|Minimum Stay||2 nights|
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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.
Our large pool surrounded by giant boulders as of June, 2015 is heated to 79 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. TThere 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.
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 75 rose bushes with a border of purple French lavender form a dramatic contrast to the savage landscape of boulders and pool beyond.
There is 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.
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.
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.
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, large groups will 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 Chuckawalla 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 hikers to disturb your splendid solitude.
Excellent restaurants are to be found in Twentynine Palms: Bistro Twentynine, with French continental cuisine, Red Lotus with Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. In Joshua Tree: Natural Sister’s Café with organic cuisine, Royal Siam with Thai cuisine, Crossroads Café, Joshua Tree Health Foods and Sam’s Restaurant with Indian cuisine. Yucca Valley, great pizza and calzone at Pie for the People and a custom ground coffee house in Joshua Tree: Kimi Sushi, Carrows, a franchise restaurant, The Rib Company with barbecue. Pioneertown: Pappy and Harriet’s Saloon, with live music on weekends.
I attended Cherokee school in Oklahoma with Indians and poor whites. War games and fist fights were the events at lunch time. After feeding the chickens, pulling weeds, fighting prairie fires, I read books in the magical forest across the creek.
After wrestling for Oklahoma State and University of Nebraska, I studied philosophy at University of Tulsa, writing newspaper reviews of cinema, literature, essays on ethics and politics. During my college years, I hitchhiked across America, Key West, Florida, New Orleans, San Francisco, through slums of Mexico City, Guatemalan jungles and San Salvadorian barrios, journeys which have inspired the characters in Celine on Fire.
Working as a white journalist for Tulsa’s black newspaper, I returned from King’s march from Selma to Montgomery to deliver an address, Thunder in the Ghetto, in the rebuilt Church which had been burned to the ground in the 1921 Race Riot. I organized concerts for jazz musicians, Baby Face Willette and Odetta, opened The Bastille, a folk music, rock/dance club.
During two years at the UCLA graduate film school, I directed my thesis, Death of the Red Planet, in 35mm Cinemascope, quadraphonic sound, the first film created by lasers. http://cec.concordia.ca/econtact/11_4/pelton_red_planet.html. filmed in the laboratories of Cal-Tech and sound track created at Cal-Arts. Praised by American Cinematographer, and Hollywood Reporter, the film was invited to the Cannes Festival and played in 600 theaters across America. My first film work was for Battlestar Galactica. While working with Steven Spielberg (The Goonies), Terry Gilliam (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), Paul Verhoeven (Hollowman), designing music videos for Olivia Newton, Travolta, Cindy Lauper, I wrote screenplays at night, East of the Moon, and a musical Celine on Fire. From my original screenplay evoking the spirit of Gene Kelly’s An American in Paris, the story evolved into a historical-philosophical novel set in 1950s Paris.
Dale Pelton purchased this house in 1988
I discovered Joshua Tree in 1968 when visiting my family, original settlers who homesteaded the land in the early 1950s.
I began landscaping the garden 25 years ago. The Italian Stone pines are 22 years old, the rose garden 15 years ago. The terraces and surrounding berms of decomposed granite have been sculpted over the years. Big horn sheep sometimes come off the park into our valley of the moon where bobcats, kit foxes and roadrunners roam.
Peaceful solitude. Large cavern with fire pit for dinner parties close to house.
Large saltwater pool and oversized Jacuzzi spa for six. Many windows and glass French doors open to garden and boulder views from every room, the scent of flowers enveloping the house.
Villa dei Fiori was a lovely weekend retreat for me and several family members. It is peaceful and beautiful. We loved the wildlife including the quails with chicks -- so cute! We actually saw more wildlife around the house than we did in the park. The swimming pool was spectacular fun on the hot afternoons. There were many thoughtful touches, such as children's books and toys. None of us wanted to leave!
Villa dei Fiori is a beautiful escape from city life. The house itself is quite beautiful and very comfortably accommodated six women. The location is very close to the National Park. There is a great hike right off the back of the house or it's just a few miles away from the park entrance. The hot tub and pool spaces are also amazing. We used the jacuzzi at night - and the setting is absolutely perfect with bright, shining stars for miles. Thanks to Dale for a great weekend! We can't wait to come back!
Dale was a great host, and the villa was lovely. We truly enjoyed having fires outside as the weather was cool ~ the pool was cool too! A little hard to get used to, but when the day got hotter it was great. The cave was exciting for the kids ~ if a little small ~ it is a beautiful phenomena, to see the huge rocks that are wedged into each other. The hike up the boulders is wonderful, the whole setting is very special. It is very obvious that Dale has spent many years fine-tuning the gardens and the many nice touches inside.
He even left us food to set out for the quail to come in close to the windows in the mornings ~ so cute!
Thanks again for having us Dale. We just wish we could have had more time to peruse the libraries and all the wonderful touches in the home. We'll be back ~ it will be great when you have 2 bathrooms!
Villa dei Fiori ranks as our favorite VRBO experience. The owner has spent 30 years making this serene setting in the desert his own. The backyard abuts the base of a large hill of boulders affording you complete privacy. There are plenty of shaded and open areas to sit outside and admire the gardens. The pool is very large and at night the Jacuzzi is delightful amidst the lit up landscape and under the stars. Indoors the home oozes charm – you have an exquisite library to peruse and the artwork is eclectic. On our last day we were lucky enough to sight a juvenile bobcat that the owner helped release back into the wild after she was rehabilitated at the local Humane Society. The coyotes serenaded us at night and we had plenty of humming birds, rabbits and road runners visit us during the day. This was a transformative travel experience for our family. Thank you, Dale.
My kids and I had the pleasure of staying at Dale's property for a few nights. Pulling up it looked like a movie set - the rocks, gardens & dirt road were such a departure from our city life we knew we were in for a great adventure!
The house is lovely & well appointed. The beds were comfortable & kitchen stocked with utensils. I can't speak enough of the grounds. We enjoyed breakfast on the patio every morning & listened to the quail. The kids had so much fun in the caves - scrambling up rocks & star gazing at night while the coyotes howled in the distance!
There is an incredible hike just out the back door & no crowds of the park to deal with! We only wish we could have stayed longer to enjoy the pool & played more! This is truly a gem in gorgeous Joshua tree!
We loved every minute of our week sharing Villa de Fiora with long-time friends. Having explored the rocks of southern Utah since our college days, we knew that this was the place for us from the moment we saw the pictures on this website. In January, the beautiful pool was mostly enjoyed as a reflecting pool; a bit chilly for swimming, but a delight for quiet meditation.
Awaking to see granite boulders just outside the bedroom windows made for a perfect start of our days. Coffee is life! With the Villa nestled in the rocks, the landscaping is outstanding. With nearly every room having French doors, the lovely gardens were especially inviting with well placed outdoor furniture.
With beauty all around us, it was difficult to get motivated to leave for our for our daily hike in nearby Joshua Tree National Park. However, the Villa is centrally located between the towns of Twenty-nine Palms and Joshua Tree and even closer to Indian Cove entrance of the national park. Better yet, scrambling up the rocks past the "valley of the moon" and the granite ridge beyond take you to your own private parkland, perhaps circling the neighboring otherworldly Facebook Estate.
After returning from our hikes, our daily ritual was to take a delightful hot tub while the sun set, again surrounded by granite boulders. After bathing, we would cook a feast in the well-appointed kitchen. Following dinner, we relaxed in the comfortable living room, playing music and singing favorite tunes or planning our next day's outing.
Perhaps, an after dinner soak in the hot tub allowed us to star gaze. Well-placed outdoor lighting lit the boulders to perfection. Did I say that the Villa has a multitude of granitic boulders!
Beyond words, the CHI, life energy, of the place is exceptional. Having arrived feeling worn down by grief of recent loses, each day renewed our spirits more fully. Our week passed all too quickly, but we left feeling rejuvenated. Thanks to Dale for creating and enlivening this special place! We will be back...
Swimming in spring and summer, Wild animal and bird Watching, Cave and wilderness exploring. Astronomy, Star Gazing. Resort town, shops, renown art museum and casinos in nearby Palm Springs.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event|
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
|Notes: Rates are based on 4 guests; add $30 per night, per additional guest|
|Pet Fee||$100 + Tax|
Basic rental rate for two night stay $900 for 2 - 4 guests, two night stay, $1000 for 5 guests, $1100 for 6 guests, $1200 for 7 guests, $1300 for 8 guests + 7% county tax. Midweek can be lower on short notice. Weekly rate is regular $2600 – $3400 holidays. Major holidays and spring break is $550 per night for 4 guests, with a minimum number of nights. Events are subject to discussion.
Major holidays like Spring Break, Thanksgiving or Christmas have one week minimum, $3400 - $3800 depending on number of guests. Sometimes a 5 night minimum applies. Best to call 323 287 6528 for rate on holidays and spring break.