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The Monastery in Santa Barbara

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vacation rental description

Conceived as a warehouse for living, this 4,200 square foot residence, built largely of glass, steel and exposed concrete, sits on a lofty and totally private 10-acre site overlooking the Channel Islands, lemon orchards and farmland in Montecito, California.

Indoor and outdoor spaces flow seamlessly throughout the house, accented by well-placed courtyards and terraces offering different views and uses. Three huge roll-up doors open up the house to a large terrace and the full panorama of the Pacific Ocean, bringing the dry Mediterranean landscape indoors. Mature eucalyptus, orange, lemon and avocado trees sit right outside the house, creating a tranquil setting for outdoor dining and quiet contemplation.

The Pavilion, the steel-framed core of the house, provides ample space for living, dining, and cooking. Wood fireplaces on both ends of the Pavilion warm the space during the evening, while industrial steel roll-up doors open the entire space to the fresh air during the day. A contemporary chef's kitchen opens to a courtyard, herb garden, and views of Toro Canyon below. The Pavilion includes a dining table seating twelve, a piano, and sofas for lounging and talking. Los Angeles architect Barton Myers designed the house for simple and gracious family living in the best tradition of California's outdoor lifestyle. The Eames House in Pacific Palisades comes to mind, as do the California Case Study homes. The house continues Myers’s investigation in steel construction, courtyard living, and opens spaces for residential homes.

The historic 1930s garden, designed by landscape architect Lockwood de Forest, and updated by Derrik Eichelberger, includes ancient olive trees surrounding an oval lawn that overlooks the Channel Islands. Picturesque oak and pepper trees line the driveway leading up to the house. Five acres have been set aside as natural coastal sage habitat. Trails meander throughout the property. The massive views, private lawns, indoor-outdoor living spaces, and historic pedigree of this unusual site provide the backdrop for a relaxing and memorable experience.

The property was previously the site of "The Monastery," a rambling vernacular house built in the early 1930s by famed conductor Leopold Stokowski and his then-wife,Evangeline Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune. Residents over the years have included Greta Garbo; the best-selling author and aviator, Beryl Markham; and Gloria Vanderbilt, Stokowski's third wife. Two of the original fireplaces, designed by Stokowski, were rebuilt as garden features. One, in the shape of the Hollywood Bowl shell, forms a fire pit facing both the house and the historic gardens, and serves as an outside lounge area. The second fireplace, in the form of a pipe organ, frames the kitchen's outdoor patio and provides warmth for outdoor dining.

The property is located 90 minutes north of Los Angeles, in Toro Canyon, off Highway 101, just south of Santa Barbara. Montecito restaurants, shopping and beaches are ten minutes away. Santa Barbara is home to museums, an outstanding botanic garden, the Music Academy of the West Music Festival in summer, the Santa Barbara Zoo, and other attractions. Wine tours in Santa Ynez and Santa Maria are 40 minutes over the hill.

house rental amenities

  • 4,200 square feet (400 square meters)
  • Media Room: Desk, stereo and iPod dock, blu-ray video and 50 inch TV
  • Four bedrooms, four and one-half bathrooms
  • Bedroom 1 Master: King size bed, walk in closet, en-suite bathroom with shower and tub, toiletries, TV, fireplace, sliding doors opening to private courtyard
  • Bedroom 2 and Bedroom 3: Queen-size bed, ensuite bathroom with shower/tub toiletries, and writing desk
  • Bedroom 4: King-size bed. en-suite bathroom, shower, sliding door to outdoor terrace , TV
  • Four indoor fireplaces (two wood- burning); one outdoor fireplaces in the kitchen courtyard; "Hollywood Bowl" fire pit in the outdoor lounge area
  • Alarm system
  • Radiant heat
  • Blu-ray video, cable TV, CD player with iPod docking
  • Free wireless Internet and phone calls
  • Dining table seats twelve
  • Baby grand piano
  • Washer/dryer
  • Chef's Kitchen
  • Expresso and automatic coffee makers
  • Sub-zero fridge and wine fridge
  • Blender, juicer, toaster, two dishwashers
  • Microwave
  • Ice-maker
  • Walk-in pantry with second fridge
  • Fireplace and sitting chairs
  • Kitchen courtyard- gas barbeque drill, outdoor fireplace, outdoor dining table and herb garden
  • Outdoor speakers
  • Linens and towels provided

vacation rental rates

Nightly Rates: 3 Night Minimum
Sep/Oct/Nov (excl holidays) $900.00
Dec/Jan/Feb/Mar (excl holidays) $750.00
Apr/May $900.00
Jun/Jul/Aug & Holidays $1,100.00  

Weekly Rates:
Sep/Oct/Nov (excl holidays) $6,000.00
Dec/Jan/Feb/Mar (excl holidays) $4,900.00
Apr/May $6,000.00
Jun/Jul/Aug & Holidays $7,000.00  

Weekly Rates: 7 Night Minimum REQUIRED
Thanksgiving, Christmas:  $7,000/week

Monthly Rates:
Please inquire about monthly rates.

Additional Rate Policies:
• $3,500 Refundable Security Deposit (Security Deposit refunds are made by check in U.S. dollars.)
• $400.00 Non Refundable Cleaning Fee
• 10% Occupancy Tax
• Cleaning fee and security deposit are subject to change on stays of 30 days or longer or with events.
• All monthly rates do not include utilities.
• No pets allowed.
• Holiday Rates apply for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Memorial Day, Labor Day and UCSB Graduation.
•We accept checks, Visa and Mastercard.

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Santa Barbara vacation rental

This vacation rental has been listed since 12/23/2011.

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