IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ENERGY IN SEDONA, ARIZONA. LONG CONSIDERED A SACRED SPOT FOR NATIVE AMERICANS, THE RED ROCK MOUNTAIN-RINGED CITY, SET ABOUT TWO HOURS NORTH OF PHOENIX, IS HOME TO SEVERAL “VORTEXES,” OR NATURAL ENERGY CENTERS, THAT MANY BELIEVE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE AREA’S UNIQUE ATMOSPHERE—WHICH, DEPENDING ON THE PERSON, MIGHT HAVE YOU FEELING CALM, CENTERED, INVIGORATED OR INSPIRED. WHETHER YOU’RE A BELIEVER OR NOT, IT’S HARD TO ARGUE WITH THE FACT THAT SEDONA JUST “FEELS” GOOD–A BIG REASON WHY THE TOWN HAS BECOME A HOTSPOT FOR HEALERS, ARTISTS AND WELLNESS SEEKERS OF ALL KINDS.
In the heart of this idyllic community sits another source of relaxation–though here, the feeling comes courtesy of plush accommodations, spa treatments, and killer cuisine and cocktails. Set overlooking Oak Creek, and flanked by lush forest, the 88-room L’Auberge de Sedona showcases the best of the destination. Many of the 62 cottages have views of the creek or the mountains, while all have outdoor cedar showers, fireplaces and private terraces where you can enjoy a drink under the stars. (Twenty-six traditional lodge-style rooms are also available.)
In the cozy L’Apothecary Spa, treatments feature local ingredients like desert sage, and you can even learn how to customize and mix your own body scrubs and bath salts, pulling from pharmacy-style jars of herbs and flowers. Depending on the season, the Feet in the Creek reflexology service starts with barefoot wade into Oak Creek, where your therapist will encourage some deep breathing to soak up some of that Sedona magic. The region also comes alive in the decor: Thanks to a partnership with the nearby Goldenstein Galley, works by local artists, sculptors and photographers are displayed around the property (many are also for sale), and regular on-site events allow guests to interact with the creators.
While touches like these have kept the hotel a favorite with both families and romance-seeking couples, L’Auberge is not resting on its laurels–especially when it comes to its culinary offerings. In January, the hotel officially launched three new restaurants, following multimillion-dollar renovations. Named for the peppery watercress that grows along the creek (and that gets foraged by Executive Chef Rochelle Daniel), the fine-dining (but never fussy) Cress on Oak Creek serves a prix-fixe dinner menu that changes according to the season, with courses expertly paired by the wine-savvy staff.
Meanwhile, indoor-outdoor Etch Kitchen & Bar serves three meals a day, from gourmet breakfasts to an array of shareable plates and Spanish-style tapas served with creative cocktails. (Tip: If dining with a group, snag one of the firepit tables on the terrace.)
L’Auberge also operates the new 89Agave Cantina, a lively spot for Sonoran-style Mexican dishes and tequila-based cocktails located on a ridge just above the hotel, in charming Uptown Sedona. (Guests can grab some exercise and walk up to the shop-lined street, or hop in a complimentary house car.) One final new touch can be enjoyed right in your room: Via a partnership with Page Springs Cellars, an excellent vineyard and winery based in the Verde Valley above Sedona, the hotel has created three custom-blend wines inspired by the property and available exclusively in the accommodations. Choose from a Malvasia white, a flavorful rose and a Petit Sirah–each sure to energize you in their own way. www.lauberge.com