Skip to Content

Xenia is a Greek word that captures the essence of ancient Greek hospitality. The ancient myths speak often of gods who disguise themselves in humble human form, seeking shelter, food and companionship. These stories caution mortals that any guest should be treated as potentially divine – just in case. While this may sound cheeky, it encourages us to look for glimpses of divinity and treat each guest with the same honor as befitting a god.

We are deeply convinced that operating Desert Harbor is not just a way to make living, but a calling. We have been blessed beyond measure, and believe the only appropriate response is to take all that we are and all that we have and offer it in service to our guests, with competence and humility.

Very early in the conceptual development of Desert Harbor, we had crystal clear vision that we were to serve one - or a few - at a time. To the chagrin of friends, associates and some guests, we are not tempted to “grow,” if growth means additional accommodations to house additional guests, for greater profit. We are here to offer YOU an unprecedented opportunity to connect – solo.

We could have opened a personal retreat space anywhere, but intentionally chose the high desert. Its austere beauty, brutal honesty, raging silence and windswept canyons mirror the conditions of the soul, and foster the ideal context for deep reflection, questioning and healing.

From years of journeying with seeking pilgrims, we can say with absolute confidence, if one comes with humility to interact, go beyond him/herself, and listen, the desert will offer an unimaginable abundance.

We believe design has a subtle power to shape an experience and frame an interaction. The casita, as well as our outdoor spaces, live in the tension between rugged sparseness and elegant comfort.

How surely gravity’s law,
strong as an ocean current,
takes hold of even the smallest thing
and pulls it toward the heart of the world.

Each thing—
each stone, blossom, child—
is held in place.
only we, in our arrogance,
push out beyond what we each belong to
for some empty freedom.

If we surrendered
to earth’s intelligence
we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Instead we entangle ourselves
in knots of our own making
and struggle, lonely and confused.

So, like children, we begin again
to learn from the things,
because they are in God’s heart;
they have never left him.

This is what the things can teach us;
to fall,
patiently to trust our heaviness.
even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.

- Rainier Maria Rilke