Despite the huge popularity of Joshua Tree, there are not a ton of places to stay within close driving distance to the park. We were not planning to camp, so needed a place to stay, ideally close to the park since our visit was short (in other words, we weren’t going to drive from Palm Desert or Palm Springs which have a plethora of both nice and ridiculously priced accomodations).
Initially, my husband wasn’t planning to come with me to Joshua Tree, so I was just planning to stay at either the Holiday Inn Express or the Fairfield Inn by Marriott that were reasonably close by. But after we decided to fly in at the same time, I looked a bit more closely at some of the other lodging options that were close to the park.
That weren’t $$$. If I’m spending a ton of time at a hotel, I’m willing to spend more money on the room. But when we were spending all day in the park, and coming back to the room just to sleep, I didn’t want to spend money on amenities that we weren’t going to be using! That’s silliness. So out were the (albeit stunning) expensive boutique lodgings. But I stumbled on Desert Lilly, and with mostly good reviews, decided to give it a shot! I’m not much of a B&B person to be honest–I actually really like the impersonal nature of hotels where I feel like I can be “unseen” as much or as little as I want (I know, I’m weird). But it was super close to the park (like just a few miles…one of the closest options available), the price was reasonable, and DH really, really needs breakfast to start the day. Heh.
All in all it was a really good experience. It is a B&B, but each of the three main rooms (there is also a small guest house accommodation) has its own full bathroom and opens to a central courtyard. Breakfast is served every morning (this was not clear to me at all from the website, but it really is), and is excellent and so much food.
The décor is rustic with a touch of kitsch, but not distasteful or weird. Definitely a desert theme, you are in the desert after all! They are small rooms with just a bed and a bathroom–but again, you are there to sleep and that is about it. The sheets and towels were clean as was the bathroom…critically important!
There is a beautiful patio to enjoy as well as a living room area, complete with cookies and wine! There is also tea and coffee available. We brought dinner back to the B&B and had a lovely conversation with someone else that was staying there – and another nice conversation with some of the other guests one morning at breakfast. Because there are only three rooms, you never feel crowded or like there is a lack of space.
Now, the owner/proprietor of the B&B does have some very specific rules. And from what I can tell, all the bad reviews on TripAdvisor and elsewhere are due to someone 1) not reading, 2) not following directions, or 3) not caring. I get that some of the rules seem a bit over the top (such as do not touch anything in the kitchen). However, it is her home, and even though she is running a business, it seems like respecting other peoples’ wishes is just the right thing to do. No?
All in all, we would certainly recommend the Desert Lily for a stay near Joshua Tree. It is not a luxury hotel, it is a B&B. As long as you remember that, you will have a very delightful stay and enjoy the wonderful scenery. Its location to Joshua Tree National Park is about as good as it gets! And adorable rabbits that are running all over, all the time. We also saw a Gambel’s quail on our drive out. That’s part of the charm of the property and of the desert – so much to explore and enjoy.
Desert Lily. www.desertlily.com. $159/night inc breakfast and wine. Review the cancellation policy and arrival policy before booking.