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Mountain at Sedona- painting by Lily Azerad-Goldman
Sedona and Los Abrigados Resort & Spa
-Article by: Norm Goldman
-Paintings by: Lily Azerad-Goldman

If you are looking for that special romantic place you can hardly wait to tell everyone about, and where the majestic backdrop of nature is at its best, Sedona, Arizona should be high up on your list. It has been said: "God created the Grand Canyon but He lives in Sedona."

Located in the heart of Red Rock Country at an elevation of 4500 feet, Sedona is an easy two- hour picturesque drive from Phoenix along route I-17.

It would be an understatement to say that my wife and I were overwhelmed with the beauty and serenity of the contrasting scenery! Imagine if you will, one moment we were looking at the semi-arid desert with the majestic cacti and succulents, and the next, the contrasting ponderosa pine forests and the alpine tundra with the glorious Sedona red rock landscape as a back- drop.

We could not help keeping our eyes peeled on the huge variety of desert vegetation that we had never seen before: the Banana Yucca, Desert Christmas Cactus, Desert Prickly Pear, and trees such as the Arizona Ash, Cypress, Sycamore, Juniper and Cottonwood. Just beginning to make their spring appearance were the poppies, lupines and other wildflowers.

With all the many facets of the natural habitat of the area, probably many of the locals don't
Cactus in Sedona- painting by Lily Azerad-Goldman
even realize the area's diversity that is located in this stunning natural setting.

As we approached Sedona through a winding road, we fully understood why it has been described as the gateway to the mythological center of the universe the- Colorado Plateau.

In fact, in 1996 North Arizona University conducted a study and they discovered that more than sixty percent of visitors to Sedona were seeking a "spiritual experience." You can well understand the proliferation of so many "New Age" enterprises that are more than willing to aid in your quest for such an experience. You can have your aura fine-tuned, or if you prefer, an alignment of your charkas. How about covering yourself from head to toe with Sedona's sacred healing mud?

When it comes to the supernatural, we are always somewhat skeptical, however we have to admit that upon first approaching the famous red rocks, there seemed to be an unexplainable aura that was to say the least, awe-inspiring! Was this perhaps the so- called "red rock fever" so often mentioned in the media?

In fact, my wife, Lily, could not contain herself and she demanded I pull the car over so that she could draw and paint her watercolors of these temples of red sandstone cliffs of various sizes and shapes bearing such intriguing names as Snoopy Rock, Elephant Rock, Submarine Rock, Chapel of the Holy Cross, Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock and Courthouse Butte.

No wonder, the surrealist painter and sculptor, Max Ernest and many other artists and writers, were attracted to Sedona.


Sedona owes its name to Theodore Carlton (Carl or T.C) Schnebly and his wife, Sedona Miller Schnebly.

T.C and his wife were one of the early homesteaders of Sedona at the turn of the last century, and he saw that the town was in dire need of a post office. He suggested various names to the Postmaster in Washington including his own family name, Schnebly station. All were turned down as they had too many letters for a postmark.

It was Theodore's brother, Ellsworth, who suggested he submit the name of Theodore's wife, Sedona, and henceforth the town was called Sedona.

It is a good thing the U.S. Post Office turned down the name "Schnebly." Imagine telling someone you are visiting Schnebly instead of Sedona!


A romantic Sedona experience would not be complete without a stay in a romantic resort, where privacy, spaciousness, pampering, athletic challenges and excellent service are givens.

As one of Sedona's most popular timeshare properties, the twenty-two acre Los Abrigados Resort & Spa-- located in the heart of the wonders of Sedona, and right next door to the boutiques and art galleries of Tlaquepaque-- is a great choice.

Los Abrigados welcomes you with their lush landscaping, where Spanish-styled plazas,
NEARBY ATTRACTIONS: Montezuma Castle, Slide Rock State Park, Red Rock State Park, Tuzicoot National Monument
winding walkways and quaint bridges connect 175 luxurious suites, some with fireplaces, and whirlpools with spa. All have balconies or private patios, spacious bedrooms and living rooms and either a mini or full kitchen.

What is particularly unique about the resort is their sensitivity to the environment. This attribute certainly brings out the best in a resort, and that is exactly what is happening at Los Abrigados Resort & Spa.

The resort has formed a partnership with the Institute of EcoTourism that has located their interpretive Center within the grounds of the resort. The Institute assists the ILX management in the "greening" of Los Abrigados. They also offer guests and owners many programs that will help them enhance their visit and bring them closer to nature. Their mission is "to promote the experience of environmentally conscious tourism."

Moonlight at Los Abrigados- painting by Lily Azerad-Goldman
Another feature of the resort is their accent on choice. If pampering is your idea of a romantic getaway, the resort offers luxurious massage treatments, hot stone therapy, full body treatments, facials, and hail and stone therapy.

For golfers, you may want to try your skills at the Creekside miniature golf course tucked under the sycamore trees along the sparkling banks of Oak Creek or the state-of-the art full swing golf simulators, which allow you to tee off at any of 33 internationally renowned courses.

Other amenities include, baseball court, bocce ball, 2 swimming pools, tennis courts, fitness center, and 2 whirlpool spas.

As for exchanging vows, the resort is an ideal venue. Just picture a gazebo with satin ribbons and bows set up along the babbling Oak Creek with the bright red rocks as a backdrop!


Overlooking the magnificent 18-hole Sedona Golf Resort, and with unbelievable views of the majestic spires of Court House Butte, Castle Rock and Bell Rock, the Hilton Sedona's Grille At Shadow Rock is difficult to beat when it comes to the best in Continental cuisine with a Southwest flair coupled with a casual romantic ambiance. There is nothing pretentious about this dining establishment and the service is second to none. You can even sit out on their exquisite patio, if the weather permits, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Deciding what to choose from the menu was as overwhelming and exciting as a sale at one of the well- known clothing chains.

My wife and I savored the seared salmon with sweet corn, shitake mushrooms, and balsamic vinegar butter sauce. The salmon was prepared just right, and as we all know, the secret to preparing fish is in the sauce. The chef did not disappoint us.


Los Abrigados Resort & Spa
160 Portal Lane
Sedona, AZ
Tel: 800-261-2777
Fax- 928-203-8979

Grille At Shadow Rock
90 Ridge Trail Dr
Sedona, AZ
Tel: 928-284-4040

Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon Chamber of Commerce
P.O. BOX 478
Sedona, Arizona 86339
Tel: 800-288-7336

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