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“Venice Summer Getaway”

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Venice Beach Eco Cottages
San Francisco
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Venice Summer Getaway”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 4, 2013

I stayed in the Eco Cottages prior to the sale. My local friend sent me the listing after I stayed there. I am glad to see that the new owners decided to keep it as a vacation rental business. It is really such a gem of a place.

I spent a week in the Aunty Zoe's Cottage. (The middle one) Small but so much better than any hotel room. My favorite part was being able to keep the double doors open to the tiny little deck in the evenings. It opens up the space and it still totally private.

The parking was great though sometimes my dedicated spot was taken. I then parked on the street until it opened up. The shower is amazing with a rain shower head. It is a five minute walk to venice beach and just a few blocks to uber hip shopping and restaurants.

The neighborhood is quiet and peaceful, I really did not have any major disturbances. I live in San Francisco so my sense of quiet maybe different. I did use the kitchen for simple meals, it is well equipped. There are cups, mugs, dishes, bowls, pans, utensils, napkins, cleaning supplies, soap, tea etc.

I have the same gripe as another reviewer, the bed is HORRIBLE. I was staying for the week so I took a trip to the Marshalls and purchased a mattress pad it was that bad. I still slept poorly. I know it is organic but it is truly the worst mattress I have ever slept on. Hostel beds in the Dominican Republic are better than this. Considering how well done everything else is the bed was the one HUGE disappointment.

Room Tip: As a solo woman, I was happy being in the middle (Aunty Zoe's Cottage), it felt safer.
See more room tips
Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
Helpful?
7 Thank Here_in_SF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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14 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    4
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
maryland
Level Contributor
129 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 17, 2012

We had a good time staying in this nifty little cottage. This is the first time I haven't stayed with family on a trip to Venice so I have no other hotels or B&Bs to compare it to. I personally didn't meet the owners, who are new. We had booked months ago while Cynthia was the owner but when I was emailing soon before the trip, I discovered the cottages had been sold. That made me very nervous. Fortunately the new owners were very helpful and accommodating to our needs before we flew out there. The cottage itself is very cute, has everything including a decent bottle of organic red wine upon arrival, and was quite clean. My standards are really high so I won't pick that apart too much! Although comfortable, it is very small. This will not work for more than 2 people. I'm very organized and there was not stuff sprawled out everywhere and it still felt cramped. But that is ok. My only suggestion might be to minimize unnecessary decor objects off much needed surfaces. Maybe add a little shelf on the bathroom wall. I was happy sleeping on the mattress but it was really hard for my husband so he didn't sleep well. Something to think about if you sleep on a soft mattress. Oh, one other minor suggestion would be to turn the heat on prior to guests arriving if it is cold out like when we arrived. We were freezing inside the cottage for a few hours while it heated up with the fireplace. Pretty miserable... Basically though my final opinion is that it is a good little place, well stocked with natural and/or organic cooking and cleaning products, and the owners are very helpful. A few minor suggestions, but I would definitely choose them again if I ventured that way.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank marylanddweller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 25, 2011

I've been meaning to write a review for a while now for the Venice Beach Eco Cottages. I have stayed with them twice for business and love having a home away from home.

The good -
- Easy to arrange a stay. The owner was friendly and gracious.
- Everything you could need at your fingertips. Washer and dryer, little kitchen, full bath, bedroom, living room, dining table and even a little private patio.
- I love a deep clawfoot tub!
- Heated bathroom floor
- Fan in bedroom
- Walking distance to many restaurants, shopping, and the sketchy/fun Venice beach boardwalk
- Pull out couch in the livingroom. This was very useful when a colleague came over and drank too much wine to drive home!
- Wifi and tv are great!
- Design is soooooo cute and comfortable.
- The tall vaulted ceilings make the little space feel bigger and brighter.

The "could be better"
- I could use more storage space in the bedroom, bathroom & kitchen. There is a closet with ample hanging space in the bedroom, but I remember wanting more shelving space since I used the stay for a lengthy business trip. The bathroom was very difficult to use for a long stay - no place to keep personal items and no shelf or ledge by the sink.
- They are small. Plenty of space for a single business person, but since the rooms are actually broken up, the (maybe 500 sq ft) felt a little crampy at times and I wouldn't stay with kids.
- I would consider the neighborhood safe, but it can feel a little weird if you are a traveling alone. These cottages are not in the best place in Venice, but certainly not the worst, and very close to the nicest places in Venice.

Tips
- walk to Abbott Kinney for dinner and breakfast.
- Go up to Santa Monica or Malibu for enjoying the beach... Venice beach is for people watching.
- Walk the canals. They are famous and pretty darling. You won't believe they are there.

I haven't stayed in a while because my business is mostly in Hollywood now, but if I find myself near Santa Monica or Venice again, I will book here.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank GneissDay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Davidson, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 12, 2011

Our family of four had a great week in the Papa Hemingway cottage. I would recommend this one because it got a great breeze. It's so nice to be at a place where you don't even want, let alone miss air conditioning.

The location is great. You can walk to the beach or to shopping on Abbot-Kinney or Main. Renting bikes at the beach is a great way to go. I wish we'd had bikes for the whole week instead of just the one day we rented. Kids slept on the convertible sofa so things were sometimes a bit tight. The kitchen was well-equiped. We cooked dinner there maybe every other night and it was great. Even used the little gas grill outside one night.

For a small space, the cottages are designed well. Very comfortable and livable. Papa was great because it's on the corner and the breeze you get is perfect. Washer and dryer is a huge plus for more than a couple of days, though the dryer was very loud. It's obvious that a lot of thought went into designing the cottage.

Now the negatives... I'm sure this place is not for everyone. There are people walking down the sidewalk right outside your window, skateboarding, riding bikes, walking dogs. You know what's happening on the street. The intersection is a four-way stop so the accelerating cars and trucks were annoying the first day or so until we got used to it. Having said that, it's all part of the charm of the place. It feels like you live there. If you wanted to go the mall you wouldn't be in Venice in the first place, right?

All in all we had a great time at VBEC. It was a perfect home base for everything from short beach trips to farther-away LA-area sites. This was miles better and way more memorable than staying in some cookie-cutter chain hotel room for a week.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank legend_bob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Central Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2008

At the risk of revealing this wonderful secret, the Venice Beach Eco Cottages are the real deal. My husband and I had the pleasure of staying three days in Aunt Zoe's cottage, complete with hot tub. Offering every amenity you could possibly need for a night or a month, the cottage felt like it was our home away from home within the first 30 minutes. We were given the quick tour of all the ways in which the renovations of the cottages would leave the smallest of carbon footprints (even the hot tub is made of recycled plastic milk jugs!), which made us feel good in a socially conscious way. Surprisingly, we noticed the biggest difference of living green in not having to sniff or cough because of allergies the entire time, most likely due to the fact that everything, right to the mattress, is organic, chemical free. We could sleep with the windows open, to allow the fresh ocean air in. Amazing! It's been a long time since we've slept in a hotel where the windows even open!

The neighborhood was safe and authentic. For breakfast it was two blocks to Abbott Kinney Blvd Abbott's Habit, for coffee and a healthy start. Afternoons, two blocks to Venice Beach, to watch the surfers. Evenings, hanging out in the hot tub, then popped a DVD in the (LCD/HD tv) to watch a movie. Had the best chinese food delivered (can't remember the name, but ask the owners; they'll know!) What a great way to experience the California life...

We hear that these cottages have already been discovered by the 'names' in Hollywood, who book a cottage for extended periods of time! We felt really fortunate to have been able to stay here and thank owners Cynthia and Karel for their genuine hospitality. We can't wait to return!!!

  • Liked — Originality and Location
  • Disliked — Can't think of a thing!!!!
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank europeankate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Venice Beach Eco Cottages

Property: Venice Beach Eco Cottages
Address: 447 Grand Blvd, Venice, Los Angeles, CA 90291-4222
Location: United States > California > Los Angeles > Venice , Westside
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #39 of 82 Specialty Lodging in Los Angeles
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the Venice Beach Eco-Cottages, which offer visitors to Los Angeles the chance to live like a local, while enjoying an inspired, cozy, healthy and green alternative to the standard hotel experience. These three solar-powered urban retreats are only four blocks from the beach and the hip shops and eateries of Abbot Kinney Blvd. The cottages may be booked for short or long term stays; private events and location shooting. Choose from the sleek candied baroque feel of the Le Bébé Cottage, to the cozy lakeside cabin kitsch of Aunt Zoe’s Place to the warm, woodsy feel of the Papa Hemingway Cottage. A visit also offers guests a chance to do good while feeling good at VBEC, 3% of the revenue from each visit goes to charity. Each of the one-bedroom retreats was restored from the ground up using earth friendly, organic and re-purposed materials – from a flea market find bugle turned into a pot rack; to a vintage record cabinet turned into a bathroom vanity to a large bird cage turned into a cozy swivel chair. Modern conveniences blend beautifully with vintage accents at VBEC. Each cottage features EnergyStar washer, dryer and dishwasher, WiFi, 42" HDTV and a discreetly placed home theater system. In addition to the beauty and comfort of the cottages, they're also extremely healthy for you and the planet. All building materials are sustainable and non-toxic, all paints and finishes have no/low VOCs, linens and mattresses are organic, cleaning supplies are all natural and fragrance free. The whole house water filtration system means you'll draw drinking water from the faucets and even be showering in purified water. The cottages are the entrepreneurial dream-come-true of husband and wife owners, Cynthia Foster and Karel Samsom who blended their respective backgrounds as an environmental economist and an actor/artist to create the cottages as a beloved art project. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Venice Beach Eco Cottages Hotel Los Angeles

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