Over Thanksgiving week, Adam and I took a trip to Sedona, Arizona. This home-of-the-red-rocks has been a dream of mine for a while, so when Adam suggested it, I wholeheartedly (and kind of eagerly) agreed. After our usual search through the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts magazine/site, we landed on L’Auberge de Sedona. As usual, we (ok, mostly he) did tons of research before landing on this location and, after experiencing it, I can state that it’s beautiful. So, here are five reasons to choose L’Auberge de Sedona.
Driving through Sedona, we were surrounded by the most stunning views I’ve seen in a long while. The red rocks were indescribable. I’m not sure if photos will ever do it justice. The red rocks made me remember the unique and exquisite beauty of our planet, and L’Auberge does a good job of ensuring that their guests can cherish these views during the entirety of their stay.
These views were taken from our room, one of the Vista Cottages. This private deck with these views of the red rocks was the perfect way to start each morning and end each evening. There were windows all along the back wall, so that we could always enjoy the view, whether from our bed, the chairs in the sitting area, or even from the bathtub.
Now, these rooms do cost more than some of the others but, in my opinion, the view made it entirely worth it. I mean, who doesn’t love a great, scenic view?
To be honest, Adam and I ordered quite a bit of room service while at L’Auberge de Sedona. This food came from Etch Kitchen and Bar, a beautiful restaurant that boasts views of the creek (much like their famous restaurant, Cress) while offering a more casual and relaxing vibe – I’m sure we would have had to dress up for Cress.
Anyway, we ordered quite a bit of food, ranging from breakfast to dinner, because it was good. Even the room service was quick, which made ordering after stumbling back in from a long hike even better.
I don’t know if the experience changes across the seasons, but the ambiance of L’Auberge during our three nights there reminded me of the warm, cozy atmosphere of someone’s home. The lobby was beautiful, warm, and inviting. The staff was professional, helpful, and in good spirits. The service was quick and tailored to our individual needs.
On the first evening (since Adam and I got in sometime after 4:00), we explored the grounds after watching the most beautiful sunset. We checked out the spa, which looked like a cute cabin from the exterior (we didn’t go inside this time, although we do typically have a spa day during each vacation) and the heated saltwater swimming pool. We (obvi) didn’t go in, even if quite a few others did – I mean, we’re from Florida and it was legit fall weather!
Adam and I also popped into the lodge. This was one of my favorite parts of the resort (other than the creek, which I saw once in the morning and once at night, and the view). I decided that, if we had gotten married there – and had decided on a larger wedding – we would have done a room block here. Although it was part of the hotel, it had a real lodge vibe. It felt like a home, rather than a hotel, which (I feel) is hard to achieve.
L’Auberge’s proximity to the stores and restaurants of Sedona was quite amazing, considering that it felt so secluded once we turned onto the street. What made the shop-lined streets even more accessible was the car service that L’Auberge provides. There’s a shuttle that can be taken in to and back from town each day. This service is first come, first serve, and guests must call in order to be picked up.
Adam and I used this service one, when we went to get dinner at Mariposa Sedona, an award-winning, Latin-inspired grill that was recommended to us. We called the front desk to let them know when we would arrive there; there was a car that was a few minutes from us but we didn’t mind the wait. When we called to get picked up after dinner, there wasn’t much of a wait at all.
Once again, we need to talk about the various stand-alone rooms/buildings that one can choose from. While we chose one of the Vista Cottages, with views of the amazing red rocks, there are also the Creekside Cottages, which are nestled alongside the beautiful creek that runs alongside the resort.
The level of privacy that we got was comparable to the time that we vacationed in St. Lucia – the first, not the second time – when we had a private cottage at Anse Chastanet. There’s something extra special about going through one door (and not having to walk through a closed-in hall before finding the door).
This also made the private deck nice. While the private rooms were next to one another, that feeling of being alone was always there. We rarely saw others around property, even while on our deck or in one of the restaurants. This level of privacy and silence makes this resort feel a bit more exclusive, a bit more luxe, which is one of our priorities while traveling.
So what are the things that make a resort/hotel special to you? What do you look for in your home-base-while-traveling?