#DiamondStories: Escaping to Sedona, Arizona
#DiamondStories: Escaping to Sedona, Arizona
By Stephanie Allen
Media and Content Editor
This year, the Diamond Resorts media team is exploring several of Diamond’s most desirable destinations around the globe, giving you an inside look at the best experiences in each location. From off-road tours and hot air balloon rides in Sedona, Arizona, to hiking dormant volcanoes in Hawaii or enjoying beachside concerts in Virginia Beach, Virginia – the team is testing out each adventure first to help you make the most of your next Diamond Resorts vacation. Follow their adventures throughout the year on social media and join the conversation by sharing your own favorite vacation experiences with #DiamondStories.
First up: Sedona, Arizona.
There is an undeniable energy in Sedona. Call it a vortex or the power of the Red Rocks – whatever you believe it may be – when you’re there, you can feel it. There’s no good way to describe it, either. You just have to experience it.
Probably best known for its breathtaking views, everywhere you look in Sedona is stunning. Gradient reds cascade over the mountains and aptly named rock formations – it’s difficult to truly capture Sedona’s beauty in photographs or videos, but we tried. During our short three days in town, we took a total of more than 1,000 photos and videos. One of our cellphones even ran out of storage! It was maybe a little overboard, but so worth it. There’s just too much to see and experience – we wanted to capture it all.
When driving into town from either Flagstaff in the north or Phoenix in the south, you’ll come through winding mountain roads that are gorgeous on their own, but they aren’t the main show. You’ll know you’re in Sedona when the red appears. Tucked in the middle of all the fantastic formations in Sedona, in all its perfection.
Diamond Resorts has four unique properties in the area, each offering something different depending on your vacation goals. The Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort and Bell Rock Inn are located just outside the heart of the city and are perfect for those looking to escape and enjoy the impressive landscapes or sneak in a few rounds of golf. Both have numerous dining and shopping options nearby, and the appropriately named Bell Rock Inn offers unbeatable views of Bell Rock.
Sedona Summit sits on the edge of town and features upgraded accommodations, some of which include the highly-coveted Red Rock views. Because it’s located slightly further out, cell phone service can be spotty at times, but the resort offers free WiFi.
For those looking to be more centrally located, Los Abrigados Resort & Spa is perfectly positioned in the heart of Sedona. Perched on 22 immaculate acres, the resort offers 11 different room types. The accommodations may not be as newly upgraded as Sedona Summit, but Los Abrigados exudes a quaint, historical charm that is comfortable and homey. It is also within walking distance to Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village and numerous local shops and restaurants, making it great for those looking to park their vehicles and not get back in until they leave.
Los Abrigados also features many updated amenities, including a heated saltwater pool, a full-service spa, renovated fitness center, tennis and pickle ball courts, bocce ball, mini-golf, a life-size chess board, a bird sanctuary, and a peace-inducing labyrinth. There are two on-site restaurants, a vegetable garden and numerous local art pieces sprinkled around the grounds. You can tell that the Resort Manager, Csilla Stark, takes pride in caring for the resort grounds. She even calls the property her home.
We spent three nights at Los Abrigados, and because of our packed schedule, didn’t get to fully enjoy all of the resort’s amenities. But we did promise ourselves that we’d be back.
Now to the best part of Sedona: the experiences. There are seemingly endless things to see and do, and when planning your visit, you’ll likely be overwhelmed with the options. Sedona Ticket Station by Diamond Resorts made planning our short getaway easy. Set up as a one-stop shop for discounted tickets on Sedona and the Verde Valley's most sought-after adventures, Sedona Ticket Station is really like an online concierge for you to use before you arrive, so you don’t have to worry about planning anything when you’re on vacation. The helpful staff scheduled our entire trip – almost every detail was planned for us. (Plus, right now Sedona Ticket Station running a deal for 10 percent off any adventure when you use code “GoSedona.” That’s a good chunk of change of a Pink Jeep Tour or helicopter ride, but the deal only lasts until June 1, 2018.)
We ended up booking a hot air balloon ride with Northern Lights Balloon Expeditions, a four-hour Pink Jeep Tour, the Verde Canyon Railroad trip, a dinner at Blazin’ M Ranch and a Red Rock Magic Trolley Tour. Each adventure was unique, yet exhilarating in its own way. There is no way we can pick a favorite, but we do have plenty of tips for each.
For the full details of our trip and a breakdown of each adventure, stay tuned for our next blog post. You won’t want to miss our insider tips and best bets for vacationing in Sedona.