There are many jewels to be found in the state of Arizona, but some are well hidden, like the Hermosa Inn tucked away in Paradise Valley. It's the last place you'd expect to find a hotel, situated alongside multi million-dollar resort homes in one of the wealthiest property zip codes in the country. But that's part of the charm, it's not like staying in a hotel, more like house sitting for your affluent relatives with full access to enjoy their spectacular southwestern style home whilst the staff take care of your every need. The only difference is, you pay for the privilege!
There are no main roads or highways within earshot of the property, just peace, quiet and tranquility. A rustic wooden door welcomes hotel guests to the reception foyer, the only giveaway that this is a hotel is the sign on the wall. The enchanting entrance leads to a cool southwestern lounge area with plush leather armchairs situated around an open fireplace (for those chilly Arizona nights), decorated with nostalgic pieces of the old west and exposed wooden beams reminiscent of adobe style architecture.
The property is spread over six acres, and the well-equipped 43 casitas which make up the guest rooms are nestled amid lush colorful landscaping. The rooms are accessed via winding walkways surrounded by blooming flowers, vines, trees, grassy knolls and the prettiest of cacti. Everything grows here it seems, and to ensure this oasis remains ablaze of color no matter the time of year, the flower beds are changed periodically!
All the buildings at the Hermosa Inn give the impression of being small and quaint, but on the inside the space takes on a whole new dimension, rather like Dr. Who's Tardis! Beside the four-poster bed with romantic voile drapes, I love the natural wood shutters on all the windows, the beehive fireplace and spacious walk in closet.
Our bathroom was vast with plenty of room for hubby and I to spread out. Old world fixtures within a stylish marble-topped chunky wood vanity. An enormous walk in shower with two shower heads and my favorite part, the claw foot bath. I always wanted one of these, so I had to languish in a cloud of bubbly heaven for just a while!
Each casita has its own private patio. This is where we would have our first sun-downer of the evening, and our last nightcap before bed!
Pool time was wonderful. Mainly because Brian, the man in charge of service by the pool and the private cabanas was so accommodating. His gracious personality and cheerful smile (apparently his nickname is Smiley) coupled with his keen efficiency was the best I've ever experienced.
As with most Arizona properties and businesses, the dog days of summer take their toll. The positive for us mere mortals is that there are some fantastic summer packages available. This has many advantages beside price, it's quieter than at other times of the year and there's always a fabulous spot to be had by the pool.
We had breakfast out by the pool on Sunday. We chose items from LON's brunch menu. LON's is the fine-dining restaurant of the Hermosa Inn with a strong reputation locally for it's culinary delights. I had the avocado toast with cherry tomatoes, olive oil, topped with micro greens. With a generous serving of avocado this was a totally shareable dish, but I ate it all anyway! Hubby had the eggs Benedict, I didn't like the ham so much, but the crispy new potatoes were delish!
There is a small fitness room which is well appointed, seen here across the flower beds from the outdoor patio of LON's Restaurant.
There is a happy hour every night at Last Drop, the bar and casual dining area at the Hermosa Inn. With old lanterns atop rustic beer barrels, this is a place to unwind and relax in subdued lighting with a laid-back vibe. We ate here the first night and had pizza and sliders which did not disappoint.
If you have the chance to stay here or just stop by for dinner, ask a member of the staff if they might show you the wine cellar. It may take a bit of convincing on account of some, let's just say, unexplained phenomena... oh, did I forget to mention this hotel is steeped in history! It's very chilly down there. Boo!
I could definitely have stayed longer, but alas all good things come to an end. I guess my affluent relatives came home so I had to move out!
The recent frenzy toward the smartwatch in the western world has reached epidemic proportions. Most adults don about their wrist a watch with a blacked-out face or a rubber tube with seemingly no face. We're walking around as though in a science fiction movie under surveillance by this tracking and communication device. The problem is, the average smartwatch is anything but smart! It lacks style and is far from down to earth, looking somewhat sinister by it's dark secrecy and monitoring of our every waking and sleeping moment!
Never fear, there is a hybrid here! Say hello to the Misfit Path, a smartwatch with more style than a rubber wrist tube can only dream about.
Once I left the corporate world of employment many moons ago, I said goodbye to the uniform. It’s not that I’m opposed to uniforms, especially when they come in the form of Firemen or Naval Officers! But having worn a uniform from Infant School to High School, throughout an extensive hotel career and then the corporate world of “wear what you like if it follows these guidelines”, I laid to rest my power suit, pantyhose and ever so prim shoes!
It's been eight weeks since I started using the Trophy Skin MicrodermMD which is an at-home microdermabrasion machine. Here is my complete review with before and after pictures, plus an ingenious experiment to treat the back of my left hand only!
Always on the hunt for the perfect piece that will cross the boundaries of casual to chic with just a change of bottoms or shoes! Here it is, a pretty floral pull over top with delightful balloon tie-sleeves from Anthropologie!
Every now and then I have a moment of madness! One of these days that moment may be considered pure genius, but for now they've mostly been considered worthy dinner party stories! My last moment of madness was just that, with a bonus... a return letter from Kensington Palace!
With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start planning for your vacation—and for many, that means getting that winter body in summer shape. More often than not, our desire to lose weight and tone up before an upcoming vacation becomes a last-minute sprint. But if you start now, you'll increase your odds of success. Here are a few simple tips for converting to a healthier lifestyle.
The ravages of a well spent youth are reflected in many ways as we leave one era of our lives and begin the next. Lines, wrinkles, blemishes and lack of elasticity appear to a greater or lesser degree depending on the level of "well spent" we're dealing with! It's a natural progression but can still be hard to accept, especially when the vision reflected back at us in the mirror is not representative of how we feel inside - wrinkle free and much the same as we've always felt!
Using tennis as an excuse for a girl's trip to Las Vegas is a sobering thought. What could possibly go wrong? But it's as good an excuse as any given that these six ladies in their midlife have friendship in common because of tennis.
The trip had been in the pipeline for months until one evening at the bar during a happy hour gathering, and far from sober, dates were secured, and flights were booked right there on cell phones. A mere $45 each way from Phoenix to Las Vegas... cheers to Southwest Airlines!
Spirits are lifted as spring emerges from hibernation and shows signs of sticking around. Even in Arizona, despite our mild winters and seemingly endless days of sunshine, there is a different feel about the season as warm tendrils of air waft around us and bees are sent into a frenzy over the blooming wild flowers.
What better time of year than spring to bust out some silk in bright vivid colors, especially colors that can be seen from outer space! A silk buttondown shirt is a classic that stands the test of time, you can be sure it will re-appear merged with different outfits year after year which also makes it a good investment!
Midlife pulls many tricks on us - hair growth where we least expect it, and hair loss where we need it most - from our head. Sadly, it effects women as well as men.
Hair, like everything else goes through changes over the course of a lifetime. Shine and volume synonymous with youth gives way to dull, weak and thinner strands. There are however several things we can do to maintain our luscious locks for as long as possible without going the chemical route.
The shirtdress is a timeless classic that can be worn by young and mature women with the same level of effortless chic. It basically takes the form of a long button down shirt, comes in a myriad of fabrics ranging from denim (mostly in the form of chambray) to silk. Like a good shirt, the shirtdress can be utilized for smart and casual occasions but with the added advantage of not having to wear pants! It's a wardrobe staple and the versatility it offers makes styling it fun.
Korean skin care products are fast becoming the most sought after and esteemed beauty treatments in Europe and North America. Saranghae is a 5-step skin care routine that has been developed over 600 years in South Korea using locally derived natural botanical extracts. The name "Saranghae" is Korean for "I love you".
Being British means I take my dogs and horses very seriously! The Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show is for anyone who takes their horses seriously and that of course includes dogs! Every year it takes place at WestWorld in north Scottsdale and this, the 63rd annual event is running through to Sunday February 25th.
Karen Serino is a life and style blogger, sharing fashion, fitness and fun for youthful women in their forties, fifties and beyond.
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Click the picture below to see my interview with the lovely Jonet Wooten from Fabulously Chic Over 50