Chances are if you know anything about Sedona, you know that it is said to be an incredibly powerful place. With its four vortexes, crystal shops, energy workers and healers, and magnificent Red Rock country, it is nearly impossible to not feel the magic when you visit. That magic is exactly what I felt during my stay at L’Auberge de Sedona at Oak Creek, Sedona, Arizona.
Scenic Retreat in the Heart of Sedona
The five-star, luxury property of L’Auberge de Sedona is easily accessed from the Phoenix Airport with a shuttle or rented card directly to the front door in about two hours with a scenic view of the Red Rock desert along the way. The magic begins when you step onto the property that is naturally situated on the banks of Oak Creek in the heart of Sedona. The river, with its soft sandy beach along with smooth rocks for sunbathing, is surrounded by lush vegetation which creates a beautiful contrast to the arid, dry desert, it is truly a world of its own standing in the cold natural water surrounded by desert rock in every direction.
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Luxury Lodge Style Accommodation
There are 62 private luxury cottages and 21 lodge-style guest rooms on this property. The newly renovated Creekhouse gives L’Auberge the additional opportunity to host groups wanting upscale, intimate space with 2,800 feet of communal gathering space, perfect for weddings, reunions and retreats. There are four types of cottages on property: Creekside Cottages, Vista Cottages, Spa Cottages, and Garden Cottages. Each cottage offers a unique setting on property; the Creekside Cottages include an outdoor cedar shower, and you can even bring your dog if you stay in one of the Garden Cottages. The Vista Cottages feature huge windows that frame the art outside and bring it into the room with you. 180-degree panoramic views of Snoopy Rock, Giants Thumb and Elephant Rock can be seen from these cottages. The Lodge Rooms and Suites offer guests a “resort within a resort” feel. This two-story lodge offers 19 rooms and 2 suites and is art-inspired with curated art from local artists.
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My Creekside Cottage was idyllic in every way. Not only did I have a view of the magical creek from every window, but I was lulled to sleep nightly by the sound of its current and just steps away from it every morning for a refreshing dip before breakfast. The in-room Keurig Coffee Maker was put to good use shortly after, as I enjoyed coffee on my private deck. The king-sized bed was turned down nightly with down bedding and pillows and the outdoor shower with Bee Kind Hair and Skin Products was like having my very own in-room spa treatment.
Cutting Edge Culinary Offerings
Two of the mornings I stayed at L’Auberge de Sedona I saw the chef forging in and near the river for the freshest menu items he could find, this happens daily. The two dining options on property: Cress on Oak Creek and Etch Kitchen & Bar were given the distinction of “One of the Top Ten Restaurants in the Southwest” by Condé Nast Traveler and Open Table gave the creek side dining location the accolade of “Top 100 Al Fresco Dining” spots in the U.S.
My table on the edge of the creek at Cress on Oak Creek, and the prix fixe five-course meal with perfectly paired wines was unforgettable. The chef created a vegetarian menu on-the-spot that rivalled, as my taste buds can attest to, the existing one. The menu, created daily, is one of natural, organic and seasonal ingredients and each course was a work of art and creative culinary experience that brings the creek to the table – literally.
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Movement and Healing at L’Auberge de Sedona
There are many things to do, or not, at L’Auberge de Sedona. Daily yoga classes and a fully-equipped fitness centre offer guided movement invitations, creekside loungers, grassy areas, private decks and a salt and mineral based pool invite you to sit still.
The weekend I arrived, a sacred Green Tara Tibetan Sand Mandala was being finished by the Garden Shartse Monks as part of their tour of the United States. Witnessing this ancient and revered Tibetan tradition added incredible magic to my stay. I watched the intricacy of the mandala being made, one tiny coloured grain of sand at a time by Mandala Masters. After about 80 hours of concentrated effort, the mandala closing ceremonies happen with traditional chanting and ritual, and the mandala, symbolising impermanence, is swept up and returned into the creek. This mandala, the Green Tara, a female Buddha, is one of the most revered figures in Tibetan Buddhism. Symbolising universal compassion, it was an incredibly heart-felt experience that I will never forget.
Arizona Adventures Near L’Auberge
The opportunity to explore off-property, in every direction, is an ever-calling invitation with plenty of options when spending a weekend in Sedona, for every type of explorer. Pink Jeep tours, horseback riding, hot air balloons, ATVs and helicopters are available at the whim of seeing the desert through guided eyes. The Grand Canyon is close enough to check this item off your bucket list, and epic hiking can be done within a short distance from your room.
Hiking in Sedona
I opted to hike up to the Airport Vortex during my stay. This is a brief, but steep hike just a short drive from L’Auberge de Sedona. I took an Uber to get there and hiked to the top in about 10 minutes for a stunning view, and access to the vortexes for meditation. From this spot you can access the energy from all four vortexes in Sedona, it is an energy-filled spot with breathtaking views of Cathedral Rock (Red Rock Crossing Vortex), Airport Vortex, Boynton Canyon Vortex and Bell Rock Vortex.
L’Apothecary at L’Auberge de Sedona
I love that the spa at L’Auberge de Sedona is called L’Apothecary, because it is indeed medicine for the soul. I indulged in one of L’Apothecary Sedona’s signature spa treatments during my stay. They offer three signature treatments: Quiet Mind, inspired by a special blend of flower essence from Lotus Wei which is a meditative treatment including guided breathing, acupuncture and massage; Sedona Dreams which is a total body exfoliation treatment using organic, all natural oils and scrubs; and Feet in the Creek, which is a three-part connection between the earth, nature and you.
My Feet in the Creek spa treatment is one that I will never forget. The best spa experiences are ones that can never be repeated exactly the same way twice, and when you can combine a spa treatment with nature it makes it extra special. This treatment begins with dropping in to nature, literally. I was escorted to the creek and Kelly, my massage therapist, guided me through a short meditation with an invitation to be fully present. With my feet in the creek, I could feel the energy of the current. It was a moment for me to connect deeply with myself and nature, and the magic of Sedona. What I heard among the symphony of the elements was myself. Sometimes we move so fast we don’t give ourselves a chance to listen to the deepest parts of ourselves. This moment of connection was a beautiful gift and ultimate luxury. The treatment concludes with a foot rinsing and foot reflexology treatment. It was divine.
On the last day of my stay I visited the Shop at L’Auberge and enjoyed a private blending session where I was able to create my own bath salt with the salts and herbs and floral essences at L’Apothecary. This guided blending session is a great way to take the memory of Sedona, the creek and all of its magic back home with you. You even get to name your special, one-of-a-kind salt.
L’Auberge de Sedona
301 L’Auberge Lane, Sedona, AZ 86336
2 hours by car to Sedona from the Phoenix Airport
The Fit Traveller was a guest of L’Auberge de Sedona for this stay. As always, the opinions, words and images are authentically our own.
Pat Russo is a Mystic, Muse, and Spiritual Teacher guiding women into their hearts with a journey of softening. She is a published poet, a lover of hearts, and a forever student.
Feeling the impossibility of choosing between her two favorite cities, she considers San Francisco and Paris home.