Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled Family icon
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

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 newer 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. 

More Details

Andrew F
Member since: 2011
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:
September 21, 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
  • Min. age of primary renter: 24
  • 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 2 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , tub , shower , jetted tub , 2 person air tub
  • 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
  • restaurants
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! 4.8/5 -
(29 traveler reviews)

89% Complete
6% Complete
0% Complete
3% Complete
0% Complete
Tucson Time Machine Journey–Enjoy Rooftop Sunsets & Wildlife Show
average rating of 4.827586 based on 29 reviews

Secluded Getaway

  • 5 of 5

This secluded getaway was a wonderful experience with all the modern conveniences. We enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere and nature walks before our hectic day a our conference. We were greeted with fresh flowers, coffee and snacks. It was in a private location but was still convenient for shopping and attractions. We would definitely stay at this home again. The owner was nice enough to even call and check to see if everything was OK and if we needed anything which has not happened with other homes we have rented. Thank you for providing such a nice home for our stay in Tucson. We would definitely recommend this home to anyone visiting Tucson.

  • Submitted: Jul 26, 2018
  • Stayed: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

The best place to stay in Tucson!!!

  • 5 of 5

I have just completed my third visit to Tucson in the last three years. I stayed at one of Andrews properties each time. This visit I stayed in the larger of the two properties ID 599147 which is the three bedroom house. When I arrived everything was neat clean and in perfect order as I have learned to expect from my previous visits. I wanted to try the house mainly for the rooftop deck and the chance to try out my new telescope. The very secluded location is perfect for this kind of activity. The house sets in a saddle between the mountain peaks on the west side of Tucson and provides a great opportunity to be close to nature but remain just minutes from shopping and other attractions. The pictures on he web site give a very good idea of what you will see but the view in person is so much better. This house has a very unique design and naturally fits into the desert landscape. Step out the front door and you will feel like you are out in the old west in another time and place. I love to just sit on the porch and take in the view. The location is perfect to access a number to the main Tucson attractions without ever having to get on the freeway such as Old Tucson, the Desert Museum and the Tucson Mountain Park which are all just minutes away. I will no doubt feel the need to visit Tucson again and this will always be my first and best choice.

  • Submitted: Jun 18, 2018
  • Stayed: May 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Beautiful Inside and Out

  • 5 of 5

Tucson Time Machine is even better in person than it is in the photos! The owners clearly had quality in mind when this home was designed. The finishes are first-rate, the beds and bedding are superb, and all the wonderful outdoor spaces made our stay here one for the memory books. Waking up in the morning with a cup of coffee and enjoying the views of Sonoran desert from the patio was our favorite way to start the day. The house is private, and the location is perfect if you want to take in Tucson, but also have some solitude in nature.

Andrew was very helpful and responsive, and the home was very very clean. The welcome basket with treats was a great touch with local goodies to curb our hunger upon arrival.

If you're looking for a quality stay, this is the place. Look no further, just book! With any luck will be back next year!

  • Submitted: May 12, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0
Hockessin DE

The Tucson Time Machine is just that!

  • 5 of 5

We just spent 9 days here. It is definitely an authentic southwestern experience. We felt like we were at the Ponderosa and loved it! And the setting is spectacular. We were surrounded by mountains in all directions where we climbed and roamed. The porches were perfect places to relax in the early morning and the evenings, and enjoy the quietness and stillness hearing only the doves. The Saguaro National Park, The Desert Museum, Old Tucson, and lots of hiking are all only a short drive away. The owner was very easy to work with. We would definitely recommend a stay here.

  • Submitted: May 10, 2018
  • Stayed: April 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Spectacular home in gorgeous setting.

  • 4 of 5

This is a beautiful home in a gorgeous setting. We slept well, enjoyed morning coffee on the veranda, and saw great sunsets in the evenings. It felt remote but was conveniently located for exploring Tucson and Southern Arizona. The kitchen was well stocked and furniture very comfy. The road was fine--a short bit off the pavement with some holes to dodge--it added to the sense of adventure. The only drawback was the water--it came out in a trickle and it took quite a while to get any hot. To be fair we never called the owners to ask about it so they didn't have the chance to fix it. Everything else was so perfect.

  • Submitted: Apr 7, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Private/Quiet Location with Great Amenities

  • 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. Great private location off the beaten path yet close to shopping and restaurants. Very quiet at night with star gazing on clear nights as well as the Tucson lights to the East from the upper patio . Loved the kitchen and all the updated appliances. The drive in is a little rough so take it slow. We grew to love it and all felt that it added to the appeal. Very Nice Property - we would definitely consider staying here again.

  • Submitted: Mar 25, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0


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

Cleaning Fee $97
Damage Waiver $79

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.

You might like these similar properties