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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Desert Moon Retreat Main House Architectural Gem

Bedrooms 2
Space 2,200 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights


About the property

House, 2 Bedrooms, 2.0 Bathrooms, (Sleeps 6)

Nestled high in the foothills of the Sonoran Desert on the outskirts of Tucson, this is an award winning architecturally significant house by noted architect, Alex Riley. Desert Moon Retreat has 11 round rooms (inspired by the Hopi Kiva), that combined, make up the shape of a crescent moon. The house focuses on the pool area with its tranquil waterfall and in the distance, city lights and stunning mountain views.

With commanding views of three mountain ranges from the full height windows, it is the perfect getaway for the adventure seekers or for those wanting a peaceful desert experience. Accommodations include two bedrooms (king beds), a full kitchen, breakfast nook, two fireplaces, washer/dryer, two office areas and two uniquely appointed bathrooms. Minutes from downhill skiing or a round of golf, or simply basking in the desert sun by the pool, this property offers a unique vacation experience.

Recent improvements to the landscape include a new pebble tec pool and new landscaping in several areas.  With several outdoor seating areas, there are abundant desert botanicals to enjoy surrounding this property. Our guests tell us the photographs don't do it justice!

There is a guest house on site and it shares the pool area and hot tub with this property. If you want privacy you can either rent both or ask us about one of our other houses that are private.

More Details

Desert Moon Vacation Rentals llc
Member since: 2014
Premier Partner

This VRBO partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 26, 2018

About Desert Moon Vacation Rentals llc

The Owners are design professionals, Maria is a licensed Architect and Landscape Architect, with her own general contracting license. Carla is a designer extraordinaire! She specializes in interior and landscape design and is the guiding design force behind all of our vacation rental properties.

Why Desert Moon Vacation Rentals llc chose Tucson

We purchase unique, architecturally significant houses and transform them into wonderful vacation experiences.

What makes this house unique

Return home after staying at one of our properties feeling refreshed and renewed.

Moving to Tucson or thinking about buying or building give us a call or drop us an email.


Tucson House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 2200 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • Max. adults: 6
  • Min. age of primary renter: 18
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed ...
  • Pets considered
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain View
  • Rural
  • Family
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • Dining Room
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • - 1 king
    - 1 king
    - 1 sleep sofa /futon
  • Bedrooms are on opposite sides of the house for complete privacy from one another.
  • Books
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill
  • wheelchair accessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Hot Tub
  • Private Pool
Leisure Activities:
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • rock climbing
Smoking is allowed outside but is not allowed in the house. Becuase of the unique nature of the house and the pool we strongly suggest that children under 6 need to be watched at all times. If you bring a pet you will need to watch it while outside as we have bobcats and coyotes that will attack. Please cleanup after your kids and pets. Also, no kids with diapers allowed in pool or hot tub and not kids under 12 allowed in the hot tub-no exception or you forfeit you security deposit. We do not allow any outside visitors to use any of the facilities. We do not allow parties of any kind-this includes outside guests over for dinner.


3.6/5 -
(11 traveler reviews)

36% Complete
36% Complete
0% Complete
9% Complete
18% Complete
Desert Moon Retreat Main House Architectural Gem
average rating of 3.6363637 based on 11 reviews


  • 5 of 5

We loved this house! So unique, and the yard and pool are beautiful. Loved how it is situated in the middle of the desert, and the house was equipped with everything we needed.

  • Submitted: Apr 7, 2018
  • Stayed: April 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Unique place, wonderful week!

  • 5 of 5

A unique home in a beautiful setting. Very comfortable & plenty of amenities provided. As others have noted, the exposed aggregate floors are a bit rough on the feet, but even thin slippers were enough for comfort. We found we liked being away from the traffic & noise, & didn’t mind the short drives for supplies, attractions, & restaurants. The hosts were friendly, helpful in their suggestions, and accurate in the info they provided. I would definitely stay in one of their properties for another visit.

  • Submitted: Jan 18, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

We had the entire place to ourselves for two days. We had no issues with management. The pool was crystal clear and is the perfect tempature. Star gazing is a must! The design of the home, including the decor, are an anomaly in their own. Do to the amazing location, there is wild life and a lot of bugs, but as long as the home screens/doors stay closed, it should not be a problem. A/C works great. I would love to make this a regular vacation stop. HIGHLY reccomended and tranquil.

  • Submitted: Aug 27, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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0 0

Perfect restful desert retreat, except for one thing...

  • 4 of 5

The house was a treat to stay in. Curved architecture hugs you in an open embrace. Pictures describe the property well. Expansive views, great location and tastefully appointed.

Why 4 stars not 5?

The hot tub was ultimately the reason we selected to stay at this property. The owner violently raged at us for topping off the 2/3 full hot tub with more water. Her reaction to topping off the hot tub was inappropriate, unprofessional, aggressive and shocking. We won't be staying at this property again for this reason.

  • Submitted: Feb 10, 2017
  • Stayed: January 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are intrigued as to why a hot tub would be the reason someone would state as the sole reason to stay at a house such as this, that has so much more to offer than an average hot tub, but, we are sorry the guest was upset at the response they received when they damaged the hot tub. I doubt the response was as "raging" as they state, as I know how damage is handled, but if this guest would have been more respectful of how she used the hot tub, there would have been no damage. As it is, we had to replace and repair parts of the hot tub due to this guest's behavior. AND WE PAID FOR IT!!! WE DID NOT CHARGE THE GUEST FOR THIS AND WE SHOULD HAVE!!! So, take note of the name of this guest, and if you own a vacation rental, beware, and perhaps let this renter know that you expect your place to be treated better than she treated ours. We appreciate our guests, and want them to enjoy their stay, but we also expect our place to be treated better than this guest did. She also left the house unlocked and left the house in a manner that we would never rent to her again.
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3 0

We booked a 3 week stay.

  • 1 of 5

It’s important to realise the adjacent guest house is rented out separately. Every couple of days or so, new folks arrive to share the pool, garden, hot tub etc. We were lucky, all our fellow visitors were pleasant, considerate folk. But with no curtains to draw in the main lounge you have to realise you are not going to be as private as perhaps you first thought. And with the curvature of the property, the guest house looks inward rather than away.

As commented on elsewhere the floors are largely cast concrete with exposed stony aggregate which IS painful to walk on. We had to buy slippers. There is no landline or phone and internet access is via Satellite. A note says that due to bandwith limits guests should not download media files. Access to the net was v slow – not a problem for a day or two, but tiresome for longer stays.

Despite booking what we saw as a luxury Retreat for a stay of 3 weeks and travelling for over 24hrs from the UK, we arrived late in the evening to …nothing… no bottle of water…not even a sachet of instant coffee. Basic motels are more welcoming than this -the same happens in the guest house but were happy to help out our fellow visitors. We learnt that no cleaning was going to be performed during our stay. If we wanted clean sheets or towels then we had to wash them.

Our main problem was insect bites. We thought we’d accidently let in some flying beasties that were nibbling our ankles. But when this persisted and the bites became more frequent we realised that there were fleas in the lounge soft furnishing. Cutting a long and unpleasant story short, the owners wanted to spray the property (with our clothes and food) and could not tell us what was chemical going to be used. We left.

Overall, while the property is delightful, we could not recommend a stay until it is under new management.

  • Submitted: Dec 16, 2015
  • Stayed: October 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: It is unfortunate that this guest feels the need to bad mouth us; he has written reviews to properties we own that he never stated at. He had been in our house for a week before we received any indication that he had received bug bites; we responded to him immediately and he ignored our efforts to resolve his issue, but just continued to complain-in fact, he ignored every attempt we made to contact him and instead continued hurled more complaints at us. He expected us to come in and clean during his stay-no where in our ads or rental agreement does it state that we do that, but it does state that if a guest wants someone to come in, we can arrange it. He complained about the mosquitoes that he let in, at first stating they were fleas. He wanted a refund which we gave him and then he decided to stay an extra day. If the "fleas" were so terrible, as he stated, why did he stay the extra day? I would have left as soon as I received the refund, and not stay an extra day if I was as disgruntled as he seemed to be. We had the place checked by a pest control company after he left and they found nothing-no fleas, no spiders, no pests of any kind and this is something we can prove. He harassed our neighbors, lied to them, and made them uncomfortable (they contacted us). He states that the house faces inward; it has floor to ceiling windows on all four sides, and views to the north, east and south. There are window treatments in both bedrooms and bathrooms-he states no window treatments. We want our guests to enjoy the magnificent mountain views. As to water and coffee: our water is filtered and so we feel there is no need for bottled water and if he had looked a little harder in the kitchen, he would have found coffee, tea, sugar and creamer. We do have concrete floors that can be seen in our photos and most areas also have area rugs-in the bedroom, dining room, living room, bathrooms, kitchen and both front and back doors. While we want all of our guests to enjoy their stay, we were glad to see this person leave. Please look at all of our reviews to get a better understanding of how guests are treated and how they enjoy our rentals. Once in a while there is a rotten egg in the dozen. This rotten egg just makes us want to work harder to please future guests and our repeating guests, and make our rentals as appealing as possible, so we thank you for your comments and life goes on...
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9 1
San Antonio, Texas

House Policy Rules & Usage

  • 2 of 5

Overall we liked this property. However, we did have some issues:

First, we were charged for damage to a pool umbrella that broke during a storm. (And btw, this charge was over and above the unusually high cleaning fee.) There were no directions and policy for usage of the home like we are used to seeing when we have stayed at other VRBO places. We left the house very clean. We washed the dishes and put the dirty linens in one spot. It was just the 2 of us and we are very neat people so we felt the exorbitant cleaning fee was unreasonable, especially in light being charged for the broken umbrella. There were no written instructions anywhere in the house (good luck finding the garbage disposal "on-button"....we FINALLY found it). And there was no instruction saying to close the pool umbrella before we left for the afternoon. Yet, the owner knew that a wind/rain storm had come (as she dropped in unannounced right after the storm to clean the pool) and they still charged us for the minor damage to that umbrella, even though there was plenty of wiggle room to take the cost of the minor umbrella damage out of the cleaning fee.

We have stayed at a lot of VRBO rentals and really enjoy them. This is the first one there has ever been an issue with. Other than no directions/guidelines for the home (and being charged for damage caused during a winding rain storm), it was a nice home.

  • Submitted: Jul 16, 2014
  • Stayed: July 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: While we are glad the guests liked our unique home, they admitted to us that they left the umbrella in the open position during a storm. Had they closed it, the arm would not have broken and we would not have had to replace it. The charge to replace was the same as it cost us. The garbage disposal is a button (no other button near it) and is 8-10 inches to the left of the sink. We wish they would have called us, as we would have been glad to tell them where to look. Everyone else that has stayed at our home found it easily, as far as we know, as this is the first comment about it. Our cleaning rate is for cleaning, not for damage-that is why there is a security damage deposit. All of the research we have done with regard to cleaning fees of comparable homes is in keeping with what we charge. We stayed at a one room studio recently while on vacation and were charged the same rate for cleaning! We are easily reached via email or phone (both of our contact information is left in a frame in the office of the home) so any questions/concerns can be addressed immediately. Our goal is to return the security deposit in full, which we do 99.5% of the time, but we do have to recoup significant damage. Most of the time, we pay for it ourselves. All in all, 99.5% of our guests have had a great stay at our unique and special place in the desert and the proof is in the repeat guests we get as well as the positive comments we receive. This is what we strive for. Please read our other reviews! Thank you.
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14 0


Car: necessary

Steeped high in the northeastern foothills of Tucson, this 3.5 acre property has incredible mountain views.  To the north, the Santa Catalina Mountains, to the east, the Rincon Mountains and to the south, the Santa Rita Mountains.  At night, city lights of the eastern edge of Tucson sparkle.  Many ancient Saguaros live on the property and various desert wildlife can be seen traversing through the wash that dissects the acreage.  Wildlife that have been observed include:  Coyote, Javelina, Lizards, various birds including the beautiful Gambel Quail and the Great Horned Owl, Roadrunners, our resident Gila Monster, Desert Rabbits, Squirrels, Mule Deer and Bobcats.  Near Catalina Highway, Mount Lemmon hiking, biking,skiing and sightseeing await!


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional


  • Rates are based upon 2 people. Additional guests (including kids) are $30 per person per night. We do allow dogs. The dog fee is $15 per day per dog. (No other pets are allowed) Your dog  and additional guests must be pre-approved or you will lose your security deposit;  sneaking in additional guests/pets will result in immediate eviction with no refunds of any kind.  No parties, weddings, family reunions, corporate meetings, group gatherings, etc., of any kind. Renters found to have gatherings with  individuals that are not on the rental party list will forfeit their security deposit. While we do want you to enjoy your stay, we cannot allow group gatherings on this property. This property is monitored.

    The hot tub is for adults and kids over 12 years of age. No diaper aged babies/toddlers allowed in pool or hot tub, even if the diaper was just changed or are wearing special panties-THIS RULE IS FIRM. This applies to adults wearing diapers also.  Breaking this rule will result in immediate eviction with no refunds of any kind.  Your renting this home indicates you are in agreement with this rule. No glass containers allowed in hot tub or pool.  We provide plastic dishware for your convenience.

    We will be asking for your driver's license, the type and color of car you will be driving and the license plate number and state of the vehicle. If you are not comfortable providing this information please look elsewhere for a rental.

    Minimum of a week rental at Christmas, 4 nights at Thanksgiving.

    We may ask for your driver's license number , the type and color of car you will be driving and the license plate number and state of the vehicle.

    Required Fees

    * Cleaning Fee: $150.00 (Flat Rate Per Stay)
    * Additional Guest Fee: $30.00 (Flat Rate Per Person Per Night)
    * Sales Tax (for stays less than 30 days in length): %6.10 (Percentage of Rent & Taxable Fees)

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