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!
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