My wife and I stayed at the La Luz Desert Retreat in July 2008 and have referenced it ever since. Normally when I post a review of a hotel I try to list the good and the bad, but our experience at La Luz didn't leave us with much to be critical about.
To begin with, La Luz isn't a hotel. It's not a Bed and Breakfast. And, strictly speaking, it's not an Inn either. La Luz is a very nice full sized luxury home which the owners (Ricki & Sandy) apparently built for themselves but decided to rent it out instead, and it is located right next to their primary residence on the same plot of land. Literally, their home is practically 7 or 8 steps away from the side of the rental home.
The first thing we noticed as we pulled into La Luz was that it was a little bit like pulling into the driveway of a friend or family member. We were a little confused about where to park. Within a couple minutes the owner walked over and greeted us with a handshake and a smile and directed us on the best way to park our car so that he could do his work around the property.
The owner presented us with the house keys and escorted us into the La Luz house and provided us with a tour. Our first impression was that the patio had a beautiful southward facing view of the Escalante Valley. Inside the home there were large wall-sized windows that faced southward as well, so no matter what you were doing you were always presented with a spectacular view of the desert.
The home has two stories and has a unique structure. It seems like it was designed for large open spaces as some of the ceilings appear to be over 15 feet high! The kitchen and living room share the same open space as you walk through the front door. All of the kitchen appliances have been customized to appear as part of the cabinets, and are almost unnoticeable. There is an electric stove, a microwave, and the tap water tasted fine to both of us.
There are two bedrooms, one upstairs (larger), and one downstairs (smaller). Two bathrooms are located next to each bedroom. The upstairs bedroom had a TV, DVD player, and a small selection of DVD's from which to choose from - as well as a very comfortable couch and coffee table to kick back on and watch some movies. We were impressed with how clean and new everything seemed, and the towels were fresh like they had been dried on an outdoor clothesline. The bathroom located downstairs had a walk in shower and a very cool shower head that reminded me of something you would have seen in the 30's.
In fact, the decor of the entire house was very smart, stylish, and comfortable. There were neat little artifacts here and there, and plenty of books about the local area with lots of great info. The place really had the feeling of being a home away from home.
Outside there was a gas grill which you could use to BBQ, and we took full advantage of it. We actually prepared two meals for ourselves at La Luz and chose not to go to any of the local restaurants in Escalante for dinner because we were so comfortable with the kitchen and the cookware, food seasonings, and plates that the owners had stocked the kitchen with.
We encountered the owner several times during our stay at La Luz and he was always friendly and offered ideas for hikes, activities, and sightseeing -- he obviously knows the area extremely well. I mentioned to him that I was primarily on vacation as a photographer, and he immediately asked if I'd like to photograph some of his rare flowers which he is cultivating around the property and made suggestions about places we could travel to get spectacular photos.
Our only criticism, and this is a very slight criticism, was that there were a couple of times when it seemed that the owners were a little too close to La Luz. For instance, when we were showering and dressing, we noticed the owner out and about on the property and (with the large wall-sized windows) we were a little sensitive. Other than that, the owners were very quiet and respectful of our privacy.
I highly recommend La Luz as a "base camp" to rest and relax in as you explore the beautiful area around Escalante. Heck, even if you don't go exploring it's still a great place to "retreat" to.
- Also Known As:
- La Luz Desert Retreat Escalante, Utah
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to La Luz Desert Retreat. We are situated within the city limits of Escalante, Utah on the scenic highway 12 between Bryce Canyon, Capital Reef, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument and thousands of miles of public land. Every room of the house provides majestic views of the Kaiparowitz plateau, which creates a perfect canvas for Utah's finest dramatics: lightning storms, memorable sunrises, celestial sightings, weather changes and slow easy going sunsets. La Luz self contained vacation/holiday home sleeps four, five or six guests--two queen suites one with a convertible queen sofa. Fully equipped luxury kitchen with Sub-Zero, Wolf appliances and outside BBQ. Private laundry at home. ... more less