Pretty Vacant Properties is an architecture project in Joshua Tree, Ca- that you can visit and live in for a few days.  The single most valuable thing we offer, that even the most luxurious hotels can only pretend to, is authentic and unique architecture with new ideas, that rewards the consideration that you give to it.  Something magic happens when you find yourself in a place that isn’t an imitation of somewhere else. There is a great sense of focus, and the time and place are truly your own, and your memories have a setting that holds forever.

The property is 7.5 acres of raw desert, surrounded by 100’s of acres of more raw desert with just a few houses in the area. This isn’t a small suburban property with the neighboring houses carefully cropped out of the photos. The whole point is to be in open space with sand, rocks, and stars, and to let your imagination fill that open space. 

This page includes general information and rental information.
For specific descriptions of each house go to the Rosa Muerta /Acido Dorado tabs above.
To see magazine articles and photo shoots go to the YQue tab above.
For more information on the architecture go here-


We don’t publish a calendar because we don’t rent first come / first served.

Robert Stone makes an artform of houses.  He started this side project to share his ideas directly with a real audience that is much wider than the few who could engage in a private custom house project. It is not, and never was, a business- the whole point is to enjoy people who enjoy architecture.

So we ask guests to not approach this as a hotel reservation, and take a moment to introduce themselves and each guest. Nothing extensive is required- just what you would say if you were meeting in the driveway and being handed the keys to a house. The basics are: full names, what you do, where you are from, things you care about, preferred dates, and any plans or special events. There is nothing exclusive about the situation- it isn’t a velvet rope- we simply care about our guests as people because it makes the whole project worth doing.

This approach results in many more available dates for you than would be if we simply filled a calendar months in advance with strangers. Tell us your preferred dates, and specify weekends or weekdays and we will find a time for everyone who really connects with the place.

Email-  for application and reservations.

Rates- We keep the rates as low as possible to allow a diversity of guests. We charge the same rate to every guest- everybody is special, nobody is special. There is a two night minimum for each typical rental, except a 3 night minimum on holiday weekends.

Rosa Muerta- $270 per night weekdays for 2, $310 per night Fri/Sat/Holidays for 2.  There is a $150 cleaning fee and tax applied to each rental. 

Acido Dorado- $570 per night weekdays for 4, $610 per night Fri/Sat/Holidays for 4. There is a $180 cleaning fee and tax applied to each rental..

Photography restrictions-

Private vacation photos are o.k., but please understand that this is copyrighted architecture and our vacation rental contracts have to protect that copyright. Think of the vacation rental  analogous to buying a $1.00 song on itunes- You can download it, enjoy it, share it with friends- but it is unfair to publish it, create a derivative artwork, or use it to promote a person, a product . . . or a person who acts like a product.


Our idea of luxury is a bit different from most vacation rentals. The house is intended to feel like it is “yours” for the few days that you visit. It is super clean, well maintained and well stocked with all of the basics in the kitchen and fresh linens. It is not full of our coffee table books, our vintage record collection, our favorite board games, and cloying knick knacks that express our personality or some generic “desert” theme. Our guests are people who have their own taste in all of these things and we feel that they appreciate not being sold a packaged experience. Bring your own favorite books and see how they seem different in this context, bring your own favorite music or better yet- make your own music. We are providing a truly unique architecture that is a background- but you are the foreground.

We provide a “Users Manual” for the house that lists all of the items in the house and kitchen, suggests things you should pack, and notes how to operate the spa, stereo, locks, showers, etc.

Fashion and Commercial photography-

If you look at our history of photo/production projects we hope it shows that our selection process is art driven- It includes the highest end of luxury fashion brands shot by photography legends,  and boutique magazine editorials shot by artistically ambitious photographers- not much in the middle. Robert once offered to light the house on fire for one of his favorite photographers if she only promised to get the right shot.  The unique and recognizable architecture limits us to just few licensed shoots each year to keep the place interesting for the few projects we want,  so if you think you might have a project that fits, we might be waiting for you.  Direct proposals to .


We are considering hosting up to 2 private events each year. The rates will be commensurate with the size and complexity of the event. 

Joshua Tree-

The natural beauty of the desert landscape is the closest thing to a re-boot of the human mind that you will ever find. This is the reason that most visitors find their way to Joshua Tree. The National Park is just down the road and its intense beauty is impossible to overstate. If you browse a little you can find many websites that tell the story of the area and list its features and attractions.

The weather is generally thought to be the most comfortable in Southern California. It is about 10 degrees cooler than nearby Palm Springs and less humid. There are just a few hot weeks each summer when you’ll want to stay in the shade but the reward of summer nights is far greater. There are a few weeks of cold at 3am but you can sprint from the hot tub to under the covers and ride it out.  It can also be quite dramatic. Many days end up different than they started. If it is hot in the morning there may be a thunderstorm in the afternoon. It can be completely still all day and breezy at night. It is always beautiful.

Joshua Tree also has a storied history as a rock and roll retreat and spiritual tabula rasa. If you are tuned in you will also see glimpses of a d.i.y. cultural utopia that is a hotbed of electronic folk music, rock and roll rebirth, new age naivete, military-industrial complexities, burnouts, high art, low art, and everything in-between. Whatever you find out here, whether it is amazingly good or so wrong it’s right . . .  it was at least somebody’s godhead at some point in time.

The Pretty Vacant houses are located just 10 minutes from the National Park tucked against a rock outcropping on the edge of the city of Joshua Tree. The property is at the end of a dirt road with no other houses on it. There are few other houses in the area and the nearest is 600 feet away so there is a lot of privacy and open desert around.