I’m sending a major thanks to the Hilton Sedona Resort & Spa, who provided me and my family a two night stay, meals at their Grille at ShadowRock, a spa treatment and a Pink Jeep Tour – all for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.
Just as the summer heat started keeping my kids off the playgrounds, and endless afternoons in the pool started to get a little tiresome (how will I make it ’til August?!- Totally ridiculous problems to have), the opportunity for a two night vacation in Sedona popped up. Yes please!!
The Hilton Sedona is located in the Oak Creek area, a gorgeously scenic 20-minute drive south of uptown Sedona.We decided to drive north during my youngest child’s nap time, and the 1.5 hour trip couldn’t have been smoother.
The airy, modern-earthy lobby was spotless and, even with my two small children milling about, the check-in process went smoothly. It turns out the Hilton has recently renovated the lobby and communal areas, and they are planning to renovate the guest rooms (by section) starting in the fall. All construction should be complete by spring 2015.
I look forward to seeing their room renovations, because we went up to our king-bed suite and the decor was different than the lobby – a bit darker, more traditional Southwest. Still, even once we pulled out the queen-sofa-bed for the kids to sleep on, there was plenty of room for them to chase each other in circles through the bathroom, the bedroom, and the living room.
More than anything, we were completely in awe of the VIEWS! The rooms at the Hilton Sedona have amazing views of the red rock formations that this area is famous for.
Once we stopped ogling at the view from our balcony, we hopped into our swimsuits and walked to the family-friendly Cascades pool. The wading pool has built in mushroom-fountains, and leads directly into the bigger pool that goes to about 6 feet deep at the far end. Be sure you are ready to jump in with your non-swimming kids! We ordered some delicious pina coladas from the poolside bar Bluewater Cafe as we toweled off, and the kids enjoyed their apple juices.
There is a separate adult-only pool, Shadowrock, if you want some peace from the water guns and pool toys that are provided at the children’s pool.
Soon enough, the all-too-common refrain “I’m hungry” spilled out of the mouths of my babes. We walked past several fountains – which they had to stop to make wishes at – on our way back to get dressed and down to the restaurant.
The Grille at ShadowRock is the one full restaurant on site, and has an expansive indoor eating area as well as a generous shaded patio bordering the adult-only pool. The kids explored the basil plants lining the patio and chased birds on the far end away from the tables, enjoying the cooler temperatures compared to Scottsdale. Children under 12 eat free from the Kids menu with a paying adult (excluding drinks). We had several days to explore their American / Southwest menu, and we particularly enjoyed the steaks, pizza, and flavorful fish tacos. For breakfast, the extensive buffet is the way to go.
As a parent to a child with food allergies, I would recommend being very clear about any sensitivities or allergies that your family may have, and have them double check with the kitchen. The restaurant carries gluten-free bread, if requested, but they do not offer any allergy information on the menus.
Ohhhhh, the spa. The moment you step onto the pathway behind the hotel to get to Eforea, you are treated to the zen-like sounds and flowery smells of the spa. I immediately felt giddy, as I sent my husband and kids on a hike and felt like it was a perfect welcome to this precious me-time.
The friendly staff handed me a key to my locker, and I walked past ladies in their exercise class, swimmers emerging from the large, pristine lap pool, and a handful of people in the weight room.
I got a Sedona Massage ($120), which started with a detoxing foot soak and smoky cleanse. The pint-sized powerhouse of a therapist I had kept me in a perfect zone of calm, relaxation and therapeutic muscle-work. At the end of the hour I sauntered to the steam room, dried off all the moisture on the women’s only sun-deck, and made it back to meet my family feeling refreshed.
My husband took the children to nearby Cathedral Rock, 8 minutes from the hotel. At least, we think that’s where they went. Even at 5 and 3 years old, the kids were able to do the majority of the walk up to a hill of pine trees to stunning views of the red rocks. The hotel is also very close to hiking trails around Bell Rock, Courthouse Butte, and Castle Rock.
Pink Jeep Tours gave us an amazing opportunity to ride on their exclusive Broken Arrow Trail ($89/adult, $67/child). Our youngest hopped into a provided car seat, and off we went on the two hour tour to the top of Submarine Rock, to Chicken Point, and down a ridiculously steep “Road of no Return.” Ever the nervous parent, I imagined the worst while they all giggled and hollered. It was awesome.
There’s no way to be bored up here, with other activities including balloon flights, Sedona Air tours, horseback rides, wine tours, trolley tours, and golf outings. The concierge has details.
I have to mention that this hotel impressed me with its accessibility for disabled individuals. The pool has a lift to assist swimmers. The spa has a lift to allow access to showers and amenities. There are ADA accessible guest suites. You simply inform the front desk that you want to access any of these areas and the will dispatch an engineer to operate the equipment for you.