I am so excited to share a little piece of the article that I got to write for Galavante Luxury Travel Magazine! You can see the full article here!
There’s something about a road trip and connecting with nature. If you add the desert to the equation you have a chance to become a little more grounded and focus on your well-being. Welcome to Joshua Tree, set in Southern California’s Mojave Desert. This is the guide for where to stay, eat and play for a weekend.
Joshua Tree National Monument is two and a half hours away from Los Angeles. Desert folk are definitely their own breed as the locals are protective of retaining the authenticity and spirituality of Joshua Tree. Even the lack of good hotels is by design; it dissuades the LA shaman chic from inundating the area. After all, there’s nothing more disruptive than weekenders looking for Insta-worthy snaps. Ask anyone who lives in the Morongo Valley or Joshua Tree where you can find a luxury hotel nearby and they might just laugh.
There are luxury vacation rentals and Airbnbs spread throughout the nearby rock formations. Some are literally built into the side of rock cliffs and are architectural wonders of stone. They are so cleverly designed that they are almost invisible – blink and you might miss them. The main thing is that accommodations celebrate the ethos of Joshua Tree. A weekend here involves star gazing, exploring the alien landscape, and relaxing in nature. It’s like the opposite of an Instagram moment: a digital detox for the weekend.
If you are looking for a true luxury hotel, travel an hour away from the park to La Quinta Resort and Club. In Palm Springs, The Colony Palms Hotel or The Parker in Palm Springs are some other mainstream options. But, if you truly want the authentic Joshua Tree experience, you don’t need to go anywhere. Spend the morning hiking around Joshua Tree National Park. Finish your day with live music and stargazing. The food may be simple but it’s authentic and damned good. Enjoy a BBQ dinner at the famous Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneer Town.
Here are the top 5 luxury rentals within Joshua Tree for your relaxed stay.
One of the most exclusive homes in the world is available for the first time as an Airbnb Luxe exclusive. This architectural wonder was handcrafted by architect Ken Kellogg and Master Craftsman John Vugrin. Ken Kellogg took organic architecture to new levels. His outstanding design is inspired by the breathtaking landscape of Joshua Tree National Park. The Kellogg Doolittle House offers unparalleled privacy and quiet, with park access steps right from your front door. The house itself forms around 26-winged piers composed of organic material built into the natural landscape. The kitchen and living room stretch softly around an unmoved, million-year-old rock formation. The glass panels let you sneak a peek at every sunrise or sunset, not to mention the Milky Way stretching across the sky.
Named the coolest Airbnb in California in 2021, Sol to Soul is a private 10-acre sanctuary set in a mystical theater of boulders. It is set 3 miles down a private dirt road past a wild terrain of Joshua Trees and granite boulders. It is crowned by a massive whale-shaped rock that towers above the house. The stark design makes it one of the most featured and iconic images of the desert. At sunset, you’ll want to dip into their saltwater hot tub and watch the Milky Way overhead. In the evening, it’s time to hop over to the fire pit to dry off and start cocktail hour. Sol to Soul uses furniture from world-renowned designers like Christian Liagre with handmade Moroccan rugs.
The outdoor living room has an Alejandro Artigas-designed Zig Zag sofa from Artless, Philippe Starck Bubble Chairs, and a fire pit. Every room has floor-to-ceiling sliders with a view of the sky and surrounding boulders, and decks to transition you from inside out into the wild. Only 15 minutes from the local lively hotspot, Pappy and Harriet’s, it’s easy to slip out for some local BBQ and music. You can even make your way back by foot if you’re adventurous.
If you are looking for a good-times desert getaway and “dude ranch feels” with chickens and horses, then Rancho Contento is your perfect spot. Originally built by the local character “Cowboy Ed,” this recently renovated ranch house combines a modern cozy design with some of Cowboy Ed’s original art. The property is set on 10 acres and is ideal for family getaways, romantic escapes, or any creative retreat or outdoor event. There are spots for up to 10 people and the ensemble appears as if you have stepped into a retro farmhouse.
If you want to see all of the places and the rest of the article, check it out on Galavante!