The mid-range Hilton Sedona has features to please both families and business travelers, including several pools, event services, the enormous spa, and a neighboring golf course. The Hilton is a 20-minute drive from Sedona, but red rock views are still spectacular (from certain rooms) and the atmosphere is more relaxed than in Uptown. You'll have to pay for Wi-Fi, though -- unlike at the nearby Bell Rock Inn.
A quieter experience than Sedona, but with equally stunning surroundings, and lots to do on-site
The Sedona Hilton has built-in charm due to the gorgeous cliffs and rock formations that rise within view of the hotel's entrance, but it also offers its own brand of Southwestern flair. Upon stepping inside the lobby guests are greeted by a display of Navajo rugs and a combination of Southwestern reds and creamy whites in the floors and furniture. A recessed lounging area holds sofas and chairs for those who wish to escape the heat and relax in this softly lit sanctum.
There are other ways to beat the heat -- namely, the three outdoor pools, all with spa tubs and sun decks with views. If it's not too hot out, guests might want to check out the adjoining Sedona Golf Resort, an 18-hole championship course.
For business travelers, the Hilton offers a business center, audio/visual resources, banquet rooms and meeting spaces, and catering services.
7 miles south of Sedona in the Village of Oak Creek, with popular hiking trails nearby
The Hilton Sedona sits just uphill from (and within easy walking distance of) a row of shops and restaurants in the Village of Oak Creek. And right next door is the Sedona Golf Resort's 18 holes of championship golf.
The Village of Oak Creek is seven miles south of Sedona, and is also spectacularly nestled among soaring red sandstone buttes. Unlike busy, often congested Sedona, it's easier to get around here. Several excellent restaurants, a handful of galleries, and many hiking trails are available nearby, so a trip to Sedona isn't necessary in order to enjoy the area. Yet a vehicle will come in handy once guests decide to explore the region.
Visitors will be intrigued to learn that the Sedona area was inhabited in the 1200s by the Sinagua Indians ("sin agua" is Spanish for "without water"), who left behind stone ruins, rock art paintings, and other evidence of their culture. Today, people can visit archeological sites tucked away in the Coconino National Forest (much of the land surrounding Sedona is National Forest) such as Palatki and Boynton Canyon.
Hiking and mountain biking are among the best ways to experience the area. With scores of trails that begin within town, visitors can easily hike and bike to their hearts' content at places like Jack's Canyon, Courthouse Butte, Bell Rock, and Cathedral Rock. The terrain can vary from easy to strenuous, from hot sun-baked red rock desert, to cool and wet riparian corridors that give life to ferns, mosses, and wildflowers.
Just don't come here expecting bustling nightlife -- after dark, the town goes to sleep.
2-hour drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
45-minute drive to Palatki
30-minute drive from Sedona Airport
5-minute walk to the Sedona Golf Resort
5-minute drive to Bell Rock
15-minute drive to Uptown Sedona (a.k.a. Main Street), a stretch of Highway 89A that's lined with shops, restaurants, and art galleries
20-minute drive to Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, a lovely shopping area with cobblestones, a fountain, and art galleries (where you can sometimes watch artists at work)
Sedona Hilton's 219 rooms are decorated in tans and maroons to match the scenery outside, with alder wood furniture from Mexico and wrought iron beds. Balconies are tiny, but the views from rooms on the "parking lot" side of the hotel are stunning; views on the "pool" side of the hotel don't enjoy the red rock views. Granite countertops, a gas fireplace, and big pillows are nice touches, but the overall feel -- while pleasant and comfortable -- is mid-range, nut luxurious.
The resort has three heated outdoor pools: the family-friendly Cascades Pool, the adults-only pool at ShadowRock, and a 25-meter lap pool at the spa. It's not unusual for all three to be busy in the warmer months.
The Hilton's large spa was renovated in 2008 and has a yoga studio, a cavernous fitness room with rows of equipment, and nine treatment rooms. Locker rooms contain spa tubs, saunas, and steam rooms. An optional daily resort fee covers use of the spa/health club, which might rub some guests the wrong way. However, if a guest purchases a spa treatment, the fee is waived for that day.
18-hole golf course at the Sedona Golf Resort next door; Hilton guests will get preferred tee times
The Grille at ShadowRock serves Southwestern-themed cuisine -- such as Roast Chicken Quesadillas or Pistachio-Crusted Salmon with Avocado Salsa -- for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There's garden-patio seating with a fire pit and golf course views. Dinner courses range from $19 to $24.
The Blue Water Cafe, located on the Cascades Pool sun deck, serves cocktails and a light lunch menu. Open seasonally (though the pool is open year-round).
The Compass Cafe is located in the spa and has a juice bar and healthy snacks.
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