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Talking Stick Resort in Arizona has bragging rights not many other resorts can claim. This luxury resort has its own bourbon. It's officially called the Woodford Reserve Talking Stick Resort Personal Selection Bourbon--a mouthful of a name. The beverage, which will be sold in the resort’s Shadows Lounge, an indoor cigar bar, will debut on September 14.
The group of Talking Stick representatives who helped create the bourbon visited Kentucky’s Woodford Reserve Distillery where they worked with Chris Morris, master distiller. We are sure that an appropriate amount of tasting and mixing occurred, all in the name of providing a quality product for Talking Stick guests.
On the September 14th debut, guests can sample the bourbon during three tastings scheduled at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.
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.
We've all had that moment of fear when we've checked out of a hotel and felt a little itchy. Uhoh, did we just spend the night with bed bugs? Now imagine if not only you were itching and scratching but your cat was too!
That's what a woman is claiming happened to her and her pet after they both spent a few nights at a Holiday Inn in Glendale, Ariz. The woman, who is only going by the name Elena, says she developed red itchy bumps on her neck after checking out the hotel. A doctor determined she had bed bug bites but her cat ended up in worse condition. ABC15 local news reports:
"I noticed she was starting to pull her hair and itching," Elena said. "I said let's see in a couple of weeks if it gets any better. Within that time, it had gotten much worse. There were bald spots throughout the cat's body and (pus)."
Elena took her cat to Apollo North Animal Hospital in Glendale. Dr. Patricia Bennett treated the cat. Bennett tells me the cat had "damage due to scratching an itch." Bennett said there were "scabs, bumps, and lesions" from "head to toe."
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We already gave you the lowdown on some top spots for hotels with om-inducing yoga offerings. But yoga is becoming such a popular amenity that we had to scope our some more places where you can do your lotus pose. We found five additional hotel yoga sessions that will infuse you with prana, or life force.
Check out our top five picks for hotel yoga after the jump.
Poolside at the Hotel Valley Ho.
Last week, the state of Arizona enacted a severe new immigration law that aims to "identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants." Anyone caught without their immigration papers could be detained by law enforcement and anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant can be questioned and detained by law enforcement.
So what does this have to do with hotels? Well, it turns out several people feel so strongly about how awful this law is that they are canceling their trips to Arizona and subsequently, their hotel reservations. A luxury travel agent told us that two of their clients canceled their hotel stays specifically because they refused to pay revenue to state that would pass such a harsh law.
This could be just one example of hundreds of other cancellations going on at Arizona hotels. Indeed, USA Today has found a bunch of other businesses calling for a boycott of the law.
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This, a motel, really? Yes, really.
Do you ever get those nightmares and neuroses before setting off on a road trip? Like: what if we stay in a motel that turns out to be like the one in Vacancy, and we end up starring in our own snuff movie? Or, what if we run out of food in the middle of the desert with only “best jerky in the world” shops ever 50 miles to refresh us? Or what if, while driving through the tiniest of tiny towns in 9ft snow drifts in the middle of the night, our car decides to give up the ghost?
Well, as of last week, we can answer the last one for you. We were on a road trip from Vegas to Sedona, and as we passed the Grand Canyon and drove through Williams for some Route 66 lovin, our
crappy lovely old car conked out on us. Happily, it did its conking out on the doorstep of the Downtowner Motel, which we’d just decided, while driving by, would be our top choice of accommodation should we need to split the journey on the way back.
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.
If you're ready for some football, spend the season opener at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa's new Catalina Sports Bar and Grill in Tuscon, Arizona.
Formerly dubbed Catalina Steakhouse, Catalina Sports Bar and Grill was reopened on Sept. 4 with a new casual tavern-style look, menu and focus on sports fans. Watch the kickoff from one of seven HDTVs and guzzle some beer from local breweries like Barrio and Thunder Canyon. If you visit during happy hour, daily from 4 to 6 p.m., all pints of draft beer cost $2.50, glasses of selected wines are $3 and all cocktails are $5. There are also daily specials available.
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.
After our trip to Vegas this week, we decided to go see the Grand Canyon, and stopped off at Williams on Route 66. Lucky for Williams that it is – as its two streets would definitely not be crawling with tourists if it wasn’t. Not that it’s not cute – we like Route 66 t-shirts and peanut brittle as much as the next person - but boy it was small. Still, it’s the nearest town to the South Rim of the Canyon, and it’s cuter than Flagstaff, so it’s a good place to spend the night,
We shacked up for the night at the Grand Canyon Hotel, which reckons it’s the oldest hotel in Arizona (built in 1891) and describes itself as a “European style boutique hotel”. The present owners revamped it after buying it four years ago.
Hollywood can have its celebrities-gone-wild antics. In Tucson, Arizona, family-friendly Nickelodeon celebrities rule the scene, with A-listers SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer hanging out with guests at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa.
In the footsteps of other Marriott-Nickelodeon partnerships, Starr Pass is now offering a Nick Getaway program, which starts May 29 and will run every weekend this summer.
Kid-friendly perks include Dive-In Movies at the pool; Nickelodeon’s Character Breakfasts (with SpongeBob and Dora photo ops); poolside entertainment (Nick-produced skits, games, contests with slime); and arts and crafts (decorating flip-flops, t-shirt making, and sand art).
Weekend rates start around $269 per night.