L'Auberge de Sedona, A Red Rocks Retreat
One of the most highly acclaimed resorts in the area, L'Auberge de Sedona earns the right to be on the most respected lists of the best resorts in the United States. Condé Nast, Travel + Leisure, Zagat, and others have, at one time or another in the past few years, regaled the ambiance and experience at L’Auberge.
A visit to L’Auberge (pronounced: low-bairjz’) is an invitation to absorb the beauty of the Sedona red rocks at a hillside sanctuary by Oak Creek, designed to incorporate the scenic outdoors into the exceptional resort experience. It was a creek-side restaurant long before it was a luxurious and romantic retreat; the French-inspired restaurant is a destination and award-winner in its own right.
Located in the area referred to as Uptown Sedona, L’Auberge is centrally located and presents opportunities to walk or be shuttled to many, shops, galleries, and eateries. It is a privately owned hotel, and not associated with any hotel or resort chain. The Orchards Inn, located above L’Auberge at street level on Highway 89A, is a sister property.
Resort Amenities, Dining, Spa and More
One of the most attractive amenities at L’Auberge is something that can’t be achieved with bricks, logs, tables, beds or swimming pools. That is the location, nestled below the bustling main street crowds and tour jeeps, among the trees, beside the creek with the red rocks towering above.
Of course, you and I both know that what a resort does with its property, and how the guests are treated, are what separates the places where simply ‘a bed in which to sleep will do’ from a special, peaceful, spiritual and romantic escape.
L’Auberge de Sedona has designed the property giving everyone space, and offering room choices that go beyond the size of the bed. If you’ve seen hundreds of Colorado streams, a Creekside Cottage or Suite might not impress as much as the higher Vista Cottages or Suites with views of the majestic red rocks of Sedona. Which did I choose? When I visit Sedona, I intend to be out and about, seeing those impressive red rocks wherever I go. Being a desert dweller and a water person (quite a paradox), creekside is my preference.
All accommodations include a large-screen television, free high speed WiFi, mini-fridge, coffee maker with tea/coffee, Italian linens, down bedding, bathrobes and slippers, luxury hair and skin products and an in-room safe.
Cottage/suite amenities may include Jacuzzi tub, outdoor shower, fireplace with extra wood -- no, you don’t have to chop your own! Lodge rooms have a common lobby with fireplaces in which to relax, making this a favorite for wedding parties that want all the guests to be one location for mingling.
The most discerning dogs stay at L’Auberge! Specific Garden Cottages may be reserved for those guests traveling with the family dog. Don’t tell Fido about the duck feeding every morning….
There is a resort fee at L’Auberge. Valet parking and the valet tip are included when you stay here. No need to tip the concierge or the people who clean the rooms either. Other resort amenities offered at no extra charge include complimentary yoga classes, morning jogs, talks on local interest topics and star-gazing sessions. You’ll be provided a calendar of activities at check-in. If you ‘d rather leave your car with the valet and have resort staff drive you uptown, you can arrange that.
The Spa at L'Auberge
Spa at L’Auberge is an intimate space, not a spa factory. Massages for both individuals and couples may take place at the spa, creekside or in-room. The professionals at the spa can help you select the therapies that will enhance your relaxation, healing and restore your body to a state of well-being.
L’Apothecary, introduced in 2014, is a personalized experience where guests can create their own scents and body care products using natural elements from the Sedona area. For example, I was inspired by a bright orange and yellow flower, and discovered that my perfect scent of the moment was one that enhances and attracts love, but also inspires positive self-attitudes. It’s name? Infinite Love. Who couldn’t use that?
For tomorrow, when I am ready to tackle the adventures of a new day, I’ll concoct a Clear Mind Scrub, with rosemary leaves, hulled cardamom, sage, organic cane sugar and safflower/sunflower oil. It smelled fantastic and left my skin so smooth! L’Apothecary carries a full line of healing botanicals, a resort signature scent created to remind you of your L’Auberge experience long after you have checked out, as well as other special soaks, scrubs and products.
L’Apothecary experiences make a meaningful and thoughtful addition to any group or wedding party.
Dining at L'Auberge
With a name like L’Auberge (loosely translated, it’s French for The Inn) it is no surprise that the Chef creates menu items based on French cuisine, but with a philosophy of creating dishes from natural sources, using locally grown produce and herbs, some of which are even grown at the resort. The menu is constantly changing here, depending on the season and availability of fresh ingredients. You may dine inside, where large glass windows afford a scenic view of the creek and red rocks. Weather permitting, many people prefer to dine creekside.
L’Auberge Restaurant on Oak Creek has often been awarded recognition by Wine Spectator, for their more than 500 selections, with particular strengths in California and French wines. Only prix-fixe meals are served at dinner. My dinner experience included courses: House-Made Pasta with Manila Clams, Artichoke, Kumquat, Beurré de Rosemary; Organic Mixed Greens with Strawberries, Prosciutto di Parma, Almond Sablé, Local Ricotta, Lemon Vinaigrette; Cured Duck Breast with Roasted Buckwheat, Plum Purée, Baby Leek, Smoked Hon Shimeji; and Red Snapper with Young Carrots, Buttered Walnut-Quinoa, Stone Fruit, Citrus Pickled Kale. Meals are meticulously prepared, attractively presented and delicious. Tables are spaced appropriately, and if a romantic evening is what you desire, there’s no better place to start than here. Take your time. Savor the food, the wine, the environment, the conversation.
Of course, breakfast and lunch are also offered here. Anyone who has been to Sunday brunch at L’Auberge knows that it is unsurpassed.
Weddings and Special Occasions
Many a wedding has been held at L'Auberge de Sedona, and if you have been reading since the beginning of this feature that won’t surprise you. This is a place for peace, beauty and rejuvenation, making it a logical spot to create lasting wedding memories for the bride, the groom, and the wedding guests.
Arrange to reserve the entire lodge for your wedding guests, and have your reception and ceremony on the SpiritSong Terrace with spectacular views of Sedona’s red rocks. You say you’d rather skip the traditional wedding events and elope? Then a table for two in a private cabana overlooking the creek is where you’ll want to share the first dinner of your new life together.
Engagements, vow renewals, anniversaries…L’Auberge.
My Take on L'Auberge
I love L'Auberge de Sedona. It is picturesque, serene, luxurious and yet comfortable and casual. The accommodations are warmly decorated and spacious. I found the staff friendly without seeming pretentious, and eager to help, even when I asked where in town to find a great hot dog, or when my camera lens rolled under the bed and I couldn’t reach it. Help was fast and friendly.
Springtime is beautiful in Sedona, and those of us from the desert appreciate green trees and lush gardens. I can’t imagine what could be more relaxing than a massage by the creek.
In fall and winter, wood-burning fireplaces and a crisp outdoor shower after a soak in the Jacuzzi are a treat. Don’t forget, it gets cold enough to snow in Sedona. Even on a day when the resort is completely booked, it will not seem crowded. I loved the deck at my Creekside Cottage. Not only was it a lovely place to read, reply to some messages (don’t worry, it wasn’t work!) or relax with a glass of wine, but it is even large enough to invite a couple of friends over.
Are there any negatives here? Well, I have not yet found the place that would be perfect for everyone.
At this resort there is not much of a lobby, although I appreciated not having to check in at a large, impersonal counter. Do walk through now and then, though. You might find beverages, newspapers, or delicious treats from the pastry chef.
Got kids? They are certainly not prohibited! Keep in mind that there are no planned activities, playgrounds, arcades, tennis courts or other entertainment for them. There is a basic pool. Most guests are here for a quiet getaway. If you have children, I’d try another resort, but by all means, bring them down to the creek to feed the ducks!
In general, L'Auberge is not for the faint of wallet. If you have to ask how much it will cost to stay, dine here, and enjoy spa treatments, you’ll probably be taken aback at the price tag. I’m not sure all the relaxation offered will be able to offset that sticker shock! If you are fortunate to be able to spend hundreds of dollars per night, spend $100 to $200 per person for dinner, and have a creekside stone massage for more than $200, then the prices here won’t be much of a concern. If you feel comfortable planning the visit for a special occasion, it may very well be worth it.
While you don’t have to separately pay for parking, staff tips, high-speed Internet, newspapers, morning coffee and scones, water and coffee/tea in your room, or a ride up to the main street, there is a rather hefty daily service charge. Tips at meals and for the spa treatments are extra.
Once you have decided to book your reservation or special package here, let go of thoughts about what it costs!
Location and Contact
L’Auberge is located just off Highway 89A in the heart of Uptown Sedona. It is about 120 miles from downtown Phoenix and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. If you are driving from the Phoenix area, here is a map with directions. It’s a scenic drive! Mapping services may take you a different way, through Cottonwood, but I believe that my directions are more direct.
301 L’Auberge Lane
Sedona, AZ 86336
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Page 1: L'Auberge de Sedona, A Red Rocks Retreat
Page 2: Resort Amenities, Spa, Dining, Special Occasions
Page 3: My Take
As is common in the industry, the writer was provided with a complimentary stay for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy. Date of visit: March 2014. All prices and offerings mentioned herein are subject to change without notice.