The priceless view from my Vista Suite at L'Auberge de Sedona.
Yours truly can spend hours immersed in travel magazines, memoirs, and television programs but nothing beats the feeling of actually hitting the road and seeing it for yourself. Two weeks ago, I took my very first trip to Arizona and kicked off my getaway with 2 nights in Sedona. Located just 2 hours north of Phoenix, Sedona's breathtaking beauty and peaceful aura made it the perfect start to my vacation.
The stunning view of Sedona's legendary Red Rocks from my Vista Suite at L'Auberge de Sedona left me absolutely speechless. Consistently recognized as one of the world's best hotels, L'Auberge offers a refined rustic luxury that is a perfect match with the landscape. My two-room suite was tastefully decorated and featured great touches such as a gas fireplace in the living room. And, the bathroom was extraordinary - not only did it have a Jacuzzi tub and a spacious shower, there was also an outdoor cedar shower. Taking an afternoon shower al fresco in the Sedona sun was absolutely exhilarating and made this city girl feel in touch with Mother Nature. And, I was assured that peeping toms are not a problem!
Of course, the most exquisite feature of my L'Auberge suite was the view - all of the rooms had large windows that made the Red Rocks feel like an extension of the suite. I spent much of my trip on the expansive redwood deck, just gazing at the scenery and breathing in the fragrant air - a crisp scent of juniper, mesquite and other natural aromas. I really began to understand why many people feel such a strong spiritual connection to Sedona.
L'Auberge's 87 guest rooms and cottages are spread out over 11 landscaped acres. Whether you opt for a creekside cabin or a view of the Red Rocks, the accommodations at L'Auberge are top notch. It is a great resort for a solo trip, romantic escape, girlfriend getaway, or a destination wedding. If you have a large group, you can event rent out the magnificent two-story lodge.
While it was very tempting to spend all of my time just luxuriating in my suite, I ventured out for the Sedona Dreams treatment at the spa. 90 minutes of bliss, Sedona Dreams is a full-body treatment that includes exfoliation, massage, and hot stones - so relaxing! I opted to have my treatment at the spa but they are happy to provide services creekside or in the privacy of your room.
Who knew pampering could work up such an appetite? I was ravenous after my spa visit and opted for dinner at the L'Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek - rated "One of the Top Ten Restaurants in the Southwest" by Condé Nast Traveler. It was truly one of the most beautiful outdoor dining experiences I've ever had. The melodic sounds of the flowing creek, twinkling lights, and lush canopy of sycamore and cottonwood trees put me in a very romantic mood, and I was alone! Heat lamps keep the temperature comfortable on a brisk night and the service is attentive without being clingy. The L'Auberge menu showcases Mediterranean inspired American cuisine and the wine list is quite impressive. Breakfast, lunch, and cocktails are also served and indoor dining is also available.
The next morning I took advantage of L'Auberge's complimentary transportation for guests and was chauffeured in a Land Rover to Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. Fashioned after a traditional Mexican Village, Tlaquepaque means "the best of everything" and is an interesting mix of art galleries, artisan shops, and eateries.
I would definitely visit Sedona again and highly recommend staying at L'Auberge - they have everything you need for a great vacation - beautiful accommodations, a perfect location, delicious food, spa, and a wonderful staff. On my next trip I would explore more of Sedona and sign up for an off-road adventure with Pink Jeep Tours - they offer excursions to the Grand Canyon, Ancient Ruins, Coyote Canyons, and more.
For more tips on planning your Sedona vacation, explore the L'Auberge de Sedona and VisitSedona.com websites.
PS. Self-portraits can be a challenge when traveling alone but here is a photo I snapped while on the deck of my suite at L'Auberge. I just can't get enough of that view!