There’s no denying that Sedona’s landscape is larger than life. The famous red rock buttes, mesas, and hoodoos stand majestically against the over–saturated blue desert sky. Above the horizon it could be a land that time forgot, but when one enters the first round-about near Sedona’s village center, with its myriad of restaurants, convenience stores and tourist shops, you realize you are not the first to discover this enchanted land.
The drive into the valley from the south—it’s less than two hours by car from Phoenix—is as impressive as any in America. Soaring red monoliths of sandstone unfold around every turn with names like Bell, Court House and Cathedral. Time and again, the red rock valley lives up to its name, delivering a jaw dropping welcome to all that enter its mystical domain.
Sedona is as much a spiritual enclave as it is a tourist destination. It exudes authentic peacefulness and harmony, and demands respect under the watchful eyes of Mother Nature, whose loving red stare surrounds one’s every turn. Visitors from across the globe venture to this sacred destination for many reasons: spiritual, athletic or hedonistic, yet whatever the draw, Sedona is an unmatched respite from the realities of our modern civilized world.
L’Auberge de Sedona
L’Auberge is one of those enchanting properties that exude charm and character, and then one discovers its sophisticated service and world-class cuisine! Nestled among the ancient cottonwood and sycamore trees that line Oak Creek, whose gently rolling waters bestow a feeling of timeless serenity, L’Auberge immediately brings calm to one’s senses.
Cheery green lawns and manicured flower beds paint vivid palettes throughout the property, and meandering through the walking paths and sitting areas along the creek is a favorite privilege of smitten guests.
Each room at L’Auberge has a personality. Many are complete with wood burning fireplaces, four-poster beds and outdoor patios. All the accommodations feature luxurious bathrooms with exquisite bed linens, luxury bath products, white spa robes and slippers, making one’s stay as comfortable as it is beautiful.
Dining at L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek is an experience in and of itself. Just sitting beside the creek under the canopy of cottonwoods, while wild ducks poke and dunk for a meal to the sound of the gurgling water, is well worth the visit.
The Veranda Bar at L’Auberge, which overlooks the creek side dining patio with its glimmering lights that reflect on the creek, is the perfect spot for apéritifs or an indulgent dessert and coffee.
The Spa at L’Auberge is thoughtfully designed to remove modern stresses and complete a sense of well-being. Set within a quaint rustic building at the center of the property, a sublimely relaxing massage with natural aromas of lavender brought an otherwise relaxed body into a state of near euphoria. Afterward, the purchase of a branded L’Auberge spa robe will evoke the experience long after you return home—they even make spa robes in sizes for dogs!
Mountain Bike Beauty
The Bell Rock Pathway leads hikers and bicyclists into and around the stunning formations of Bell Rock and Courthouse Vista. From there, an interconnected system of well-marked trails leads the adventurous throughout Sedona’s most spectacular scenery.
The ten-mile journey meandered down into creek beds and onto high ridges and plateaus, the most spectacular being Cathedral Rock vortex, whose reaching spires are like fingers of the earth reaching for spirits high in the sky. Although this portion of the trail will have you hiking your bikes up the base of the massive formation, it is worth the trip. Vortexes are considered to have highly concentrated energies conducive to prayer, meditation and healing.
Fashioned after a traditional Mexican village, Tlaquepaque has been a Sedona landmark since the 1970s. With its vine-covered stucco walls, cobble-stoned walkways, and impressive arched entry ways that open onto patios and plazas surrounded by galleries, the unique shops and restaurants make for an excellent afternoon of shopping.
After a visual feast of Tlaquepaque’s wares, the menu at René offers a delightful blend of continental cuisine seasoned with a hint of a classic French influence. Introduced some twenty-five years ago by original owner/chef René Baudat, this Tlaquepaque landmark offers inviting outdoor patio tables amid an unhurried atmosphere.
A Glowing Review
Sunsets in Sedona are world renowned. The brilliant orange and red geologic formations glow more intensely by the minute, until the sun dips westward and a welcome coolness pervades.
Enchantment is another noteworthy resort to the west of Sedona’s center. Built deep back into a canyon of red sandstone, the resort features a perfect setting for watching the sunset. On the outdoor patio of View 180, guests can nibble from a tapas-style menu and sip mixologist-crafted cocktails while drinking in the glowing red rocks.
It’s hard to lose one’s way in Sedona. No matter what you’re seeking—mystic crystal revelations, the truth that’s out there, or simply peace of mind—you will discover it in your own way.