As a certified urban dweller, I’m intrigued by cabin destinations that promise to charm the knotty pine off my outdoor getaway—the kind where I cast a line for meals and bunk in a room with no electricity or running water. And then I remember I’m the type of camper that is more at rest with creature comforts than rustic rituals.
So when we were invited to spend a weekend at L’Auberge de Sedona, the need to get back to nature called. At the resort, which is in the heart of the Red Rocks, I was able to find my natural element without having to nail down all the rough edges. Nestled alongside Oak Creek below jetting crimson cliffs and a canopy of tall sycamores and cottonwoods, the luxury inn caters to the softer—and finer—side of cabin experiences.
The great outdoors provide the stunning scenic backdrop at L’Auberge—named in the 2013 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List of the world’s best places to stay and the 2013 Travel + Leisure 500—but the accommodations create the distinction. The guest rooms, which range from lodge style to cottages and vista suites, are impeccably decorated in European country or modern residential decor and feature amenity-rich features like Fili D’Oro Italian linens, down bedding, and Gilchrist & Soames hair and skin products. In addition, select rooms have fireplaces, private outdoor cedar showers and deep-soaking Jacuzzi tubs.
Some guest rooms are adjacent to the creek while others have spectacular views of the unique buttes and rock formations of Sedona. My vista suite, which had an oversized redwood patio and windows with a 180-degree panoramic view of Snoopy Rock, Giants Thumb and Elephant Rock, was so cozy I felt like coming down with an extreme case of cabin fever just so I could stay inside.
Yet, there are many reasons to roll out of your luxury bunk. One is to indulge at the L’Auberge Spa with a skin, body or massage treatment inspired by the natural energy and surroundings of the quaint encampment. Or you can participate in free sunrise yoga classes, duck feeding, a photographer’s guided walk and astronomer-led stargazing, to name a few of the resort activities.
Perhaps the best reason to venture out of your “cabin” is to savor the award-winning French-inspired American cuisine of L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek, named “One of the Top Ten Restaurants in the Southwest” by Condé Nast Traveler.
At this magical creekside AAA Four Diamond restaurant, executive chef Rochelle Daniel incorporates local and regional organic produce for the ever-changing seasonal menu that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. The lineup highlights the best of harvests such as wild game, artisan cheeses, fresh herbs and vegetables, and supports sustainable fishermen, farmers and foragers to optimize the natural peak in freshness and flavor.
Dinner items such as La Belle Farms foie gras with strawberry mostarda, pistachio, sous vide rutabaga and toasted brioche and Alaskan halibut with butternut squash ravioli, oyster mushrooms, baby greens and tomato nage exemplify the exquisite land to sea choices currently available on the sophisticated menu.
Guests can also dine and grab small plates like Dungeness crab crepes with roasted tomato, fennel and butter-braised shitake at the adjoining indoor/outdoor Veranda Bar wine bar, as well as select from the extensive wine cellar, winner of the Wine Spectator‘s “Award of Excellence” 22 consecutive times. Among the hand-crafted selections are Arizona varietals, particularly those from the Verde Valley region, as well as domestic and international wines, and cognacs, armagnacs, port and dessert options.
If you need to rough it in the woods but don’t want to fish for amenities—or your dinner—vist L’Auberge de Sedona.
L’Auberge de Sedona
301 L’Auberge Lane, Sedona
Photo copyright 2013 Mark Lipczynski