L’Auberge de Sedona | Sedona, AZ

Discretely nestled along the banks of Oak Creek in the breathtaking Red Rock region of Sedona, ArizonaL’Auberge de Sedona has created a secluded, luxurious and tranquil setting located steps from Uptown Sedona.

@2016 Susan Edel

Property

The configuration of this property is situated such that it starts creekside then dramatically elevates up the hillside, offering guests the option of staying either by the tranquility of the creekside or on the hillside that offers panoramic Red Rock vistas. The property is intimate with a serene ambiance that almost feels like a well-kept secret from the rest of town. However, when you’re ready to explore all the unique shops, galleries and restaurants, you are just steps away.

One of the most appealing aspects of this property is how much it has to offer. There are several distinctly different accommodations available, an on-site spa/fitness and pool, award-winning dining options, wine bar, and an Artist’s Cottage. It’s no surprise why this resort has been named one of the top hotels by Travel and Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Zagat Survey and has received the Award of Excellence from DiRoNa and Wine Spectator.

Check-In

The resort is tucked stealthily a level below the town’s main street, so keep your eyes open for the modest entrance sign which leads you down a narrow driveway. The driveway opens to a small round-about at the Lobby entrance. Vallet and Bellman are ready to assist you upon arrival.

The cozy lobby is warm and inviting with its reclaimed wood walls, leather chairs and artwork by local artisans. The casual elegance of the lobby is only enhanced by the staff in their professional ensemble along with their friendly and helpful demeanor.

Guest Rooms

A really unique feature of this property is the fact that it offers a number of distinctively different types of accommodations, offering something for everyone.

The property consists of 88 units which include Creekside Cottages, Vista Suites and Cottages, Spa and Garden Cottages, the Creekhouse, and a Lodge with 21 rooms.

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Photo Credit: L’Auberge de Sedona

Creekside Cottages/Suites: The Creekside Cottages are situated on the banks of Oak Creek offering a direct view of the flowing creek and are surrounded by lush trees and vegetation providing a comfortable shaded setting. These cottages have lovely creek views but do not offer direct views of the Red Rocks.  These individual cottages are luxuriously designed in a clean, contemporary style and feature wood-burning fireplaces, king-sized beds, cedar outdoor showers and large outdoor decks. I would say these cottages are perfect for the person who enjoys being outdoors and taking in nature ~ with these units you can sit on your outdoor deck and listen to the babbling creek as it flows by. These cottages are closely located to the creekside restaurant and lobby. The difference between the cottages vs. suites is that the cottages are a studio and suites offer a separate bedroom and living room. Recommendation for best cottages are #6 and #7 along with Creekside Cottage Suite #5.

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Photo Credit: L’Auberge de Sedona

Vista Cottages and Suites: In contrast to the Creekside Cottages, the Vista Cottages and Suites offer a completely different view, these individual cottages are located hillside with panoramic views of the beautiful Red Rocks but do not see the creek. The rooms offer the same clean, contemporary design as the Creekside Cottages with over-sized picture windows, gas fireplaces, soaking tubs, outdoor cedar showers and a large deck to enjoy the views.

As with the Creekside Cottages, the difference between the Vista Cottages and Suites are that the cottages are a studio and the suites are a one-bedroom unit. Another difference between these two categories is that the Vista Suites sit one row higher in elevation above the regular cottages. The advantage to the suites sitting higher is that you’re at a slightly higher elevation for the views {although both categories offer great views} but also that the suites have a little more privacy from their decks because the row of regular cottages below mask the view of the main entrance to the hotel where everyone comes in and out. The regular cottages overlook the main entrance. I would say that these room categories are perfect for the person who enjoys expansive views and enjoys witnessing stunning sunrises and sunsets.

@2016 Susan EdelI stayed in Vista Suite #94 and found it to be a great location. I woke up each morning and drank my coffee on the deck and watched the sunrise, and in the evenings watched the incredible sunsets. The Vista Suite I was in is one of the best rooms for that category and the best Vista Cottages are #87 and #88 – these are located towards the end of the row, not directly overlooking the resort entrance.

Spa Cottages: The Spa Cottages are located in the middle of the property between the Creekside Cottages and the Vista Suites. The rooms are located close to the on-site spa and offer an outdoor terrace to enjoy the garden landscape. These cottages don’t have views of either the creek or the Red Rocks. The Spa Cottages offer many of the same amenities as the other rooms with maybe a bit more of a residential flair to them.

Garden@2016 Susan Edel Cottages: The Garden Cottages are similar to the Creekside Cottages in design and amenities, offering wood-burning fireplaces but do not offer the outdoor showers and are located one row back from the Creekside Cottages. The Garden cottages offer a serene setting overlooking the beautiful landscape. Some Garden Cottages are pet-friendly.

Creekhouse: The Creekhouse is ideal for large gatherings with 2,500 square feet of communal space and five bedrooms – each with its own private bath. This house is ideal for wedding parties, business retreats and group reunions. To book this house you must go through the Sales Department.

The Lodge:@2016 Susan Edel Lastly, there is the Lodge. You could almost call this a resort within a resort. The two-story lodge offers a warm and inviting communal space {lobby} evoking old European charm with a large stone fireplace, wood-beamed ceiling and an antler chandelier along with 21 rooms consisting of standard lodge rooms and {2} suites each with their own patio or private balcony. At the time of my visit {March 2016}, the lodge was closed for renovation so I did not get to see it in its final state ~ the lodge has since re-opened. These rooms do not offer the same amenities as the cottages such as in-room fireplaces and outdoor showers but this accommodation would be perfect for the individual who enjoys being in a cozy lodge setting, or possibly if you are traveling with a group and would like to be in close vicinity to each other. The Lodge does not have a separate check-in, you check-in at the main lobby on property.

All accommodations on property offer:

  • Complimentary high-speed Internet
  • Daily newspaper delivery (upon request)
  • Gilchrist & Soames hair and skin products
  • Italian linens
  • Down bedding and pillows
  • Nightly turndown service
  • Complimentary coffee/tea selection
  • Voicemail
Dining

One of the most magical aspects of L’Auberge is the unique dining experience it offers. There are a variety of options that offer a little something for everyone. The creekside restaurant and bar is a local favorite because of the fine dining and unique setting offered.

Cress on Oak Creek: offers fine dining and provides an almost fairytale setting with its outdoor, creekside setting.

Creekside Reserve: is the most romantic outdoor private gazebo, canopied in dripping ivy and a crystal chandelier. The perfect place to celebrate a special occasion or to pop that special question!

Etch Kitchen & Bar: Etch offers a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere with tapas style dishes and a variety of great libations.

Chef’s Table: For the true “foodie”, reserve the Chef’s Table for the ultimate culinary experience.

Wine Cellar: Not to be missed is the award-wining Wine Cellar, a recipient of Wine Spectator’s “Award of Excellence” 22 consecutive times.

L’Auberge’s dining experience has been named “One of the Top Ten Restaurants in the Southwest” by Condé Nast Traveler, and one of the “Top 100 Al Fresco Dining” spots in the U.S. by OpenTable.

DSC_2008Spa/Fitness/Pool

Upon entering the L’Apothecary Spa your senses are immediately awakened by the fragrant offerings presented at the apothecary bar. An interactive station allows you to select ingredients, herbs, oils and local botanicals to create personalized bath soaks and body scrubs to be used in your treatment or to take home with you.

This full-service spa offers a variety of treatments* and wellness classes to rejuvenate your body and spirit. Experience the spa’s more unique offerings such as a moonlit meditation, daily yoga and hiking the stunning Red Rocks around the property. Be sure to visit SpiritSong, the highest point on property, for a little spiritual rejuvenation.

*With only 4 treatment rooms, reservations are highly recommended.

Located next to the spa is a nice fitness room consisting of treadmills, stationary bicycles and weights available to all guests. The room has a cottage style feel with french doors overlooking the pool.

Unique to the Property

A few special events that are unique to this property are:

The Artist in Residence Program: This program brings local Sedona artists on property to interact with guests to share their techniques and artistry and offers some art classes that you can participate in. You will find the local artisan’s artwork throughout the resort.

Summer Music Series: The resort offers an exclusive summer music series featuring talented singers and musicians every Friday and Saturday evening in May and June. The live music is complimentary and open to the public. Quite a treat to experience an intimate musical performance in a beautiful setting.

Guided Star Gazing: Sedona offers the perfect environment to explore the night sky and L’Auberge takes it a step further by providing an astronomer to guide you through the brilliant star formations.

The resort also offers a car service within a two-mile radius of town.

In Summary

I found L’Auberge de Sedona to be a lovely, serene property offering a true luxury experience along with a plethora of unique activities that reflect the flavor of this incredibly beautiful region. The staff is friendly, professional and always willing to help. The Bellman are happy to tote you around the resort in the golf carts to get you from one location to another. I found all staff members to engaging and interested in my well-being at all times. You won’t find better service than this in Sedona!

L’Auberge de Sedona offers the idyllic location from which to explore Sedona, visit the ever-growing Verde Valley Wine Trail, or to just relax and pamper yourself on property.

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Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn | Sonoma, CA

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, located in the Sonoma Wine Region of California, is a unique property that sits atop a natural, thermal mineral spring that was discovered by the Native Americans in the early 1800’s.

The Native Americans considered this site sacred healing grounds and as word spread over the years, a hotel was developed and people began to visit the property to “take-in the waters”. The thermal mineral spring is still active and a defining spa element at the hotel to this day.

@2016 Susan Edel

While this property is no longer the newest and trendiest resort in the Sonoma/Napa wine region, there is something to be said about a resort whose history runs deep and who has earned their rightful stature over the decades as a destination spa resort. There is a respective grandeur to the property that can only be derived through time due to a commitment to quality and service. This hotel’s allure is its rich heritage and to this day, is one of the only luxury spa resorts in the country with its own source of thermal mineral water.

Continue reading “Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn | Sonoma, CA”

The Quaint Charm of San Juan Bautista

Located just an hour south of bustling Silicon Valley, CA is the quaint city of San Juan Bautista. This charming little town has managed to maintain its humble origins and has respectfully preserved its history and authenticity.

You won’t find trendy stores and Michelin Star restaurants but you will find a town steeped in history, filled with heart and reflective of the people who live here. Small antique stores, art galleries, gift shops along with a few restaurants line the half~mile long main strip of town.

One of the main reasons why this town holds a special place in my heart is because of the historic Mission San Juan Bautista.

@2016 Susan Edel

I adore the California Missions and this is one of my favorite missions because much of the original structure remains and it is the largest California mission church and the only one with three aisles.

@2016 Susan Edel

Musical arts were taught here and the mission owned many instruments. As you tour the mission, heavenly monk style music is piped throughout the corridor creating a serene ambiance. {Click on first image to see slideshow}

A little fun fact: In the fall of 1957, scenes from Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1957 production of the movie Vertigo starring James Stewart, Kim Novak, and Barbara Bel Geddes was filmed around the mission.

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Story board rendering for Vertigo.

When in town, be sure to have lunch or dinner at Jardines de San Juan Mexican restaurant. If you’re a fan of beef burritos, their “People’s Choice” burrito is a must!

@2016 Susan Edel

I come to this town sometimes when I want to feel grounded, grateful, and connected. This is the type of place that feeds your soul, not your ego…and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

The Nines | Portland, Oregon

Every once in a while serendipity happens ~ a fortunate happenstance where everything aligns perfectly and you find yourself right in the midst of it. It’s such an unexpected and pleasant surprise.

I feel like this happened to me on my visit to The Nines hotel in Portland, Oregon. In all honesty, I just needed a place to stay for a night before catching a flight home, but of course, I always take the opportunity to inspect hotels in the area.

In doing my research, The Nines definitely caught my attention so I booked my stay there with no real expectations, but from the website I knew I would be in for something a little different.

The only way I can describe this hotel is to say that it is an eclectic infusion of Renaissance Glamour…

meets Contemporary

meets Urban Chic…

meets Breakfast at Tiffany’s…

meets funky flair!

And the answer is yes, all of the above is the same hotel!

DSC_1094The reason I call this a serendipitous experience is because everything on this very short visit fell into place perfectly.

It had probably been about 15 years since I had last visited Portland, and I ‘m not sure if I stayed in another part of town but I certainly don’t remember Portland being as active and vibrant as it was on this last visit. It was very reminiscent to me of San Francisco.

The Nines hotel is located in the heart of downtown Portland next Pioneer Square and within walking distance to the large department stores as well as boutique shops, trendy restaurants, and cultural attractions.

From the moment I arrived at the hotel, it was apparent there was an enthusiastic buzz in the air. The lobby was active and everyone seemed to be in a jovial mood. I quickly learned that the iconic pop star, Madonna, was in town for a concert that evening. I never heard if Madonna was staying at The Nines, but it certainly seemed as though some of her entourage was, as there were several people with make-up cases and large luggage lingering about. The chatter throughout the hotel was all about the concert and it created a fun atmosphere.

Another pleasant surprise was being upgraded to the one-bedroom swanky, Tiffany-inspired suite.

I’m usually more of a minimalist when it comes to design, but I have to say it felt quite indulgent opening my suite door to the living room with a velvet settee in brilliant robin egg blue and matching damask patterned chairs adorned by a dripping crystal light fixture. The decadence continued into the large separate bedroom with another sitting area and large bathroom. The suite, located on the 12th floor, offers amazing downtown city views and is a gorgeous sight at night. It felt like sheer elegance from a bygone era.

The room also came with exclusive access to the Club Lounge, featuring a daily breakfast, evening hors d’oeuvres and a dessert buffet. This is always a fun perk and I made it a point to hit the lounge to enjoy the delightful appetizers {that could easily serve as a meal} and came back for the grand array of delicious desserts later in the evening. My favorite part was meeting a WWII vet who shared some of his fascinating stories throughout the evening.

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Evening view from the suite.

I headed out for a walk around town and to do a little window shopping while enjoying the perfect fall weather. When the dinner hour rolled around, I debated about going to some of the trendy establishments nearby but in the end decided to head back to The Nines to enjoy the rooftop bar and restaurant, Departure…where another serendipitous moment awaited me.

Departure’s rooftop bar and restaurant is a hot spot in the city with prime views of downtown Portland and beyond. The bar’s outdoor deck seems to be an attraction for guests and locals to gather for a drink while enjoying good conversation and the views.

The restaurant serves Asian cuisine in a sleek, cosmopolitan setting with both indoor and outdoor seating and features the largest saké list in Portland. I sat at the corner edge of the outdoor deck for dinner which offered incredible views, but my biggest surprise was looking up at one point and seeing a full double rainbow {the picture doesn’t begin to do it justice}. Everyone on the deck walked over to the edge snapping their smartphone cameras and I have no doubt social media in the Portland area must have spiked through the roof.

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View of the sky from the other direction.

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The hotel also has another restaurant located on the lobby level call the Urban Farmer open for breakfast, lunch and dinner that looked very enticing as well.

All I can say is that in less than a 24-hour period, I feel like I experienced a plethora of unique moments that have now created lifelong memories for me.

Maybe it was the hotel’s multiple personality or downtown Portland’s vibrant city, or simply the serendipitous intervention of all of the above, but my short time here was quite impactful and I look forward to returning for more!

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Brasada Ranch | Powell Butte, CA

Savvy travelers these days are looking for more than cookie-cutter vacations, they are looking for unique experiences that are authentic to the local area that offer life-long memories…and intuitive resorts are picking up on this trend.

Ranch-style properties have been offering luxury experiential travel adventures for years labeled as “glamping” {glamorous camping}. The appeal of glamping is being able to connect with nature and to experience the Wild West lifestyle without having to give up five-star accommodations and amenities.

One such property making its mark in this niche is Brasada Ranch located in Powell Butte, Oregon approximately 30 minutes from Bend. Located in central Oregon’s high desert, this region offers 300+ days of sunshine a year, unlike Oregon’s western region, creating a perfect playground for the outdoor adventurer.

Property

Brasada Ranch {Brasada} is a luxury ranch-style resort community set on a sprawling 1,800-acre property. The property was originally a sheep ranch in the early 1900’s and in 2006 it was purchased from the original family descendants which eventually developed into the ranch-chic resort and community that it is today.

Brasada holds the distinction of being named the first-ever newly constructed resort community in the United States to receive a gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as well as being named the Best Resort in the Pacific Northwest: Reader’s Choice Awards 2015 by Condé Nast Traveler ~ for the second year in a row.

Check-in

As you approach the property, you can’t help but be impressed by the large, timber-framed entrance and the bevy of beautiful horses roaming the grounds. It’s a peaceful and serene scene, and you immediately know that you will be in for a unique experience.

Upon entering the main Ranch House, you are welcomed by the warm and inviting refined rustic elegance. A large stone, wood-burning fireplace stands front and center with four marvelous cowhide leather chairs just begging you to have a seat and get cozy.

The atmosphere is relaxed and casual and the staff greets you as though you’re an expected friend.

Because the property is spread out, you are offered the use of an electric golf cart for the duration of your stay. This was such a pleasant perk ~ who doesn’t love putting around in a golf cart! Of course there’s always the option of getting some exercise and walking.

Guest Rooms

@2015 Susan EdelThe Brasada Ranch guest accommodations are comprised of eight suites located in the Ranch House {main lodge} and 67 individual cabins.

The Ranch House is the main hub on the property with a reception area, a library space and the restaurant/bar, in addition to the suites.

The eight Ranch House Suites range in size from 400 to 900 square feet with King Beds. The four premium suites located above the main level offer grand views of the Cascade Mountain Range from Mt. Bachelor to Mt. Hood {each suite is appropriately named after one of the mountain ranges} and have a soaking tub and private balcony. These suites offer incredible views for catching those stunning Pacific Northwest sunsets. If I were to stay in the Ranch House, the Mt. Hood Suite would probably be my choice as it is an upper-end unit with a large sitting area, fireplace and balcony perfect for admiring the high desert landscape during the day and star-gazing in the evening.

The four suites located below the main level do not have the soaking tubs but they have direct access to the private outdoor hot tub and fire pit which are only available to the Ranch House guests. These rooms also offer great views from the patio. To stay in the Ranch House guests must be 14 years and older. Includes daily housekeeping.

Staying in the Ranch House is a great option for special occasions such as wedding parties who want to be located in close proximity to one another, romantic getaways in a cozy room or people who prefer to be in the midst of the resort activities. Each suite has a Keurig coffee maker, microwave and small refrigerator.

The Sage Canyon & Cascade Cabins, on the other hand, offer the opportunity to enjoy individual accommodations with a private setting while providing all the conveniences of home. The cabins range from 1 to 3 bedrooms and have a living room with a fireplace, full kitchen, dining area, washer and dryer and some cabins have outdoor hot tubs. The cabins include housekeeping services every third day but I didn’t find that a problem having a dishwasher and the washer and dryer in the unit.

@2015 Susan EdelI personally enjoyed the privacy and serenity of staying in a cabin {#58}. My cabin overlooked a portion of the golf course and had a nice view of the Cascades in the distance. While sitting on my deck admiring the views, I saw some of the largest Jackrabbits I’ve ever seen. My cabin had an outdoor hot tub which was perfect for relaxing in the evenings under the stars.

The cabins are spaced out enough on the property to offer privacy and yet many of them are still close enough to be within walking distance to the main Ranch House…but of course, there’s always your golf cart, if needed.

The wonderful aspect of this property is the option to accommodate almost any situation whether it’s for a couple, an individual family, a group reunion, wedding party or corporate event. Brasada has the ability to customize the size of their cabins by connecting the rooms for larger parties or reducing spaces when needed. The Cascade cabins {#32-35} offer some of the best views on property are a great option for extended families and multi-generational travel because of how they can be configured to create one large “house” or to close the rooms off to create individuals units.

Dining and Events

Brasada has two restaurants, the Ranch House Restaurant and the Range Restaurant and Bar.

@2015 Susan EdelThe Ranch House Restaurant: is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, year round. The atmosphere is cozy and casual with a fun flair to it. A mix of regular table rounds along with high-top tables fill a communal area in front of the bar, and off to the side is a large, stone wood-burning fireplace with plush seating that beckons you over. The atmosphere is light and fun and the chatter of conversation fills the room with a warm, friendly vibe. It’s the type of place where once you get comfortable, you want to sit there and enjoy the ambiance for the entire evening. If you prefer a more intimate setting, sink yourself into one of the leather chairs in the Roadhouse Library to enjoy an after-dinner drink, a little reading or a nice conversation. However, don’t miss the opportunity to sit on the outdoor patio with the phenomenal views of the Cascade peaks at sunset.

The Ranch House Restaurant serves great comfort food such as fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese, and burgers that pair well with their selection of local microbrew beers. And if your palate desires something with a little more sophistication try the Bay Scallop Risotto, Imperial Stock Ranch Lamb Ragu, or Slow Cooked Pork Osso Buco paired with a great wine. For dessert, grab your s’mores packet of housemade marshmallows, rich chocolate and graham crackers and enjoy your delicious creation by the large, crackling firepit on the patio.

@2015 Susan EdelThe Range Restaurant and Bar: is open for dinner, dessert and drinks on a seasonal schedule {May-Sept} as well as for private parties. The restaurant is inspired by the farm-to-table concept and the menu is created based on the fresh ingredients available from many local farmers, orchards, and creameries and will change throughout the summer based on availability.

If you’re looking for an authentic homestead experience, this is where you will find it. From the moment the large wrought-iron Cowboy dinner bell rings, you know you’re going to be in for something good!

Guests not only gather here for the great food and to enjoy the indoor/outdoor dining space, but come to witness the incredible sunsets, roast s’mores around the oversized firepit surrounded by Adirondack chairs and listen to the Cowboy Poet, or come to enjoy the weekly {seasonal} BBQ & Live Music Series. It’s also a perfect place to pass the time playing Bocci Ball, Pickleball, or any one of the many other games available.

For a really unique and memorable experience how about a private dinner up in the hills, complete with great food, ambient lighting, and with you arriving on horseback all prepared by Brasada…oh yeah, they will do that for you. Magical.

Brasada does not offer room service but there is a General Store onsite {used to be the town Post Office} that offers local and regional items along with everything you need to stock your cabin.

@2015 Susan EdelFor special events such as weddings or corporate get-togethers, The Barn is the perfect venue to for a rustic-chic gathering. Local Ochoco milled wood was used in the construction of barn, the large stone fireplace rises all the way up to the peaked ceiling capped off by a large skylight. The juxtaposition of the rustic elements and elegant light fixtures and beautiful table settings create an enchanting atmosphere.

Activities

Brasada offers so many exciting options and experiences that they have an entire adventure center dedicated for their guests, Brasada Adventures. And it’s no wonder with the area’s reputation of being the “outdoor playground of the West”.

I could sit here all day and rattle off all the exciting adventures that are available but in an effort to not inundate you, I’ll just give you some of the highlights such as the Equestrian Center, hiking, biking, fly fishing, sunset helicopter tours, canoe tours with lakefront beer tastings and so much more. Where else can you snow ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon? The opportunity for amazing adventures are endless here, truly.

Don’t want to leave the property {and who would blame you?}, then take advantage of all the options located directly onsite such as…

The Spa: offers 4 treatment rooms, along with a salon for mani’s and pedi’s. All guests can utilize the steam rooms and it’s worth your while to stop by to pick up one of the daily special cookies made only for the spa guests. The spa is open to the public, so do make reservations.

Fitness Center/Pool/Tennis/Volleyball:@2015 Susan Edel The property has a large fitness center with Cybex equipment and offers fitness classes including Yoga, Pilates and Zumba. There are two outdoor pools as well as an indoor pool for year-round swimming and water classes, as well as, tennis courts and sand volleyball courts.

Golf: Golf is one of the main attractions here. Brasada Canyon is an 18-hole Peter Jacobsen-designed championship golf course and is only available to the private members and Brasada Ranch guests. The course is revered for its privacy and is known as one of the most beautiful and enjoyable courses in the West. Play the course on your own or improve your game with some lessons from the golf pros on staff.

Kids Program: Brasada offers an excellent kids program for kids of all ages. What child doesn’t want to saddle up for a Cowboy cookout, roast housemade marshmallows, swim and slide at the pool…and they didn’t forget the Tweens, they can hang out at The Hideout and play ping pong, air hockey, foosball, watch movies and more.

The property also stocks their pond with 3 different types of fish, a perfect place to hone your fishing technique.

If you’re craving a little more city action, take a ride out to Bend and walk around downtown for some local shopping and restaurants, The Pine Tavern is one of Bend’s iconic restaurants but there are many great restaurants to choose from.

Sisters is another fairly close town known for its charming village setting and western themed downtown with unique shops, galleries and restaurants. Sisters is home to the Sisters Rodeo, Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, Sisters Folk Festival and Sisters Starry Nights concert series. And be sure to stop by Sisters Bakery for a little treat.

For the snow ski enthusiast, Mt. Bachelor is located only 30 minutes away and is one of the largest ski areas in the Pacific Northwest.

@2015 Susan EdelIn Summary

In relative terms, this is still a fairly new resort and I believe they will continue to refine themselves as a luxury retreat. I would love to eventually see the Range Restaurant open year-round, room service would be a nice option for the cabins, and to place robes in the cabins…I always enjoy sipping my coffee outside on the deck in the early morning…but none of the above diminished my experience here.

Overall, this property exceeded my expectations in so many ways. I found the location and landscape to be beautiful, serene and relaxing. The Cascade peaks provide a gorgeous backdrop and the sunsets are stunning.

The atmosphere is so warm and welcoming you almost feel as though you are staying with good friends. The resort’s creative and authentic experiences let you leave with plenty of stories to tell and reminisce over, and isn’t that what it’s all about? This is the type of get-a-away that creates bonds between families or friends and wonderful life-long memories. And if I can offer any advice, don’t worry about spending too much time here, be more concerned about not spending enough time here!

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The Inn at Entrada | St. George

The Inn at Entrada {The Inn} is a small luxury resort residing within an upscale gated golf community in St. George, Utah. Set among the striking red rocks and near the entrance to Snow Canyon State Park, The Inn boasts a prime location for both its beauty and proximity to local attractions and activities.

Property

Serenely situated on the Ninth Fairway of the Entrada Golf Course, many of the casitas at The Inn have views of the meticulously manicured golf course and stunning red rocks beyond. I was most impressed by the pristine condition in which the entire community is maintained.

@2015 Susan EdelIn this high-desert environment, it’s a pleasant surprise to see such healthy green grass, natural plantings, and river beds flowing throughout the community. The lush vegetation is an extraordinary balance to the striking red vermilion cliffs that surround the property in every direction.

Check-In

The property has an exclusive feeling being located within a privately gated golf community. Pleasantly, it’s not your typical hotel check-in experience, and yet it does offer the convenience of a 24-hour reception desk. The reception area is a comfortable, large space that feels more like a residential great room and is used as a common area for the guests to gather.

Guest Rooms

To call the accommodations at The Inn Guest Rooms is a severe understatement. The units here are casitas that reside within an affluent community. There are a select number of individually owned units that are seamlessly managed by The Inn and operate as a boutique hotel. The units are a combination of 26 Luxury Casitas and Executive Suites, ranging from studios to 3 bedroom units along with one four bedroom and one five bedroom unit.

DSC_0203The interior of the units are all designed in the same luxurious style with cozy furniture, stylish accessories, fireplaces and all the amenities of home. All the units offer a living and dining area, fully equipped kitchen, washer/dryer and separate bedroom(s) aside from the Studio unit which offers a spacious open area with a bed, a small dining table and kitchenette.

For the convenience of larger families or groups, casitas can be connected to create extended accommodations. The four bedroom/four bath suite {#3201} is a nice option for a girl’s getaway with its stylish features and light finishes ~ the owner of this unit is an interior designer/property manager from London.

The five bedroom/five bath, Johnny Miller Suite {#900}, is a great option for a guy’s golfing trip with gorgeous views of the cliffs and a man-cave style den with rich leather furnishings, a bar and pool table.

All units have an outdoor patio to enjoy the peaceful landscape. And in keeping with hotel-style services, housekeeping comes once daily and does an amazing job. The units are spotless.

I stayed in a well-appointed two-bedroom unit {#1502} that had a great view of a pond complete with resident ducks, the golf course and the gorgeous red rocks. To see the sunrise and sunset on the stunning cliffs is quite a treat. It was a pleasant and comfortable experience to stay someplace that was so spacious and offers all the conveniences of home.

Dining

As a guest of The Inn, you are able to dine at the Kokopelli Restaurant located at the member-only Entrada Clubhouse. The restaurant serves delicious dishes for lunch and dinner and do note that there is a Country Club attire dress code for the dinner hour ~ collared shirts for the men and no jeans allowed for either men or women. A casual grill adjacent to the restaurant is also an option with expanded dinner hours. The outdoor patio with its stunning view of the red rocks is a perfect place for a happy hour beverage or to enjoy outdoor seating for lunch or dinner. The restaurants operate on a seasonal schedule so hours do change throughout the year.

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Freshly baked cinnamon rolls are served in the lobby every morning provided by a local bakery, Grandma Tobler’s. The snack bar at the golf course also serves breakfast and lunch. Snacks are available by the pool.

The resort does not offer room service, however, they do provide coffee in the rooms and with a full kitchen in each unit you can stock up on all your favorite items at a local grocery store.

Resort Amenities

As a guest of the resort, you have access to all of the amenities offered at the private community clubhouse.

Spa and Fitness Center
Spa and Fitness Center

There is a quaint spa on-site that surprisingly offers a full-service menu which includes facial treatments, massages, and manicures/pedicures. A spacious fitness center provides an array of exercise equipment including Pilates and the option of hiring personal trainers for numerous different activities.

The clubhouse also offers an indoor and outdoor pool, as well as tennis courts. And one of the main draws here, is the Golf at Entrada. As a guest of The Inn, you have access to play this member’s only, Johnny Miller Signature Design 18-hole championship private golf course.

Local Activities

DSC_0383St. George is a stunning region of the Southwest with its surrounding vermillion cliffs and has so many activities to offer. There are many hiking trails and bike paths within the town itself.

Zion National Park is within a 45 minute drive from Entrada and many other national parks and monuments are within driving distance.

I decided to view the beautiful red rocks from my first helicopter ride with Zion Helicopters. It was an amazing experience and there is no better way to take in the beauty of this area.

If you’re short on time and can’t make it to Zion, The Inn is located at the doorstep to Snow Canyon State Park, which may as well be called mini-Zion. Explore the many trails and dunes of this breathtaking canyon on foot, bike or horseback.

For a unique and unforgettable experience, take in a show at the Tuacahn Outdoor Theatre offering broadway style shows just a short distance from The Inn.

In Summary

Staying at The Inn at Entrada is unlike any regular hotel experience. It offers the unique position of residing within an affluent gated community and the spacious casitas offer all the conveniences of home-away-from-home. When you top that off with the striking views of the surrounding red rock landscape, I can’t imagine a better place to stay in the St. George area.

 

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