Boutique Accommodations in Arizona & New Mexico
In the search for ‘unique’ or ’boutique’ places to stay in the southwest, we covered the entire accommodation spectrum: hotels within yards of the Grand Canyon, cheap and cheerful motels in which we literally spent 8 hours sleeping, rustic creekside cabins and luxurious B&Bs. (Sidenote: I have to confess that I do prefer B&Bs that provide a more private experience for their guests, versus sleeping in the owner’s refurbished sewing room down the hall.) Below are some of our ‘hotel’ highlights.
SPLURGE in Sedona
BOOTS AND SADDLES B&B, Sedona, Arizona
This truly is a 5 star boutique hotel experience, but with the added bonus of a gourmet breakfast and personal touches from hosts who truly want you to enjoy your stay with them. Irith and Sam represent the absolute best in B&B hosts. Not only is the accommodation private and stunning in its elegant and elevated design (thanks to Irith), but the food is a work of art on the plate and to the palate (thanks to Sam).
The rooms are gorgeous with attention paid to every detail, whether it means mirroring the shape of the mountains in the etched glass privacy window in the walk in shower, or the amenities stowed in the vanity drawers that allow for any forgotten necessity.
If you’re spending a little time in Sedona and you want to really feel like you’ve been on a vacation, treat yourself to several nights at Boots&Saddles. An added bonus is that there’s a fabulous store next door that sells native art and artefacts.
STAY at the Grand Canyon
THUNDERBIRD LODGE, Grand Canyon South Rim
If you only have a short time to visit the Canyon, you might as well stay on the rim of it. Thunderbird Lodge is about as close as you can get, given its location not 50 feet from the rim, really handy if you are planning on doing any hiking (since it gives you a place where you can shower afterwards!) Its not cheap, it’s not particularly luxurious, but the fact that you can walk outside of your room at midnight and see the moonlit canyon practically on your doorstep, is well worth the price. An added bonus? there’s often elk grazing on the hotel grounds at night, so stay alert on your stroll and you’ll be able to catch a view of more than just the canyon.
SCORE! in Phoenix
ROYAL PALMS RESORT & SPA, Phoenix, Arizona
This hotel exceeded expectations in every way – starting with its price that seemed too good to be true, courtesy of www.otel.com who gave us a bargain-basement deal. The hotel was a real oasis in the desert, with its original old-world Spanish-inspired layout and design the subsequent modernization of which enhanced its charm, not ruined it. The staff were unpretentious, helpful and very friendly, and the food was delicious. The happy hour in the lounge was excellent, with gourmet appetizers that were to die for. Even at a higher price, this hotel would be a bargain-hunter’s dream.
LA CASITA ROSADA, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Scouring the internet has its payoffs, and this beautiful little apartment was certainly one of them. Built as a completely separate, self-contained ‘villa’ this studio comes with a kitchen, spa-like bathroom and beautifully appointed bedsitting room. Its proximity (read walking distance) to Old Town, the historic square of Albuquerque, combined with its included internet and parking, make it a must-do, and all for such a ridiculously low price, I almost hate to share this!
STAY in Pinos Altos
BEAR CREEK MOTEL & CABINS, Pinos Altos, New Mexico
Enroute from New Mexico to Arizona, we were looking for a place to spend one night to break up the drive, and found these rustic 2-story cabins in the middle of a ponderosa pine forest. If you’re a fan of cozy log cabins with fireplaces, wood everywhere, and don’t mind a little wear and tear around the edges, Bear Creek provides the perfect break from the highway. Sit on the upstairs porch, breathe in the scent of pine, and watch bluejays and woodpeckers fly by at eye level while you enjoy a glass of wine. You’ll feel like a Cartwright!
Want to read more about our experiences in Arizona? Click here.
New Mexico? Click here.