Red Rock Revival
Three sisters immerse themselves in spectacular Sedona and experience the magic of the monoliths
- Written byLinda Grasso
My older sister, Laura, was turning 50, and my younger sister and I wanted to take her someplace where we could celebrate and kick back. After much debate, we zeroed in on Sedona. Its “natural endowments”—the famous red rock monoliths—intrigued us.
We were also attracted to Sedona’s reputation as a spiritual Mecca. The Boynton Canyon area is known as a location for a New Age “vortex”—a sort of energy field emanating from inner earth. And we harried moms needed some om.
After an easy trip, we pulled up to the Enchantment Resort, a 70-acre resort dotted with desert native gardens and adobe structures. Mii amo is a destination spa located on the same property as Enchantment. Spa guests who book three- to seven-day packages stay right next to the spa in one of 16 modern rooms. All treatments and Mii amo Cafe meals are included. Resort guests can enjoy all the facilities and classes at Mii amo, but treatments and meals are a la carte. Rooms are further away from the spa—up to 15 minutes. So don’t forget your flashlight at night!
After dropping bags at our pretty, spacious resort casita, we ponied up to the outdoor lounge cocktail area to finish off the sunset. Fully relaxed, we decided on dinner “in.”
At the Mii amo Spa bar, we slurped down some delicious pomegranate mojitos made with spiced rum, pomegranate juice and agave. Unfortunately, the cocktails were the high point of our dining experience that night. The Mii amo Cafe’s bland veggie stir-fry and overcooked, miniscule (pricey) lamb chops were just so-so.
You could spend a satisfying weekend in Sedona and never leave the Enchantment once. For the sports enthusiast, there’s hiking, tennis, swimming, biking and croquet. Meantime, the spa offers yoga and dance classes, cooking demonstrations, offsite excursions and some really inventive treatments.
In the morning, we enjoyed a watercolor painting class and yoga. Then we hiked the red rocks. We loaded into an SUV for the short ride to the Coconino National Forest. Our guide offered a choice of eight treks, and our group settled on the moderate, two-hour “Teacup” hike. We particularly enjoyed our friendly guide’s narrative along the way.
The Spa Experience
Afterwards, my sisters and I decided to give the Mii amo Spa Cafe another try, and this time, we were delighted. We converged at the pool for a sumptuous al fresco lunch. The Mii amo pool turned out to be our favorite dining spot at the resort. We intended to try the more upscale Yavapai at the main resort, but we could never get properly motivated due to the dressier attire required.
Spa treatments here are aimed at body and soul. My sister, Lisa, signed up for the Circle of Power—a chance to “connect with your true essence and make your journey authentic.” Lisa described it as basically therapy— “a chance to talk about yourself on a really basic level and get feedback.” (120-minute, $350)
The birthday girl and I, meantime, opted for pure hedonistic pleasure–the Intentional Aromatherapy Massage (60 minutes, $150)—worth every minute.
Sedona’s Shopping Scene
The town of Sedona is teeming with artisans, boutiques, galleries and New Age metaphysical shops. We particularly liked the charming Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. We found cool, handcrafted jewelry, beautiful blown glass and a wide array of paintings while strolling among the vine-covered stucco walls and cobblestone walkways.
We were warned that the wait at the popular Elote Cafe (elotecafe.com) could be hours, but we went anyway. We had a few killer margaritas, and an hour and a half later our table was ready. We liked our carne asada and enchiladas, and the birthday girl even bought the chef’s cookbook. But overall, we rated this dining experience a “B.” It’s hard to measure up after such a long wait.
First on our agenda: an Aura Energy lecture to hear about various types of energy and how one can get a better understanding of potential and challenges. It felt a bit wacky but was fun nevertheless.
The Grand Canyon is only two hours away, but we opted for the 35-minute ride to the historic copper mining town of Jerome. Located high on top of a hill (5,200 feet), Jerome was once known as the “wickedest town in the west.” Nowadays, locals promote it as a ghost town. We discovered a bohemian arts community and some blocks that seem frozen in the ‘60s.
The Last Supper
For our final night, we dined on the patio at the Heartline Cafe (heartlinecafe.com) and devoured a top-notch meal of inventively prepared fresh fish. It was a great way to cap off our “sister caper,” which, by all accounts, was a success.
Sedona, with its spectacular scenery and fun southwestern vibe, is a delightful playground. And the Enchantment, with its exceptional menu of treatments and activities and aim-to-please staff, is an idyllic sanctuary. Whether or not you subscribe to mysticism, a stay here will undoubtedly have you agreeing that there’s some sort of magic among the crimson cliffs.