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For travel addicts like me, the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been easy. Holly and I have had at least half a dozen trips planned that didn’t happen or had to be reimagined.
Most recently, an executive order by President Biden forced Holly and I to cancel a trip to Mexico that we had been planning for nearly a year. The trip was for our friend’s 20th wedding anniversary (and a bonus trip for our 15th anniversary as well), but – due to some family commitments – we couldn’t quarantine upon our return home.
Unfortunately, we had to cancel the trip just 14 days prior to our scheduled departure. Needless to say, we were crushed.
We still had a babysitter lined up. We still had time off scheduled from work. So, what was a couple who was thirsty for travel and trying to celebrate a special milestone supposed to do?
Go somewhere in the United States, of course!
Rather than collapse into a puddle of self-pity, we kicked it into high gear and started planning a different trip for somewhere in the U.S. It was early February, and we wanted to go somewhere relatively warm, so that limited our options. We eventually settled on a 3-night stay in Sedona, AZ followed by 4 nights in Las Vegas, NV.
Here’s how the Sedona leg of our trip went!
Our family has visited Sedona before, so it wasn’t like we were going into this trip blind. We really enjoyed our time there a few years ago and have always wanted to go back. With the pandemic still an issue and on short notice, a mostly outdoor trip to Sedona seemed like a great idea.
Famous for the red rock buttes that pack the surrounding landscapes, Sedona is located in North Central Arizona – approximately 30 miles south of Flagstaff and a little over 100 miles north of Phoenix. The area is also known for its amazing hiking trails, beautiful canyons, and vibrant art scene.
Sedona has a vibe that is all its own. The area attracts a unique blend of people from across world. Snow birds love the mild climate, families and outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the landscapes and hiking opportunities, and art lovers can get lost in the area’s countless galleries and shops. The region is also popular with New Age followers and other spiritualists who believe the area is filled with “vortexes” – areas that are bursting with energies that promote healing, spiritual self-awakening, and meditation.
Where We Stayed
The last time we visited Sedona, Holly and I brought the whole family to stay at the Hilton Sedona Resort. Although we’re big fans of the Hilton brand, this was probably our least favorite experience at a Hilton hotel.
The property was definitely up to Hilton standards, however we had some weird issues with the staff – including a tip being taken by housekeeping but failing to clean our room, not given a room upgrade for our Diamond status when our friends (non-Diamond members) got one, etc. Of course, these were all first-world problems, but we didn’t leave with a wonderful feeling about that particular hotel.
Obviously, Holly and I had no desire to complete a second stay at the Hilton. Plus, we were leaving the kids at home for a romantic getaway, so we decided to splurge on our accommodations in Sedona.
Enter this awesome place we found on Airbnb:
Property and Room
This property is meant to be a relaxing, romantic getaway for couples, and it definitely succeeds in its goals. If serenity and tranquility are what you are looking for, you won’t be disappointed. Hosts Huib and Iona have done a masterful job curating the look, feel, and mood of the property. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also nestled against some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the U.S.
Honestly, this is one of the most beautiful properties we’ve ever visited. The location is stunning, and the grounds are super cool.
The property consists of three private guest quarters plus the main residence of the hosts. There are multiple outdoor spaces which are shared (including the spa, meditation garden, etc.), however all the suites themselves are completely private.
Our suite was the smallest, and it was essentially a private studio room with a bath. The room included a comfortable bed, gas fireplace, mini fridge, and a beautiful patio.
The bathroom was also very nice with double sinks and a standup shower. Although Holly loves her bathtubs, this was more than sufficient.
The view from our terrace was absolutely amazing. We grabbed a few groceries at the Whole Foods right down the street and ate had breakfast, lunch, and a few dinners overlooking the red rocks.
As I mentioned, the 5-acre property is designed with serenity in mind. In fact, you can practically hear a pin drop throughout the entire place.
For my money, there is no better place to relax than in the property’s spa area. Here, you’ll find a dry sauna, a steam room, and a hot tub. There are also changing rooms, showers, and a beautiful swimming pool which can be heated for an extra fee during certain months of the year. And, of course, the views are amazing.
In addition to the spa area, Huib and Iona offer several different opportunities that are unique to an Airbnb or Vrbo. Huib is a myofascial release therapist, and Iona is a certified Advanced Reiki Practitioner. For a fee, you can book either for a session. If you wish, they also have a guided meditation instructor available to meet you at the property.
Wine lovers can also book the New and Old World Wine Tasting on property. Your host Huib is a Master Sommelier who has worked at Michelin Star restaurants in Europe.
The hosts also offer to do your laundry for a fee. Unless you’re going to be staying there for a while, I’d skip it. Our only complaint was that our laundry was simply thrown on our bed in a pile after it was dried.
Where We Played in Sedona
Holly and I love to hike, and that is one of the main reasons we came back to Sedona. So, we were super stoked to learn that we could reach more than a dozen trailheads directly from the property we were staying at.
Seriously, this was a super cool draw for us. If you’ve ever tried to park at one of Sedona’s popular trailheads, you know that it can sometimes be a challenge to find a space. Being able to simply walk off the property and hit some wonderful trails was a major bonus, and we took full advantage of it.
On our first day, we knocked out an easy morning hike on the Sugarloaf Loop trail. After summitting, we actually added some extra distance by completing the mile long loop three times.
Our longest hike was on Day 3. We jumped on Teacup Trail, took it over to Soldier’s Pass, and hiked up to Brins Mesa. There we had an incredible view for lunch.
Our entire trip was just over 8 miles with about 1,000 feet of elevation gained during the day. It was super fun and I would definitely recommend it.
This was the first time that I’ve ever brought my golf clubs with me out to Sedona. It was a blast.
There are several public courses in the area, and I chose to play Sedona Golf Resort. The course is a resort style course, so there are fairly wide fairways and it doesn’t play too difficult. Heck, if a hacker like me can shoot decently, just about anybody can play it.
Oh, and the views are fantastic too.
Other Places We’ve Played in Sedona
- Main Street – If you travel to Sedona, you’ll definitely want to come here at least once. Main Street is filled with shops, restaurants, and more. Simply park at a meter or in one of the many public parking lots just off the main drag.
- Jeep Ride – One of the best ways to see Sedona’s Red Rocks is to take a jeep ride. Last time we were in Sedona, we took the kids on a jeep tour similar to this.
- Grand Canyon – A trip to the Grand Canyon is a great trip to combine with a visit to Sedona. The Grand Canyon’s South Rim Entrance is only about two hours away, so I’d plan to spend a night closer to the park if you’re going to do it. (This is what we did last time we were here with our kids.)
- Seligman, AZ – This isn’t that close to Sedona, but we found it on our way from Las Vegas to Sedona. It’s a kitchy little tourist trap of a town located on Historic Route 66. The creative but historically false “Old West” backdrop provided a fun place to break up the drive and grab lunch.
All things considered, our trip to Sedona was fantastic. We were able to throw the trip together in record time (for us anyway), and we loved spending time in the great outdoors. We’ll certainly be back, and – if we’re not with the kids – we would definitely splurge to book the same property for another wonderful stay.
That’s it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our trip to Sedona. Until next time, happy traveling!