Mar 5, 2024 - Things to Do

Stargaze at this Airbnb on Arkansas' Beaver Lake

A treehouse Airbnb with two domes on either end.

Photo: Alex Golden/Axios

Drive down a few windy roads toward Beaver Lake, and on a gravel one that feels like you've gone too far, and you'll find one of the coolest short-term rentals in Northwest Arkansas.

State of play: Owners Mark and Natalie Jones showed Axios around their stargazing planetarium treehouse Airbnb near Camp War Eagle.

The intrigue: Guests can look at the stars under a clear, dome-shaped ceiling with telescopes. The house has a living and kitchen area, a small sitting area with a TV and two towers — one with the telescopes and one with a queen bed where guests also have a large skylight.

  • There's outdoor deck space with a grill that overlooks Beaver Lake.
The observatory tower is set up to watch the stars at night. Photo courtesy of Mark and Natalie Jones/Airbnb
The observatory tower is set up to watch the stars. Photo courtesy of Mark and Natalie Jones/Airbnb

What they're saying: The spot has been booked nonstop since it became available last year, and more than half of the guests are local. Astronomy enthusiasts, parents with kids interested in space and honeymooners are common guests, the owners told Axios.

How it happened: Mark and Natalie already owned an Airbnb property with enough land to build a second one when they applied to win an OMG! contest from Airbnb. From tens of thousands of applicants worldwide, Airbnb awarded 100 of them $100,000 each to execute their visions.

Background: OMG! is a category of rental types on Airbnb. They're wild, weird and often gimmicky. The stargazing planetarium treehouse definitely belongs here.

By the numbers: A night at the Beaver Lake "observatory" costs $280-$300 and dips to around $250 in winter.

Photo of the bedroom of an Airbnb with the bed under a dome made of wood and windows.
Photo: Alex Golden/Axios
A photo of a small kitchenette and dining room under a dome made of wood and windows.
Photo: Alex Golden/Axios
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