The 10 best desert hotels to visit this year

Otherworldly, vast and mystical – the desert has long served as a destination for the thoughtful traveler. Although the elements are extreme, its inhabitants are resilient and prove that this landscape is among the most majestic on the planet. It also happens to be home to some of the most spectacular properties in the world, many of which offer sweeping views of dramatic mountain ranges and sprawling desert flora (think cacti, palm trees and all manner of grasses and flowers). If your travel intentions this year include themes related to wellness, relaxation, and mindfulness, it’s time to book your stay at one of the best desert hotels.

Several states in the United States enjoy serene desert environments, including California, Utah, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. In these unique climates, there are a multitude of accommodations to discover (rentals and resorts), all of which incorporate natural elements into the architecture and design. From the iconic red rock country in Arizona to the magnificent Joshua Trees in California, each habitat is rich in biodiversity and sets the stage for a few magical days. Ahead, 10 properties that prove a trip to the desert are set to be on the 2022 schedule.

Villa Kuro: Joshua Tree, California

Nestled on 3.6 acres of unfenced land in Joshua Tree, California is Villa Kuro, a beautiful hideaway that blends into the desert landscape. Designed by Mini Inno and inspired by nature and Wabi-Sabi, the 2000 square foot rental is fodder for devotees of minimalism. Relax by the fireplace or in the saltwater hot tub and meditate in the national park that surrounds Villa Kuro. The ranch-style property, originating in the 1960s, features a master and guest bed and bath as well as a kitchen, living room and tea room, all of which incorporate natural materials like wood, woven textures and ceramics. And because it’s desert, you can expect dotted with native flora, including cacti and yucca palms.

The Joshua Tree House: Tucson, Arizona

With locations in both Tucson, Arizona, and Joshua Tree, California, The Joshua Tree House is a true desert destination that attracts travelers who appreciate carefully crafted interiors set in wild locations. The Arizona Outpost is a five-suite inn that borders the western side of Saguaro National Park and spans 38 acres. Scattered throughout the property, you’ll find an abundance of Saguaro cacti and other native plants that accent the on-site pathways, pool, hot spring, rooftop terraces and more. Design elements that really stand out include the new Fireclay tile combined with older Talavera tiles from the original abandoned inn as well as renovated bathrooms which have been documented on their site for visitors who wish to emulate the aesthetics of their own home.

Willow House: Terlingua, Texas

Six miles from Big Bend National Park, there’s a community style of hospitality at Willow House. The 12-casita property allows guests to cook a meal, mix a cocktail, and get to know each other, all while enjoying the privacy that can only be experienced on 250 acres of private land. Here, sweeping views of the Chisos mountain range serve as the backdrop while the modern, high-desert design is highlighted in the foreground. The color palette and textures found around Willow House exist naturally in this land of Wild West Texas; for example, for the shade structures, the team used dead ocotillo branches collected around the property and for the rock walls and pathways, rocks from various areas of the property were used.

Castle Hot Springs: Morristown, Arizona

At Castle Hot Springs, you can spend your days soaking in mineral-rich hot springs, venturing into the surrounding Sonoran Desert, and devouring the cuisine grown on the property’s three acres with over 150 different crops each season. . It’s the kind of magical place where every agenda item revolves around nature in its purest, wildest form. Accommodations range from bungalows that have a covered outdoor patio with a fireplace, to the Sky View cabin that offers stunning views of the desert sky and an outdoor clawfoot tub (the creme de la creme of in-room amenities, really). ). There’s also The Historic Cottage, which once hosted guests like the Roosevelts, Rockefellers and Vanderbilts. From farm tours and geothermal baths to guided hikes and e-bike tours in the desert, you’re almost guaranteed to leave Castle Hot Springs recharged and inspired.

The Everyman: Yucca Valley, California

As do many successful desert properties, the concept of Le Chaceul relied on the rugged landscape to inform the design. Located in Joshua Tree with endless views of the Yucca Valley, this minimalist haven is about as scenic as it gets. Designer-architect Mila Morris and furniture designer and welder Jona Maaryn are behind the Chaceul, each bringing their expertise to bring this serene structure to life. Surrounded by Joshua Trees and located between the main entrance to the national park and Pioneertown (home to the iconic Pappy and Harriet), it is well placed. But truth be told, you’ll probably want to stay put to relax in the modern minimalist environment executed in an understated color palette and with organic materials that reflect the splendor found outside.

Amangiri: Canyon Point, Utah

Virtually synonymous with a secluded desert escape, Amangiri is an otherworldly luxury resort set on 600 acres of the Colorado Plateau that draws on its natural surroundings – canyons, mesas, ridges, gorges – to immerse the customers in Navajo red rock country. Architects Marwan Al-Sayed, Wendell Burnette and Rick Joy guided the property’s aesthetic, with its use of natural materials like concrete walls. Each of the suites comes with an outdoor living room and fireplace with desert views, and Camp Sarika (a five-minute drive from Amangiri) offers a private wilderness experience with indoor living and dining areas. as well as terraces with fire pits and plunge pools. The dining program leans towards the culinary heritage of the Navajo, as do Amangiri’s “cultural encounters” which encourage visitors to learn more about the ecology, geology and human history of the lands they enjoy. in addition to the traditions of neighboring Native American tribes.

Ojo Caliente Resort: Ojo Caliente, New Mexico

As one of the oldest health spas in the country (it opened in 1868), Ojo Caliente is a high desert sanctuary. Visitors are drawn to the property’s mythical natural spring waters where a daily bath easily becomes a ritual and the cultural significance of the surrounding land is felt in full force. Each of the thermal pools is naturally sulfur-free and rich in iron, arsenic, soda and lithia and you can experience different designs and views depending on which pool you visit. While there, you can also explore scenic hiking and biking trails or try your hand at birdwatching (this habitat is home to several migratory species). End your day in one of the Pueblo-style suites decorated with regional details like Vigas wood, traditional rugs and Taos-made art. Or book your room in the historic hotel which is over a century old and offers a porch and rocking chairs for ultimate relaxation.

Enchantment Resort: Sedona, Arizona

With just one look at Enchantment Resort, it’s easy to understand the vast appeal of this property. Set in front of (and all around) Arizona’s spectacular Boynton Canyon with its rugged peaks and iconic red hue, a stay here is nothing short of magical. The resort has its own team of adventure guides who can lead you on hikes and bike rides through the high desert pine and juniper forests or under the sandstone cliffs. You can then relax with a massage (note: the resort’s famous Mii amo Spa is currently on hiatus but spa services are available through the Boynton Canyon Spa Suites at the Enchantment Resort). Settle into one of the Casita rooms with interiors that reflect regional decor or hang out in one of their Pool Suites featuring your own plunge pool, viewing deck and outdoor patio.

Korakia Pensione: Palm Springs, California

Palm Springs has long been a destination for desert enthusiasts, but at Korakia Pensione — a resort with Moroccan and Mediterranean influences — the vibe is particularly distinct. The property consists of two restored historic villas (one Mediterranean, the other Moroccan) on 1.5 acres of land consisting of bungalows, guest houses as well as gardens and swimming pools. Guests are surrounded by citrus blossoms, olive trees, bougainvillea vines, and decorative details like Moroccan fountains and a stone waterfall. Take a cruiser bike to visit nearby residential architecture and enjoy the surrounding nature or go for a swim in one of the two heated saltwater pools with views of the San Jacinto Mountains. Guests can also book a private massage or yoga class during their stay and every afternoon there is Moroccan tea time to sip by the fireplace or in the library.

Miraval Resort & Spa: Tucson, AZ

For a wellness journey like no other, head to Miraval Resort & Spa in Arizona where your journey begins with an invitation to choose your intention, ranging from connection to self to grief and loss. From there, guests can engage in soul-enriching activities like yoga, meditation, hiking, wellness counseling, painting, and more. The casita-style rooms, suites and villas all feature a Tibetan singing bowl as well as a meditation cushion and guided meditation channels, further reinforcing that every guest will leave in a better state of mind than they did not enter it. Other must-do experiences at Miraval include an artisan taco class that teaches guests about generational farming and biodiversity, while sampling delicious tacos made from fresh ingredients. Also be sure to spend some time in Miraval’s 16,000 square foot Life in Balance Spa which offers a range of services including Ayurveda, energy and massage.

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