By Christopher A. Pape & Anna Ryan
One of my favorite games growing up was Word Association. Everyone knows the rules and they hardly bear repeating. I think of myself as quite good at the game so it came as a surprise to me during my visit at Sedona, Arizona the word most frequently on the tips of everyone’s tongue and most linked to this beautiful city is vortex. Everywhere I went – a national park, canoeing, hiking and even when I went out to eat, the residents were enthralled with the idea of positive energy.
While I may not be a devotee of such New Age thinking, it was easy to understand – with its stunning scenery and perfect climate – why so many people love Sedona. And what better way to experience all that Sedona had to offer than staying at its most luxurious property, L’Auberge de Sedona. Situated on the banks of Oak Creek in Sedona’s outstanding Red Rock Country, L’Auberge de Sedona offers both tranquility and energized activity. With a variety of extravagant accommodations, this luxury hotel makes sure you get the most out of your stay. One of the most romantic choices is the Creekside Cottage. Here you can enjoy a wood-burning fireplace, spacious decks and a romantic shower setting under Sedona’s starry skies. For views of Sedona’s red rocks, the Vista Suite (where I stayed) and Vista Cottage both offer oversized picture windows for a panoramic view of Snoopy Rock, Giants Thumb and Elephant Rock. In the Spa Cottage, you can enjoy a spa-like experience with Jacuzzi tubs, dual-jet showers and double vanities. You can also relax and enjoy a glass of wine on the large outdoor terrace.
For those who like being surrounded by nature, the Garden Cottage is surrounded by foliage and trees, which makes for a great evening by the wood-burning fireplace or spacious deck. The Garden Cottage is also dog-friendly and offers a wide variety of pet services and amenities including: various sized dog beds, food and water bowls, goodie bags containing a toy, treats, clean-up bags and a map of nearby walking trails, pet sitting, dog walking, leashes and information about the nearest pet store and veterinary services.
Another great option is the two-story Lodge. Two oversized fireplaces and comfortable seating are an invitation for guests to relax in the main lobby. Each room is decorated with traditional European décor and they all have a private patio or balcony. Lastly, the Creek House is ideal for those who are traveling as a group. This place features five private bedrooms and 2,500 square-feet of space. Each bedroom has its own private bath and the downstairs bedroom is wheelchair accessible.
What would five-star property be without an amazing restaurant? L’Auberge de Sedona doesn’t disappoint. Dining at L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek is a singular experience not to be missed. Named “One of the Top Ten Restaurants in the Southwest” by Condé Nast Traveler, the cuisine is French with a modern American approach. Dine in the natural forested beauty of Sedona, under a canopy of cottonwood and sycamore trees alongside the creek. It is utterly romantic and thoroughly magical, especially as the sun sets. I thoroughly enjoyed (and perhaps even gained weight from) my dining experience at the property. From a traditional preparation of foie gras to modern interpretations of tortellini, each creation was mouthwatering and clearly made with care. This commitment to quality is also evident in the truly magical moments I experience at the hotel spa. It is without exaggeration to say that the full body scrub that I received was one of the top three treatments at a spa that I have ever received. By the end of the treatment, all of the stress that I had carried with me to Arizona had melted away. Aside from the excellent treatment I received, the spa offers other options for a soothing and relaxing experience. Spa therapies relieve tension, restore your body and provide a sense of well-being. Outdoor yoga classes are offered at sunrise and are designed to keep you in touch with the spiritual surroundings. Treatments can be even more intimate with a private massage by the creek or in the comfort of your cottage.
Mention should be made of the vortexes in Sedona. They are believed to be created from spiraling spiritual energy and the locations are said to facilitate prayer, meditation and healing. The energy of a vortex interacts with a person’s inner self and cannot be completely explained without the experience. L’Auberge offers vortex hikes so guests can indulge this captivating experience.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a hiking adventure or a spiritual sojourn, L’Auberge de Sedona is the perfect place. With a friendly and knowledgeable staff, immaculate rooms, tasty creations and a location in the heart of the town, the property rests at the summit of choices in this most sublime setting. All the seasons offer a varied and interesting experience and don’t hesitate to go in the low season, which can offer just as an interesting experience as in the high. Go! You won’t be disappointed. •
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