If I wasn't staying in this hotel when I was in Phoenix for a week-long work trip, I think I would have lost my mind. Everything here is on a whole other level. From the staff, to the food, to the accommodations, this place is the bomb. I can't imagine dealing with crazy work stresses at any other hotel from now on. Everyone was just so nice! And on the ball! Craving a snack in between meetings? Oh look, there's someone cutting fresh fruit and preparing individual plates for everyone. Wondering where the gym is? Here comes a staff person out of the blue to personally escort you there. Looking for a quiet nook with a scenic view to do some work before the next presentation? There's a plush chair or couch not only facing a window, but within reach of an outlet, literally down every hallway. Bottom line: I left feeling so spoiled, I almost forgot it was a work trip. I would come back here in a heartbeat.
Fast food at an outdoor mall is not supposed to be good, so we weren't expecting much. We got the tenders with a few different sauces on the side. I don't even know why we bothered with the teriyaki and buffalo sauces--the original bbq sauce is the best! We were loving Shane's and were bummed we weren't hungrier for more. Considering all the different chain restaurants we bypassed on our way from Phoenix to Sedona, I'm so glad we took a risk and stopped at Shanes!
We came here our first night in Sedona. There was about a half hour wait, but two empty seats at the bar, so we decided to have our meal there. I'm not sure this was the best decision. The bar was loud, and not the fun, upbeat kind of loud that sweeps you up in the energy and makes you feel like part of the party. This was just loud conversation, for the sake of being loud. But, I will say, everything else was awesome. The bartender was juggling a lot of people and orders at once, but she took the time to answer our questions and give us some recommendations.
The chicken enchiladas are amazing! They are not smothered in cheese and heavy sauces--there's a light salsa verde on top that makes the whole dish feel very fresh and almost healthy (hey, a girl can dream). And having the refried black beans and rice on the side meant that I could control how much I had with every bite, instead of everything all mixed together on one plate.
I would definitely come back here, but I would wait for a table next time. When food is this good, I want to be able to focus on it completely.
My boyfriend and I just returned from our first trip to Sedona and we're still raving about our hotel experience at Amara. It is such a serene yet modern place, tucked off the main street down a little hill. We spent a lot of time at the hotel, probably more than I usually like to when I'm on vacation, but there was just so much good stuff going on here! Yoga every morning, followed by an awesome buffet-style breakfast with gorgeous views of the red rocks, a little workout room with everything you need, a cute jacuzzi and pool that we somehow always had to ourselves, a spa ready to pamper us, and complimentary bottles of water at the front desk for whenever we wanted one. Add all that to staff greeting us everywhere we went, ready with great restaurant recommendations, driving directions, help carrying our bags, or a lift up the hill to walk around town.
As if that isn't enough to make me rave about this place, they had a star gazing night at their sister property Auberge! How cool is that?? The guy leading the star gazing lesson was so good. I really feel like he was a teacher, a very cool one who knew how to break things down into analogies and every day situations so we had a better sense of what was really going on in the sky.
If you're staying at Amara, make sure to take advantage of all these things. The room itself is fine (actually the linens are super nice and the shower head in the bathroom is pretty cool), but it's all these little extras that make the hotel stand out as one of the best I've ever experienced.
We had fun getting caught up in the old school Italian vibe at Dahl and Diluca! There were even a few moments where we were looking for some marble columns to pose with for our Sedona photo album. Alas, there were just a lot of curtains and crystal chandeliers for our photos.
The place really is pretty and it is a perfect match for the Italian servers, the live piano music you can hear in the background, and the classic food. The entrees are decent and afterward you'll get the dessert presentation at your table with the typical tiramisu and chocolate cake. There's really nothing bad about this place. But, if you're just in town visiting for a few days, you'll probably find something a little more interesting or authentic to Arizona somewhere else.
Believe all the hype. The Pink Jeep tour was the best thing we did in Sedona. I can't imagine any other way we would have seen as much of, or learned as much about the Red Rocks. They really are something to see and our guide and driver, Mike, was so cool about answering our questions, telling us stories, and taking pictures of us.
We did the Broken Arrow tour and although we were a little uncertain about which one to choose, this worked out perfectly for us. The ride wasn't nearly as bumpy or fast as I thought (I was even wearing my sports bra, fully prepared for a wild ride!), but there was enough adventure just in the steep downhill parts where you almost feel like you are going to slide right out. And I actually preferred that the drive was kind of slow--it meant we had more time to take in our surroundings and get better pictures.
I'm sure each driver has different stories to tell and each tour is special in its own way, which kind of makes me think you can't go wrong with these guys!
I wish we knew somewhere else to try cactus fries, buffalo meat, and snake meat, but as tourists this seemed like the best place in Sedona to taste the local cuisine. The hostesses and bartenders were great, and there was a friendly and helpful runner who brought out our food, but our server seemed like he was on auto pilot, barely making eye contact or saying anything beyond what could have been a server's script posted in their break room. Aside from the slight thrill of trying the cactus, buffalo, and snake, there really wasn't anything special about any of their other dishes. I have a feeling Cowboy Club is a place everyone thinks they have to try, and then they all leave feeling like they should have gone somewhere else.
Ahhhh Wildflower, when are you coming to Boston? Sure you are just like Panera, but somehow you seem more creative, even fresher, with better options on your menu. If you sold your granola, I would buy it by the tub so I could recreate your fruit salad every day. And how did you know that even after eating a big plate of fruit I would need a little something dessert-like? Whose idea was it to put wedges of banana bread on the sides of my plate? How do you know me so well? Have we met before? You can tell me when I come back to visit; I'll be sitting outside, enjoying the view.
I'm not really sure what went wrong here. El Tovar is cool, there's a lot of history to take in, and the whole space is very dramatic and grand. The views are obviously gorgeous and there's even a nice fire going to give the place even more atmosphere. But the food? Not so much.
I had a cashew and pineapple chicken salad sandwich and it literally tasted like chunky mayonnaise, which is pretty much my personal nightmare (just thinking about it is making me gag). I don't think there was any chicken in it. The servers were perfectly nice, but there was some serious miscommunication going on regarding who was taking care of which table. I think four different people asked me if they could refill my drink, after I said no each time.
Why, oh why, did I not check Yelp before I came here? Shame on me. El Tovar should be great, but it doesn't really have to be with so many tourists wandering around, seeing it as the only place to eat.
I'm no Mexican food aficionado or anything, but this place has a lot going for it. Even though it is big and has the feel of a chain (our hotel concierge actually described it as the PF Chang's of Mexican food), but once you're at your table, it can feel quite cozy and homey. There are some nooks and crannies you can seek out to feel a little more tucked in.
The guac is made tableside, which is a big selling point for me because anything interactive when dining with coworkers is always a nice ice breaker. It also happened to be ladies night when I was there (a Thursday evening). Who knew ladies night still existed anywhere? Not me. So this was a fun surprise and an easy excuse to order margaritas (which were good, not anything amazingly mindblowing, but a good, solid margarita and a varied list so everyone actually tried something different).
The food was fresh and flavorful, things weren't completely and unnecessarily smothered in too much cheese, there were interesting side options other than just rice and beans (I'm talking to you, snap peas), and a server, if not necessarily our server, was always accessible. Everyone at the table seemed happy with the dinner, and I'd go back if I'm in the area again and have a hankering for enchiladas, so that equals "A-OK" in my book.
Why doesn't every single frozen yogurt place operate this way? You do it yourself! Genius. Want only a little bit of one flavor and a lot of another? A little bit of tart, a lotta cake batter for me. Craving some toppings layered in between the yogurt instead of just on top? Strawberries on the bottom, granola on the top is perfection! Not really all that hungry and just want a little tiny bit? Actually, this has never happened to me.
Consider all of your frozen yogurt problems solved at Yogurberry. Do it yourself, pay by the ounce, done and done. Everyone walks away happy.
|Places and activities that help keep me sane.||Renting, buying, moving, and decorating, here are the businesses I've sought out over the years, in six different homes.|
|Quite possibly the prettiest neighborhood ever. I feel so lucky to have lived here for 14 years.||A long weekend wasn't nearly long enough! Here are the places we made it to during our October 2013 and Jazz Fest 2014 trips.|
|Boston is cold. Go south for the winter.||Because sometimes you've gotta get away|
|Places that love your dog almost as much as you do.||You've got your tickets, now here's where to eat around the Theater District.|
|Mission: Avoid tourist traps||...or, really just the 5th and 6th|
"I could go for something sweet"
Boston, MA, Vereinigte StaatenYelper seit
Juni 2007Dinge, die ich mag
Corgis, Canadians, brownstones, bagels, pain au chocolat, Tyra Banks bringin the crazy, hotel lobbies, movie theaters, Costa Rica, burgers, brie, Jello Pudding pops, well-placed park benches, long train rides, authors, manicures, estate jewelryHier bin ich häufig anzutreffen
South End, Back Bay, Cambridge, Somerville, Waterfront & Fort PointHeimatort
Philly, PAWenn ich nicht gerade yelpe, dann ...
I edit college textbooks and tell my puppy she's gorgeous and perfectMeine zweitliebste Website Was ich zuletzt gelesen habe
Tell the Wolves I'm HomeMein erstes Konzerterlebnis
Lost in TranslationMeine Henkersmahlzeit
CinnabonErzähl's nicht weiter, aber...
I DVR JeopardyMeine neueste Entdeckung
90% of my wardrobe is from Filene's Basement (RIP)Ich schwärme gerade für