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Tucson Time Machine Journey–Enjoy Rooftop Sunsets & Wildlife Show

Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 - 6 nights


About the property

Authentic Tucson Experience 3 bedrooms 2 baths on 3+acres

Just 10 miles and 100 years from downtown this brand new adobe home built in the classic Tucson styles offers an authentic Tucson experience. Passing through the entry of the Starlight Casa you cross a gateway between past and present.

The Starlight Casa is a reminder of yesterday and a harbinger of tomorrow incorporating modern passive solar design with ageless building practices originating in Babylon at the dawn of civilization. Though built with all the modern comforts of the present, the Starlight Casa is a portal into the past providing a sense of what life was like for Tucson's pioneers.

Who Else Wants to Feel Like a Pioneer without Sacrificing Comfort?

Then book the Starlight Casa and travel between eras enjoying the best of both incorporating creature comforts of the present while respecting and accentuating Tucson's original architectural elements.

Because you’ve read this far, you deserve a truly authentic Tucson experience, and you’ll find, as you read the entire description, even more...  

Since this is your holiday, your big break from life as usual, you’ll notice this property listing isn’t a few, measly sentences, haphazard room pictures, & a list of features looking just like every other listing.

This is a description more worthy your time, and ready to transport you to another. You may notice as you’re reading that you mind wanders… …picturing what's in store for you during your stay at the Starlight Casa.

You'll be ensconced in an intimate canyon setting studded with massive boulders.

It's the perfect peaceful retreat or a catalyst for tales of adventure. Evidence of Tucson's storied past surrounds the property. The abandoned gold mines in the canyon walls are reminders of hopeful miners from a time long since past. Perhaps you’ll be the next guest to find pottery shards from an earlier civilization along the wash immediately behind the home.

From several points on the property you can…

Feel the Peace from the White Dove of the Desert…

You'll enjoy panoramic views of the mission with its white towers reaching skyward from the surrounding fields. As you look upon the mission from this rare vantage point, you’ll be looking back in time… …back to the birthplace of Tucson.

The White Dove of the Desert, the San Xavier Mission, is Arizona's oldest intact European building. Returning to the Starlight Casa you can experience some of these original architectural elements inspired by the mission.

You can imagine Apache scouts atop the stone towers.

The canyon provided the ideal location for the Apaches to stage multiple raids upon the mission. Visitors from both near and far find the canyon and it's rich history a magical almost mystical place blending past and present in a vortex of time.

Prior to construction the site hosted a sweat lodge conducted by a Native American medicine man possessing an M.D. and Ph.D. Recently an owner of an adjoining vacant lot brought their newborn to the canyon for a naming ceremony ritual. If the location has this much appeal to natives, how much more magnificent will it be for your vacation?

Without this invitation you wouldn't find this place. There is a secret garden quality to the entire canyon hidden from prying eyes unless you know where to look. Even the artisans involved in the Starlight Casa's construction often commented that they never knew this place existed although they'd been in the area for decades.

Others tell stories of how they used to ride their horses all over the area yet somehow missed this place never knowing it was ever here.

Be Among Those Privileged Enough to Gain Passage...

…and you too will understand why everyone who does, feels happier and better for it.

There are 139 ageless building principles used in the design of the Starlight Casa that together form a language that speaks to you about the harmonious connection between yourself and nature. The canyon wildlife continue to use the same winding paths all around the home worn into the earth by earlier generations.

Often the local desert denizens visit the patios such as the desert tortoise shown in the property photos. Think about it…

Why Go on Safari when the Safari Can Come to You?

Multiple covered, outdoor seating areas connect the home to it's surroundings. The South facing back patio utilizes strategic design to maximize the sun's location in the sky throughout the year to allow for sun soaked winter afternoons and shady summer mornings. Sheltering the patio is Beehive Peak shaped by primordial winds and now home to a variety of wildlife.

While appreciating the ancient origins of the canyon walls you may be distracted into the present by coyotes scouting their next meal, hawks tending their nest high up on a craggy cliff face, or catch a glimpse of the javelina (ha va leena) returning to their beds where they lay together in sprawling pig piles. They look like hairy wild pigs but they're not pigs at all. Instead they're peccaries from South America.

Spend a late season morning on the North porch with a cup of complimentary coffee or tea and listen as the dawn chorus of the birds greets daybreak in celebration. If you're really lucky you might witness the rare and some say sacred dance of the cottontails where bunnies spring into the air kicking their heels skyward in pure joy somersaulting their tiny bodies before once again becoming earthbound.

After a full day of sights, you’re invited to turn your gaze toward the heavens from the rooftop deck as twilight blankets the night sky and…

Enjoy a 4th Dimensional Experience…

…as you look deep into the past over the infinite reaches of space seeing billions of stars as they looked thousands of years ago whose luminosity travelled at the speed of light to greet you in just this moment.

It’s this view that generated the name Starlight Casa.

Just as the Pioneers Who First Settled the Area…

...stone was gathered from the location for the foundation and the walls forged from adobe blocks molded from the sands of time. In accordance with tradition the patio wall follows the contours of the land creating a 'wild run' that merges into a living fence made from ocotillos that grow profusely throughout the desert.

Occasionally the ocotillos of the fence appear as though their time has passed. Sporadically throughout the year they produce dark green leaves and flame orange blossoms that lick the sky encouraging rains that like a fountain of youth turn back the clock.

Authentic Tucson architectural design elements appear to slow time until inside the home where state of the art appliances allow you to prepare a warm meal in minutes. Don't be surprised if you never have to adjust the thermostat since the natural building materials combined with the high ceilings moderate temperatures providing unsurpassed comfort while reducing allergens inside the home.

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Should you fail to find the temporal or architectural qualities of the Starlight casa satisfactory you can 'travel back in time' and change your mind. We're so confident that you'll be enchanted by the magic of the 'Starlight Casa' that we guarantee your satisfaction in writing within the hospitality agreement. So go ahead and pick your travel dates and request your agreement while you’re still on this listing. 

You’re one step away from a truly authentic Tucson experience. There is a first come, first serve policy for reservations so you only have a small window of time to reserve your dates for this life altering and time twisting vacation before someone else. 

Guided Tours

For the Diné (Navajo), the largest Arizona tribe, Hozho or 'Walking in Beauty' is a state of grace where an individual exists in harmonious balance with nature. This connection to nature is linked to time and space by the cardinal directions of a compass.

The 8 directions for many tribes symbolize disciplines related to time always moving in a clockwise direction beginning somewhere in the East where the sun begins it's daily travels.

Here is an example of their timeless wisdom:

East -Inspiration; Hazards

Southeast -Curiosity; Games

South -Learning; Pattern recognition

Southwest -Culture; Knowledge of Place

West -Legends; Ecology

Northwest -Celebration; Traditions

North -Wisdom; Lore

Northeast -Awareness; Instincts

Budget overruns on the construction of the Starlight Casa prevent us from spending most of our time with our out of state grandchildren. While we're still here for the next year you can choose 1 free tour for every complete week booked. Additional tours can be added for $97 per person per tour.

Many of the principles and skills featured during the tours come from a period of 4 years when I was involved in mentoring naturalists for $10,000 per person. Each of the tours offered is related to the timeless wisdom of the 8 directions.

The time machine element of the Starlight Casa allows you to forego the tradition of beginning in the east and select any of the tours from the following list.

Desert Connection

Family Nature Games

Wildlife Viewing/Tracking

Edible and Medicinal Plant Walk (Wildflower Walk in Season)

Haunted Tucson Tour

Guided Downtown Tour

Ghost Town Tour

Bird Language Tour

More Details

Andrew F
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 18, 2018

Why Andrew F chose Tucson

Even now nearly 14 years later I still remember the first time we saw the canyon like it was yesterday. It was completely by accident. One Saturday I happened to be working as a real estate agent showing a friend homes in the area. Wanting Rhonda to get to know his family better, for the 1st time in 12 years I brought her along on an appointment with me.

In an attempt to take a short cut to the next house we tried to go through the canyon. As soon as I saw the for sale sign, we stopped so I could get out. The place was completely captivating unlike any other I'd ever seen in Tucson after living here for 40 years and seeing more than a 1000 homes in my 12 year career.

After seeing so many homes it was surprising that only 5 homes or so were truly memorable. This was something that I continued to wonder about throughout my time as an agent. What made those few homes so charming?

We were fortunate to win the property from a competing buyer. Since then we've come to regard ourselves as custodians of this valuable resource including the plants and wildlife it is home to. In 2008 during an annual family retreat when we gather together to celebrate the past year and share our visions for the coming year, one of our goals was to build a home that our family could use to carry on our tradition.

For 10 years we had been collecting ideas for our dream home largely from multi million dollar homes throughout Arizona that we wanted to somehow incorporate into our more modest budget.

What makes this house unique

During project planning once again I returned to the question of the source of indefinable charm that only 5 homes in a thousand possess. A builder friend recommended the work of architect Christopher Alexander who studied some of the most loved buildings throughout time in an effort to capture that special quality that makes these structures so appealing.

Alexander ultimately came to describe this quality as wholeness. According to Alexander there are 151 patterns that form a timeless way of building. So far we've been able to incorporate 112 of them. Hints of the pattern language are included with your welcome email. During your stay see how many you can identify.


Tucson House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain View
  • Rural
  • Adventure
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace ...
  • Garage
  • 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
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , tub , shower , jetted tub
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
  • 2 Baths - Master suite bath features a jacuzzi air jet tub. The air jets allow the use of bubble bath and oils since only air passes through the jets unlike traditional water jet tubs.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Master - 1 queen
    Tower Bedroom - 1 king , Convertable to 1 or 2 singles. Has access to rooftop deck.
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • Balcony
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • mountain climbing


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(22 traveler reviews)

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Tucson Time Machine Journey–Enjoy Rooftop Sunsets & Wildlife Show
average rating of 4.8636365 based on 22 reviews

Lovely desert home that does not disappoint.

  • 5 of 5

Located at the end of a dirt road, this very private property is both isolated and close to all that the Tucson area has to offer. With two large bedrooms and two full bathrooms, the house is ideal for two couples. The amenities are upscale with an open kitchen, dining room, living room. The back patio is great for grilling (Webber included) and the front porch offers mountain views of the Tucson area.

Andrew was very responsive and professional. My sense is that he and Rhonda are experienced property managers.

We would have no problems staying at this property again in any future Tucson visit.

  • Submitted: Mar 6, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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If you like hot running water, working appliances or safe road conditions do not stay here!

  • 2 of 5

We were in town as vendors attending a 10 day convention. We spent an extraordinary amount of money above and beyond any 5 star hotel in the Tucson area for 9 nights with just 2 of us staying in the house. As husband and wife business travelers we sought a house for comfort, a bit of home style and conveniences not available in hotels. Unfortunately nothing in this house is convenient or comfortable. Sadly, we could not even get a warm shower. It was a horrific stay. Of course, everything else in town was sold out months in advance because of the trade events, so we were stuck with it.

There is something seriously wrong when the simple use of the showers does not work in a house this expensive. Coupled with the owners attitudes being nonchalant and without care we can't even say they stepped into help. They never showed up to fix a thing, they left it all on us.

More than one source cannot use hot water at the same time. That means water in a sink at the same time someone is in shower or dishwasher at the same time as a shower. The fuse kicks out, then while wet you have to go out to the garage to flip the switch on the water heater! The same thing happens if you turn the jets in the Jacuzzi, the power kicks out! Water pressure - nope there was no water pressure to speak of. The water system for this house is a failure! Once you get water it takes about 5 minutes for it to run hot as long as the fuse does not kick out again. Then it takes 10 times longer to get a shower because the water pressure is not more than a drips at a time.

If you're not handy at fixing things you should consider going somewhere else because everything that you use will requires some kind of fixing or adjusting! From the TV settings to the electronic appliances. Forget about cell signal!

Once you turn off the main road you have about 1.5 miles to travel to get to the house. There is no road! It's a beaten path that has turned into a gulch; which has not been graded for a very long time. The wear and tear on our vehicles was horrible and you cannot walk around without getting covered in dirt, even from the front door. If by chance it rains during your stay your trip will be ruined because the gulch/path to the house will be flooded out.

This house could be great but it will take a lot of work to make that happen.

By far this is the most expensive and worst VRBO rental we have ever stayed in!!!

  • Submitted: Feb 23, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beautiful house in an incredible setting

  • 5 of 5

This was really a unique house and set the tone for our vacation! It had a very open and modern feel to it, but yet you felt like you were in a castle. When we arrived, we found the home to be very clean and well-furnished. The owners had a "welcome package" for us that included ground coffee and some other treats. Very nice touch! The house is set in what seems to be the middle of desert and it was a bit challenging to maneuver the rocky and bumpy road to get there (we arrived after dark which didn't help!) , but well worth it. In the morning when we looked out of the windows and saw all the cactus around us and the mountains in the distance, it was breathtaking! Our week there was very memorable and the house was a big part of that!

  • Submitted: Jan 31, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Park Ridge, Illinois

Perfect Location

  • 5 of 5

If you are looking for a beautiful home located away from the hustle and bustle of the city yet close enough to enjoy all the city has to offer this is the place. A comfortable home in a very peaceful setting. Views from both the front and back porches are stunning. Close to Saguaro National Park (West) and Tucson City Mountain Park for great hiking trails. Only 30 minutes from great restaurants in Tucson (El Charro is fabulous!). I would stay in the beautiful home again when visiting Tucson.

  • Submitted: Jan 27, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Very Nice

  • 5 of 5

We used this to house our employees for an in town project we were working on for 10 days. They loved it and had very high review of their stay.

  • Submitted: Jan 12, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Very special home and location

  • 5 of 5

Wonderful place for a family gathering! Amazing views. We will never forget this extraordinary place and time. Thank you, Andrew and Rhonda.

  • Submitted: Dec 28, 2017
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
8.5 Miles
Tucson International Airport
Nearest Barpub
2.5 Miles
Chili's Bar & Grill
Nearest Golf
8.8 Miles
Star Pass PGA Course
Nearest Train
9.5 Miles
Amtrak N Toole Ave
Nearest Motorway
4 Miles
Interstate 19
Nearest Restaurant
1.4 Miles
Little Mexico Steakhouse
Nearest Ski
51 Miles
Mt Lemmon Ski Valley
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Damage Waiver $79
Cleaning Fee $97

Damage Waiver covers up to $1500 of accidental damage.

Minimum Stay waived for bookings between existing reservations. Your stay must be at least 2 nights.

*Rates subject to change until reservation is confirmed.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.