Amara Resort & Spa – Sedona, AZ

Amara Resort & Spa | 100 Amara Lane | Sedona, AZ 86336 | 1-855-324-1313

Devan Gould, a freelance writer for Gay Travel Information, and her husband, Bruce, recently had the pleasure of visiting Amara Resort & Spa in Sedona, AZ. 12074807_10205496844756664_7518933042439702255_n

Here is her review. 

We arrived in Sedona, AZ around 10:00 PM on a Wednesday night earlier this month. It was pitch black and we knew we were driving by the red rocks, but could not see any of them.  We drove into the very center of town and the GPS told us to turn onto Amara Ln. It is right in the middle of all of the shops, restaurants and where most of the tours depart from, making it a perfect location for convenience sake. But, it does not in any way compromise privacy and peace and quiet. Once you drive down to the resort, you would never know you were a stone’s throw away from the middle of everything.

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The décor was modern with a southwest flare to it. The lobby area had various seating areas to enjoy a coffee or cocktail or to just relax before or after enjoying all that Sedona offers. The restaurant, SaltRock, was off of the main lobby area and offers a full menu for breakfast, lunch, dinner as well as a full bar.

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There is indoor dining and a beautiful patio to enjoy as well. They even offer live entertainment some evenings outside on the patio.

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The staff was remarkably friendly and welcoming. They gave us an overview of all that the resort had to offer. And they gave us information about the spa as well.

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You are able to freely access the relaxation room and steam room in the spa during your stay and there is complementary yoga each morning.

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We took our room key and headed off to our King Size Jacuzzi room right off of the courtyard. The room had all that you could need for a stay. The room also maintained a modern design with southwestern accents. There was a little outdoor seating area by each room that opened to the patio and pool. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom had a Jacuzzi tub that easily fit two people.

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It’s a perfect spot to relax in with a bottle of wine from the various local vineyards and wineries.

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For a complete listing of available room types at Amara Resort & Spa click HERE

Our first morning there, we woke up very early since we were still on east coast time. We decided to get up and head out to watch the sunrise over the red rocks at the Sedona Airport, which was only a mile and a half from the Amara.

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This is one of the most beautiful places to watch a sunrise or sunset and it is also one of the well-known energy vortexes, which is very cool to experience!  When you stay at the Amara in Sedona, you absolutely MUST get up to watch the sunrise over the red rocks. It is amazing! The Sedona airport is the spot where many folks go to watch the sunset as well and it is spectacular, but crowded for that. Far less folks are up early enough for sunrise, so please make a point to get there for it. You will not be disappointed!

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When we stopped in the lobby early that morning, we were excited to see a fantastic hot chocolate and coffee bar! They had iced coffee, fresh brewed regular and decaf. They even had French Vanilla and Hazelnut syrups to add as well as crushed peppermint and fresh whipped cream for the hot chocolate. The coffee was so good that we actually skipped our typical trip to Starbucks the entire time we were there and grabbed their coffee every morning. After watching sunrise, we went back to the Amara to have breakfast there. Every morning of vacation should start so well!

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We had more of their delicious coffee as well as mimosas and then had their huevos rancheros, which were excellent. Then we went back to relax for a bit before going to yoga and the spa for our couples massage.

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The spa was lovely; a nice tranquil retreat. The yoga class was a perfect way to clear our heads, get centered and begin relaxing for our trip. Then we had a couples massage and it were simply magical! They both had the hands of angels! There really is no better way to start a vacation than with delicious coffee and mimosas followed by massage. I can’t recommend it enough and The Amara is the perfect spot for all of it!

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Seeing the outdoor area in the sunlight was even more impressive than by firelight the night before. The courtyard area had Adirondack chairs set up with blankets to snuggle up with your coffee and just enjoy the perfect view of some of the beautiful red rocks of Sedona. You have an unobstructed view of Snoopy Rock and Lucy Rock. It is an absolutely stunning.

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There are even fun games to play in that courtyard like an enormous Jenga and Connect Four. Beautiful and fun, how could you go wrong!?

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The infinity pool and hot tub area was beautiful as well. They have lounge chairs and covered canopy areas if you want to escape the sun but still relax with by the pool.

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They have a pool bar with delicious signature drinks and the full lunch menu can be brought right out to you poolside as well.

I would be remiss if I did not specifically mention the Concierges, Thea. She was amazing! She knows the area around Sedona so well and gave us excellent suggestions for places to grab a bite while out and about as well as vineyards and wine tasting rooms that were a must during our stay.

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She was so accommodating and even arranged for the shuttle to take us to breakfast one morning before our Pink Jeep Tour so we wouldn’t need to find parking. She was fantastic!

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The Amara Resort is also a lovely spot to host any function and even your wedding. It has the perfect backdrop of the Red Rocks while exchanging your vows. There is a lovely area by the creek for photo opportunities. And their function rooms can accommodate small intimate gatherings or larger events as well. They have performed a number of same sex weddings already and are hopeful to host many more.

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The vibe at The Amara Resort is so welcoming and laid back and not the least bit judgmental. That same great vibe carries throughout Sedona. The energy is amazing and the views are breathtaking! It is the perfect place for a quiet relaxing stay or your home base while exploring, hiking and having amazing adventures in and around Sedona.

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Amara Dining Review – SaltRock Southwest Kitchen

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We went to Amara’s SaltRock Southwest Kitchen on Friday.  A quick google search revealed that their Executive Chef, Massimo De Francesa is currently also the executive chef at Kimpton’s Firesky Resort’s Taggia restaurant and has an impressive culinary history.   We sat outside on the patio on a cool evening and the staff offered blankets to keep us warm.  We settled for the propane heat lamps situated around the patio.  

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Lisa, the front of house manager introduced us to Petra who would be our server for the evening.  Petra was very attentive and did a wonderful job explaining the different offerings of the wonderful food we were about to eat.  It was clear that she is well skilled at her craft and every table received great attentive service.    

The chef presented us tastings of the more popular items on the menu so we were treated to a sample of all courses.  We started with a deviled egg on a bed of stone ground mustard, with a bacon and onion marmalade, topped with pasilla chili syrup – a delicious bite of food. 

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Next up was a combination of two appetizers on one plate.  The grilled corn and corn soup, typically separate dishes but combined perfectly for us.  The grilled corn was sprinkled with crunchy corn nuts and included a smoky chipotle aioli.  The soup did not contain cream and was blended smooth and topped with a cilantro creme.  Both bites were very fresh and were packed with full corn flavor.  Other dishes included sautéed king oyster mushrooms with smoked pine needle, pine nut gremolata over a base of Mexican chocolate sauce and Southwest Shrimp on lemon grits with a smoked poblano-tomatillo sauce. 

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For entrees we sampled two of the most popular menu items.  First up were the duck tacos.  They came on a soft corn tortilla with an eggplant mole, guacamole and napa cabbage.  This was my favorite dish of the night.  The common theme for me the whole night was the balance of each dish.  The duck tacos were no exception.  Soft ingredients were balanced with something crispy or crunchy.  In every dish we sampled, all flavors were perfectly balanced together with the main ingredient highlighted by the accompaniments.   Our last taste was an Achiote Chicken Breast on a cilantro-jalapeno risotto, grilled asparagus, “pignon” sauce, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.  One bite and it was easy to understand why it is one of the most popular items on the menu. 

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A cup of coffee and a flourless chocolate chili cake for desert and our evening was sadly over.

While we sipped our coffee, Lisa stopped by to check on us.  I asked if the restaurant attracted locals or if the crowd was mostly limited to the resort guests.  While she admitted the majority of clients were guests, they have been working to become better known in the community by participating in local events and getting the word out.  In my opinion, the local community is missing out on a wonderful dining experience but once word gets out, this hidden gem along Oak Creek in Sedona won’t stay hidden for long!

For more information on Amara Resort & Spa visit: http://www.amararesort.com/

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