In trying to pick somewhere to go for our “babymoon” I had to think hard about a place where booze wouldn’t tempt me. Wine country – out. Caribbean – out (what’s the beach without a mojito and a tiki bar?). I also love Southwestern landscapes, so we settled quickly on Sedona, Arizona, where we could be healthy and active and maybe indulge in some New Agey spa rituals.
The big decision was where to stay – it essentially boiled down to two choices: L’Auberge de Sedona or Enchantment Resort and Spa. We spent time at both and they offer different pros/cons. L’Auberge is a lovely property down by a creek right off the main strip of downtown Sedona, with accommodations in little creekside cabins. The whole aesthetic is really beautiful and very tastefully done. Sort of high end slightly shabby chic. Enchantment is a self-contained resort tucked in Boynton Canyon about 4 miles outside Sedona (its where Gwyneth spent her 40th birthday). The scenery is totally stunning and their spa, Mii Amo, is huge and offers everything you could possibly want. I got into the swing of things with guided meditation in their crystal grotto, and over four days indulged in massages, shirodhara (an ancient Indian treatment of hot oil streamed onto your forehead– be warned this requires approximately 3000 shampoos to get out of your hair), and even talked my husband into a couple’s jojoba butter body wrap. One of the highlights of the trip was seeing the look of terror in his eyes when the spa people came to the lounge to get us and accidentally started to take us to separate rooms, and my manly man of a husband thought he had somehow been tricked into a solo jojoba butter wrap (they quickly rectified the error so he had his shameful spa activities legitimized by my presence). All my treatments were excellent. There really is no reason to ever leave the resort – it has multiple hiking trails right off the property, tennis courts, three restaurants and a bar, a bocce field (court?), two pools (one with no kids allowed), and lots of activities. I didn’t find downtown Sedona all that charming, so I was happy to just hunker down and explore the hotel property.
We ended up staying at Enchantment and were very glad we had done so because we did so much around the property – morning hikes (we loved the Boynton Canyon hike and the Devil’s Bridge hike) followed by healthy breakfast and wheatgrass shots in the Mii Amo spa café, followed by spa treatments (me) or pool time (my husband), maybe some tennis, and then out for dinner. It really was a delightful place to camp for 4 days. I will say, however, that I did not love the aesthetic of the resort and felt like the décor left a little to be desired. It’s sort of generic Southwest adobe style and could use some special touches.
For the eating part of the vacation, the big winner was L’Auberge de Sedona’s creekside dining. A truly lovely spot – they have tables set out by the creek in the shade, and we ended up at a sweet little table separated by trees on both sides from other diners, with a family of ducks playing in the creek in front of us. The service was truly wonderful, and the meal – though more “formal” and protein-heavy than I like (I haven’t liked meat at ALL while pregnant) was nonetheless delicious. It was just a memorable dining experience all around.
I was also really excited to try Elote, a nouveau Mexican restaurant (my husband travels to Mexico City a lot for work and raves about how amazing true Mexican food is), but unfortunately the place doesn’t take reservations and apparently everyone in Sedona was as excited as I was to eat there. We were quoted an hour and a half wait (at 6:30!) but when that turned into two hours and there were still 6 tables in front of us, I might have had a little meltdown and forced us to scrap the mission. They do have a separate drink service with what looked like delicious margaritas and a great tequila selection, so if you’re prepared to settle down and get a little tipsy while waiting it might be worth it – unfortunately not an option for me.
I would recommend a stop at Chocolatree café as well for lunch – a hippy organic spot that is so militant they don’t even serve tofu or bread. But if you like sprouts and laying in a garden hammock while waiting for your meal, this is your place.
Getting to Sedona you have two options – fly through Phoenix and connect to Flagstaff, or rent a car and drive from Phoenix. We did the latter and I would recommend it – its an easy drive, a little under two hours, and fairly scenic if you like scrubby Southwestern vistas.
I loved our trip to Sedona and left feeling super healthy and rejuvenated from all the outdoor activities, sunshine, and good eating.