Design Destination: Give Your New Year's Celebration a Romantic Edge

LA architect Robert Stone’s pair of desert pavilions, Acido Dorado and Rosa Muerte (at top) are probably the most documented buildings in Joshua Tree, backdrops for fashion photography and the subject of architecture, design and travel coverage. The austere and endlessly stylish structures were built as thought-provoking retreats and as perfect romantic hideaways, and are at the top of our list of where to spend New Years Eve (or any weekend). Rosa Muerte and Acido Dorado both lack internet connections, making them brilliant places to re-set/re-connect with the one you love in a device-free sojourn.

Rosa Muerte was the first structure Stone built on his expansive desert site, an all black composition of concrete block, stainless steel and mirror, but with a design heritage firmly rooted in Mies Van Der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion and the garden follies of The Enlightenment as well as Japanese nailless consstrution. There’s no AC or heat (and barely any walls) taking advantage of the naturally mild climate, simply a cube containing one bedroom and bath, plus a small pullman kitchen. Most of the living takes place on a series of outdoor seating platforms, a jetted hot tub, and outdoor cooking facilities. Woven through the enclosing grid of are welded, blackened roses, Darth Vader's idea of a romantic retreat.



With equally classic roots but larger and more luxe, Acido Dorado has two master suites and a living area/great room enclosed on three sides by movable walls of glass and gilded grids covered in the trademark welded roses. Plus a mirrored ceiling.


There’s also A/C and heat, with a vibe more glamorous than Rosa Muerte’s austere Zen. Somehow, you get sense the Champagne bottles will pop more willingly at the edge of Acido Dorado’s hot tub, while Rosa Muerte’s drink of choice might be a peaty single malt scotch next to the fire pit.

For more info and reservations, head over to the Acido Dorado website, which links to Rosa Muerte. Acido Dorado is also available via AirBnB, although at different rates.

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