"You had me at hello" . . .Pardon the movie line, but that was exactly my thought . . . Charming young valet/bellman GREETED US IMMEDIATELY upon our arrival and in a QUICK and ORGANIZED manner loaded our luggage on the luggage rack while getting acquainted with our family. At check-in, our family of 3 was taken to a room with a king sized bed. Upon discovering this minor inconvenience, the valet/bellman quickly contacted the front desk and had us reassigned to another room.
Our room was CLEAN, STYLIZED to reflect the history of the property on which it sits, and had a RELAXING VIEW of the hotel pool area and al fresco bar. The resort common areas were AIRY and OPEN inviting it's guests to stroll in and out of ALCOVES, VERANDAS and LAWNS adorned with vibrant floral vines and arrangements. The in-room dining menu was limited but tasty and the downstairs bar offered a bold cup of coffee every morning; the al fresco bar service staff seemed under staffed, so we had a mediocre experience with ordering lunch at the pool. Overall, the hotel STAFF was HELPFUL, HOSPITABLE, FRIENDLY and ACCOMMODATING . . . Solely because of the staff, I would return to this property for another visit.
Room Tip: If traveling with family/children, request rooms with verandas overlooking pool
Nearby Montezuma's Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments, you can experience all three parks in one afternoon. Fascinating well that proved to be crucial to survival of several cultures proven in the cliff dwellings that line the rim of the well. Along with the well and cliff dwellings, interestingly, in the absence of fish due to arsenic and high levels of carbon dioxide, there are five species that "exist nowhere else on the planet". If in the physical condition to handle steps, take the paved path down to the swallet ruin for a totally different view. At the park ranger's building, you will find a pamphlet on the well, but at the top of the well there will be a ranger to answer questions and point out various observations. The path down to the ruin is narrow so please keep others in mind when bringing dogs.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Mid Range
With all levels of difficulty and beautiful rewards from the higher points, McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a great option for getting outside and exploring nature. For some of the longer hikes, I recommend getting started earlier to avoid the heat and be sure to pack some water with you. For children, they offer a "passport" for a natural scavenger hunt type activity. Leashed dogs are allowed on trails.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Varying Levels
Perfectly camouflaged on the hillside, Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home/camp and campus is fascinating. We were privileged to have a tour guide, Deidra, who was well versed in all things Frank Lloyd Wright . . . I believe only his children and perhaps his students only could've been more versed in all things FLW. This compound gives interesting insight into the man, the architect, the husband/lover, the mentor and "the greatest architect ever". Check the schedule for the specific tour in which you are interested and purchase your tickets online before making the trek out to Taliesin West.
Pleasant and Entertaining . . .If potential paranormal activity, nostalgia or Hollywood excite you, THIS charming nook should be on your list of places to be enchanted by while in Sedona. Unbeknownst to us, we were looking for a good meal, but were intrigued with the kind, welcoming gentleman who directed us to our table (next to the table "Reserved for Ghosts") and teased us with some brief tidbits about this special little restaurant. Along with their wine and dinner menu, they provide you with a interesting read on the history of the restaurant wowing with names such as Glenn Ford, Henry Fonda and Joan Crawford, to name a few. As far as our dinner, we both chose the weekend special of Prime Rib . . . Regarding dinner, good doesn't seem adequate, but excellent is exaggerating - the prime rib was tasty, but nothing exceptionally special. The service was great . . . We happened to have a young man from South Carolina and he, recognizing my southern accent, created many opportunities to converse with us. He treated our little lady as a grown up, which always impresses me when service staff doesn't talk over her but rather to her. Overall - I would suggest giving Relics a try . . . Even if it's an average meal, it is interesting and entertaining.
Rooms were clean, staff was courteous and helpful . . . Restaurant had a limited menu, especially for children.
A must for your visit to Montreal . . . No other place can you get the full view of Montreal. Allow yourself plenty of time, you can spend an entire day exploring this park. If you enjoy the outdoors, take your running and/or hiking shoes and bikes . . . Lots of paths for hiking and nice road for running and biking. Would love to see the view in early October!