Noe Valley Voice June 2010

Cozy Up to Noe Valley's Guesthouses

By Pat Rose

Need a place to stash those relatives and friends coming to visit the new baby, attend graduation, or take a tour of the City by the Bay? Look no further than your own back yard.

Guesthouses have become a popular tradition in Noe Valley, and there are all kinds of accommodations to choose from: old-style bed-and-breakfasts, private apartments with separate entrances, and charming studio guestrooms.

A neighborhood guesthouse is more convenient and often less expensive than a downtown hotel, and with the J-Church streetcar and BART close by, your visitors won't need a car or parking space.

Several new guesthouses have opened in the neighborhood since the Voice did its last survey in June 2006 (archived at Three--Lynne's Guesthouse, Stay in SF, and the Noe Valley Getaway--are spotlighted in this year's roundup. We've also included a sampling of other Noe Valley guesthouses. A few have attracted visitors for a decade or more.

All are non-smoking, and most offer wi-fi Internet access, cable TV, and the fresh air of a garden or patio--something every happy traveler needs. Prices range from $89 per night for a single room to $225 per night for a large two-bedroom flat. To see photos or get more information about these lodgings, email the proprietors or check out their websites.

Lynne Maltz occasionally gets help from her granddaughter Nora Deeds when preparing for visitors to her (Lynne's) Noe Valley Guesthouse on 25th Street. Photo by Pamela Gerard

Lynne's Noe Valley VRBO
25th Street between Church and Vicksburg streets
Phone: 415-601-7654

Lynne Maltz has lived in Noe Valley for 28 years. After her daughter returned from college and got married, Maltz decided to convert the downstairs area of her home into an apartment for the newlyweds. Last year, after her daughter and family moved to their own home and Maltz retired, she decided to rent the space to out-of-town guests.

Maltz advertises mostly by word-of-mouth. She says she has been fortunate to meet lots of moms in the local parks where she takes her 19-month-old granddaughter during the week. "All the mothers of the babies I meet have families that need a place to stay when they come and visit," says Maltz.

The one-bedroom apartment features a queen bed with a sofa bed in the living room. Guests will find an efficiency kitchen stocked with Martha's Coffee, milk, and cereal. For entertainment, there's cable TV with a DVD player, wi-fi, and a small outdoor patio. Best of all, there's garage parking.

Maltz says she loves meeting and hosting new people. "I always go out and get bagels and cream cheese for guests, and let them know about our Saturday farmer's market and the local restaurants to check out. I'm making lots of new friends, and I get to meet their children and grandchildren."

Lynne's Guesthouse sleeps three adults, or two adults and two children.

Gerry Henderson and wife Teri like to share a little Noe Valley history when guests come to Stay in SF, their spacious two-bedroom flat on 30th Street. Photo by Pamela Gerard

Stay in SF
30th Street between Church and Dolores streets
Phone: 415-309-4909

Teri and Gerry Henderson have been offering their large two-bedroom guest flat for rent since Teri's father died almost two years ago. "We bought the flat so that my father wouldn't have to move when the building was put up for sale. After he died, we remodeled and began renting it to guests," said Teri.

The ground-level flat can accommodate up to six people. It features two bedrooms, a full kitchen, formal dining room, full bath, and a living room with a comfortable pull-out sofa. Guests can easily get connected to the Internet, and there's also a flat-screen TV with cable, a DVD player, and a washer and dryer. Out back is a large garden and deck with table and chairs and a barbeque grill.

The Hendersons keep a portable crib, stroller, and extra Aerobeds (inflatable mattresses) to make life easier for families traveling with small children. In addition, the house is conveniently located just up the block from Upper Noe Valley Recreation Center and Park.

The couple welcome families visiting for weddings or other events. Their apartment is also a popular spot for neighbors who are remodeling and need a place to stay for a month or more.

Beth Mazie and Jerel Glassman, and their kids Malia and Jake, welcome families with children to their Noe Valley Getaway, which has sleep space for four, a full kitchen, and a deck and patio shaded by a lemon tree. Photo by Pamela Gerard

Noe Valley Getaway
22nd Street between Noe and Sanchez streets
Phone: 415-826-6950

Beth Mazie and her husband, Jerel Glassman, bought their house on 22nd Street in 1995. They remodeled the downstairs apartment last year and began offering it as a vacation rental in March. Beth works as an attorney in a non-profit law firm assisting people with disabilities, and Jerel is a physician working in rehabilitation medicine. They have two children, Malia and Jake, and Wolfie, their big black dog. "We live on a really friendly block with kids out on the street riding bikes and rollerblading when the weather is nice."

Most of their guests are people visiting family in San Francisco or former city residents. Children are also particularly welcome. "My 6-year-old daughter loves the people visiting now, because they have a 5-year-old and they met and played together one day when we were all home," said Mazie.

Their street-level one-bedroom apartment has a private entrance with one full-sized bed in the master bedroom and a convertible queen sofa bed in the living room. It features a full kitchen, a washer and dryer in the unit, cable TV, wi-fi, and a deck and patio.

Noe Valley Getaway can accommodate two adults and two children.

Dolores Place
25th Street between Church and Dolores streets
Phone: 415-824-8728

Dolores Place is a studio guestroom located in the lower unit of a charming 100-year-old Victorian row house. The room has a private entrance, a kitchenette, and a sunny deck. Owner Dave Kettering, who lives upstairs in the house, stocks a continental-style breakfast--fresh fruit, yogurt, sweet rolls, cereal, coffee and tea--the night before his guests check in.

Garden Cottage
28th Street between Sanchez and Church streets
Phone: 415-225-6905

A garden full of camellias, roses, lavender, and sunflowers is the setting for this cozy one-room cottage off 28th Street. The garden separates the cottage from the owner's historic 1885 Victorian home. With accommodations for three guests, the cottage features a small sitting room with a convertible sofa, bath with shower, a queen-sized bed, full kitchen, and extras like cable TV, DVD, and a radio/CD player.

Hidden Cottage
Island Cottage
Cecilia Cottage
Phone: 415-282-4492

Local realtor Ginger Karels-Cannata and family have three guesthouses in the neighborhood. Their original guesthouse suite, "Hidden Cottage," is in the back of a landmark two-story white Victorian farmhouse on Noe Street, where the family has lived since 1979. Karels-Cannata and her late husband, Dave Cannata, who passed away in 2008, began offering the guesthouse in 1995, and later added two additional one-bedroom guest apartments in a Victorian on Elizabeth Street, "Island Cottage" and "Cecilia Cottage."

Ideal for couples, Hidden Cottage features a sun deck off the bedroom and a large bathroom with double tub, marble floors, and a skylight. Island and Cecilia--each sleeping three--have sitting rooms and full kitchens with pantries stocked with coffee, juice, and croissants. All three cottages have beautiful gardens for guests to enjoy.

Noe's Nest Bed & Breakfast
Guerrero Street near 24th Street
Phone: 415-821-0751

Noe's Nest is a stately 19th-century Victorian on the eastern edge of Noe Valley. It offers several rooms for guests, each with a private bath, cable TV, DVD player, private phone with free local calls, and free wi-fi. Owner Sheila Ash serves a full breakfast, buffet-style, in her large eat-in kitchen overlooking the back patio garden. The spread includes fresh fruit and juice, bagels, lox, cream cheese, cereal, pancakes, tarts, eggs, coffee, and tea. Ash also caters to kosher clients.

Noe Valley/Mission Garden Apartment
Fair Oaks Street near 24th Street
Phone: 415-970-8177

Just down the hill from 24th Street is a quiet one-bedroom in-law apartment that offers a queen bed, full kitchen, a bath with tub and shower, and access to a sunny garden patio. The apartment sleeps four.

Noe Valley Guest Quarters
25th Street between Church and Sanchez streets

Local caterer Dion Drislane bought her 1889 Noe Valley home 20 years ago when it still had a toilet on the back porch and one outlet in each room. She built a ground-level apartment on the home's downstairs mud floor to live in while she spent nine months remodeling the rest of the home.

That one-bedroom apartment has been a guesthouse for visitors for the past five years. It features a queen bed and an overstuffed chair with ottoman, a bathroom with shower, a TV, and other amenities.

Vacation Room Rental
29th Street at Noe Street
Phone: 415-821-4890

Two rooms and a bath are available on the second floor of this home on 29th Street, a short walk from shops, the 24-Divisadero, and the J-Church streetcar. The rooms, offering a queen bed and double bed, sleep four comfortably. Conveniences include a microwave, toaster oven, electric teakettle, and mini-fridge.

Vicksburg Street Guesthouse
Vicksburg Street at 23rd Street
Phone: 415-285-6433 or 415-215-2617

This large studio apartment sits in the back of Jim Goodwin's Victorian house one block from 24th Street restaurants and shops. The entrance is through a locked alleyway that leads to a patio and garden. The studio offers a queen bed and a full eat-in kitchen, and is designed for one or two guests.