Lapdogs of Luxury High thread-count camping in Sedona —AMY PETERSON-MILLIS
After spending nearly six months
PHOTOS AMY PETERSON-MILLIS
in Mexico, the idea of staying in a swank hotel for our anniversary, with available spa treatments and ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, sounded literally foreign to my husband and me—and because our pets didn't come with us on our trip south of the border, we wanted to bring them along. Pups need pampering, too. L'Auberge de Sedona is not far from the tourist vortex of Sedona, where signs offer aura readings, chakra cleansings and past-life healings—but in substance, it could not be further away. Set in Sedona's breathtaking red rock and nestled on the peaceful banks of Oak Creek, it's a best-of-both-worlds escape when the desert climate seems unforgiving. Our chakras must have been in good order because as fate would have it, the resort offers many packages—including a pet-friendly one: Red Rocks & Ruff. We attracted some looks as we strolled through the lobby of the upscale L'Auberge with Rico, our seven-year-old Australian Shepherd, and Flash, a smaller, moppy mutt we'd rescued from the pound less than a week earlier. Flash, just days after his adoption, had been neutered—obvious to everyone who saw him, thanks to the humiliating cone of shame around his neck. Our room turned out to be a private
creekside cabin, and we were greeted with gift bags for each of the pooches with toys and treats from the locally owned Whisker's Barkery (do the pet puns ever end?). Each pup received its own doggie bed and food and water dish—all part of the pet-rec package. Best of all, the cabin featured a handy outdoor shower we used to rinse the red dirt off the dogs before entering the cabin. We, on the other hand, had to settle for a luxurious king-sized bed but no chew stick. In addition to the spectacular view from our cabin, the location was perfect for letting our dogs outside to do their business. Rico enjoyed the access to the creek while his new playmate watched from the riverbank. The trail that runs along side the creek is low-impact, a nice
change, for Flash at least, from the area's more vigorous hikes. We enjoyed a lovely wedding anniversary dinner at one of the resort's two locally-sourced onsite restaurants— Cress on the Creek (no dogs invited), the prix fixe foodie paradise, where we were seated al fresco next to the babbling creek. We then retreated back to our cabin and relaxed on the porch with a bottle of wine and the dogs at our feet. I'm sure old-dog Rico felt pampered, but I'm crossing my fingers that Flash doesn't assume life at the L'Auberge is the norm. 301 Little Ln, Sedona, AZ , 800-905-5745, lauberge.com
Flash: Nothing limits a getaway like a cone of shame. Above, Rico and Flash test the waters.
S A LT L A K E M A G A Z I N E . C O M SEPT/OCT 2016