Ambiente, A Landscape Hotel sits on 3 acres just off busy state Route 89A that runs through Sedona, Ariz. When I arrived at the adults-only property for an early spring, two-night stay, I wondered just how relaxing my solo getaway might be, given the steady passing traffic that made its way in or out of town.
Yet, the resort’s architecture and design — including a babbling creek that ran under my soundproofed room on steel stilts — allowed for plenty of peaceful and restorative reflection.
In fact, I found the brand-new contemporary resort a wonderful addition to Sedona’s upscale lodging with its unusual accommodations, excellent food, friendly staff and proximity to hiking trails.
Freestanding, Cube-Shaped Accommodations
Forty cube-shaped structures set on piers above the ground make up the lodging at Ambiente — so constructed to minimize disruption to the land. Called “Atriums,” each building is 576 square feet and has the same furniture and amenities, including a marvelous black soaking tub, a comfy L-shaped couch decked out with multiple pillows, a king-sizd bed, a towel warmer and dual shower heads.
Nature-inspired decor includes textured wallpaper designed to look like close-up views of leaves; a solid, natural wood table; and a tree trunk stool in the glass-enclosed shower. Also in each Atrium is a beverage cooler with complimentary drinks such as coconut water, soda and iced tea. Popcorn, trail mix and energy bars are also free. Local coffee can be prepared in a pour-over setup, or guests can use the electric kettle to prepare hot tea.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the provided snacks and drinks, what really wowed me was the floor-to-ceiling, bronze-tinted glass on three sides of the cube. Since I was booked in a Forest Reflections Atrium, I found myself surrounded by juniper and pine trees when I fully opened my blackout drapes with the touch of a button.
Star Reflections Atriums, the entry-level category, are in the center of the property near the pool and restaurant, while Landscape Reflections Atriums are set adjacent to the Coconino National Forest and have the most privacy and best views.
Each Atrium features a spiral staircase that leads to a private rooftop terrace complete with a daybed and gas-powered fire pit. Two accessible Creekside Reflections Atriums are wheelchair-friendly, and each has a ground-level patio with a fire pit next to a creek.
Delicious Poolside Dining
Forty1 is the intimate poolside restaurant at Ambiente, so named as it’s the “41st Atrium” on the property. In temperate weather, a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows is slid away for open-air dining. There are tables on the spacious pool deck just outside the restaurant, as well as outdoor stools for guests who might want to belly up to the corner bar while enjoying desert sunshine and arid breeze.
Breakfast is included in the room rate at Ambiente, and your clients won’t want to miss hearty and delicious items such as eggs Benedict, biscuits and gravy, or pumpkin French toast. Lighter dishes include a parfait or sliced fruit. Lunch is served from a custom Airstream dubbed The Drifter, with soup, salads and sandwiches on the menu.
In the evening, when the restaurant is transformed into a cozy, candlelit space, Forty1 showcases modern American fare — including vegetarian, seafood, poultry and meat entrees — made with seasonal ingredients. Drinks include a vast wine list, creative cocktails and local beers on tap.
Nearby Hiking Trails
Sedona’s otherworldly red-rock landscape beckons outdoor enthusiasts with more than 200 hiking and biking trails in the area. For Ambiente guests, it’s convenient to escape into nature as the resort is next door to the Adobe Jack trailhead, which leads to the network of Soldier Wash Trails.
I completed a 2-mile loop combining the Adobe Jack, Coyote and Crusty trails when I first arrived at Ambiente in the afternoon and again in the early morning. The light on the distant massive rock formations changes their color throughout the day. I recommend a late-day trek while taking the loop clockwise for the most impressive views of fiery mesas, buttes and spires.
After a day of adventuring in Sedona — whether that’s hiking, biking, art-gallery hopping or vortex hunting —clients might want to wind down at the on-site Velvet Spa. Treatments include massages, exfoliating scrubs and a clay wrap. More unusual experiences are offered as well: Clients can lie down in the Dark Sky Lounge to listen to soothing sounds while feeling synchronized vibrations for sublime relaxation. Or they might choose to soak in a Japanese-style tub filled with warm oxygen-infused water.
No matter how Ambiente guests spend their days — and kicking back in one of the shallow-water pool loungers is totally acceptable, too — stargazing is the No. 1 activity to enjoy on the property once the sun goes down. Sedona’s designation as a Dark Sky Community means that there is minimal light pollution in the area. Since every Ambiente Atrium has its own rooftop deck, all guests have a sweet, private spot to thoroughly enjoy billions of bright twinkling stars in the night sky.