One would be hard-pressed to find a local who doesn’t spend at least some time during the summer months escaping the triple-digit temperatures for more bearable double-digit ones. Kimpton Amara Resort and Spa in Sedona knows that it is a favorite of Phoenicians wanting a little reprieve from the heat; thus, the resort welcomes the Escape the Heat package this summer. (From $260 per night, guests can receive two welcome cocktails, a 10 percent discount when staying Sunday through Wednesday and more, through Sept. 11, with the package.)
If you plan to take advantage of the summer special, anticipate spending some time in the great outdoors–whether overlooking the red rocks from the infinity-edge pool or while dining al fresco at SaltRock Southwest Kitchen. Perfect for families, the pool has a large shallow entry so little ones can splash around in the saltwater while couples can enjoy views of Oak Creek and the red rocks in the distance from the infinity edge. Looking for a little friendly competition? The lawn is set up with games of cornhole and ladder golf–along with plenty of Instagram-ready yellow Adirondack chairs–for a fun morning or evening session. Come nighttime, grab a seat by a firepit.
To experience some real r-n-r, Amara Spa’s newest treatment, Monsoon Meditation, is 90 minutes of bliss. The therapists leads guests through a meditation session–accompanied by aromatherapy, rose quartz crystals (you even get to take one home, along with a heart affirmation), tuning forks and sounds of falling rain–to lead them into a deep state of relaxation. The session concludes with a healing, soothing massage. Guests leave the treatment feeling completely refreshed, with a clear mind and a deep calm, even more so than you would during a traditional massage.
SaltRock Southwest Kitchen specializes in Southwest cuisine via innovative, delicious dishes by Chef Robert Hoffman and creative cocktails. (Request a spot outdoors to capture the sunset over Snoopy Rock.) The new Sun Devil margarita is a refreshing and slightly spicy mix of tapatio blanco, passion fruit, Luxardo maraschino, chipotle syrup, lime and a spiced salt rim while Bell Rock is a summery, savory and unique mix of Milagro reposado tequila, orange oil, agave nectar, lime, cilantro, bell pepper and spiced salt. For starters, the seafood aguachile (a type of ceviche) is a perfect summery kick-off to a meal while the grilled baby octopus, topped with a sunny side-up egg, is a crowd pleaser. SaltRock impresses with its thoughtful, flavor-packed selection of tacos. The sweet, smokey duck confit tacos, with eggplant mole, guacamole and napa cabbage, are a favorite. A meal at SaltRock isn’t complete until you savor something sweet. Standouts include the S’Mondae, a combo of a traditional sundae and s’mores with vanilla ice cream, Mexican chocolate syrup, marshmallow, spiced coffee and graham cookie. (Kids will surely love this ooey, gooey treat as much as the grown-ups). For utter decadence, the flourless chili chocolate torte fits the bill. The dense, delicious cake is surrounded with fruit, peanuts and a heavenly peanut butter sauce that is hard not to lick from the plate.
P.S. Don’t forget that Amara offers plenty of freebies to its guests, from daily coffee and tea (including iced coffee and flavored syrups) to hosted social hour from 5 to 6 p.m. (with wine picks and an appetizer)and bike rentals to morning yoga. Be sure to work those can’t-miss amenities into your stay’s schedule.