Joshua Tree, California, USA
Kitsch desert ranch retreat with hacienda-style suites made for ‘nesting’ near Joshua Tree National Park - 30 minutes (and a world away) from Palm Springs
If Palm Springs' LA-transplanted vibe is a wedge between you and
the stunning desert landscape, hightail it up Highway 62. At the
cusp of the Joshua Tree National Park - known for its 'tormented'
trees and Dali-esque rock formations - the crossroads town of
Joshua Tree puts on no airs. Shopping tends toward rock climbing
gear and trail guides. Nightlife is a campfire under a star-studded
sky or ribs and rockabilly at a local honky tonk.
Drew Reese and Mindy Kaufman left high-powered careers as a wine consultant and home accessories designer to adopt the cartoon alter-egos that greet you to the relaxed vibe at Spin & Margie’s Desert Hide-a-way. The 3-acre spread is dotted with found art - retro road signs, handmade birdhouses, rusted cans caught in a 'tornado' of barbed wire. Over yonder, there’s a picnic area with bocce ball and horseshoes. A fountain splashes in the adobe courtyard furnished with 1950s shell-back lawn chairs. The colourful hacienda-style suites are cabin-cosy (most have kitchens and thus good for families) with city-slicker amenities from WiFi to deep soaking tubs, little luxuries (think hot cocoa and bath salts), plus Spin & Margie’s personal advice and colourful commentary booklets.
Reviewed by Joyce Copeland
- Off-the-beaten-path serenity; tucked amongst cacti and trees, with desert style landscaping and amazing mountain views
- Fun and folksy; "This will be an adventure you’ll remember," promises Spin & Margie’s custom-designed 48-hour guide to the area
- Just 3 miles from Joshua Tree National Park, a world-class rock-climbing venue with 200 miles of equestrian trails and two dozen hiking trails
- Individually designed suites (sleeping 2-6) dressed in bold Southwest colours, with kitsch Wild West paraphernalia and Mexican textiles
- Make-yourself-at-home grounds with a fire pit, sociable picnic area with gas BBQ, and an open area with sunloungers and shade (a great spot for stargazing)
- No pool or spa. There's not much to do but relax and soak up the majesty of the wide open spaces
- The turn-off is marked by a tiny highway sign; plan to arrive before dusk
- Low-key reception and no concierge except Spin & Margie's own 48-hour guide
- Towels are changed and toilet paper, soap and coffee are replenished every 3 days; otherwise maid service is by request
- Potential traffic noise in the suites closest to the highway, but all have sound-proof windows
A little southwest, a little 1950s kitsch, a little Ritz-Carlton...Lonely Planet