Sedona Like You've Never Seen it Before
Lounging on the bed outside, my eyes are feasting on the Milky Way above as I try to pick out constellations and planets from the billions of stars around me in the Dark Sky Community of Sedona. Venus is dazzling between the horns of Taurus the bull; there’s Leo the Lion; and could that one be Mars shining brightly? The waning moon is a late riser tonight, so I’m up at dawn with a mug of coffee to watch it drop below the horizon. Just opposite, the sun rises over the Mogollon Rim, illuminating the mammoth red rock formations that now take center stage in this 360-degree panorama of a landscape that is undeniably Sedona, Arizona.
Am I camping? No, I am at Ambiente Hotel Sedona, a luxurious landscape hotel in the Coconino National Forest where guests are immersed in nature and epic scenery. Those views? They’re from my private atrium’s rooftop star deck, complete with a daybed large enough for two, and a fire pit to take the chill off the desert breeze. Room service delivers up here too.
The atrium, a free-standing structure designed for one or two guests, feels like my own private getaway where I can commune with nature, write, think and just decompress. A well-appointed guest room lies just down the spiral staircase. Open the door and the breathtaking views of Red Rock Country pour in through floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s like having a private IMAX screening room with a king-size bed dressed in organic linens in the front row. The room’s palette is dark to keep the focus on the colors outside: red rocks, green plants, and blue sky. Comforts abound within the 576-foot space, including a black soaking tub, walk-in shower with dual rain heads, and heated towel rack. Blackout curtains can be drawn with the push of a bedside button.
Ambiente, A Landscape Hotel is unlike any place you’ve ever stayed in Sedona. The 3-acre property is owned and operated by a local family, Michael Stevenson and his two daughters, Jennifer May and Colleen TeBrake. Inspired thinkers, their vision has created something new in Sedona and a first in North America: a landscape hotel that connects guests to the surrounding natural environment. The sustainably-built, minimalist design maximizes views outward through the 180-degree windows, and upward from the rooftop star decks. Built with great respect for nature, the architecture adapted to the topography rather than disrupting it.
Condé Nast Traveler featured Ambiente, A Landscape Hotel on their 2023 Hot List of the year’s best new hotels whose “style, ethos and service set new standards for hospitality.”
Imagine individual glass cubes on stilts as modern-day cabins with floor-to-ceiling windows of bronzed glass. Each was individually sited to capture the best views and carefully placed into the landscape, floating just above the ground on steel piers so as not to disturb the plants beneath. A stream flows under the atriums, following the path of an ancient waterway, using a recirculating system of water from the resort’s underground well.
Not only is the hotel intimate in size with 40 atriums, there is a spirit of romance in this adults-only property, and an exciting feeling of being far away from everyday life. It is a place for couples to reconnect, and for solo travelers to find space and time for themselves.
With the privacy of the detached atriums, a pool, a spa and the Forty1 restaurant serving Modern American cuisine, some guests have no desire to venture out. For those who do, the hotel’s location in the heart of Sedona puts them within minutes of many art galleries, shops and restaurants. Taking a hike or trail run couldn’t be easier; the Adobe Jack Trailhead is adjacent to the hotel entrance and hooks up with several other trails as well.
Surrounded by the beauty of the Coconino National Forest, nature and awe-inspiring scenery can be enjoyed by simply opening your eyes.
The word ambiente refers to the character of a place, and how it makes you feel. A stay at Ambiente Hotel Sedona envelopes guests in nature, cultivates a deeper connection to the natural world, and elevates the senses. One feels in harmony with their environment, and maybe just a bit more in touch with themselves as well.
And that is a great feeling.