Sedona Travel Guide
Who says you have to travel to far-flung exotic islands just to get a killer view from your hotel room? Ok, maybe we did last year. But thanks to Ben Bethel, the hotelier behind The Clarendon Hotel in Phoenix, Ariz., we only need to head to the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa for a zen mountain view. More specifically, we need to check into room 33 at the hotel.
The Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa describes itself as a luxury hotel with a distinctive Mediterranean design and plenty of simple yet luxe touches like pillow top mattresses, rain showers in the bathrooms, lambs-wool throw blankets and private balconies. Not to be missed is the Sedona Rouge Spa which has extensive menu of relaxing treatments and wellness programs.
But we really like how this resort's rates are truly affordable, starting at around $142 during the week and about $188 on the weekends.
[Photo: Ben Bethel]
Looking for an exotic place to sleep and eat? We've found a great deal for two at Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Ariz., which includes dinner for two at the resort's completely new signature restaurant, Che-Ah-Chi.
Che-Ah-Chi is Apache for the area Enchantment Resort and Mii amo Spa occupies, now known as Boynton Canyon. This space has long been a favorite for the dramatic views of the deepening shadows on the red rocks at sunset and now with the Taste of Enchantment package, there's no excuse not to dine there during your stay. Here's how we suggest you make the most of your time there:
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Romance seekers and au naturel enthusiasts will be delighted to know that L'Auberge de Sedona wants you to stand outside your room, completely naked. Well that is only true in part- but it is true.
After a multiphase $25 million renovation completed last year that included a new lobby, the redesign of the resort’s Lodge rooms and Creekside and Garden Cottages, and the addition of several brand new Spa Cottages and Vista Cottages and Suites, we've learned that L'Auberge has also added private outdoor showers. Yup, to up the romance factor in our favorite cottages to an "11", L'Auberge has added luxurious enclosed outdoor cedar showers open to the sky for viewing the sunrise or the stars.
Getting tired of the same ol', same ol' room service options? Cheeseburgers, club sandwiches, caesar salads... yawn? Then, you need to check into Enchantment Resort in Sedona and flip through the menu until you get to the section titled, Tastefully 'In the Raw.'
We had never seen such an option before, but we heartily approve: 'In the Raw' is a selection of barbecue favorites--raw meats--that are delivered to your room, with all the accompaniments, ready to cook.
Your grill is outside on your casita's patio--where it awaits your steak, along with this killer view...
But the hotel doesn't stop there with extravagant ways of marking special occasions. Now that the refurb is complete--and to celebrate L'Auberge Sedona being named one of the Top 100 Hotels in the U.S. by our friends at Conde Nast Traveler--the hotel is putting on an opera.
Yep, the hotel has teamed up with the Arizona Opera to host 'L’Opéra at L’Auberge' on November 17. The night will include a cocktail reception, fancy dinner and a performance by lead principals of Arizona Opera's production of Charles Gounod's Faust.
We think this new-look Spa Cottage pictured above is extremely pretty, but staging an opera to celebrate it? That's new to us. Although this does mean that you're close to a warm and cozy bed if you happen to nod off during the opera. (Hey, it happens to the best of us...)
Hilton peeps say that the 25,000-sq.ft. eforea spa at the Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa (formerly known as The Spa at Hilton Sedona) will open on October 5 for relaxation, including their solarium and a 25-meter pool overlooking Sedona's Red Rocks mountain range.
And much like the first eforea spa in New Jersey, Hilton Sedona's eforea spa offers guests the choice of three different types of "journeys" to embark on during their visit, such as the Essentials journey anchored by an advanced, non-invasive Signature Correcting Facial; the Escape with organic products, holistic experiences and traditional healing practices such as the Hilton Head-to-Toe revitalization treatment and lastly, a Men's Journey, made for men and featuring a variety of treatments form facials to massages.
The grounds at L'Auberge de Sedona
Time, energy, and millions of dollars are often fed into resort overhauls to prove that they are bigger, better, and more luxe than their swanky competitors. The $25 million dollars that L'Auberge de Sedona invested into Phase One of their expansion project was a symbolic expense, meant to coincide with the property's 25th anniversary. And here, we thought that a sterling silver plaque would suffice.
Previously honored by Wine Spectator and Condé Nast Traveler, the message L'Auberge de Sedona seems to be sending with the renovation is, "The more frills, the better." Many of the lodgings are meant to be private mini-retreats, with 64 brand new cottages recently added to the grounds. At 1,200 square feet, with indoor and outdoor spaces, outdoor showers, and gas fireplaces, the phrase that comes to mind is "rental property," not weekend getaway.
With prices ranging in the $400-500 range for cottage accommodations, you're definitely paying a premium for all of those extras. However, there are rooms and Gardenside Cottages available at a comparatively more reasonable $200-300.
We've kicked off our Summer Cocktails series where we profile fun new summer drinks that hotels are making. Got one we should know about? Send us the recipe with a photo of the drink. Otherwise, enjoy and @reply us when you're wasted!
Summer is sadly winding down and this weekend is probably your last weekend to indulge in Summer Cocktails at hotels. But while folks at the Jersey Shore and The Hamptons will be mourning this unofficial end of Summer, we prefer to mark the passing of summer by the Autumnal equinox which means we have about three more weeks left to down some drinks.
At the Hilton Sedona in Arizona, they've been celebrating the desert heat with their Prickly Pear Margarita. The drink can be (probably should be) enjoyed poolside where you can admire the famous Red Rock formations of Sedona. The drink usually costs $10.37 but sometimes the hotel makes it their special Drink of the Day for $6.75 so you can splurge for a few.
Just make sure you don't drink and drive the Red Rock Scenic Byway. Save your margs for after the road trip. Room rates here begin at $189 a night.
Recipe is after the jump.
The list-makers at Travel + Leisure don't strictly cater to single jetsetting types. There's an active sect of family travelers out there, and those that don't consider Disneyland the Alpha-Omega of getaways. Sorry, Mickey.
Their survey of the "World's Best Hotels and Cruises for Families" in the U.S. and Canada is topped by the Enchantment Resort of Sedona, Arizona (which, coincidentally, sounds Disney-esque). It's no rough-it campsite or—shudder—Comfort Suites, but a luxury resort where adults are known to enjoy playtime as much as their young counterparts.
The hotel's site explicitly tells prospective travelers not to "worry about the kids," citing activities like Camp Coyote exploration as a selling-point. The Camp is an educational program designed for kids aged 4-12, where they can partake in "scavenger hunts, outdoor games and Southwestern-inspired cooking classes," with a full day of Camp priced at $70.
Getting your aura cleansed can be expensive, as we found out in Sedona this weekend. We arrived on Thursday, looking for a motel on spec – except everywhere seemed to be full up or over $100 for a room.
Finally, a guy in the tourist office suggested we try the La Vista Motel on the edge of town in North Sedona (actually it’s pretty much in the centre of town, just a few minutes walk from the shops). Our room cost $65. Was it half as good as the ones that cost twice as much? Well the lady at check-in (Kate) was positively angelic and made us feel completely at home. So that was a good start.
There are two levels to the motel – rooms on the top are level with the road and have views out over the famous Sedona red rocks. Those on the lower level don’t get the views because of some trees in the way, but they do get their own little seating areas, and a bit more privacy, because they’re tucked away under the main road.
Sedona, Arizona, has recently seen a swirl of activity — and for once it’s not related to vortexes or even the New Agey doings of the hippy-trippy guests the town attracts. Hilltop hotel Orchards Inn got a facelift! And from the sounds of more than a few painful-to-read TA reviews, it sounds like the update might have been long overdue.
The official word from Orchards Inn is that the hotel has been “updated inside and out to truly give this classic property an upscale contemporary feel.” The one aspect that even the mean TA reviewers admit is pretty amazing — Red Rock views — got centerpiece treatment, with new oversized framed mirrors placed just so to reflect the ahh-inducing views.
But, you know, new mirrors do not a renovation make. Guestrooms have also been “fully upgraded, from the custom designed dark oak furniture and beds with leather upholstered headboards to new carpeting and bathroom fixtures.” Also new: flat-screen TVs, nicer bedding, new lounge chairs on the sundeck, and individual climate controls in each room (hmm, OK, we’re not sure we’d be bragging that one as a “perk;” seems pretty standard).
Overall, the renovation doesn’t exactly sound earth-shattering (leave that to the vortexes!) but hopefully it means the place is less, uh, "disgusting.”
The majestic red rocks and canyons of Sedona, Arizona lure millions of visitors every year seeking desert solitude and inspiration. And late winter is the perfect time to visit Sedona -- temperatures are still cool but the crush of holiday visitors are starting to thin out. And if your one who craves luxury and a little culture with your desert solitude, Mii Amo Spa at the Enchantment Resort is for you.
The setting is in a word, spectacular. Don't be surprised if you find yourself muttering "awesome" even if you're not the kind who says "awesome."