Take in Outstanding Desert Views at This Inn Outside Saguaro National Park
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Take in Outstanding Desert Views at This Inn Outside Saguaro National Park

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By Jen Woo
The design duo behind the boho chic stay The Joshua Tree House venture out into the deserts of Arizona.

The creators of The Joshua Tree House debut a brand new stay, tucked away in another desert oasis alongside Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona. It’s been the dream of the owners, Sara and Rich Combs, to design a space bordering a national park, and a goal they’ve been working towards for the past five years. 

"The Posada borders Saguaro National Park—a dreamy landscape full of cacti, the best sunsets and rainbows we’ve ever seen, and diverse plants and wildlife."

In the main dining room are chairs by Root’d Home; Fireclay Tile floor; local ceramics by Ursula Basinger and HF Coors via Amazon Home, custom dining table by Rich’s dad Jay Combs, and artwork by Heather Day.

They discovered the area on the same cross-country journey that first brought them to Joshua Tree, where they now reside full time and manage multiple properties. Their second stop was Saguaro National Park. "With a similar energy to Joshua Tree, and what feels like a cactus jungle of wise Saguaros and Prickly Pears, we fell in love," says Sara. 

The main living room has a SixPenny couch; Amazon Home goods including a console table and pillows; art by Julia Kostreva and Tucson-based Trevor Mock; custom bar by Fire on the Mesa; custom coffee table by Tucson woodworker Sam Okerlund; saguaro print by local photographer Emily Tartaglia; rugs by Pampa and Soukie Modern; Serena & Lily woven light fixtures; bar stools, woven coffee table, and hanging chair; Barnaby Lane lounge chairs; and pillows by Collective Sol, Spark Modern, Pampa, and Amazon Home.

Ocotillo Suite is split level with one king bed, one queen bed, a living room and fireplace, and bathroom. 

One of Rich’s favorite hobbies is perusing properties, searching in the many places they’d visited and felt a connection. When he stumbled upon what would become the Posada, they were intrigued, but confused. "From the photos it appeared to be an empty canyon for sale with not much else," explains Sara. 

The main kitchen holds Wayfair counter stools, small dining tables and chairs, sink, faucet, and light fixtures; custom cabinetry by Café Appliances and Fire on the Mesa; and a hanging fruit basket by Xinh and Co.

Teeming with cozy nooks, the Posada is a place to unwind. 

"Curious about why it was on a commercial real estate site, we asked our real estate agent to look into it." Upon touring the property, he told them they needed to get to Arizona as soon as possible and that the place was exactly what they had been searching for. Situated on 38 acres of land, the property holds a forest of Saguaro cactus, native plants, and an abundance of wildlife.

Jonathan Adler side tables add a touch of whimsy in the Cholla Room.

The yoga and meditation room is left open for places to move and stretch. In the corner is a Root’d Home hand chair.

The property had been abandoned for a decade and was in desperate need of a designer’s touch. The two spent seven months with a team of contractors patching, repairing, upgrading, and painting the building to bring it back to life. 

Neutral tones abound, giving the inn a warm and inviting vibe that melds with the landscape. 

Thoughtfully crafted nooks are made for relaxing and reflecting. 

Originally built in 1978 by Merv Larson—the previous director of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum—the Posada held three existing buildings. "He had incredible vision for this space, and a clear love of the land," says Sara. "His attention to detail was what made us fall in love with the building in the first place—the way he framed the surrounding desert views, the ceilings made with Saguaro ribs and reclaimed telephone poles, and thirteen fireplaces throughout the property, each one unique from the next."

The Saguaro Suite is split level with a king bed, separate living room and kitchenette, and two fireplaces. Bed pillows, side tables and the tapestry are by Kuddkrig Home.

The bathrooms are reminiscent of a luxe spa with sleek fixtures and soothing amenities like a soaking tub. 

The design duo modernized the property, removing 80’s leftovers like outdated fixtures, while honoring the southwest adobe style of the structure. Five separate suites each offer a unique design so guests may return to a "refreshed experience."

The Yucca Room sit son the lower level with one king bed, one bathroom, fireplace, and a private patio.

A campfire pit allows for guests to gather and connect amid a garden of cacti. 

"We set out with the intention of individually designing each suite, because we felt this property deserved more than a ‘copy and paste’ approach. Structurally each suite is unique, so we felt that the finishing details should be as well."

A large long table outside makes an ideal space for events or dining al fresco overlooking panoramas of the desert.

The design fuses contemporary with rustic touches—clean lines in cabinetry and leather furnishings paired with exposed wood beams overhead and tile. 

The Posada was developed with an eye for connection to nature, and unlike their previous properties, it also allows for something they've always wanted to provide—a place for larger groups (up to 12) to host retreats and gatherings. They’ve included a yoga/ meditation room on site, a fire pit to gather around, a canyon pool, and multiple rooftop gathering spaces with barbecues and panoramic views of the desert.

While the decor is kept primarily neutral, Sarah and Rich incorporate pops of color that nod to life in the desert.

A hanging chair offers a soothing space to sit with tea or curl up with a book. 

"The main differentiation that we’re so excited about is the ability for larger groups to have a peaceful space to connect," says Sara. "At just about 10,000 square feet of indoor space, plus almost another 5,000 of exterior gathering spaces this is by far our largest property and a perfect place for workshops, family gatherings, or retreats."

An abundance of curated spaces allows guests to take in nature while enjoying the creature comforts of the indoors. 

A light palette adds to the airiness of the room. 

The Posada's earthy color palette and preference for natural materials  reflects the owner's desire for zen-like space. 

The Rock Canyon Pool ranges in depth from two feet to 10 feet at the deep end, and has waterfall and lounge chairs.

Alabaster and wood create a clean canvas for a handpicked selection of home wares. 

"We started with an initial color palette that we selected by putting a Dunn Edwards fan deck out in the desert and pulling colors from the landscape," says Sara. "We wanted the inn to feel connected to the earth and to the surrounding landscape that had drawn us in the first place." 

The inn holds 5,000 square feet of patios, outdoor couches and lounge areas, two outdoor bars with sinks, outdoor charcoal grill, and a fountain.

A touch of mustard and cocoa adds a fun variation to the mostly milky tones. 



As a space meant for community, they naturally also collaborated with their favorite artists, designers, and brands to bring the vision to life. Their partners in the property include: Dunn Edwards (paint), Amazon Home (home tech and furniture), Serena & Lily (outdoor furniture), Café Appliances (all appliances), Wayfair (main kitchen), Tuft & Needle (bedding and mattresses), Pampa (handwoven rugs), Soukie Modern (vintage Moroccan rugs), Cedar & Moss (lighting), Build.com (bathroom fixtures), Lift Master (front gate), Barnaby Lane (furniture), and SixPenny (couch).

"We imagine most guests will want to stay on site at the inn to experience the pool, wildlife, movie nights, cactus garden, rooftop patios, and starry night sky."

 In the bathrooms there are fixtures from Build.com, tiles from Fireclay tile, and mirrors from Amazon Home.

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