When I pulled my car up to the curb at L’Auberge de Sedona, the sun was already starting to set. In the distance, a shadow began to dance across the area’s famous red rocks, threatening to plunge them into darkness before I had a chance to grab a photo. The men working valet swooped in to bundle up my baggage while I checked in, and then I was driven up to my suite overlooking the Sedona valley, which was now tucked in beneath the dark sky.
I’ve been to Sedona before, and to reach L’Auberge, I’d had to navigate the crowded traffic circles and avoid people dodging across the street as they rushed from one side of the street to the other, ever eager to grab their souvenirs from a line of tourist shops. This was not the atmosphere I’d envisioned for a single-night stay in one of the most popular cities in Arizona, so I was incredibly surprised when I turned off the main road and less than a half-mile later was treated to a relaxing retreat that was minutes from the action in Sedona yet truly felt a world away. It was so quiet as I opened the door to my room and dropped my bags on the floor after my long drive from Las Vegas.
The suite was spacious and cozy with a beautiful gas fireplace and a place to put my feet up when I finally flopped down to relax. In the bedroom, the bed looked through a set of glass patio doors that faced the red rocks. In the bathroom, a bathtub also offered a stellar view of the natural environment, and there was both an indoor shower and one that was open from the top in lieu of an outdoor shower. Whenever I get the chance to stay at a property this beautiful, I’m always humbled by the experiences that people want me to have, but to be in Sedona, which is said to be a vortex and have natural healing properties, harnessing that feel-good feeling was easier. I felt comfortable and at ease as I slipped on some comfortable clothes for dinner.
The property’s restaurant, L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For dinner, hotel guests and those from off-property are welcome to enjoy a prix fixe meal (which I always love to do because I try things I wouldn’t normally think to order). I enjoyed a dungeness crab crepe as an appetizer (delish) and Maine diver scallops as a main course (I especially loved the crispy corn) as well as dessert and a glass of wine as I spent a couple hours on my own, catching up with my journal. My waitress knew everything about the menu and was able to answer questions and provide suggestions. It was a quiet, relaxing, upscale dinner and I thoroughly enjoyed it before rolling back to my suite for an evening reading in front of my fireplace.
When my alarm went off in the morning, I was greeted by a thick cloud cover that kept the sun from reflecting on L’Auberge’s surroundings. I sat on my balcony briefly, my eyes closed, imagining a thick ray of sun warming my eyelids. In the lobby, a selection of muffins and scones accompanied a freshly brewed batch of coffee for those who didn’t want to dine in the restaurant. I didn’t have time to hang around L’Auberge too long as I had to begin a drive to Scottsdale, but if I had the time, I would have taken advantage of the hotel’s many daily activities available to guests—early morning yoga, the daily duck feeding, spiritual group sessions, photography walks, geology and history lectures.
When I dragged my suitcase out of my room, the men working valet practically had my car pulled up to the curb and the trunk opened before I had time to set my bags down. When I checked out, the woman working behind the desk asked me if I enjoyed my stay.
“Yes, but it was way too short,” I said.
“You’ll have to come back,” she said.
“I will,” I responded. And I meant it. Someday I’ll see the sun shine on those red rocks from the comfort of my quiet balcony at L’Auberge de Sedona.
Disclaimer: My stay at L’Auberge de Sedona was kindly comped, but all opinions are my own. Bathtub photo taken by me; the other two were provided by L’Auberge.