There’s a sprinkling of hippie mystique in Arizona’s desert town, Sedona, which is peppered with New Age spas, indie galleries and intriguing boutiques. Surrounded by red rock buttes that turn peach or plum depending on the time of day, it’s a picturesque base for nature walks and canyon hikes. Look for a hotel that taps into the area’s unique culture – with earth-mother interiors, say, or a rural-cabin feel – but regardless, Sedona is the sort of location that makes every kind of hotel look good.
The views from this rustic wood-and-brick inn are astonishing – windows fill with Arizona’s paprika-red rock and endless forest, and hours slip away as you sit al fresco, admiring the panorama from its high-built patio. Farmhouse-feel rooms have wood-beamed ceilings, distressed furniture and woodburners – you couldn’t feel more out in the sticks, but you’re still just on the fringes of Sedona. Luscious green grounds undulate with decorative bridges and ponds, and a pretty pool is a natural chill spot.
With just six rooms, each individually designed and named after a precious stone, there’s an intimate feel to Creekside Inn. Within its cabin-style walls, an expansive ice-white lounge and restaurant are warmed up by tan chesterfield sofas and raw woods; homey breakfasts of waffles, pancakes and local sausage are also whipped up daily to eat beside the Creek. Rooms are alternately ice-white and minimal and lived-in with dark woods and snug rugs – so ask for your preference.
This high-design beauty connects straight to Arizona’s natural beauty with its tree-shrouded pool and cinnamon-red buildings. Start the day with yoga led by one of its three resident practitioners, or set off for a walk along the trail that starts from the surrounding grounds. The resort’s earthy spa warrants more than one visit, too: try the local-herb-infused Rain Dance ritual, scented with sage, lavender and rosemary. Watch out for the $33 resort fee required to use the facilities.
Another spa-focused hideaway, this Adobe-style hotel is more retreat than boarding house – with three-, four- and seven-night packages that tie up activities such as hiking and yoga, healthy juices, spa treatments and Native-American-style rituals. Its philosophy is on the Goop-y, woo-woo side – don’t go if you’re going to snigger at people’s vision boards. Take a deep breath in the Crystal Grotto, a circular sauna built around a crystal center, where therapists burn sage to prompt enlightenment.
One of this area’s more affordable stays, Baby Quail is close to the action in West Sedona – step outside to find organic food markets, artisan chocolate shops and Mexican-Asian street food. Rooms are snug and traditional rather than sharp and chic, but there’s a home-from-home feel – breakfasts of fruit and granola really do make you feel like you’re in someone’s kitchen – but peaceful patios and a hot tub add a splash of glamour.
An Arts-&-Crafts-style B&B set in sprawling, pine-shaded grounds, the Lodge has an eco-warrior spirit. Non-toxic, cruelty-free cleaning products shine up your stay; veggie-leaning, plant-heavy breakfasts start your morning right; and a dog-friendly policy guarantees some handsome hounds. Rooms feel historic, with stone-built fireplaces and thick woven bedspreads. Hunker down in leather armchairs by the main fire after a long hike through the wilderness nearby.
Quaint, but striking the balance between modern aesthetic and local character better than some, Lantern Light is the romantic choice. Fairy-lights entwined in the vines that creep around its doorways, waterfall-trickled rockeries, swing seats in the garden – every nook is made for a heart to heart. In the rooms, distressed headboards and leather sofas add a wink of modernity. Owners Frank and Daisy charm with home-baked muffins and personalized breakfast spreads.
A cult wellness retreat in the style of Mii amo, Enchantment Resort is on a larger, family-friendly scale. Enchantment is a real looker – its zigzag slab of bright turquoise pool is backed by jaw-dropping russet rock and puffs of pine forest – and recently-refurbed suites have white stucco fireplaces, Native-American textiles and woven wall hangings. Exercise sessions and spa suites with plunge pools and patios bring the wellness, but the real showstopper is the stone-clad fire pit with views of the canyon.
Live out your pioneer fantasy in this cluster of peaceful log cabins set on a tranquil creek. Slightly out of town, in Slide Rock State Park, its huts sleep from two to five people – the basic but snug wooden interiors and porch seating deliver that Little House on the Prairie (1935) magic. Half-board room rates with delicious local breakfasts and farm-to-table dinners mean you don’t have to keep ducking into town. Free cocktails and wine in the garden also help keep things sociable.
Sipping west-coast reds and nibbling charcuterie around a roaring fire pit – even indulgent evenings are outdoorsy at this spirited stay. Basic doubles are all plump mattresses and safe beige tones, but larger suites pack in character with corner sofas, butte-view balconies and stucco fireplaces. This is big-resort stuff – a golf course, tennis courts and onsite spa all attract a country-club crowd – and families get the red carpet rolled out with everything from s’mores-toasting kits to pink jeeps to explore in.
Burnt-orange walls, bright fabric blinds and wooden headboards cut into the shape of canyons give color at this modest, affordable base. Its kidney-shaped pool is a low-key hangout and its location at the very gateway to Sedona means unobstructed rocky views. Take to your balcony at sunrise for a once-in-a-lifetime vista.