Spirit of Sedona
Welcoming wonder and wellness at Arizona’s soulful desert destination.
Before arriving at Sedona, a traveling companion warned me of the “elevated” effect this spiritually-aligned Arizona retreat might have on a person’s current disposition. Arrive joyful and enjoy a rush of similar emotions throughout the trip. Come with some extra baggage, and you could end up perched on a mesa proclaiming, “I’m the king of the world” in nothing more than a bandana. Taking the short, two-hour drive north from Phoenix and watching a landscape of cactus become engulfed in waves of breathtaking red rock, it would be a shame to embark on Sedona without a soul full of admiration and amazement.
Inn the Elements
Perhaps no other destination within the red rock majesty that frames this region captures the essence of the Sedona experience more than L’Auberge de Sedona. (301 L’Auberge Lane, Sedona, 855-905-5745, lauberge.com) Not to be confused with resorts of a similar moniker in Napa and Del Mar, L’Auberge de Sedona is a privately owned property with features and amenities tailored to its unique location. Situated on Oak Creek beneath towering sycamore trees and surrounded by panoramic red rock views, the energy of the resort’s natural immersion radiates from corner to corner.
Spacious and appropriately appointed accommodations range from Creekside and Spa Cottages to Vista Cottages and Suites with uninterrupted views. Most rooms come with fireplaces and cedar outdoor showers, and all include sumptuous Italian linens, down bedding, bathrobes and slippers, and nightly turndown service.
Thanks to the culinary talents of Chef Rochelle Daniel, dining at the resort is nothing short of delectable. Seasonally rich and delicious offerings are served throughout the day creekside in a romantic, alfresco setting or in the cozy comfort of your cottage.
Join other guests for complimentary coffee and baked goods after morning yoga or experience the popular duck feeding at the creek. Stargazers will want to follow their dessert with a guided tour of Sedona’s incredible night sky with a local expert.
And if you’re willing to try something new, a session in “Forest Bathing” should make its way on your itinerary. No water or nudity required; this is a cleansing of the mind and spirit that allows you to breathe in all of Sedona’s natural beauty.
It’s the spa that takes the wellness factor up another welcome notch at L’Auberge. In addition to rejuvenating and refreshing massages, facials and other beneficial treatments, the spa introduced L’Apothocary—a place to experiment with a variety of natural remedies, like lavender, juniper calendula flower and even cardamom, to blend your own signature scrub or bath salt.
On the Rocks
While the red rocks of Sedona are lovely to look at, they are even more exciting to explore. From jeep tours to helicopter excursions to custom hikes, there are multiple ways to uncover the mysterious vortexes hidden in the terrain.
Your first stop should be The Hike House, located on the main drag as you drive up to L’Auberge. Ground zero for hikers and all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts, they will customize a hike based on your skill level and scenic interest. Plus they have a bunch of fitness gear and healthy snacks like smoothies, trail mixes and one of the best cookies you’ll ever eat. (431 State Route 179 #B-1, Sedona, 928-282-5820, thehikehouse.com)
If you’d rather have someone do the moving for you, you can’t go wrong with a ride with Pink Jeep Tours. True to the hue, these rose-colored off-roaders will take you all around Sedona’s most scenic places, from Diamondback Gulch to Broken Arrow and even as far as the Grand Canyon. Fasten your seat belts; it’s going to be a bumpy sight. 204 North State Route 89A, Sedona, 800-873-3662, pinkjeeptourssedona.com)