit trees, a look out hilltop gazebo with views to the ocean, and a 1,200 sq ft tropical garden and butterfly house! See and experience the monarch butterfly life cycle up close and personal. A child friendly desert tortoise enclosure invites children and adults' interaction with these marvelous creatures. (FYI. they hibernate in the winter months)

See the video of our property ,the link is located next to our main property photograph on our VRBO web site (Homeaway site does not have video)

Click the video tab in the upper left by the large property photograph on VRBO web site to see a bird's eye view of the entire estate (a must see video!) Homeaway site does not have video.

Gather your own fresh eggs every morning from the 4 hen chicken house. Have the kids pick oranges and squeeze their own juice! Enjoy and relax under multiple, shaded patios or splash in the 33,000 gal swimming pool and adjacent spa. The pool has a rolling gate to keep little ones safe . Our hill top retreat has something for everyone.

Dog friendly, with a very large enclosed area adjacent to a patio for easy access. An outside patio for family dining that seats up to 14 people with tables, chairs and 5 ft charcoal grill all included. Beach chairs, coolers and umbrellas provided for your day trips to the beaches.

Where will everyone sleep? The 3,500 sq ft house has a master bedroom with a king size poster bed and full bath with Jacuzzi tub and adjoining glass shower. Sleeping area number 2 is a private guest wing of the house with living (queen sofa sleeper) room, 2 full bathrooms (1 handicap accessible) and 2 separate bedrooms. Bedroom #1 has a queen size bed, bedroom #2 has two double beds. The family room has a queen sofa sleeper with comfortable queen Murphy bed. The large office has two pull down Murphy beds 1 queen,1 full. There's a hallway powder room across from the office. There are 8 beds in all 1 king, 4 queens, 3 fulls and 3 1/2 bathrooms .

The house is the perfect set up for multiple groups offering lots of privacy yet in a family atmosphere . To re-cap we have 5 separate sleeping areas with 1 king bed ,4 queen beds and 3 full/double beds ,8 beds total.

The house is wheelchair accessible both front and back with an accessible toilet (see photo) and accessible roll in shower with movable shower seat and shower wand.

Want to see before you arrive? Click the "must see" video of the entire estate located on a button just to the left of our main photograph. Or visit to see more photos .

The house offers a warm, open great room area with eat-in gourmet kitchen, wood burning fire place and family seating area. There's a formal dinning area that seats 8/10 and a formal living room and second fireplace. There are two television viewing areas with Direct TV, Sirius satellite radio, a wine refrigerator and outside patio refrigerator.

The estate has easy access and parking for multiple cars and RV's.There's a nice gym /exercise area in the 2,400 sq ft metal barn .

About the area :

Mary's Hill Top retreat is just inside the Jamul area. We are at the top of a private road and right next door to the Casi Cielo Farm and Maness Vineyards. That's our only nearby neighbor. There are several other wineries very close by on HWY 94. including one right next door . We are about 20 minutes due east of downtown San Diego and about 5 minutes from Rancho San Diego shopping area. We can best be described as a private country retreat just 25 minutes from the beaches.There are 3 chain grocery stores ,a 12 plex movie theater and 20 plus restaurants all within 5 miles of our home .

We are 1 mile from the new 200,000 sq ft Jamul "Hollywood (themed )Casino"

Important: When requesting availability if you don't have a VRBO profile please tell us something about your group, where you are coming from and the reason for your San Diego visit.

Sorry due to parking constraints we can not accommodate weddings,receptions or events resulting in excess of 20 people. Please do not inquire about those at this time . We keep our cleaning fee to a reasonable $75.00 .

See a video of the property by visiting the video button link provided on this site next to our house photograph !

More Details

Mary F. Holmes
Member since: 2015
Premier Partner

This partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks English
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
20 September, 2018

About Mary F. Holmes

Mary Holmes is a recently retired professor emeritus of Child Development and a mother of 3, grandmother to 7, She has a life long devotion to children's interaction with nature and believes that is the basis for healthy child development. Born into a large Appalachian family, Mary enjoys entertaining family and friends, traveling and spending time developing the butterfly vivarium along with other outdoor projects. Inviting others to share in her special hilltop retreat is another way she hopes to support families spending time together.

Mary F. Holmes purchased this house in 1996

Why Mary F. Holmes chose Jamul

Jamul is a great area, country quite yet city close. Jamul is San Diego county's closest rural commute. Most folks don't know about Jamul and don't realize it's only 20 minutes from downtown San Diego.

See a complete aerial video of the property right here on our site.The video button is located next to the main house photograph on our VRBO website >

What makes this house unique

Folks will enjoy the many unique aspects of this family retreat, whether it's all the green trees, nearby wildlife, distant views of San Diego or the one of a kind butterfly enclosure. Convenience ,comfort and value we have it all.

Watch the video here and on our VRBO web site see the complete 11 acre country estate just 20 minutes from down town San Diego.

We are 1 mile from the new Jamul Hollywood Casino

We're sorry, but due to parking constraints we can not accommodate weddings, receptions or events resulting in excess of 20 people.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house around the Jamul around the San Diego County

Property Type:
  • house
  • Self-catering
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 3500 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 15:00 / Check-out: 10:00
  • Max. occupancy: 14
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • pets considered ...
  • children welcome ...
  • smoking allowed ...
Location Type:
  • rural ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob ...
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • 1 Separate WC
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath (no shower) , Shower Enclosure , Jacuzzi , Master bath has Jacuzzi tub and walking glass shower
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , Handi cap accessible walk in shower
    Bathroom 3 - Toilet , Bath with Shower , Shower Enclosure
    Bathroom 4 - Toilet , located in the halway l
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 14
  • Master Bedroom - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed , Larger Master bedroom
    Bedroom 3 - 2 Double Bed
    Bedroom 2 - 1 Large Double Bed , Separate bedroom in the guest quarters area
    Bedroom 5 - 2 Large Double Bed , 2 Murphy beds are in the office 1 queen ,1 double
    Bedroom 4 - 1 Large Double Bed , sofa sleeper w/ adjustable mattress and a queen Murphy bed
  • Master Bedroom has king size 4 poster bed ,attached guest apartment has 2 bedrooms ,bedroom #1 has 1 queen and bedroom#2 2 full/double size beds . The office has 2 Murphy beds 1 queen ,1 full , the guest wing living room has a queen sofa sleeper with adjustable mattress and 1 queen Murphy bed . Total beds are 8 , we have 1 king, 4 queens and 3 full/doubles and can set up 1 inflatable queen in family room if needed. There are 7 beds total 1 king, 4 queens ,3 doubles
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Television
  • Bicycles
  • Terrace ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue
  • 2 bicycles
  • wheelchair accessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Hot Tub ...
  • Private Pool ...
  • arboretum
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • Health/Beauty Spa
  • library
  • playground
  • recreation centre
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • bird watching
  • gambling casinos
  • horse riding
  • Shopping
  • walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • swimming
  • tennis
This rental is designed for multiple family members wishing to be together under one roof yet having the privacy of individual bedrooms. Folks staying here find it more economical then renting 2 or 3 hotel rooms and a much,much better family/ get together/vacation experience. While professional retreats and gatherings are welcome , we can not accommodate wedding/reception event requests at this time. Click the video tab by our main VRBO listing photograph to see a complete video of the entire estate. A must see ,exciting aerial view of Mary's Hilltop Retreat.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(64 traveller reviews)

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You've just found San Diego's most unique family gathering place.
average rating of 5.0 based on 64 reviews

Truly a home away from home! Mary is more than just welcoming she makes you feel like family.

  • 5 of 5

We just returned from our weekend at Mary’s place and I couldn’t wait to write this review. It was a fabulous time. We chose Mary’s place mainly for the size – we needed to sleep about 14/15 people (all women) for a weekend getaway/birthday celebration. We could not have picked a better spot. Although we had to share rooms and even beds (very comfortable), there was plenty of room for everyone and no one felt cramped. The bathrooms were situated in a way that everyone could get dressed, put their make-up on and using the restroom without being under each other’s feet. There was plenty of room on the grounds for everyone to have their space to read or nap or relax and make a phone call. The kitchen was well appointed and had everything we could need to prepare meals. The pool area was a great attraction – plenty of room to accommodate us all. Full sun, full or partial shade – tables, lounge chairs…whatever your mood – there was something to accommodate you. Mary keeps a beautiful Butterfly farm on her property where you can walk in and sit in peace and tranquility and have beautiful butterflies dance around and maybe even land on you! So, the space is fantastic…

However, what made Mary’s place even more special is Mary herself. She greets you upon arrival. There were fresh flowers all over the house and fresh fruit in the kitchen. Mary is warm and welcoming and couldn’t do enough for us. If we needed anything or needed to know how something worked, a text to her was quickly responded to and she was there in minutes if needed. Her son came by to check on us during the weekend and freshen up the pool. They just couldn’t do enough for us. It truly felt like we were in our own place – a home away from home.

I can see why Mary has so many wonderful reviews and repeat guests. If you are thinking about this rental, I wouldn’t hesitate! This was definitely worth it and I can’t say enough good things about the whole experience. You will love it – and Mary!

  • Review Submitted: 13-Sep-2018
  • Date of Stay: September 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Absolutely perfect! We couldn't have asked for anything better.

  • 5 of 5

Mary's property is absolutely beautiful inside and out! We had a party of 10 and had more than enough room. Everyone had their own room and with 3 1/2 bathrooms there was no problem with everyone trying to get ready at the same time. Being at the end of a dead end road, it was nice and peaceful... just what we were looking for! The pool is awesome. And the!! Thank you, Mary, for opening your home to us. We had a great time and i'm sure we will definitely be back someday!!

  • Review Submitted: 08-Aug-2018
  • Date of Stay: July 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

The owner- Mary is a very sweet, humble and personable. When we arrived she was there an welcomed us formally. We did a walk thru of the property together and she gave full details. She was available anytime that you call or text her and would respond back within minutes. The home is right across from a winery which we visited and i must admit the jelly/jam was very delicious. Most of the time we spend outdoors and in town which is only a few minutes away. I would recommend this property again for sure!

  • Review Submitted: 02-Aug-2018
  • Date of Stay: July 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Turlock, California

Home away from home!

  • 5 of 5

Our family thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Mary’s lovely home and wish we could have stayed longer. I appreciate that Mary was there to welcome us and introduce us to her home. She also returned the day we were leaving to see us off. It was a special touch that we haven’t received from other places we have rented and we really enjoyed getting to know Mary during those times.

There is so much to comment on the things we loved about her home, I don’t know where to start! It is decorated beautifully with big mirrors, lovely artwork and comfortable furniture that is also gorgeous. My husband and I really loved the kitchen area and cooking on the stove as well as the huge walk in pantry. And the beds are sooooo comfy! Each and every one of us commented at different times on how well we slept during our stay. I especially appreciated the fresh flowers in the rooms. Such a lovely touch.

We knew the children would enjoy feeding the tortoises, exploring the different stages of butterfly life cycles in the vivarium and checking for eggs from the chickens, but were pleasantly surprised at how many of the adults enjoyed doing those same activities. The view from the gazebo is gorgeous in the evenings with a balmy breeze that is the perfect temperature. The pool area was roomy for all 14 of us to be there at the same time. I especially enjoyed the solitude of relaxing in the hammock during the morning before the family was awake.

We truly feel as though we have discovered a home away from home that is large enough for us all to gather in one place. We look forward to returning next year.

Thank you, Mary. Our lives have been enriched and blessed.

  • Review Submitted: 31-Jul-2018
  • Date of Stay: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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We loved this property!

  • 5 of 5

This home exceeded our expectations. We had 15 family members, and this beautiful home was very spacious. The amenities were awesome, we loved it, and we will come back. I highly recommend staying at Mary's home!

  • Review Submitted: 30-Jul-2018
  • Date of Stay: July 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Beautiful home, gracious host.

  • 5 of 5

Spending a week at this beautiful house with our 8 grandchildren and our daughter and her husband made for a fabulous vacation. The children were enthralled with the 4 tortoises and being able to feed them and playing in the swimming pool, and us adults couldn't get enough of the MANY hummingbirds and the mountain view. The house is very spacious and has everything you need to be comfortable. Mary is a very kind and gracious host and answered any questions we had in a very timely manner and her son Matt was there to fix the spa right away when they knew it wasn't working properly. It is a very peaceful and serene setting.

  • Review Submitted: 29-Jun-2018
  • Date of Stay: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
25 Miles
San Diego International
Nearest Barpub
2 Miles
California Sol
Nearest Golf
4.5 Miles
Steele Canyon
Nearest Train
23 Miles
Nearest Motorway
0.5 Miles
HWY 94
Nearest Restaurant
2 Miles
Filipis Italian Grotto
Nearest Beach
22 Miles
Car: necessary

Although Jamul is a large geographic area we are located close in at the Rancho San Diego edge, just 22 miles from downtown San Diego,10 miles from downtown La Mesa 19 miles to downtown Chula Vista, 9 miles to downtown El Cajon. We are metropolitan San Diego's closest rural retreat. Click the "video" tab next to the large property photograph on our VRBO site to see a bird's eye views of the entire estate. (Home away site does not have Video) Due to parking constraints we can not accommodate weddings, receptions or events in excess of 20 guests. Please do not submit those requests at this time .


Prices & Availability

Ask Owner a Question

Additional pricing information

Cleaning Fee £71.59
Refundable Damage Deposit £226.08

Minimum age requirement of principle guest is 30 years old. This house is designed for families ,not for parties.
If you don't have a VRBO profile please please tell us about your group and the reasons that bring you to San Diego

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.