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Destination I Do

Desert Luxe

Words by Carolyn Gerin


In seven years of travel writing, nothing prepared me for the stark, staggering, otherworld majesty of the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. Located at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon (sacred Native Indian terrain), Sedona is also the backdrop of many Western films you’ve seen.

Nestled into 70-acres of secluded Boynton Canyon in the Coconino National Forest lies the mecca of desert luxury: The Enchantment Resort. Turn in any direction and experience towering martian-like cliffs which ensconce the resort like a jewel. Feeling that vortex zen? Sit in any one of the stylish desert-meets-divine cocktail lounges and take in the cool, dry evening air; watch the sun set over caramel-colored rocks as you sip a prickly-pear margarita by the fire pit. Tuck into the satisfying, eclectic cuisine of Executive Chef David Schmidt and Chef de Cuisine Sam Williams; enjoy duck, steak and green-chili pork infused with the bright, fresh flavors of the Southwest. Enjoy casual dining at Tii Gavo, tapas-style swank at View 180, or fine dining (and brunch) under the stars at the signature Che-Ah-Chi.

Let your cares evaporate at top spa, Mii Amo Spa, for full-service relaxation rooted in Native American traditions.

Tranquility starts in your adobe-inspired casita, infusing a modern mix of Southwest local art and artifacts with streamlined modernity. The result is a deeply comfortable room with handmade elements, earth tones and clean lines.

Wake up to hearty huevos ranchos and mimosas and head up the Boynton Canyon Trail – what should be a two and a half hour hike takes four (massive photo opportunities). Our hike to the summit is richly rewarded: towering peaks and cavernous valleys against an intensely turquoise sky.

Romantic activity alert: see the canyon from the sky at daybreak with Northern Light Balloon Expeditions. Enjoy a thrilling hot air balloon journey over forests and canyons ending with a Champagne toast.

Thrillseekers unite! Head over to “doors off” Sedona Helicopter Adventures – fly through ancient ruins deep in the Secret Canyons' 2,000-foot red rock walls. Your pulse races as you climb over the Mogollon Rim, plunge into the Boynton Canyon and careen around crevices – exhilarating!   

Sedona is stunning, and if you hit it at the right time: secluded. If you seek peace, staggering beauty, loss of care, gain of perspective, spectacular food and accommodations, endless outdoor activities and a perfect setting to connect with each other (and the universe) – look no further – Sedona’s waiting
for you.

Photos courtesy of Sedona Helicopter Adventures (1st), Northern Light Balloon Expeditions (2nd), The Enchantment Resort (3rd & 4th), and Jennifer Stein (5th)

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