With towering red-rock buttes, cool pine forests, and brilliant blue skies, Sedona Arizona is gorgeous. If it looks familiar perhaps it’s because the stark landscape formed the backdrop for dozens of Hollywood westerns. There’s no more beautiful place to watch the setting sun than here.
Sedona is noted for its mystical vortexes, which New Agers believe enhances creativity and well being. And there’s an active artists’ colony here, drawn by the dramatic scenery and lovely light.
Hiking or biking through the rugged canyons is the main attraction. In fact, you can’t walk more than a few blocks from downtown without hitting a trail head. And Oak Creek and its swimming holes are popular places to cool off after a hike.
Sedona resorts capitalize on the area’s natural beauty and offer a nice balance of activity and relaxation.
With 100 guest rooms, Amara Resort and Spa is one of the smaller Sedona resorts. It’s located adjacent to an Oak Creek swimming hole, and shops and restaurants are a short stroll away. The public areas and rooms are colorful and modern and include amenities like WiFi, pillow- top beds, and refrigerators. Each of the rooms has a private patio or balcony with great views of the red rocks. There’s a heated saltwater swimming pool and a small fitness center, and spa services are available in guest rooms.
Lovers of the Arts and Crafts style will enjoy El Portal Sedona, which has original Tiffany and Roycroft furniture and art objects. The original adobe-block hacienda dates from 1910 but has been extensively renovated. The large rooms have stained-glass windows, rock fireplaces, recycled beams, and French doors that open onto a courtyard or balcony. It’s next to the Tlaquepaque shopping center. Breakfast and afternoon wine and hors d’oeuvres are served. Although it’s not a resort, per se, guests may enjoy the pool and health club at an adjacent resort.
Sedona’s Oak Creek
Mii Amo – the best spa in Sedona – is the main draw at the Enchantment Resort. You can enjoy an outdoor massage at the base of the crimson hills. The gorgeous location at the opening of Boynton Canyon sets the tone for the low-lying, adobe buildings that offer a variety of accommodations. Rooms have gas fireplaces and balconies with breathtaking views, and the private casitas have beautiful living rooms with beamed ceilings. With a six-hole golf course, 7 tennis courts, 3 restaurants, 2 lounges, and a health club, guests need never leave.
Golfers should make a bee line for the Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa, which adjoins one the most spectacular courses in Arizona. Non-golfers can enjoy one of the three swimming pools, tennis, or health and beauty treatments in the spa. The recently renovated rooms have flat-screen TVs, fireplaces, and balconies or patios. There’s a restaurant serving southwestern cuisine and a pool-side bistro during the season.
Junipine Resort has 50 roomy one- and two-bedroom cabins called “creek houses” on the creek in Oak Creek Canyon. The complex is cooled by the juniper and pine forests and the 5,250-feet elevation. The creek houses — which range from 900 to 1,400 square feet — have high ceilings, fully furnished kitchens, wood-burning fireplaces, and wood decks with views of the creek or canyon. There are hiking trailing and fishing on site. And there’s a café with indoor and outdoor dining and there are barbecue grills on the property.