Joshua Tree Vacation Rentals, Historic Estate

Just 4 Blocks from Downtown Joshua Tree

Centrally located just half a mile from Joshua Tree National Park's downtown village, The Starlight Villas offers a different type of getaway. Our 6 villa, 1.5 acre property offers a spacious, stylish, and convenient lodging option for visitors of Joshua Tree Park and its surrounding attractions.

Formerly a historic private estate and well-kept secret, The Starlight Villas were fully redesigned and renovated 2012-2013 and are now available for booking.

Our colorful and spacious property is the perfect place to relax, refresh, and use as a base to explore the many attractions and events surrounding Joshua Tree National Park.

We have 6 individually designed and furnished villas ranging in size from 900 sq ft suites up to a 2200 sq ft estate house. (Even our smaller units offer more than twice the space of average rooms in hotels and inns)

Each unity features central air conditioning / heat, a fully-equipped kitchen with full sized refrigerator, new appliances, cookware, tableware, a spacious living room, Satellite TV, and most include a private or semi-private patio. Several other amenities are offered with your comfort and convenience in mind.

Our guests can relax in the abundance of comfortable indoor and outdoor space, perfect for socializing, grilling, picnicking, yoga, creating, bird-watching, meditating, Jacuzzi dipping, sunbathing and stargazing.

We are just blocks away from Joshua Tree’s lively downtown village that features eclectic restaurants, boutiques, a weekly farmers market, antique shopping, an art gallery, organic health store, and saloon.

Joshua Tree's surreal landscapes, majestic rock formations, and clear, starry nights have a way of attracting creative and inspired individuals and groups.

Our visitors come from around the world and include couples, families, hikers, climbers, artists, musicians, and nature lovers drawn to the magical ambiance of this national scenic landmark.

For all of you who have enjoyed the rejuvenating power of the Joshua Tree experience, or perhaps are about to, we look forward to being your home away from home on your upcoming adventure here.

The Story Behind the Starlight 

Sinatra and friends welcome home Elvis in 1960

Sinatra and friends welcome home Elvis in 1960

The Starlight Villas have a rich history dating back to their founding in 1960. At the time, Elvis was king of the airwaves, "Psycho" and "Spartacus" topped the box office, and chrome cars sporting flashy taillights ruled the roads. The remote desert village of Joshua Tree was still 34 years away from being declared a national park and had a sparse population of roughly 2000 residents.


Attracted to the quiet beauty of the desert, a daring Los Angeles Entrepreneur named Leota made the bold move of relocating to Joshua Tree. Undeterred by convention, Leota purchased the conveniently located plot of land on Chollita road, hired a builder, and the estate that would become the Starlight Villas was born. Later married to William Bell, an early executive of the United Parcel Service, together they transformed both the property and the community around them.

Over several decades, the compound was vastly expanded from the original single 2200 square foot lodge to 8 villas and over 10,000 square ft of living spaces, fully walled and gated. The getaway was not advertised or marketed and instead served mostly as a locally known retreat that hosted friends of the family, important community members, and visiting professors to Joshua Tree. Leota had a penchant for designing living spaces that were both comfortable and practical and she had impeccable taste in design. Some of the original vintage wood furnishings she selected are still present today and have been assimilated into the updated Villas.

Throughout her 55 year residency in Joshua Tree, Leota Bell became locally renowned as one of the most caring and generous benefactors to the community. Her charitable trusts provided vast financial support to a number of causes including Copper Mountain College, the Hi-Desert Medical Facility, the Hospice of Morongo Basin, the Senior Support Center in Yucca Valley and the Morongo Basin Unity Home for Women. 

In 2005, Leota single handedly ensured the building of a local 40,000 square ft multi-use sports complex, that is now enjoyed by thousands of students in Copper Mountain College. Leota passed in 2010 at the age of 97. A celebration of her life was held at the "Bell Center" auditorium which her support made a reality.

In 2012, the Starlight Villas were passed along to new ownership. Since, we have successfully repurposed the historic Bell Estate into an exclusive and convenient place for visitors around the world to experience the wonder of Joshua Tree Park.