I recently had a chance to stay at the Moonway Lodge, and it may very well be the best vacation rental near Joshua Tree. This was my first trip to JT but not my first vacation rental, and I can’t remember a house that I more thoroughly enjoyed.
The building we rented had two nearly identical bungalows side-by-side, with a courtyard and pool fenced in between them. The place advertises it sleeps 6-8, but I think you can pack a few more in there, particularly if the weather is nice.
There were five of us on this trip, and two of us opted two sleep in the beds outside by the pool, two took the big beds in the bungalows, and one took the aptly named Heaven, which is a cool and breezy room upstairs, between the bungalows.
You can tell that the Moonway Lodge is a place the owners themselves enjoy and understand. Too many vacation rentals try to wow you with nice upholstery and modern appliances, but the Moonway Lodge actually had the things I wanted. Speakers to hook up iPods, that broadcast throughout the bungalows and courtyard. A pool that reaches 9 ft., which is a real gem in the desert. A vast expanse of desert to wander into. Wifi. And even a Wii!
If you have a few days, I heartily recommend a trip to the Moonway Lodge, and you can stop and see Joshua Tree while you are there. It’s just a few minutes away.