See the Before and After Photos of Bobby Berk’s Gorgeous Palm Desert Retreat — and Then Book It on Airbnb

published May 24, 2022
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Credit: Courtesy of Sara Ligorria-Tramp

We’ve seen the magic interior designer Bobby Berk works in the homes of the people featured on Netflix’s “Queer Eye”. Now Airbnb users will get to experience a Bobby Berk design in person. Berk has become an Airbnb host, and his rental property is the stuff that vacation dreams are made of.

It was during a trip to Palm Desert last year that Berk decided he was finally going to buy property in the area. “I’ve wanted a house in Palm Desert — Palm Springs — for years, and there’s never been the right time to do it,” he told Apartment Therapy during a recent interview. “It’s also hard to justify just having an extra house laying around.” 

But then, while on vacation at another Palm Desert Airbnb, it clicked. “Why don’t I just Airbnb it?”

He said that deciding to become a host, finding a home to buy, and making an offer happened quickly — like “within 48 hours” quickly. Berk and his team then spent several months renovating the property and finished renovations just before Coachella in mid-April.

Credit: Courtesy of Sara Ligorria-Tramp
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“The property is very large. It’s spread out over five acres,” Berk explained. It’s actually three separate homes on a compound, which gave Berk the idea to make the property feel like a resort. 

“[When traveling] I usually always stay at Airbnbs because I like to feel like I’m being immersed in the town that I’m living in, and that’s hard to get in a hotel,” Berk said. “All the best hosts that I’ve got to experience around the world … I’ve taken all of their best ideas and I’ve put them in this place.”

And Berk must have stayed with some amazing hosts because he was inspired to convert two storage outbuildings into outdoor bars, install a bocce ball court, a yoga and meditation area, and a pool and jacuzzi.

“We really thought about how you would entertain in this space,” Berk said.

One of his favorite upgrades is the cozy theater room, which was once a low-ceilinged game room/unused garage space.

“My idea was, let’s paint it all black, put black carpet in it, do this big comfortable cushy sectional, and put a 90-inch flat screen TV in it, and we turned it into this theater,” he told us. “And because it’s all black, you don’t even really realize the ceilings are low.”

Although the luxurious add-ons achieve that resort feel, Berk is also proud of the smaller design details he worked into the space, too. 

Credit: Courtesy of Sara Ligorria-Tramp
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“One of the main living rooms has these handwoven lights that we had done in a little village in Tunisia — all fair trade. All the proceeds went directly to this village,” he said. “Those are one of my favorite design features because we hung about 15 of them from this high vaulted ceiling so it really makes this dramatic moment.”

The entire compound has seven bedrooms, plus a loft, seven full baths, two powder rooms, and can comfortably sleep 18 to 20 guests. “It’s always great to go with a big group but you don’t always want to be on top of each other,” Berk said, noting, “you can all have your own little private spaces at the end of the day.” 

And if you need even more space, then there’s plenty to explore off site. The home is located right next to the San Bernadino Mountains and coinciding National Park, which offers great hiking opportunities, and you’re just a 10 minute drive from the El Paseo shopping district as well as a Whole Foods and Target.

“There’s also this really great spot in Palm Springs, which is just a few minutes away. It’s the tram that takes you up to the top of the San Bernadino Mountains,” Berk said. “When you get up to the top … it’s all these beautiful pine trees, it snows up there, it’s a whole different weather environment.”

Berk’s Palm Desert home will be open to guest bookings starting Tuesday, May 24, and to celebrate, the first two bookings for two-night stays on June 6-8 and June 9-11 (for up to two guests each) will be able to stay at the property for just $22.

Berk couldn’t express enough how excited he is to be the host of his very own Airbnb. “I’ve literally been taking notes on my phone for years about the things that I’ve loved about different Airbnbs I’ve stayed in. So be able to take all those things and put them into a home that I can share with guests has been kind of a dream come true. And I want to keep doing it even more.”

To experience Berk’s Palm Desert retreat, head over to Airbnb to book your stay.