My husband and I spent a three day weekend at L'Auberge Sedona for our 10 year wedding anniversary. Since we were in AZ for my grandmother's 80th birthday party, I thought staying at L'Auberge would be a great way to enjoy our anniversary and be just a short drive away from the birthday festivities in northern AZ. I am glad we stayed at L'Auberge, and I will discuss all of the positives first.
The grounds are gorgeous! It felt like you were in a magical forest, away from the world. The green grass, the sound of the creek, the red rocks- it was perfect! We stayed in a cottage room with a garden view and loved the cute little cottage. Next time, I will book the creek view cottage, as the rooms have huge patios and overlook the creek.
Before our stay, I contacted the Romance Concierge, Nicole, who helped me in planning a sipnic (picnic lunch) and a rose petal turn down service for the day of our anniversary to surprise my husband. I highly recommend both if you are coming to celebrate an anniversary. The picnic was delivered to our room at the specified time in a small backpack. We took this picnic down near the creek and sat at the small table and chairs in the grass, and enjoyed the delicious lunch. While we were at dinner, our room was decorated with rose petal and tea lights. When we came home, the scene was lovely!
Although the natural beauty of the resort area is stunning, the overall service is lacking. Since it is a no tipping resort, staff has no motivation or desire to help. I would much rather tip and experience good service, than not tip and have nothing. Nearly everyone we encountered seemed indifferent, aloof, uninterested. My husband and I are both relaxed, easy-going people, so we were not bothered by it until the very end of our stay when we had a major issue that was poorly handled.
I left two Tiffany’s pouches filled with my jewelry (2 rings, 2 necklaces, and a pair of earrings) in the room safe and did not realize it until we arrived back home in Newport Beach the next day. As soon as I could not find my jewelry and knew that I had left it in the safe, I called the resort in a panic. I spoke with two different people at L’Auberge several times (never talking to a manager) and got two very different stories about the maid checking the safe and my jewelry was not there, engineering checking the safe and the jewelry was not there, and that they would check with the laundry service. I emailed the hotel manager, along with several other people at the hotel, hoping that if more people were aware of the situation, the better the outcome may be. Thank goodness I finally got a call from sweet Nicole saying that they had indeed found my jewelry in the safe. The call was more than 24 hours after my first call to the hotel, and I was completely thrilled and shocked at the same time, since I had been told it was not in the safe. The hotel manager finally emailed me that day also saying that the jewelry had been found, but I think he should have contacted me much earlier. Perhaps I would have gotten a straight story instead of several different conflicting ones that just alarmed me more. Thank goodness for the happy ending!
Communication and quality service seems to be the areas that are most lacking at L’Auberge. Besides the miscommunication in the jewelry ordeal, a lot of little things made me question L’Auberge as a 4 and a half star resort. At the valet stand, we arrived home to pouring rain Saturday night and had to wait for the valet to appear. When he finally did arrive to park our car he apologized for being out of umbrellas. I do not mind getting wet, but from the valet to our room was quite a walk, and in wedge heels in an inch of water, unsafe. Service at the restaurant was poor, especially the Sunday brunch on the creek. At dinner, both of our halibut dishes were undercooked, and mine so much that I could not eat more than a bite. Check-in was a little bit awkward and we did not feel welcomed as you should at a nicer resort. The people who worked at the hotel seemed aloof, indifferent, and uninterested.
A few more random notes...Room service breakfast was phenomenal! The pillows were awful neck breakers- bring your own if you can. The bed was not very comfortable. The outdoor shower was neat! A cottage room is the way to go. If you can get a discounted rate, I would go for it, but if your room costs more than $500+ it is just not worth it due to the poor service.
In all, the natural beauty of the hotel was heavenly, and it was a nice surprise. The photos on Trip Advisor do not do the hotel justice. I may go back to L’Auberge knowing what to expect next time- a gorgeous place with lacking service. I will also remember to check the safe before leaving!