Noe Valley Voice June 2006

Neighborhood Blanketed with Guesthouses

By Pat Rose

For Noe Valley residents, one of the perennial joys of summer is entertaining the flood of family and friends who come from far and wide to sample life in Baghdad by the Bay. But what if your guest room is now a nursery for your newborn babe, or your studio apartment is just too tiny to accommodate visitors?

One alternative is to have your guests nestle in at a neighborhood guesthouse. They'll be close, but not too close. And when you find yourself out of breath from being a tour guide, you can relax knowing your visitors are strolling down 24th Street, taking in the shops and cafés.

A recent sweep by the Voice shows that Noe Valley offers an eclectic mix of lodgings: a studio with easy access for grandparents, European-style B&Bs, fully furnished flats that welcome children, or a quiet cottage for that romantic getaway. Most offer small kitchens for do-it-yourself cooking. But several serve a bountiful breakfast.

If your visitors are bringing a car, be sure to tell them to ask their guesthouse proprietor for suggestions about the best streets to park. (Only one place in our survey affords private parking.) You might also remind them that public transit is a practical choice. In fact, most kids see the J-Church streetcar as a roller-coaster ride.

As for their sleeping arrangements, here is our 2006 guide to local guest accommodations (we do one every two or three years). Some of the profiles may repeat descriptions from past bed-and-breakfast roundups, but the room rates and other details are current. If, after reading this, you've decided you want to turn your home into a guesthouse, let us know. We'll be happy to include your lovely abode in a future survey.


Cottage Gate

Douglass Street near 20th Street

Contact: Jim and Diane DeLange

Phone: 415-626-6497


Jim and Diane DeLange's studio guestroom is part of the 1912 English cottage they've lived in for years. It sits on a quiet tree-lined street just below the Douglass Street steps. The street-level private entrance to the studio is handicapped-accessible, and the cozy guestroom features a queen-size sleigh bed, a small kitchenette with a sink, mini-refrigerator under the counter, toaster, electric tea kettle, coffeemaker, plenty of dishes, and a small café table for two.

The room has a private bath with shower and ample closet space. Jim and Diane stock the kitchen with a variety of breakfast items: pastries, cereal, fresh fruit, yogurt, hardboiled eggs, juices, cream cheese, and coffee and tea.

Cottage Gate rates are $95 per night with a two-night minimum; $90 per night for seven nights or more. Sorry, the DeLanges are not able to take children or pets. Room amenities include a TV, VCR, and private phone line.

Dolores Place

25th Street between Church and Dolores streets

Contact: Dave Kettering

Phone: 415-824-8728



This studio guestroom is the lower unit of a charming 100-year-old Victorian row house. Set high on a hill on 25th Street, Dolores Place offers a scenic view of both Noe Valley and Twin Peaks.

Guests walk up a set of steps to a private sunny deck on the way to the room's private entrance. Inside, a queen-size cherry sleigh bed provides the focal point of the room. There's a small table for two and a kitchenette in the corner with a mini-refrigerator, microwave, coffeemaker, toaster, and sink. A large private bath with a shower is tucked behind the kitchenette.

Owner Dave Kettering, who lives upstairs in the house, stocks a continental-style breakfast--fresh fruit, yogurt, juice, sweet rolls, cereal, coffee and tea--the night before his guests check in.

Rates are $129 per night with a two-night minimum. Amenities include a VCR, cable TV, and a private phone. No pets, but children are welcome.

Dolores Studio

Dolores at 27th Street

Contact: Samantha


Just off Dolores Street is a small studio guestroom with a gated garden of blooming roses, lilies, and azaleas. The room features a double bed, large closet, and a small kitchenette with a sink, microwave, toaster, mini-refrigerator, coffeemaker, and dishes. The bathroom is tiny with a small sink, shower, and toilet. Breakfast is not offered, but phone and cable TV are included. There's room outside for guests to sit and enjoy a sunny day in the garden at a small café table.

From Dolores Studio it is a short walk on 27th to Church Street, which features Eric's Chinese Restaurant, Amberjack Sushi, and, a block down the street, Martha's coffee shop.

No pets, but children are welcome. Rate is $95 per night with a three-night minimum. A weekly rate is also available.

Garden Cottage

28th Street between Sanchez and Church streets

Contact: Bob Small

Phone: 415-970-8177


A garden path covered with Mexican sage, roses, and lilies leads to the Garden Cottage on 28th Street. The cottage faces the backyard deck of the owners' Victorian house, and has its own small front porch full of potted geraniums and other spring flowers.

Guests walk into a small sitting room with a sofa that converts to a twin-size bed. A small bath with a shower and linen closet is tucked in the corner. From the sitting room, you step up into a bedroom with a queen-size bed, and then to a full-size kitchen. Breakfast is not offered, but guests are welcome to use the kitchen to cook their meals.

The cottage rents for $125 per night and comes equipped with a stereo, TV, VCR, and private phone for local calls. Weekly rates are available. Children are fine, pets are negotiable.

If you're looking for more space, manager Tom Kennedy offers two other guest apartments in Noe Valley. One is a studio on 28th Street that goes for $120 per night; the other is a one-bedroom apartment on Fair Oaks Street for $125 per night.

Hidden Cottage

1186 Noe Street between Jersey and 25th streets

Contact: Dave and Ginger Cannata

Phone: 415-282-4492



This striking two-story white Victorian farmhouse, with bougainvillea blooming over the front door, was built in 1870 when the neighborhood was still dotted with dairy farms. Longtime Noe Valley residents Dave and Ginger Cannata live in the farmhouse and offer a guestroom with lots of privacy and charm upstairs at the back of the house.

A narrow path winds around the side of the house, through a garden full of impatiens, roses, and plum trees, and up a wooden staircase to a light and airy room with a skylight. The room boasts a queen-size cast-iron bed, an antique oak dresser, two closets, comfy chairs, and "lots of books." A deck off the bedroom has an outdoor shower, potted ferns, and tables and chairs for sunbathers. Inside, a large bathroom comes with a double tub, marble floors, and skylight. The room also has a TV/VCR and a private phone.

A breakfast of coffee, tea, pastries, and fresh fruit is hand-delivered in a picnic basket. Hidden Cottage is only one-and-a-half short blocks from 24th Street.

The rate is $175 per night, with a two-night minimum stay. The room limit is two people.

Cook's Quarters

25th Street near Church Street

Contact: Dion


This one-bedroom in-law unit with a private entrance is two short blocks from 24th Street. The bedroom is tastefully decorated in florals and checks and features a very firm queen-size bed with a comfortable overstuffed chair and ottoman. A bottle of wine and a bottle of mineral water with wine glasses for guests sit atop a bookcase full of books. The apartment has a good-size bathroom with a shower.

The large kitchen, which doubles as Dion's workspace for her catering business, is not available for cooking meals. However, guests are welcome to use the kitchen table, refrigerator, toaster oven, coffeemaker, etc. The apartment also has a phone and a television (no cable).

Well-behaved dogs are welcome. There is a two-person maximum. Dion charges $90 per night, with a two-night minimum. Maximum stay is one week.

Noe's Nest Bed & Breakfast

1257 Guerrero Street near 24th Street

Contact: Sheila Ash

Phone: 415-821-0751



Noe's Nest, located for many years on 23rd Street, has relocated to a stately 19th-century Victorian a block down the hill from Noe Valley, on Guerrero Street between 24th and 25th.

Owner Sheila Ash, who also lives in the house, welcomes visitors into the main sitting room and formal dining room, filled with Victorian settees and family photographs. She serves breakfast buffet-style in her large eat-in kitchen overlooking the backyard patio garden. Breakfast includes fresh fruit, bagels, lox, cream cheese, cereal, quiche or tarts, coffee and juice.

Noe's Nest offers several rooms for guests. Each has a queen- or king-size bed and a private bathroom. Some have working fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs. A third-floor "attic" suite is a good place for families with children: it has two bedrooms with a living room, fireplace, and kitchenette.

Rates range from $119 to $169 per night. Each room has cable TV, a DVD player, and private phone with free local calls. The inn is also available for parties and special events.

The Parker Guest House

520 Church Street near 18th Street

Contact: Bill Boeddiker and Bob O'Halloran

Phone: 415-621-3222

Toll Free: 1-888-520-7275


The Parker Guest House is actually in the Castro, but we chose to include it in our profiles because of positive reports from visitors--and since it's just two J-streetcar stops from Noe Valley.

This large bed-and-breakfast is comprised of two buildings joined by a central courtyard: a 1909 Edwardian mansion and a 1910 Victorian, both recognizable from the street by their bright yellow exterior.

Visitors are welcomed into the Edwardian's grand foyer with a display of fresh-cut flowers from the garden. A beautifully appointed front parlor showcases a baby grand piano, a marble fireplace, an 1860 English settee, and comfortable chairs for guests to relax in while they sip their sherry each evening.

The dining area is at the back of the guesthouse, in a sunroom off the large kitchen. Guests can partake of an abundant continental breakfast featuring pastry, fruit salad, cereal, yogurt, toast, English muffins, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. The sunroom and deck look out over a back yard garden filled with roses, lilies, sweet alyssum, and lobelia.

The Parker Guest House offers 21 guestrooms, ranging in size from a standard queen to a junior king suite (with a separate sitting area, writing desk, and small balcony). All the rooms have down comforters, armoires, fresh flowers, and terrycloth robes. Each has its own bathroom, except for two smaller "economy" rooms, which share a bath.

Boeddiker notes that his guesthouse caters primarily to gay and lesbian clientele, but says everyone is welcome. Rates are $129 to $209 per night, with a two-night minimum on the weekends. Amenities includes concierge service, free wireless, cable TV, private phones, and voicemail. You must leave your dog at home, but you can park your car on-site for an additional $17 a night.

Summer Cottage

Island Cottage

Cecilia Cottage

Elizabeth Street between Sanchez and Vicksburg streets

Contact: Dave and Ginger Cannata

Phone: 415-282-4492



Just around the corner from 24th Street, nestled behind an iron gate and large pots of colorful geraniums, is a yellow and white turn-of-the-century Victorian. This house is also owned by Dave and Ginger Cannata, who run the successful Hidden Cottage bed-and-breakfast (see earlier listing). These three "cottages" are actually one-bedroom apartments within the house.

Summer Cottage is the back unit in the Victorian, and it has a private entrance at the side of the house. Guests walk in through the bedroom, which has a queen-size bed and white ceiling fan. A large eat-in country kitchen off the bedroom boasts black-and-white-checkered floors and an old-fashioned hoosier cupboard. A sitting room with a queen-size pullout couch leads out to a porch overlooking the backyard garden, which is filled with roses and a lemon tree. Sleeps four.

Island Cottage guests enter from the street, through a wrought-iron gate and into a small foyer. The apartment offers a sitting room with table and chairs by a window looking out on Elizabeth Street. It features a small bedroom with a queen-size sleigh bed, a newly remodeled bathroom with shower and tub, a pull-out sofa bed for one in the sitting room, and a small galley kitchen in the back of the apartment. This apartment is also accessible to the backyard garden. Sleeps three.

Cecilia Cottage is a three-room upstairs apartment that also overlooks Elizabeth Street. A small open sitting room at the top of the stairs has a pullout couch and chairs. A folksy eat-in kitchen with peach walls, wood floors, painted roosters perched on the windowsills, and a red-checkered tablecloth invite you to sit down for tea. The bedroom features a queen-size iron bed and large dresser. There's a bath with a shower and tub. Sleeps three.

Each apartment has a full kitchen with gas stove, TV/VCR (no cable), private phone, and lots of closet space. The refrigerator and pantry are stocked with coffee, juice, and croissants, and 24th Street cafes are only a block away.

The rate for each cottage is $175 per night for two guests with a two-night minimum. Additional guests are $25 per night.

Vicksburg Apartment

125 Vicksburg Street at 23rd Street

Contact: Jim Goodwin

415-285-6433; 415-215-2617

This large studio apartment sits in the back of Jim Goodwin's Victorian house on Vicksburg Street, a block from 24th Street restaurants and shops. The entrance is through a locked alleyway that leads to a patio and garden.

Guests enter the apartment through the bedroom, which features a queen-size bed, dresser, two wicker armchairs, cable television, and a room heater for chilly nights. Just past the bedroom is a hall with a desk and a large closet with extra sheets and towels. The full-size eat-in kitchen is at the far end of the apartment and includes a refrigerator, stove, coffeemaker, microwave, and dishes.

Jim does not serve breakfast, but guests are welcome to use the kitchen. For those who like to cook, Bell Market on 24th Street is only a short walk away. There is no house phone, so bring your cell.

The rate is $100 per night with a two-night minimum. Weekly rates are also available.