The Space The pictures say it all. You'll be staying in our guest pool house, a standalone and private structure. We will most likely be here - we live here all year long. You will be enjoying the guest house for the duration of your stay and you will only be sharing the yard and pool with us. The guest house is customarily used when our relatives and friends visit, so it's really cozy and setup for someone to live comfortably. It has a lot of light, breezy (no AC), and it's super quiet.
The guest house living area is open and spacious at 17' by 19' (5.1 m x 5.8m), or ~323 sq ft (~30 m2). It's an open space with a convertible couch, a work/desk area, a full kitchen, a dining table, a large fridge, and an entertainment console. Regularly it sleeps two, but it can sleep up to 4 people. However, if you are more than 2 you need to let us know so we setup another convertible couch. The convertible couch is very comfortable - really like sleeping on a regular bed. It can be setup as a double bed or two singles side by side (see pictures). We provide bedsheets, pillows and covers but you'll have to setup the bedding yourself unless you tell us upfront how you'd like it.
As far as outdoor amenities, there is a pool that you can use at your own risk (waiver needed, see rules), a lounge, and a table/eating outside area. We provide beach/pool towels and feel free to use the inflatable toys the kids leave lying around (but please don't destroy/break/damage them). The pool is heated from April to end of October at 82 degreed Fahrenheit (27.7 Celsius). We also have a wood pellet BBQ (Traeger) that you can use upon coordinating with us for availability (we provide the pellets). Outside areas will have to be shared/coordinated for use with us so we don't get in the way of each other, or we can share and make it a pleasant experience for all. Important! If you are traveling with young children or there are adults who can't swim, you need to let us know so we can put the pool safety fence in place.
Entertainment in the guest house consists of an LCD TV with a cable box with the same package we use (CNN, HBO, etc and onDemand) as well as a first generation Wii. The sound system is surround and it has a jack setup to the external line so you can connect your phone or iPod. We have two kids and as such, plenty of toys, board games, cards, etc you can borrow upon asking.
The kitchen has a sink with garbage disposal, a conventional oven and four burner stove, a microwave oven, a toaster oven, an expresso coffee maker (we provide the coffee), and silverware, cups, utensils, pots, pans, etc. We also provide two rolls of kitchen paper towels and some cloth kitchen towels. There is a full size fridge in the unit as well for your convenience (with freezer) and if it's too noisy it can be turned off at night. In the same area as the kitchen there is a round table that sits four, for you to enjoy your coffee or a meal you prepare.
The bathroom is nicely sized with a stand up shower, a sink, place to put your toiletries, a toilet and good lighting. We provide bath towels, shampoo, soap, hair dryer and, of course, we live here so we'll try to accommodate all reasonable needs and requests you might have. There is a washer and drier you can use in a room adjacent to the guest house, we will provide detergent but you'll have to coordinate with us for access and instructions of use.
There are some drawers for putting clothes and some hangers for a few pieces of clothing. Also, the working area has a 1GBit router for cable connection and a good sized desk and very comfortable office style chair. The window above the desk looks (North) into the pool and a nice big tree in our neighbor's yard. It's a great peaceful and bright place to get work done. Guest Access You can come in and out as if you were in a home of your own. Try to not make much noise (especially if coming in late). Access to the guest house is via the driveway and right across the yard.
When you arrive you will have to knock on the main house's door or call us. Try to let us know with some advance notice what time you expect to arrive. There will always be a person here to welcome you (unless we agree/arrange otherwise) and while you are here there are always people in the house (kids, maid, etc) and we both work from home most of the time. That said, you'll get two gate and guest house keys for your use.
Attention: You must be ok with being on camera/recorded when arriving/leaving and when in the backyard. We have a security system that includes exterior cameras (only outside around the property - gate, driveway, main entrances, side of the house, etc) and it records 24/7. Interaction with Guests All of us love guests (even the dogs). We are always available to provide tourist advice, tell you stories about Los Angeles, moving to the US, studying here, our travels, our home countries, etc. If you need privacy when in the pool and yard we can always talk about when the best times are, etc.
Feel free to pet and even play with the dogs as they love attention and are harmless. There is really nothing they do of harm. They tend to get very excited and playful and sometimes people get scared. Needless to say, always be nice and treat them with respect and care. To note, if you don't like dogs (or have kids who are afraid) just let us know and we'll get them into the main house and out of the way for the duration of your stay. Same rules apply with our kids :)
We want this to be a great experience for all involved! The Neighborhood We live in a quiet neighborhood where people know their neighbors. It's mostly families that live here. This neighborhood is a very safe residential area with light pedestrian traffic because just a 2 minute walk up the street and you are at a brand new bike path (we can talk about letting you use our bikes). We customarily walk the dogs at night and our children go around the neighborhood with no problems or concern.
Just up the street, not more than a 8 minutes walk, you have Pico Blvd. This is a stretch that has a major shopping mall (West-Side Pavilion) with food court, movie theaters, some great standalone restaurants, stores (a lot) including big name brands. Along Pico starting at Military and eastward towards Overland avenue there are also a lot of street style stores, a couple ice cream places, and lots of restaurants: Thai, Korean, Sushi, Chinese, Brazilian, Deli, etc. And even a couple of bars and a night club. Speaking of food, we're also very close to the neighborhood called Little Tokyo, which is about a 5 minute drive or 15 minute walk away. There you'll find an even more active street with lots of Asian food stores, supermarkets, etc. Very active at night especially on the weekends.
See the getting around section for more details, but our house is close to just about anything you'd care to visit in LA: Sta Monica, Downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, UCLA/Westwood, Sawtelle/Little Tokyo, Culver City, hiking trails, the Getty Museum, Venice Beach, Marina Del Rey, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa, and the Santa Monica Mountains, two main freeways , LAX Airport, and DisneyLand.
Groceries, etc. There is a Trader Joes down the street on National Blvd, about a 10 minute walk away, and a VONS and CVS (and some burger and taco places) also about the same distance from here. Getting Around Parking is on the street and you will need a permit. We provide permits up to two vehicles for the duration of the stay only.
You'll be very close (within 5 miles, 3 km) to Beverly Hills, UCLA/Westwood, Sawtelle/Little Tokyo, Culver City, hiking trails, etc. Also within 6 miles (10 km) are the Getty, Venice Beach, Marina Del Rey. A bit further (at around 10 to 15 miles (16 to 20 km) are Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa, and the Santa Monica Mountains. We're also right next to the two main freeways if you're heading North or South, East or West. We travel for business often and LAX is about 20 minutes away (~7 miles) and Disney Land is around 45 minutes to 1 hour away (~40 miles, ~65km).
By Metro Light Rail: Two minutes walking distance away and you are at Metro Expo light rail line. Get on the train at the Sepulveda/Expo station and the train takes you to Sta Monica in about 20 minutes or downtown Los Angeles in about 35. If you head downtown there are other lines that connect to the Expo Line and will take you to Hollywood, the valley/Universal Studios, etc. A ride is about $1.75 and it lasts for transfers and trips up to 1 hour (but check their website and kiosks for specifics).
Biking Around: there is a new bike path 2 minutes away that goes all the way to the ocean in Sta Monica. A bicycle ride to Sta Monica is 6 miles (each way) and it should take you 30 minutes to an hour depending on how fast (or slow) you want to take it. You can also walk or run there :). Marina Del Rey is also a great place to go by bicycle (around 6 miles, 10km each way) and it's where you can rent kayaks, paddle boards, and even sailboats to explore one of the largest man-made marinas in the US.
Also close by (20 or 30 minutes drive) is Malibu. Just hop on the 10 FWY (entrance 2 minutes away by car) and you'll be driving down to the PCH (HWY 1) and up the coast to Malibu along the Sta Monica bay.
By Bus: all bus stops you'd care for are on Pico, Sepulveda or National and they are also at about a 10 or 15 minutes walking distance away.
To sum it up. you can walk around the neighborhood to go to stores, restaurants, movies, groceries, etc. You can venture a bit further and check out UCLA, Westwood, Sawtelle (Little Tokyo). You can bike ride on the bike path all the way to Sta Monica. Or you can take the light rail also to Sta Monica or Downtown and even transfer to other lines and go as far as Universal Studios. There are also buses that take you further but for that we tend to recommend Uber or Lyft. Otherwise, if you have your own car. We're at a very central place and pretty much everything around you'd like to visit is less than an hour away (except of course, depends on the crazy LA traffic and time of day). Other Things to Note We hope you enjoy staying so much, you might not want to leave :) ...