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“Suitable for most travelers, not solo travelers.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Amara Resort & Spa, a Kimpton Hotel

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Amara Resort & Spa, a Kimpton Hotel
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   100 Amara Lane, Sedona, AZ 86336   |  
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Ranked #16 of 46 Hotels in Sedona
Twin Falls, Idaho
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
86 helpful votes 86 helpful votes
“Suitable for most travelers, not solo travelers.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

My teenager was supposed to go to Sedona with me but she bugged out at the last minute and I went alone.

The Amara is more or less shaped like a V with the widest part having a beautiful view of the Snoopy rock formation. The public areas are within the V -- the narrowest point is the restaurant then a pretty red rock fountain with a sitting area, then a games area on astro turf and then the pool. The rooms are in six buildings running the sides of the V and the best rooms are at the very ends. The hotel is two stories.

I had a view of the pool. With only two stories, you hear any noise in the common area, so if you are looking for quiet or solitude you won't find it at Amara. The room itself has some strange sounds during the day and evening, some of it being the AC system. In my particular room, if you didn't close the bathroom door completely when you left, it swung open and you hit it with the door when you came back in the room.

The valet parking men are adorable and they are hiking gurus. The life guards of Sedona. :-)

Sometimes the front desk is helpful, other times not. I arrived before my room was ready. The first front desk person acknowledged I was there. When I talked to another one, she actually called the cleaning service and asked specifically could they clean my room ASAP. Also, there's a large infused bottle of water on a table in the lobby across from the front desk. How does it ever run out of cups? It's such a small perk, it should be a priority.

The restaurant was okay, but not a standout. The huevos rancheros were good, but the ones in the Phoenix airport were better and even a bit less expensive.

It's quite a hike up to the main drag, but I enjoyed it. However, traffic in this part of Sedona is crazy and I always left early when I used my car to avoid it.

I've stayed at several Kimpton hotels. I love the Argonaut in San Francisco and also that one on King Street in Alexandria, VA that is closest to the Metro and the Masonic Temple. This hotel is not in the same league.

Room Tip: Ask for an Oak Creek view.
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  • Stayed March 2015, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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449 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (186)
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Singapore/San Francisco
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

TL;DR: The ability to get a room with a view here is much harder than at other hotels in the area. Many rooms are loud, have no privacy, and could be anywhere in suburbia. The person who handled our reservation was dishonest. The Best Western next door has views from many of the rooms, is cheaper, includes breakfast and allows dogs. Unless you want to book a suite, the Best Western and other hotels in the area are probably a better option. The desk clerks handled our problems well and deserve props for singlehandedly making this rating higher than a one. Check out the hotel restaurant, it's pretty good. Most rooms are *not* a good value for money.

The longer story:
My husband and I booked this hotel for the beginning 4 days of a desert road trip in February. We were traveling with our small dog, so we were somewhat limited to hotels that allow dogs. We found this hotel on Trip Advisor, and due to the pictures and the high rating, we thought it seemed like a good potential option. Even though we are usually internet bookers, online we couldn't book a specific room, and it was unclear what the view situation was. So I called their reservation line and talked to someone who turned out to be a HUGE liar.

Based on reviews, I was only willing to stay at this hotel if we could have a view of the red rocks and a quiet second floor room. I told the reservation person this and she said "we can't guarantee exact rooms, but I will put a note in the account." I told her that if we weren't able to have a *quiet* second floor room with a view we would be happy to book a different hotel and she said, "oh, don't worry about it, I have the note in your account, that should work." That should have been a big clue. What kind of hotel can't guarantee and charge more for a room with a view? We talked about our dog, made sure it was OK that we brought her and thought we were all squared away.

We arrived to a crowded zoo of a lobby, only to be assigned to a dark first floor room right next to a swinging door with a patio facing onto the central area where people were constantly walking right past the window/door. No red rocks in sight. We could hear every word said by everyone in the courtyard whether or not the window was open. Since everyone could see right into our room, if we wanted any privacy at all, we needed to keep the doors, windows and curtains closed, thus making it pointless being in Sedona at all. Yet, our hole was a loud one. Every time someone walked to a room on our side of the hotel, the hallway door outside our room would swing open with a creak. I asked about the requests in the booking notes and the desk clerk found them, read them, and then said, "oh, sorry, dogs aren't allowed on the second floor." So, the reservation person COULD guarantee that we would, in fact, not have been able to get the room I requested, since their hotel policies were against my request.

We stuck it out in that room for one sleepless night and then walked around the town in the morning looking for alternatives. It turns out the Best Western next door was cheaper, allowed dogs, and was designed so that many rooms had views - also - you could book the view rooms explicitly. I have always had a bit of a bias against large hotel chains so we hadn't really considered it before the crisis point, but we had to admit, it was a better option. So, we spent our morning mustering up the courage to ask for early check-out. BIG PROPS to the desk clerk who was on duty, because he upgraded us to a quiet, private suite with a view, one of the few view rooms in the hotel, it turns out. Because it faced the creek, we had privacy and were able to keep the curtains open. That room was comfortable, spacious and light - what we had expected our original room to be, and since the weather was terrible (heavy rain and snow), we really needed a room that wasn't a dark hole so that we could have some sense of being in Sedona when hiking wasn't an option. We were even able to watch Oak Creek surge to fifty feet across as the rains caused it to swell.

After the room switch our stay improved immensely, and their rating from us was upgraded from a one to a three. We ate at the restaurant twice and had good, fresh southwestern food both times. They have a special tequila tasting menu that is a really good value for very top shelf tequilas, worth every penny for the tequila aficionado.

The reason we are stuck at a rating of three is that this hotel has a terrible architectural design that means that most people who stay here will probably suffer in one way or another from these same issues. We walked around the property trying to identify where the view rooms even were, because most rooms are dark and facing something uninteresting - either the loud courtyard area or a small grassy area facing a fence. Most rooms, except the creek ones, which are a small % of the rooms on the property, have no privacy, which means that you need to keep your curtains closed at all times. Even the ones facing away from the courtyard are facing lawns where people are walking dogs at all hours. The doors are not properly sound insulated which is always annoying, but especially so when there are dogs barking - it creates barking chain reactions, and as dog owners who work hard to keep our dog quiet and respectful, this added extra unnecessary stress to our stay.

Other hotels in this area are designed with most rooms facing the red rocks, and certainly allow you to book rooms with views explicitly, but this hotel isn't really angled properly for views except from the suites, the restaurant and the pool area. If you want a room with a view, you are better off either booking the creek suite explicitly (expensive) or staying at one of the MANY other hotels in this area that have a better design to capture the view and allow you to book those rooms explicitly. Don't depend on the "account notes" for anything relating to your room booking.

Also, one extra annoying side-note - wifi isn't free. You have to pay for it with your data. You have to sign up for the hotel's rewards program, fill out pages and pages of personal info, and then it's "Free." This day and age when it is SO easy and cheap for hotels to offer free Wifi and so many of them do, I find this type of data mining offensive and so should you.

Room Tip: Only book a suite. Forget every other room, stay at a different hotel.
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  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Though I loved almost everything about this hotel, I couldn't help feel disappointed by the hosts of "extra" costs. For that reason only, I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.

The location is wonderfully central to downtown Sedona, and the resort will provide a free shuttle to anywhere you'd like to go within a mile radius. There are hundreds of spectacular hikes nearby, and "downtown" Sedona is walking distance. The hotel is wrapped around a courtyard overlooking the Red Rocks. In the evening, they offer "free" wine (More on this later) where you can bliss out looking at the sun setting against the Red Rocks - truly spectacular. The Courtyard Patio is the heart of the hotel, with its infinity pool, hot tub, lounge chairs, patio dining, and games. For this reason, we were so glad to have a ground floor room with direct access to the patio - our children were in and out of our room, playing games (like giant connect four, giant jenga..) with new friends in the courtyard.

The rooms are clean, luxurious, and quiet. Though this hotel accepts pets, we didn't feel any left over allergens or see any stains in our room or the hotel. There were no hidden or masked smells, just clean.

The hotel charges an extra $22/night resort fee which includes valet (though not the tips!), free yoga morning class, local and toll-free calls (which seems like an obsolete offering with mobile phones), free coffee/tea in the morning (for an hour) and free wine in the evening (for an hour). Then there's a resort fee tax on the the resort fee! (Become a Kimpton Karma Member for free wifi, otherwise, extra fee). Even if you don't take advantage of any of these services, the fees aren't optional. I don't understand why they don't include all these fees in the price of the room and find the word "resort" misleading.

Once we found out that we didn't have an option, I was determined to take advantage of my extra $22/day...I went to yoga every morning - EXCELLENT!

We didn't enjoy spending over $100 for breakfast at the only restaurant option - so we went to Wildflower Bread Company in town, which served the most delicious bread I've had in a long time. Breakfast there was unpretentious and delicious: $35 for our family of 5. (the "free" shuttle will take you, but we chose to walk)

My daughter and I enjoyed a service at the SPA, which is small but really enjoyable. Our esthetician Robyn was excellent! Here again, my expectation was that a spa at a "resort" has a fee that's inclusive of all service. But Amara's fees do not include gratuity, so an additional 25% was suggested by the receptionist - and when you've had an excellent experience, how can you say no?

Room Tip: Lower floor, courtyard accessible rooms have the most ease to fully enjoy the pool and social activi...
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  • Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Ohio City, Ohio
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

this is a nice hotel that offers free wine tasting and games at night. Family and couple friendly. The restaurant amazingly slow. Even if you adapt to "Slow-Dona".we received a credit the first A.M for slow breakfast. Each day it got slower! No credits. Also, a unique selection of food that after just 2 meals leaves you wishing for something more traditional. This was our first visit to Sedona; be aware the town is totally empty by 6:30 pm and there is one steak place, one pizza place and one Mexican restaurant . All with long waits for the few people who do go out. Makes the convenience of this hotel and poor food less appealing. Thea did do awesome booking excursions for my family. When we go back to Sedona we would stay a Mac of three days and find a hotel with better food and food service. Another family we seemed to see at breakfast made it a game to strategies how to get food and check faster.

Room Tip: Ask for main building so you do not walk down steps or outside to get to your room.
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  • Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Denville, New Jersey
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

My daughter and I decided to take some Spiritual Workshops in Sedona and booked at Amara Resort and Spa. I travel around the globe and usually stay at the best hotels. I do like small Boutique type hotels. I thought Amara Resort and Spa was one but it is not. It is rather large. We enjoyed our stay. The rooms are nice and the beds very comfortable. Bathrooms supplied with robes and excellent beauty products added daily.
The Infinity Pool and Jacuzzi very pleasant with lovely beds to rest on and delightful yellow towels.
Great Spa and free Yoga every morning. The restaurant is good but a small menu. I do recommend having your breakfast there. The Eggs Benedict are great so is the Beet Juice.
Everybody from the Valet Parking People to the Restaurant attendants are amazingly nice, friendly and helpful.
Meditating and walking by the Creek that runs through the property is a plus.
I would suggest if you are elderly like myself or don't want to walk far every time you want to go to your room choose one by the elevator or by the pool. We had Room 225 and it was far.
The other advantage of this hotel is that it is smack on the center of town, no need of a car and a Shuffle Service drives you anywhere you wish, free of charge.
My ONLY complaint is, being a smoker, there is NO place you can smoke, not even on the open air terrace. The only place allowed is bt the Creek, where you have to walk on and around dangerous rock formation. More hazardous to your health than smoking!

Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This hotel needs help. Besides the built in problems (Bathrooms were furnished poorly, each aspect - tiles, shower curtains, mirrors, hardware, tubs, magnifying mirrors - is cheaply fabricated and screwed in shakily. The hotel layout s bad and the buildings not well constructed - the hallways shake as you walk down them), the hotel was dirty (mildewed tiles in the bathrooms, carpets in all public areas were dirty, elevator filthy) and seemed carelessly attended (despite newness of decoration, nearly every painted wall, chair leg, pillow and couch arm, etc. in both the rooms and public areas, was scratched, stained, nicked or snagged). It seemed like it had seen a few too many partiers. This from someone who has stayed in "party hotels" from Palm Springs, to Las Vegas and Miami. Dirty glassware lined the hallway floors each morning until about noon. Can't imagine what the housekeeping system was there.
Staff was poorly trained, not unfriendly, just lacking in professionalism or polish. All seemed to have the attitude that they couldn't wait until their shift was over - chewing gum, blowing bubbles with it and mouths full of food as they walked through dining room!
Further, the lovely creek frontage had discarded metal and bits of garbage strewn over the beautiful red rocks ... especially sorry when compared with the adjacent hotel/condo accommodations to north or south of the property along the creek, which were tended and obviously cared for.
The way this hotel is being managed should be a case example for hotel management schools on what POOR management looks like. What a waste of a lovely setting.

Green Features: IF there were any practices - I did not notice them, i.e., plastic glasses used for water were tossed into cans not designated recycling.
  • Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

Such a calm and relaxing place! The staff was warm and friendly, the accommodations modern and playful, and the saltwater infinity pool just divine. Definitely felt like a Kimpton, down to the delicious food and friendly poolside service. Also very much a Kimpton in its warm welcome to us as a same-sex couple, definitely not always the case in even upscale venues in Arizona.

Our room opened onto the courtyard and we really enjoyed being able to sit outside on the balcony and watch the sun come up on the rocks. The room also had enormous windows facing out to the red rocks behind Oak Creek, so we could lounge with coffee in bed while enjoying the view. (We were given a complimentary upgrade to a suite, which was also quite appreciated!)

The saltwater infinity pool is beautiful. It's large enough to feel spacious, although it's definitely not a large lap pool. There are plenty of deck chairs, cabanas, and sofa seating in the pool area. The layout of the space was such that it felt private and comfortable even though there were other couples and families also enjoying the pool.

I see that some of the other reviews complained about the courtyard space. It's true that Amara has a small footprint, but I think that's the nature of it being in town rather than sprawling on the outskirts. We loved not having to drive once we got to Sedona other than out to hiking, and it's definitely in keeping with Kimpton's ecological policy not to have acres of lawn soaking up scarce water. That said, if huge pools and large grounds are your thing, this probably isn't the place for you.

I would echo some of the concerns about accessibility - there are a fair number of stairs, particularly to reach the outer rooms on the second floor. I would call before booking if I was traveling with someone with mobility issues to make sure we had the best room for those concerns.

Room Tip: Corner suites have huge balconies and large windows. Exterior rooms are quieter.
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Green Features: As is particularly fitting in Sedona, Amara makes it very easy to be green.
  • Stayed March 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Amara Resort & Spa, a Kimpton Hotel

Address: 100 Amara Lane, Sedona, AZ 86336
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Arizona > Sedona
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Sedona
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Sedona
#4 Spa Hotel in Sedona
#11 Romantic Hotel in Sedona
#12 Business Hotel in Sedona
#13 Family Hotel in Sedona
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Amara Resort & Spa, a Kimpton Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 100
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The AAA Four-Diamond Amara Resort Hotel & Spa is a modern sanctuary that offers the best of all worlds. Ideally located in the Uptown area of America's most neautiful place, Sedona, Arizona. Welcome to the Amara Resort and Spa. We invite you to sit back, relax and enjoy the many recent enhancements to our property. All guest rooms include luxurious bed linens, robes, in room safes and refrigerators, in addition to a balcony offering spectacular views of the Sedona red rocks or our gardens. Enjoy in room dining or the sounds of live music at Hundred Rox, our indoor/outdoor three meal a day restaurant. Treat yourself to a massage or hot stone treatment at The Spa or sit by our infinity pool and soak in the spirit of Sedona and the Amara Resort and Spa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Amara Hotel, Restaurant Hotel Sedona
Amara Hotel, Restaurant And Spa
Amara Resort Sedona
Amara Hotel Sedona
Amara Sedona

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