Northern Arizona August

We were invited to a wedding in Sedona so we decided in visit Flagstaff, where I used to live, first. Between the lovely ceremony and the Pink Jeep tour, it was a fun and varied time!

Northern Arizona August

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on January 13, 2002

Summer visitors to Flagstaff should make time to ride the ski lift at Snow Bowl. The view is outstanding and it will give you time to catch up with your friend, spouse or child. If you don't mind a little red dust, a trip to Sedona demands a jeep tour.${QuickSuggestions} Take the inside passage through Oak Creek Canyon from Flagstaff to Sedona, or vice-versa. It is safe during the summer--no snow--and the forest and red rocks are truly wonderous.${BestWay} Private car to and around Flagstaff. Private car to and around Sedona, though the main tourist drag can be walked.

L'Auberge de Sedona

Member Rating 1 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on January 20, 2002

We were in a one-bedroom garden suite in early August. As I mentioned in my overview, we were in Sedona for a wedding, so our "enjoyment patterns" were different than those for someone who was having a quiet getaway. Regardless, I came away with an average-to-poor impression of the accommodations at L''Auberge. On the one hand, the cottage was spacious and well-equipped, with king-sized bed, dining area, loveseat and fireplace living area, and a bathroom with large vanity and door between the toilet and vanity areas. On the other--much heavier--hand, I was surprised that the cottages command prices upwards of $250 per night. I have stayed at a variety of properties in this range (Loews, Shutters, Hyatt) and am inclined to fault L''Auberge for the following factors:

1. Age of decor. The French blue carpet in our cottage showed signs of obvious wear and had a grubby, overcast look. The bathroom was in a salmon palette that is dated to the late 80''s.

2. Lack of privacy. The cottages are set out in a faux random pattern that verily force neighbors to look into each other''s windows. We were standing in our living area when we heard a knock--when we turned toward the noise, we were staring out of our window and into the front door of another cottage, where that cottage''s inhabitants had opened the door. Also, noise echoes among the cottages.

3. Appearance of cottage. The deck to each cottage is very basic. Ours was not ugly, but neither was it pretty. It''s just a wood porch, no particular carvings, motif furnishings, etc. This does not bother me wholesale, but since the L''Auberge website describes these accommodations as romantic, I simply must protest.

4. The bathroom. The bath design is dated--no jacuzzi tub, which is now a standard feature at luxury properties. Also, the materials/furnishings in the bath construction do not look like quality, even if they might be.

My husband and I were both a bit stunned by the seeming rift between L''Auberge''s promotional materials and its reality. To be fair, we did not see either a Lodge room (in the main building) or an Orchard''s Inn room (elsewhere on the property) but the cottages are in the price point above these and I feel that if I were going to be impressed, the cottage should have done it. The overall feel was that of a project gone just a little bit wrong; the fabrics used in our room were rich and expensive, but they didn''t quite coordinate, and the king-sized canopy over the bed looked a bit tired.

If you have your heart set on a L''Auberge cottage, I suggest asking whether they have redecorated any of them recently. Otherwise, stay elsewhere and go to L''Auberge to partake in that which they excel--the FOOD.

L'Auberge De Sedona
301 Little Lane
Sedona, Arizona, 86336
(928) 282-1661

Conifer House B&B Inn, Flagstaff

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by hwlrmnky on January 17, 2002

We stayed in the Ponderosa Room and it was wonderful. We also snuck a peek at the Nantucket, Kensington, and Bungalow rooms right after housekeeping and they are all attractive, spacious, warm and classy. The Ponderosa was selected for us by Lauren, the innkeeper, because I had emailed her explaining my need to nap during the afternoons and she explained it was the most secluded. She was right, it was terrific. The entire property is very peaceful and quiet, however, so I am sure that when I return I would be able to nap in any of the rooms.

The Ponderosa''s king-sized bed was very comfortable and had luxurious linens. The two-person jacuzzi tub was a delight and Lauren supplies bath crystals. The robes were by one of the most comfortable makers, Telegraph Hill in San Francisco--these lighweight all-season robes are like wearing a cloud, without the bulk of terrycloth. Our room was cozy and spacious simultaneously, and the fireplace was charming.

The Conifer House has wonderful amenities. My husband is still talking about the cookies available each night and it has been four months since we were there. We really enjoyed having a VCR along with the television in our room and Conifer House has an excellent video library. Since we were allowed to take the videos to curl up with in our room, it was "like home, only better!" There is also a game room at Conifer House where guests may watch television, shoot a game of pool, or just use the refrigerator. Additionally, there is a warm and tasteful livingroom in the common area; we were able to invite another couple who lives in the area and entertain them with tea--graciously supplied by Lauren--in extremely comfortable surroundings.

Lauren is a Renaissance woman, a fact that she is quiet about, but not only did she design her own letterhead she is also a dynamite cook. We loved the two breakfasts we had there, full meals with a fruit starter and a main course, and were sad to oversleep on banana-macadamia nut pancake morning. The oversleep was completely our fault and Lauren was utterly gracious about it; nonetheless, we are certain we missed out on something important and will hope to get a chance to try them when we return. The backyard is beautiful and forested. We saw rabbits, raccoons and a porcupine!

I believe that couples should never stay in a chain hotel in Flagstaff; none of them have any distinction and they are comparatively overpriced. For this reason I will always go with a B&B in that town and I particularly like the location of Conifer House. Flagstaff is a railway town and Conifer House is the only property north of Route 66 that is far enough away from the tracks that the house doesn''t vibrate. It is also a mere 5 minute drive to the "hot spots" in Flag.

Conifer House
1701 West Stevanna Way
Flagstaff, Arizona
(928) 774-2438

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