Last winter, I decided to lose my sea legs and head for the mountains. I had not seen snow or any kind of elevation in 4 years since my move to Sarasota, FL and I needed a change. Driving from Phoenix International Airport to Sedona was otherworldly, like finding oneself in the land that time forgot. The terrain varied from wide open plains and vistas studded with cacti to rugged mountain peaks; some dusted with snow, others in varying shades of rust, brown, and green as the clouds shifted and transformed the landscape. Entering Sedona’s Boynton Canyon, the rugged, cliff-like peaks enveloped you and invited you to enter their mystery.
My teenage daughter and I happened to arrive on the quietest week of the year, as well as on the eve of the largest storm the resort had seen in as much time. Torrential rain greeted us as we drove to the entrance of Enchantment, a series of adobe structures that blended so perfectly into the surrounding landscape as to remain virtually unseen until one was upon them. The air smelled of pine and juniper. We hustled into the main lodge to check in and were instantly comforted by a warm fire burning in the lobby and a woodsy interior filled with Native American art, wood beamed ceilings, and earth-toned furnishings that beckoned us to stay and relax a while.
We were quickly checked in and driven via golf cart to our room, an extension of the lodge atmosphere that permeated the resort. Across the street was Mii Amo, owned by the same folks yet a completely separate retreat with 16 rooms and rated one of the world’s top spas. Guests at Enchantment had access to the spa facilities; treatments were extra. Our stay consisted of 2 hour early morning hikes in the canyon with a guide provided free of charge by the resort, soaking in both the indoor and outdoor hot tubs, sampling delicious organic cuisine at both the spa and Enchantment’s various restaurants, swimming in the heated outdoor pool with majestic mountain views, and partaking in unique spa services. I indulged in the “Inner Quest” treatment, a Native American ceremony complete with smoke, chanting, and hot rocks placed under various parts of my body while I relaxed on a massage table. The spa even had a crystal grotto room, a sacred space where guests were encouraged to meditate and place a note in the basket outside the door containing a wish. A wine and food pairing class was one of my favorite activities but the resort offered everything from art classes to morning meditation; many of the classes were free of charge. A long weekend at this mountain paradise left me officially “enchanted”.