When the Sedona Rouge Hotel and Spa opened in 2005, what was once a mass of red sandy desert evolved into a sprawling 50,000 square foot property overlooking some of Arizona's most wondrous natural beauty — from steep canyon walls to majestic pine forest.
There have been hotels in the desert town of Sedona before now, but what sets the Rouge — awarded the Tripadvisor 2017 Certificate of Excellence — apart is its dual appeal to both those looking for an adventure-filled vacation and a relaxing getaway.
Traveling through Uptown Sedona led me to the main building on the corner of West SR 89A and Rodeo Drive. A red rock exterior built according to the State's typically grand scale, the Rouge features hand-laid mosaic tiles, intricately patterned beams, lush green hedges, and is branded with an emblem of a horse, presumably, like much of the hotel's decor, symbolic of the area's Native American culture.
Also luring the city slicker here is the hotel's luxury spa, which offers therapeutic services using locally hand-crafted products with both indigenous and exotic botanicals.
The spa targets a broad range of guests from couples and honeymooners to families and solo travelers, offering ample alone time for pampering. Eight treatment suites, a gym, private steam rooms and outdoor jacuzzis for both men and women, a swimming pool, and a lounge area, are spread over 3,000 square feet. Don't leave without requesting a custom massage or facial — personalized treatments created by therapists uniquely for you. If, like many people, you're visiting Sedona to explore your spirituality, be sure to check out the Spa's list of Ayurvedic Services, including the Abhyanga (Ayurvedic Warm Oil Massage) and Udvartana (Herbal Body Scrub and Wrap).
Rooms at the Rouge
The Rouge's 103 guest rooms take inspiration from the eclectic culture of the Mediterranean, with furnishings featuring rich colors accompanied by crisp white linens. Settle down for a night's rest on top of your Simmons Super Plush Pillow top mattress and enjoy the softness of its accompanying lambs-wool throw blanket. Opt for a room with a view and prepare to be amazed. 52 of the Rouge's guest rooms have balconies — the perfect place to enjoy the scenic Sedona sunset as deep red hues meet vibrant blue skies on the horizon.
While you're not relaxing at the Spa or watching the sunset from your room, there are plenty of amenities to take advantage of during your stay. Among them, a heated swimming pool and jacuzzi lined with sun loungers and umbrellas, and complemented by a cozy outdoor fireplace and seating area. Fitness enthusiasts (or those on a spiritual journey during their trip to Sedona) can participate in yoga sessions in the Spa’s meditation room and or outside at pool or garden between the hours of 8 am to 9 am daily. And if your room doesn't have a balcony, don't sweat it. Head up to the Rouge's Rooftop Terrace for Red Rock viewing and star gazing any time, day or night.
Dining in Sedona
REDS Restaurant and Bar is conveniently located inside the hotel for those nights when you feel like staying in. A seasonal menu is offered between the hours of 5 and 9 pm, inviting diners to indulge on favorites from Pan Seared Salmon, served with roasted tomato olive tapenade, pesto orzo, baby kale and arugula, and lemon beurre blanc; to Pumpkin Mascarpone Ravioli, served with roasted yellow pepper sauce and daily vegetables. As the sun goes down, restaurant lights up like the stars in winter: set among bamboo, outdoor seating is positioned along a colonnaded veranda looking onto the night's sky. Of course, REDS is also open for breakfast and lunch as well.
American comfort food with healthy eating in mind is the premise for REDS menu, which also takes into account the close proximity of fast-food joints like McDonald's and Subway. But there are plenty of upscale alternatives if burgers and fries aren't your thing. Among the most highly-recommended, Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante, serving Italian fare and homemade pasta, and Rene At Tlaquepaque, serving continental cuisine and fine wines in the nearby Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village.
In The Area
The Rouge is ideally located in the heart of Sedona, in easy reach of outdoor activities including the Thunder Mountain trailhead (approximately one mile away), which is the entrance to Red Rock Country, and hundreds of acres of Coconino National Forest; and Uptown Sedona, which is home to a variety of shops, restaurants and cafes, as well as the ever-popular jeep tour companies, Sedona Trolley, and the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village.
If you're exploring further afield, downtown Phoenix is a two-hour drive south from the hotel, while the Grand Canyon is two hours north, and Antelope Canyon, three hours north. Of course, if don't plan on driving and you're keen to get involved in the countless activities and attractions surrounding Sedona, you can book one of the Rouge's specialty tour packages, including the Broken Arrow Adventure Package, Grand Canyon Experience Package, and the Sedona Rouge Adventure Hotel Package.