This spaceship house is out of this world.
Joshua Tree National Park in southeastern California is known for its otherworldly desert landscape — and where better to escape for a night than in a flying saucer-shaped home.
“It’s the third [house of its kind] in California, but it’s the only one open for people to come and experience,” said owner Ronald Jackson.
Renting for $223 night on Airbnb, this epic spaceman house is booked out through early 2022. It’s one of about 85 surviving Futuro Pods designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in the ’60s and ’70s as portable ski chalets, according to the Futuro House website. There are 19 in the United States and only one on Airbnb, according to Jackson’s listing.
The orange metallic disk is elevated above the desolate desert landscape with access via a drop-down staircase, just like something out of an alien cartoon. In fact, the staircase opens and closes at the touch of a button — something Jackson had installed himself.
With a row of oval windows and a ring of blue lights around the edge, you would definitely notice this UFO flying through space.
Inside, the saucer’s main feature isn’t visual: it’s acoustic. As guests sit in on pillows, wooden benches or spherical chairs, they experience unparalleled sounds, whether listening to songs over the Bluetooth speaker system or just talking.
“[The best part is] acoustics and sound — just talking with the round ceilings makes for the most interesting thing. It’s how safe, secure and peaceful you feel on the inside,” said Jackson.
The interior is filled with UFO art, “Explore” signs and alien movie VHS tapes and DVDs. Nathan Pyle’s “Strange Planet” cartoons and outer space comic books grace the coffee tables.
“It’s almost like a clubhouse,” said Jackson, who stocked the spaceship with board games, too.
Outside, a semi-covered patio has a propane grill, a fire pit and a seating area. Nearby, a sign says “Area 55: Caution.” Guests have access to a detached bathroom and an outdoor shower.
Jackson was looking for a creative investment idea, and inspiration hit when he heard rapper Nas’ “Simple Things” from the album “Nasir,” with the lyrics: “Rollin’ dice, throw no aces/With my gangsters, we discussin’ buyin’ acres/Other safe bets, nothin’ regular or basic/Ridin’ back to back, me and Jungle in some spaceships/Where the squad at?”
From that moment, Jackson knew he wanted to buy a spaceship — a Futuro house, to be exact. That wasn’t as easy as you might think: Futuro Pods are difficult to acquire, and after traveling to Australia and Pennsylvania, he finally purchased a shell in fragmented disrepair in Wisconsin for close to $30,000, he said.
In a past life, the dome resided at the first Playboy Club Hotel in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and was a favorite of Hugh Hefner’s. Then it functioned as a beauty salon, a realty office and a Ford dealership prop, according to Thrillist.
The short-term rental will be featured on Netflix’s “The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals,” which Jackson said he expects to push the property’s bookings through 2023.