Mar Vista Cottages

at Anchor Bay

Mar Vista Cottages

Mar Vista Cottages are ideal seaside escape

An article in the Contra Costa Times
by Marta Yamamoto

A cozy seaside cottage has always been in my mind — not too far from home, close to the ocean, with room to breathe. Mar Vista Cottages fits my picture perfectly.

Upon arriving, I first notice the cottages, a warm buttery yellow. Then the space — only 12 units are scattered throughout nine acres. I see neighbors, but don't overhear their Adirondack-side conversations.

Mar Vista fulfills the wish for an old-fashioned seaside escape. It sits across from Anchor Cove, and here, simple pleasures take center stage and memories are made.

Originally built in the 1930s, the property was purchased by Tom and Renata Dorn and opened in 2000. The clapboard housekeeping cottages have been restored, but remain true to their origins. Well-equipped kitchens echo simple cooking; off-white walls and oak floors are the stage for rag rugs and country furniture. Bedrooms and baths are comfort-ensured with top-quality towels, sheets and down comforters.

The cottages are small, spotless and sparingly decorated, but with lovely attention — window hankies, slip-covered easy chairs, muted prints. They're an uncluttered palette for additions — smoothed beach stones and driftwood, garden-picked sweet peas, office-supplied puzzles and games.

Mar Vista is more than a bed; it's a chance to remove the batteries and slow down. Select a chair and gaze out at the ocean and meadow; listen to bird conversations, barking seals, crashing waves. At night, the porch-light-out policy allows for a star spectacle.

Fill your basket with harvestable produce from the large organic garden: lettuces, squash, corn, strawberries and anything else that whets your taste buds.

At the chicken enclosure, egg-layers are fun to watch and their coos are comforting. Join Tom to collect pastel multi-hued eggs brought to the cottages.

The picnic area contains tables, cooking grills and a fire pit for marshmallow roasts. A secluded redwood soaking tub is filled and heated on demand, with shades for privacy.

A short walk leads to Anchor Cove, a wonderful beach of white sand, tide pools, gentle waves and towering rock formations.

Mar Vista cottages are small but totally comfortable, best enjoyed when all the "stuff" is left behind. Books, journals, sketchbook, binoculars and a mind ready for relaxation are all you need.

The Dorns welcome you and your dogs, even supplying them with their own towels. You'll be treated to a tour and then left on your own — to find your own rhythm and enjoy.