Star Motel (295 Jordan Rd., 928/282-3641, $79–89 d) is an ideal spot for budget travelers looking for affordability with a little character, and its prime locale in pedestrian-friendly Uptown can’t be beat. The converted 1955 homestead maintains many of the original home’s retro features, and its 11 units are bright and clean. The hospitable owners, Marcelle and Anne, couldn’t be sweeter. Families will love the second-floor suite’s two queen beds, full kitchen, and private patio with views of the red rocks. The ground floor unit in the original home features two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a living room with foldout couch.
Centrally located one block south of the Y, The Sedona Motel (218 Hwy. 179, 928/282-7187, www.thesedonamotel.com , $90–110 d) is a good value. The dated rooms could use a makeover, but you probably won’t be spending much time in them anyway, especially with the commanding views of the red rocks from the motel’s terraced patio.
Just down the hill from Uptown’s shops and galleries, Amara Hotel, Restaurant & Spa (100 Amara Ln., 928/282-4828, www.amararesort.com , $185–215 d) brings a bit of big-city chic to Red Rock Country. The posh boutique hotel stands out in Southwest-crazed Sedona , though its minimalist design doesn’t try to overshadow its spectacular natural setting on the banks of Oak Creek. In fact, the mod furniture, elegant black-and-white photography, and Zen design touches provide a quiet backdrop to the property’s giant sycamore trees and spectacular views. You’ll find all the usual luxury-amenity suspects at Amara—300-thread-count linens, oversized soaking tubs, private balconies, elegantly manicured grounds—but the hotel ups the game with a heated saltwater pool and the AAA Four Diamond Hundred Fox restaurant.
Los Abrigados Resort & Spa (160 Portal Ln., 928/282-1777, www.ilxresorts.com , $185–215 d) used to be Sedona’s gold standard for top accommodations. And though it has been eclipsed by more luxurious options in the last decade, the resort still sits quite literally in the heart of Sedona, next to the Tlaquepaque shopping center and Oak Creek. Walking the 22-acre, beautifully landscaped resort, you’ll find plenty of diversions: two swimming pools, a whirlpool spa, tennis and basketball courts, a fitness center, and a creekside miniature golf course. Plus, the on-site Sedona Spa features some fine treatments for guests looking for a little R&R. The rooms were undergoing a much-need remodeling in 2009, which should bring a refreshing dose of style back to the resort.
You can’t beat the Uptown location of The Orchards Inn (254 N. Hwy. 89A, 928/282-2405, www.orchardsinn.com , $110–170 d). Perched hillside, every room overlooks the valley, with patios and decks that offer spectacular views of Snoopy Rock and the surrounding buttes. If a “room with a view” is a priority and budget is a concern, this motel tucked behind a row of shops on Sedona’s main street may be an ideal place to hang your hat. Plus, most of Uptown’s shops, restaurants, and bars are just outside your front door. The spacious, newly renovated rooms have been refreshed with a modern Southwest feel: dark oak furniture, leather-upholstered headboards, and warm earth tones.
Best Western Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villas (400 N. Hwy. 89A, 928/282-4001 or 800/773-3662, www.bestwesternsedona.com , $179–189 d) may be a mouthful to say, but the five-story hotel next to Sedona Arts Center  has a lot to offer, providing a host of amenities you typically would find at a large resort: tennis and racquetball courts, a fully equipped exercise room, and an indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool. The recently updated rooms are spacious and nicely decorated—some even have fireplaces and whirlpool tubs. The 1,300-square-foot, two-bedroom creekside villas could use an overhaul, though. The price may seem a little steep for a chain hotel, though the complimentary full breakfast and the hotel’s incredible setting—complete with red-rock views and private paths on the banks of Oak Creek—are well worth the money.
For a woodsy experience, try the Briar Patch Inn (3190 N. Hwy. 89A, 928/282-2342, www.briarpatchinn.com , $205–259 d). Its 19 cabin-like rooms are furnished with rustic wood tables, big beds, old rocking chairs, and brightly colored Native American blankets and rugs, all lovingly cared for by the incredibly friendly and hardworking staff. The accommodations range from quaint one-room hideaways to the sprawling four-bedroom Ponderosa cabin, which is large enough to accommodate 20 people. Wood-burning fireplaces and hearty morning breakfasts round out the decidedly rustic environment—there are only three TVs on the property. Splurge for a cottage that overlooks Oak Creek, where you can fish for trout and jump into the private swimming hole during the summer. Also, be sure to make time to meet Briar Patch’s permanent guests, Wooly and Bully, two sheep that tend the property’s meadow.
Victorian doily. I can’t think of a better way to describe Creekside Inn at Sedona (99 Copper Cliffs Dr., 928/282-4992, www.creeksideinn.net , $199–269 d). The rather feminine bed-and-breakfast is decorated with period antiques, and its cheerful rooms are bright and clean. The mammoth, ceiling-high walnut bed in the Creekview Suite is a showstopper, and the room’s French doors, private deck, and large bathroom overlooking Oak Creek provide an ideal setting for a romantic weekend. Guests can pass the time by fishing in the creek, relaxing on the porch with a glass of wine, or taking a short walk to Gallery Row.
The Matterhorn Inn (230 Apple Ave., 928/282-7176, www.matterhorninn.com , $129–159 d) sits right in the heart of Uptown, which means you can explore many of Sedona ’s shops, galleries, and restaurants without having to get into your car. The recently updated rooms are nice, and thanks to the hotel’s hillside location, all rooms have a private balcony or terrace with panoramic views of the red rocks.
The charming El Portal Sedona (95 Portal Ln., 928/203-9405, www.elportalsedona.com , $250–350 d) is one of Arizona’s finest hotels, marrying Arts and Crafts–period design with Southwestern hacienda architecture. Owners Connie and Steve Segner have created an intimate, luxury inn, and even the smallest details reflect their vision, like rough-hewn beam ceilings, cozy fireplaces, 18-inch thick adobe walls, and a grassy central courtyard. Each of the 12 unique rooms echoes El Portal’s eclectic historical style—the vaulted log-beam Grand Canyon and handsome Santa Fe suites are particularly exquisite. Situated next to the Tlaquepaque shopping center, the inn is conveniently located near some of Sedona ’s best restaurants and galleries, but you may not want to leave this elegant hideaway. The Segners welcome four-legged friends, and they’re happy to recommend pet-friendly trails and parks.
Thanks to a $25 million renovation and expansion, L’Auberge de Sedona (301 L’Auberge Ln., 800/905-5745, www.lauberge.com , $325–395 d) continues to seduce guests, many of whom return annually for romantic pilgrimages along the banks of Oak Creek. The intimate resort feels hidden away under giant sycamores, and the morning duck feedings and relaxing spa feel a world away from the congestion and crowds just up the hill in Uptown. Cozy rooms are available in the main lodge, though the creekside cabins are worth the splurge. The new hillside cottages are refreshingly modern, boasting outdoor showers and large observation decks. You can’t help but appreciate the warm and social atmosphere, which is helped along by the nightly wine receptions and stargazing on Friday evenings.