It was with some reservation that we booked the Sedona Rouge. Trip Advisor was full of hot and cold reviews on user’s experiences. We felt that the pros out weighed the cons and we reserved for a four day stay.
Things started out well. Following our reservation we received an e mail from the concierge offering services and suggesting tours. We were impressed! We e-mailed back with some specific questions and after a week we heard back. Our questions were not fully answered, but we figured we would meet the concierge at check in and sort out the details. The delay in responding to our e-mail, was a concern. The Rouge is rated as a 4 Diamond Resort.
Upon arrival we were greeted by an attractive hotel with an open air court with an impressive fountain. To the left of the entrance is the restaurant and to the right the enclosed lobby, which we later dubbed the employee club house. Check in was uneventful and we secured our keys to our Red Rock view room. As we proceeded to the room we noted the abundance of rusty wrought iron applied to walls and guard rails. Someone apparently thought it would add character to a contemporary building, but the sheer volume of it was very unattractive.
The room was fine. King bed, nice linens, free bottled water, great free wi-fi and a wedge shaped Juliet balcony to stand on to see the red rocks. The furniture in the room was worn from use. The lambs’ wool throw on the foot of the bed had been laundered so often it sort of resembled a crinkled slug crawling on the bed. The sofa at the foot of the bed was in need of a cleaning. The bathroom door had swelled to the point that opening and closing it required a shoulder push. One of the closet doors had lost the spring in its latch, so it never stayed closed. The door theme continued through out the hotel with the door closer mechanism adjusted to the slam mode. The guest room doors are solid and carry a great deal of weight, if you don’t close them carefully they slam, and slam they did, ours and our neighbors.
The bathroom was spotlessly clean. Architecturally it was a bit antiseptic. A beautiful free standing vanity formed from a single piece of rough edged granite was a striking feature of this bathroom. Unfortunately the faucet was so short one could hardly get a glass under it. A single drinking glass graced the vanity top, and two more were in the room. A commercial plate glass beveled mirror hung above the vanity and a very small two lamp sconce hung above. The bathroom was tiled in beige and brown intuitional tile. The large walk in shower featured a wall shower and a rain shower. A shower bench and towel bars would have been nice additions to this bath. Overall the bathroom was a good idea, inexpensively executed. It lacked the design and WOW of a four diamond bath.
Back down to the lobby to meet with the Concierge. Seated at her desk she recalled that she had responded to our e mail. We asked what was going on in Sedona, and she pulled out a local paper, opened it to the calendar for the month, and said read this, it will let you know what’s happening. She was unengaged and disinterested in our experience in Sedona or at the hotel. We found better and more informed information at the Pink Jeep office in Sedona. They cared about us, the hotel concierge did not.
A highlight of service was when we arrived to our room while it was being cleaned. The maintenance man took it upon himself to check the status of the room. He returned and said it would be a few minuets and suggested we go to the bar for a drink, enjoy the pool or join the fire pit lighting each evening on the roof deck. He was delightful, cared and offered options. He was definitely a 4 diamond employee! The sad part was that for our entire stay the fire pit was never lit, despite the fact that it is advertised in the hotel as an event.
The pool is lovely and it has an attendant. We were quite surprised and pleased when after we were settled, he brought us water. This was unexpected and great service. However, when his shift ended, he packed up and left. Pool towels and empty plastic glasses were left, no last check in with guests to see if he could re-fill water or provide a dry towel. It makes me sad that one experience that started so well, ended with disappointment.
Saturday night we planned on dining in the hotel’s restaurant. It had good reviews and we were looking forward to staying in. Upon arrival they had live music. We were in the mood for a peaceful evening. Chatting with the hostess, she told us that dinner is served 7 nights a week. So we went off property and planned to come back the next night, Sunday for dinner.
Sunday evening we dressed and went down for dinner. The restaurant was almost dark. Candles lining the walkway that welcomed guests last night were out, rice paper lanterns that lit the upper dining area were dark, and music from the kitchen seeped into the bar. The dining room was roped off and dark. The mood was that of a diner at 2 AM. The lone bar tender greeted us and offered us the bar menu. We explained the misinformation the hostess had given us on Saturday; he apologized and encouraged us to stay. From the limited bar menu we chose our meal, we noted that the hotel had room service, but none of the room service entrée’s were offered. My partner had a $12 Manhattan, which in a nice restaurant is fine, but in a next to closed diner, it is not a good value. Fine dining prices go hand in had with a four diamond experience. This experience fell quite short.
While we waited for our meal, the worn and soiled appearance of our guest room was carried into the restaurant. It’s time for a good deep clean and painting for this property. Along with our check was a questionnaire, service, value, food etc. We completed this and complimented our waiter and explained our disappointments. We had two nights remaining on our stay. No one from the, 4 Diamond, Sedona Rouge reached out to us as disappointed in house guests.
The architecture of this hotel promotes separation of staff from guests. The lobby is a glassed in isolated room. The desk faces away from the entry so they have no idea of who is coming and going. There is no warm greeting when you arrive, as the staff is in their isolated lobby. That’s why we called it the staff club house. In preparation for our check out, I needed change to tip the housekeepers (the room was clean). I entered the club house and interrupted 3 staff members engaged with a medical update from the concierge (different one from our first visit). I received no acknowledgement from the staff. After standing at the desk, the host looked at me, while keeping track of the conversation I interrupted. I asked for two fives and a ten in change. She proceeded to count out ones, five and a ten, which I returned for my original request. I left the ladies to their chat, again, no acknowledgement. I guess I wasn’t a member of the club.
I am always hopeful that redemption is possible. At check out the hotel continued to maintain its standard of as little service as possible. The host verified charges, secured payment and almost as a second thought asked how our stay was. Our response was “just OK”. She got a befuddled look on her face and asked if we needed directions.
A few days after we got home we received an e mail from the Sedona Rouge with a survey. It was completed with many of the items in this review. A few days later we received a generic reply from the General Manager thanking us for the review, and our comments would be taken to train staff etc. He also requested a trip advisor review.
I apologize for the length of this review. The hotel is fine, for the right price. Lower your expectations and you may have a wonderful time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- 103 room boutique hotel and spa. Home of REDS Restaurant open daily for breakfast, lunch and meeting. Located in West Sedona with easy access to local attractions, dining and shops. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sedona Rouge Hotel Sedona
- Sedona Rouge Hotel And Spa Arizona