Nestled in the famed red rocks of Sedona sits the boutique property of L’Auberge de Sedona. The Arizona town has long been known as a popular day trip from bigger cities such as Phoenix, Flagstaff, Scottsdale or even the Grand Canyon, but many seek out Sedona as a vacation destination all its own. Known as a location for activities such as hiking and spa visits, L’Auberge is a nice retreat for luxury-seekers hunting for a true Sedona experience. Here are the five things you need to know about the peaceful property before making the trip:
1. The rooms. Unwind in accommodations that boast impressive views of the lush garden grounds, the red rocks or the bubbling Oak Creek. All rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi, bottled water and flat-screen TVs, and nearly all cottages feature spectacular outdoor rain showers. In cooler months (November to March), we suggest opting for a Vista Suite or the larger Vista Cottages, which provide the best landscape views. In the heat of the summer, try a Creekside Cottage, which offers privacy and shade in a slightly lower — and thus cooler — elevation. Cottages 7 and 23 are particularly popular units for couples seeking some alone time. Creekside guests are also just steps from one of the resort’s prime morning activities — the feeding of the resort’s resident ducks on the banks of Oak Creek.
2. The food. The simply titled L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek offers exactly what the name suggests — fine dining along the creek. Particularly popular for special occasions, the restaurant has a lush, memorable setting where you can spot ducks, herons or other wildlife as you dine. New executive chef Rochelle Daniel dishes out contemporary American fare with a local focus (such as Arizona pine-smoked venison). She highlights creative and seasonal ingredients in an ever-changing three-, four- or five-course menu. Pair items such as a blue cheese and apple salad topped with seared foie gras with an Arizona wine from the extensive rosé, white and red list. A light breakfast of coffee, scones and muffins is served each morning in the Veranda Bar, and breakfast, lunch and brunch are also available.
3. The spa. The Spa at L’Auberge is a highlight at the hotel. Intimate and peaceful, the spa provides a respite for guests seeking rest and rejuvenation. The facilities are relatively modest — a small waiting area with snacks, water and tea as well as his-and-hers changing facilities with showers, lockers and a quaint steam room — but the treatments themselves are top notch. Try the Sedona Stretch, a unique massage that combines light stretching with traditional techniques, or the Sedona Dreams, a body scrub, wrap and hot-stone massage combination, from the newly revamped menu.
4. The other resort activities. It would be easy to stay on the hotel grounds for the duration of a visit. The resort offers a gym, but take your workout outdoors to immerse yourself in the scenery. Swim in the sparkling pool, explore the area on a general-manger-led jog or head to the creek to work on your tree pose with the sunset yoga sessions. The hotel’s activities roster also includes evening wellness lectures and regular stargazing sessions with a local expert.
5. The local surroundings. It would be a shame to come to Sedona and not spend at least some time taking advantage of all that the city and surrounding area has to offer. A car is a must when visiting L’Auberge, as you will want to spend ample time checking out the area’s many galleries and shops. Go on a day trip to the old copper mining town of Jerome, about a 45-minute drive, or try an off-roading Pink Jeep Tour. Both offer a chance to see some spectacular scenery and to learn more about the area. Foodies also won’t want to miss a trip to Elote Cafe, the area’s most popular Mexican restaurant, where diehard fans line up each day at 4:30 p.m. for dishes such as pork cheeks, smoked chicken enchiladas and the eponymous elote appetizer, a creamy dip of grilled corn mixed with spices and cojita cheese.
Photos courtesy of L’Auberge De Sedona