An Enchanting High-Desert Terrain and Its Oasis of Luxury
Local tale spinner Zane Grey introduced the spectacular Red Rock Country as the show-off backdrop for his 1924 classic Call of the Canyon. Most visitors experience deja vu when they arrive thanks to more than eighty Westems that found their perfect cowboys and-lndians’ locations here-among them Johnny Guitar, Broken Arrow, and Tall in the Saddle.
It is of little wonder that the striated “layercake” terrain and sandstone skyscraper formations have drawn a community of artists (beginning with Max Ernst in the 1950s) to Sedona, where rock-watching and gallery hopping are both major pastimes. New Agers gravitate here for the electromagnetic centers – vortexes from which healing powers and natural energies emanate, they say (think Machu Picchu and Stonehenge). True or not, there’s no mistaking Sedona’s specialness: The Yavapai – Apache tribe consider this sacred ground their Garden of Eden, believing this is where the first woman mated with the sun to begin the human race.
The unique 70-acre Enchantment Resort has perfectly insinuated itself into this desert milieu, sitting at 4,500 feet (and so escaping the oven like summers) amid an ancient, peculiarly eroded landscape that varies from pink and orange to siena and vermillion, depending on the day’s mood and the sun’s position. Strike out from the front door of your adobe-style casita for an early morning’s hike or an open-jeep tour into the fantastical Boynton Canyon, and be back within the hotel’s luxurious cocoon in time for a poolside barbecue. Be a humble witness to some of the West’s most ravishing sunsets, whether from your private patio or from the open terrace of the resort’s excellent Yavapai Restaurant.
What: site, hotel.
Where: Sedona is 120 miles north of Phoenix and 110 miles south of the Grand Canyon.
Enchantment Resort: 525 Boynton Canyon Rd. Tel 800-826-4180 or 928-282-2900, fax 928-282-9249; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.enchantmentresort.com.
Cost: doubles from $195 (low season), from $375 (high season).
Best Times: many arts and music festivals take place Jun-Aug, though these are also the hottest months (if dry); Jazz Festival in Sept.