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“The only way I could leave this place was to promise myself I would return.”

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Inverness Secret Garden Cottage
Ranked #2 of 10 Inverness B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“The only way I could leave this place was to promise myself I would return.”
Reviewed May 1, 2014

We stayed here for 5 days, savoring a panoramic view of Tomales Bay and the two acre Secret Garden. The gardens held much to be discovered on winding pathways: a moss covered stump, a tiny bench, an exotic tree, a 20' high rhododendron, a rose, a fern, a palm tree - all under the supervision of sequoias and towering pines. We were continually surprised and delighted. The deck, where you can dine outside, or just relax in the ocean fresh breezes added another place to linger, unwind and breathe. Inside the cottage, we found a bookshelf loaded with references for local flora and fauna, as well as guides and maps to trails, parks and local interests, a thoughtful and welcome touch. The bathroom with its generous provisions, the stereo and iPod player and the luxurious comfortable bed made this feel like a fine resort/spa deep in the heart of nature. The full kitchen, with its view into the gardens, made cooking our own meals convenient and even fun. The outdoor bathtub sheltered under a rustic roof and perfumed by jasmine blooming at your feet, plus a swing for adults in another garden room, provided us an interlude of peace, quiet and stunning beauty with a touch of whimsy. We soaked in the quiet, hearing only an occasional plane overhead and then just bird serenades, buzzing hummingbirds and the wind in the forest canopy. Owner Phil provided us with valuable tips for exploring the Point Reyes area, which is a staggeringly beautiful part of this earth, reminding us of the Cornish Coast, the Scottish Highlands, and the Lake Country. Five nights were not enough for us. Next time, a week. Or two.

  • Liked — The views, the swing, the immaculate and beautiful cottage, the tub, the trees.
  • Disliked — We could have used more dishes, but we ate three meals a day there. I suspect most folks dine out, so this observation is pickey and probably pertains only to us. It was a fine kitchen.
  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HJ-trvlplnr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fildog, Owner at Inverness Secret Garden Cottage, responded to this review, July 23, 2014
Thank you for the special review! Very nicely written! We appreciate you taking the time to send this to Trip Advisor. We enjoy reading the reviews and other guests tell us the same. Sincerely, Phi and Patsy, owners
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96 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lyons, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviewed April 28, 2014

High quality accommodations and furnishings while down-to-earth and comfortable. Everything you might need is provided yet the cottage is uncluttered. Phil and Patsy were available, warm and helpful as well as respectful of our privacy. Our high expectations (after reading all the positive reviews) were surpassed. We feel that the owners understand that, for most of us, vacations are a hard-earned treat. They care deeply about providing a great experience and we imagine that they've cultivated their service as lovingly and generously as they've cultivated their remarkable garden. The Cottage is a good value and, in some ways, felt more like a shared treasure than a purchase.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Robin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fildog, Owner at Inverness Secret Garden Cottage, responded to this review, July 23, 2014
"Perfect Balance"! We like the title of your review....it is something we work on each and every week, both in the garden landscaping and with our house and cottage. It is satisfying for us to have others positively review our efforts. Best wishes! Patsy and Phil, owners
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newark, California
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2014

We loved our last visit so much that we returned to celebrate my husband's birthday. He has a cold, so he finds the quiet and rest healing.

We arrived a week before a fundraising the owners set in their beautiful garden. The owners were busy adding plants to the garden and sprucing up the garden. When I spoke with one owner, he warned that we might experience some noise when the scheduled weed whacker arrived in the next day. He suggested that we call him when we went for a hike so he could schedule the clean-up at that time. Unfortunately, we are unable to go on any lengthy (our definition of lengthy) excursions (wonderful hikes, rides, and places to visit), so I told the owner that we were planning to stay in the cottage.

As it turns out, the owners were very flexible in their clean-up schedule and my husband and I experienced another wonderfully quiet and restful visit. We are very appreciative.

I sure love perusing the garden and its seasonal changes. I took so many photos. I will post them at a future date.

As I mentioned in a previous review, the cottage is clean, warm, and light. We enjoyed our visit immensely. I heartily recommend the Inverness Secret Garden Cottage as a fine place to stay.

Room Tip: The cottage is really one large room with a kitchen area, dining area, and sitting area, a sleeping...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank declectic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fildog, Owner at Inverness Secret Garden Cottage, responded to this review, April 19, 2014
Quiet & restful....I like the title of your beautiful review....and now that our Garden Benefit is over, that exactly what I plan to do...rest quietly for a couple days. Thank you for understanding the garden clean up pressure we were operating with....we did finally have over 100 people visit the garden on April 19, walk the secluded paths, enjoy the delicious food and beverages donated by local businesses, and listen to the seventeen!! Musicians, who volunteered their time and talent for a worthy cause. I know you both would have enjoyed the non-stop music (unplugged). We look forward to your return visit! Sincerely, Phil, owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, MI
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2014

You get the feeling, driving up the narrow and winding road leading to the cottage, that you are headed somewhere very special. And once you have arrived and enter through the Secret Garden Cottage gates, it's as if you have passed through the gates of heaven. The garden in bloom...the picture-perfect views of Tomales Bay...the spotless, airy cottage oozing of comfort inside and outside on the deck...all of this made for two days of bliss that my wife and I will always remember. We left the cottage, somewhat hesitantly, to take lovely drives and hikes around the scenic environs but rushed back to immerse ourselves with all the sights and sounds of this incredible property. Next time, a longer stay!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RIS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fildog, Owner at Inverness Secret Garden Cottage, responded to this review, April 18, 2014
Thank you so much for your nicely done review! We especially appreciate a review from a "senior contributor"!....as TripAdvisor business partners we try to keep our place special and unique,mso that you share in the experience of discovering the Secret Garden. We look forward to your return visit....a chance to get out of the Michigan snow! Patsy & Phil
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Overland Park, Kansas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 31, 2014

Booked this B&B based upon Trip Advisor reviews. Was beyond expectations. Beautiful setting. The owners have nurtured native growth on the property as well as plants of their predecessors, including rhododendrons that easily top 20 feet, in every color of the rainbow! Bed was divine, well appointed kitchen. Owner very knowledgeable about area, sent us to the best redwood forest on our way out of town. Don't miss the Point Reyes Bird Festival in April. Great characters on both sides of the telescope. Only drawback is it's not close to anything, including restaurants. Have to drive at least 15 minutes and restaurant options are limited. Best Tomales Bay oysters up the coast though. The Tomales Bay area is so interesting, each side is on a different geological plate. Staying there will make you smarter, or sound smarter anyway! Phil is a most gracious host. The drive to Jenner is stunning, so is the Russian River Road on the way to Calistoga. Great wine and food.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JDBakerLeawoodKS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fildog, Owner at Inverness Secret Garden Cottage, responded to this review, April 2, 2014
Thank you for the great perspective from Kansas and your articulate & gracious review! You were able to cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time: SF, North Coast, redwoods, and Wine Country. We look forward to your next visit! Cheers! Phil & Patsy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2014

My husband and I, unfortunately, have not had a chance yet to actually stay at the cottage, but thanks to the gracious hosts, Patsy and Phil, we were allowed an opportunity to visit and enjoy the Secret Garden. As this is still an early spring, we can only imagine how much more the garden has to offer when it is in full bloom! And the cottage, indeed, is so secluded, that we nearly missed it! We will be back and this time we are going to stay!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sonia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fildog, Owner at Inverness Secret Garden Cottage, responded to this review, February 22, 2014
Thank you for your review of your recent visit to the Secret Garden! We appreciate comments and feedback from a Trip Advisor regular, who is also a professional photographer and a garden enthusiast. We enjoyed taking you around the garden and recounting the history of the garden's beginning in the early 50's. We look forward to your next visit to Inverness. Sincerely, Phi and Patsy, owners
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newark, California
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2014

Dates for this place fill fast, so hurry. I booked months ahead. We visited the Inverness Secret Garden Cottage for a few days this January (2014). It's as nice as ever. Even though it was overcast and it rained lightly on the morning we left, I loved the winter garden. The branches are colorful and there are several blooms.

The sun peeped through the overcast several times. I snapped several photos.

We stayed in the cottage most of our visit. So cozy, light, secluded, and quiet (there was a short bit of machine blowing from a garden worker and a short visit from an insurance man), otherwise it was a quiet visit. The cottage owners said they would be more careful of schedules in the future. They generously offered to make it up and were willing to accommodate our suggestions. Very amenable.

My husband and I plan to stay in the Inverness Secret Garden Cottage again in the near future. We heartily suggest you do the same.

Room Tip: There is really only one room to choose in this cottage. I especially appreciate the cleanliness of...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank declectic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fildog, Owner at Inverness Secret Garden Cottage, responded to this review, January 14, 2014
Thank you for the snappy title and great review! We appreciate the care you take with the cottage and your friendly comments. You took advantage of some rare, mild winter weather here in Point Reyes! We look forward to your next visit...don't worry...the insurance company visit takes place only every 2 years! Sincerely, Phil & Patsy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Inverness Secret Garden Cottage

Property: Inverness Secret Garden Cottage
Address: 501 Via de La Vista, Inverness, CA 94937-0725
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Marin County > Inverness
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Inverness
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 1
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secluded, bed and breakfast retreat adjacent to Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay State Park in Marin County Calif. Village of Inverness; located only 1 hour north of SF. Access numlerous park hiking trails, explore ocean beaches, and view abundant wildlife. Extensive ornamental gardens, private parking and entrance, bay views, fireplace,WiFi, TV/DVD/CD, self-serve continental breakfast, large deck, outdoor claw-foot soaking tub, 1 bdrm, 1 bath studio design with fully equipped kitchen. Rates: $225/nt weekdays; $250/nt Fr,Sa, Sun. Weekly: $1365 ($195/nt),3 night minimum holidays. 10% County hotel tax extra. ... more   less 

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