(Note: the Joshua Tree National Park is open for visitors during the U.S. government shutdown. There will be no park rangers, bathrooms, or entrance fee during the shutdown.)
Villa dei Fiori is a romantic escape on 14 acres on the boundary of the Joshua Tree National Park. Pine log pergolas cover the surrounding five terraces with arbors of climbing roses and cascades of wisteria.
September is the height of the swimming season with the pool temperature around 76 degrees while it is 95 in the afternoon. The nights cool off to the high 70s. Night time temperatures begin to dip in late October, perfect for the hiking season.
If you wish to stage, a birthday party, or photo shoot involving a greater number of guests than our 10 - 12 guest vacation rental limit, BEFORE making a reservation request please read the rules below on how to proceed. We no longer host weddings unless they are small.
Our large pool surrounded by giant boulders as of June, 2015 is heated to 78 degrees, the perfect temperature for swimming. The swimming season lasts until the first week of October, after which time it begins to cool down due to falling night time temperatures. Depending upon night time temperatures, it sometimes is possible to heat the pool in advance of June. There is a fee of $400 for heating the pool to a higher temperature but is only possible when night time temperatures have risen into the mid to high 60s. It is important to remember that Joshua Tree is high desert, Palm Springs is low desert. Joshua Tree is often 15 degrees cooler than Palm Springs, which means swimming weather comes in late spring, early summer and runs into October. During the winter the large six person Jacuzzi is popular.
When summer temperatures rise above 100 degrees, the Jacuzzi is shut down because it can overheat to a dangerous 106 degrees or above. That's when you'll want the pool which will be around 80 degrees all summer. In October, the Jacuzzi is open again for groups up to 8 guests. Above 8 guests, inquire, because it contains only 400 gallons, and we find that above 4 to 6 guests, overuse fouls the water. It is important to wear no skin lotions of any kind to avoid contaminating the filter system.
The villa is a extensive renovation of a original historic homestead built in the early 1950s, with 13 French doors leading to five terraces on the North, East, South and West of the house. Villa dei Fiori, means 'House of the Flowers' in Italian, so named because of the climbing roses, jasmine, rosemary, lavender and wisteria growing on five pergolas on each face of the house. In Italian, a 'villa' does not mean a mansion, but rather, a charming country house. Built amid the surrounding quartz monzonite boulders, Villa dei Fiori was created by Dale Allan Pelton, a Hollywood based film production designer and architect. On the west side of the villa, the terraces of 40 rose bushes with a border of purple French lavender and rosemary form a dramatic contrast to the savage landscape of boulders and pool beyond. The estate is six minutes from the West entrance to the Joshua Tree National Park and seven minutes from the East entrance and three minutes to the trail head of the Boy Scout Trail and the spectacular Indian Cove campground with boulder formations that are different that elsewhere in the park.
In the attached video drone shot, you will see a grove of Italian Stone pines on the north. To the south, a terrace of raked sand with a Zen aesthetic, is in the midst of large boulders, perfect for al fresco dining. In the west one can see the snow-capped peak of San Gorgonio. Between the kitchen terrace and the southeast terrace stands a giant Joshua tree, several hundred years of age. The motor court is surrounded by mesquite trees and French lavender, allowing a feeling of complete solitude and pastoral peace.
Near the house, is a cave formed of giant boulders with a bed of soft sand and a fire pit where guests have dinner parties in the evening by the light of an open fire. Crevices in the boulders open to the sky so that one can glimpse the stars at night.
Since Villa dei Fiori is my principal residence, I am selective about to whom I book. I prefer a phone call which allows me to get a better impression of prospective guests, giving me more confidence that they will have respect for a creation that has taken 25 years of hard work. I usually accept only a maximum of 10 guests, on rare occassions, 12 guests. If you are planning to have others on the property for a birthday party, photo or fashion shoot, wedding or other larger occasion, a separate rate and contract must be written. Therefore, an inquiry to set up a visit to the property would be necessary first before making a reservation.
Features - The villa has an European ambiance, with three bedrooms, one painted raspberry and another, magenta, and the living and dining rooms treated with hand-rubbed colors of cognac and amber over an under layer of gold. The master bedroom has a romantic antique bed, its ornate design formed with the tendrils of metal leaves. The second bedroom is furnished with a French sleigh bed and the third bedroom opens onto a terrace with outdoor fireplace surrounded by boulders. The living room is equipped with a sofa sleeper beside double French doors opening upon the West terrace. The deep colors of the walls complement the antique Moroccan urns and vivid paintings of the Parisian artist, Michele Viviane Quence.
Although the house is modest in size, 1400 sq. foot, there are 1600 sq. foot of terraces with pergolas of cascading wisteria and climbing roses. Each room has its own private terrace, accessed by double doors, 13 glass French doors in total, bring the outdoors inside. Some guests like sleeping on the terraces and even in the large cave with soft sand floor, with carpets available.
There is a magnificent library spread throughout several rooms - hundreds of books on subjects as varied as architecture, painting, sculpture, film, biography, literature, photography, fashion, gardening, travel, exotic places, anthropology, history, almost any subject one could think of.
The living room features a silk tapestry, original paintings and a rock sculpture from the film, 'Battlestar Galactica.' While there is no cable TV so that one can enjoy the quiet natural sounds of the desert, it is furnished with a DVD and VCR receiver and excellent stereo system with an i pod dock, and extensive selection of CDs and wireless internet connection.
Although the kitchen is modest in size, it has top quality cookware, porcelain service for 8, wine glasses, baking ware, all imaginable cooking utensils, blender, coffee bean grinder, oversize toaster, programmable coffee maker, a large micro wave, a new stainless steel 22 cubic foot refrigerator and a library of cookbooks in the living room bookcase. The new LG range oven has double ovens of cobalt blue and over sized BTU burners. The gas barbecue is on the kitchen terrace just 12 feet from the kitchen adjacent to the laundry room. The dining terrace overlooks a Joshua tree amid the boulders. Near the kitchen, there is a fireplace for wood fires on the terrace by the boulders.
Since the number of guests vary, numerous tables are set against the wall, so that guests can make their own decision about the size and placement of their dining arrangements. Groups larger than four, require an additional fee per person, with a maximum of 8 guests. During the high swimming season of summer, there are some dates with a 3 day minimum rental, but most dates have only a two day minimum. Major holidays have a three day minimum and a longer minimum stay during spring break, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year.
Although the villa can accommodate 8 guests, we vet these requests carefully, since we have found that in the past, a group of younger persons sometimes fail to take proper care of the big Jacuzzi spa and the house. However, with a proper understanding and a security deposit, larger groups might possibly be considered.
There are numerous wooden chairs inside, and 20 chairs on the various terraces, plus 3 adjustable lounge chairs for sunning. In the living/dining room, there is an antique dinning table which seats eight, and 6 crimson leather club chairs. On the south terrace, between the house and the boulders there is an oak coffee table and eight garden chairs. Two reclining chaises are at the pool, with a table and 8 chairs on an elevated terrace overlooking the pool.
The large swimming pool has a salt electrolyte purification system and a beautiful gemstone pebble surface. The pool is maintained throughout the year with best swimming months being April to mid October. For an additional charge the pool can be heated, but only through the milder months. The two pool terraces have a table with six lounge chairs and two chaise longes. There is a large market umbrella stored in the middle bedroom closet which may be used at the table above the pool.
Activities: 500 feet, behind the villa, you will discover the hidden valley on the estate. From there you may hike directly into the multi-hued canyons of Joshua Tree National Park. Hiking through the boulders you will spy cactus wrens and ravens, owls and hawks, rabbits, roadrunners and quail. If you are fortunate, you may spy at a distance, a bobcat who lives in my hidden valley, or an increasingly rare Chuckwalla iguana, or Mojave Desert tortoise and on rare occasions, a herd of Big Horn sheep. This is such an inaccessible region of the park on your hikes out of my valley of the moon, you will not encounter any other hi