Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Bustling tourism in the front, serene views in the back
The somewhat drab front entrance and small, unremarkable lobby belie the hotel's exceptional views and hillside setting, which is only apparent at the rear of the property. This hotel sits in the center of tourist activity in uptown Sedona, a half-mile stretch of art galleries, shops, and restaurants drawing crowds year-round. Despite its great location, and the fact that it shares a parking lot with a busy tour company, the hotel itself is relatively peaceful. There are also plenty of serene hiking opportunities nearby at Red Rock State Park and Oak Creek Canyon, whose beauty is said to rival the Grand Canyon's.
In the heart of Sedona near hiking trails and culture
The hotel's uptown Sedona location -- within steps of many shops, restaurants, and galleries -- makes it one of the city's most conveniently located places to stay. Apart from its downtown cultural and culinary attractions, Sedona is also a first-rate destination for active travelers looking to go biking, hiking, or horseback riding. The hotel is within walking distance of Oak Creek, the tranquil stream that runs through the area. It's also a two-hour drive south to Phoenix, and a two-hour drive north to the Grand Canyon.
Large rooms with excellent views, many with fireplaces
Every room at the Orchards Inn has red rock views from either glass patio doors or private balconies. There are no elevators, but the middle floor is actually at ground level due to its hillside build-out, so visitors won't have to climb more than one flight of stairs. The small bathrooms are in need of updating, but the rooms are otherwise still in good, if slightly lackluster, condition from a 2009 renovation -- all have TVs, and elegant, neutral decor with white bedding, and modern, Southwestern accents. Ask for a room with a fireplace to help ward off the chilly desert night air.
Outdoor pool with amazing views, Southwestern restaurant next door
It's not just the rooms -- the heated outdoor pool and whirlpool also have great views overlooking Oak Creek Canyon. The pool area is set for renovation in 2014/2015 and will eventually include a poolside bar. The adjacent restaurant Taos Cantina serves Southwestern and Mexican cuisine, and its full bar specializes in margaritas and tequila. There are plenty of other restaurants and bars nearby, serving everything from Thai food to wild game -- ask hotel staff for recommendations. There is no on-site spa, but the hotel is about a half-mile from Spa L'Auberge, which has an extensive array of treatments, such as desert-herb body scrubs. Wi-Fi is free as is the continental breakfast, but it's limited to lighter selections like fruit and oatmeal. Pet-friendly rooms are available and there's even a pleasant dog-walking area.
There are plenty of upscale hotels in Sedona, but the Orchards Inn surpasses many of them because of its amazing views of red rock and Oak Creek Canyon. The hotel combines a central uptown location -- full of shops and sightseeing options -- with a slightly less-than-uptown price. It's a good hotel for larger groups desiring adjoining rooms (these are available but limited), or travelers wanting to take in the scenery from private balconies. The views from the hotel's hillside setting are excellent, and the property is tucked far enough from the road to avoid overwhelming tourist crowds and noise.