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 cascading purple and white wisteria.
The villa, built amid the surrounding quartz monzonite boulders, was created by Dale Allan Pelton, a Hollywood based film production designer and architect. On the west side of the villa, the terraces of 150 rose bushes with a border of purple French lavender form a dramatic contrast to the savage landscape of boulders 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 crimson oleanders, 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 colors of the Moroccan pottery complement the vivid paintings of the Parisian artist, 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 and original paintings and a rock sculpture from the film, 'Battlestar Galactica.' There is an excellent stereo system with an Ipod dock, and selection of CDs. There is no cable TV so that one can enjoy the quiet natural sounds of the desert. However, there is a DVD and VCR receiver,film videos available and a high speed wireless internet connection.
Although the kitchen is modest in size, it has top quality cookware, porcelain service for 12, wine glasses, baking ware, all imaginable cooking utensils, blender, coffee bean grinder, oversize toaster, programmable coffee maker, a micro wave, a new stainless steel 22 cubic foot refrigerator. There is a library of cookbooks in the living room bookcase. The stove’s oven has baked many turkeys, but will soon be replaced with one with higher BTU burners. Counter space being limited, a large kitchen table (which expands to 7 feet) may be pulled out to form a work space allowing 2 or 3 persons to work simultaneously. The gas barbecue is on the kitchen terrace just 12 feet from the kitchen. The dining terrace overlooks a Joshua tree amid the boulders. Near the kitchen, there is an tone 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. There are 8 wooden chairs inside, and 6 plastic ones outside, with an 8 foot table on the living/dining room terrace which seats 10. On the north terrace, there are two chaise longue chairs. The cushions for the chaise are stored in baskets under the marble table inside.
The large swimming pool has a salt electrolyte purification system and a beautiful gemstone pebble surface. The best swimming months are April to mid October. The two pool terraces have a table with six lounge chairs. When not in use, the pool chairs should not be left close to the water, because a sudden wind storm will blow them into the pool creating a contamination problem. There is a large market umbrella stored in the middle bedroom closet. It is kept inside when not in use, because of the sudden wind storms which spring up unexpectedly which can instantly destroy an umbrella.
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. This is such an inaccessible region of the park you will not encounter any other hikers to disturb your splendid solitude.
Excellent restaurants are to be found in Twentynine Palms: Bistro Twentynine, Wonder Garden Cafe, 29 Palms Inn.) Joshua Tree: Crossroads Café and the Thai or Indian restaurant.