Magazine article Sunset

Stylish in Sedona

Magazine article Sunset

Stylish in Sedona

Article excerpt

A trio of offbeat lodgings brings fresh energy to Arizona's red rock country

New hotels in Sedona are setting aside the usual Southwestern trappings of dream catchers, katsina dolls, and scrapes in favor of a daring eclecticism. And that's a good thing: While Arizona's land of red rock should remain unchanged, the accommodations landscape has needed a fresh breeze. Three prominent additions give spring visitors new choices.

The largest of the newcomers, Amara Creekside Resort, is at the end of a long, serpentine driveway that is close to, but insulated from, uptown Sedona. At first glance, the russet and burnt red sandstone facade of this low-slung creekside compound, which opened last August, seems to mimic the traditional Sedona style. Inside, however, Amara looks almost self-consciously sleek and urbane; the minimalist guest rooms are outfitted with angular modern furniture and bathed in muted grays and tans, save for a few cherry red armchairs. It's all terribly sexy, if a bit cool.

The dashing El Portal Sedona, a cushy but laid-back hacienda near Sedona's art district, opened last June and is the brainchild of owner Steve Segner, a devotee of the Arts and Grafts movement of the early 1900s. Segner searched high and low for lustrous Utah river rocks, reclaimed juniper and oak beams, and authentic Tiffany and Roycroft furnishings to build and decorate this temple to turn-of-the-20th-century design. Not everything is period, however: In-room flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and high-speed Internet might not jibe with the earthy ideals of Craftsman purists, but they're a hit with El Portal's guests, who also enjoy spa, pool, and gym privileges next door at Los Abrigados Resort. …

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