Surrounded by tumbleweed, cactus, and the twisted trunks of Joshua Tree National Park, 20 miles east, this 10-acre retreat is all about the stars. Hollywood celebs like Gene Autry and Roy Rogers used to hole up here in the 1950s, but we’re also talking galaxies, smeared across the expansive, dark desert sky. You can stargaze from the Adirondack chair on your private patio, which proprietor Jim Austin keeps warm with a wood-stoked firepit. During the day, you can lounge in the hammocks or swim in the pool, an aboveground oasis filled with mineral water. Built in 1947, the property’s four knotty-pine cabins are decorated in “desert eclectica”—antique lamps, patchwork quilts, and vintage posters. Austin considers Rimrock his ongoing art project, and repeat guests are likely to notice new additions every few months: an 18-ton rock heart sculpture for weddings, say, or even the strikingly modern, multiuse space he constructed with a suite for rent. Rimrock is a far cry from the Four Seasons, and that is entirely, exactly the point.
Best time to go: Early spring, when the desert wildflowers are in bloom.