Finding Enchantment in Sedona

Enchantment in Arizona
Shaping Up at Enchantment in Sedona, Arizona

Heavenly Hikes in the Red Rocks, Nearly Non-Stop Exercise and a Light Diet to Prepare for Fall



If the Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona look familiar to theme-park goers, that’s because the legendary Walt Disney envisioned his “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad” after seeing Sedona’s “Thunder Mountain” rock formation. So say the guides from the Enchantment Resort, who also say that the prickly pear cactus plants – with their flat round pads – inspired Disney’s Mickey Mouse. 

I learned all this by hiking in the red rocks each morning at 7:00 a.m. during a stay at Enchantment, a charming and in many ways, magical resort, nestled in a valley sacred to native Americans. Also on the property is the luxurious Mii Amo Spa, offering exercise classes, fitness equipment, ultra-luxurious treatments, guided meditation and much more. 

For me, all this is an ideal getaway, as no matter how careful I am about diet and exercise, I gain a few pounds each year. So a few days of a light diet and lots of exercise is just what I need to shape up and fit into my fall clothes. 

Enchantment in Sedona

Over the years, I’ve gone to spas – or hotels with spa and exercise facilities – throughout the world, often with a friend since my teen years, Janis Best, host of AZ Girlfriend on KQNA Radio. These past two years, we’ve visited Enchantment and the adjacent Mii Amo Spa. 

All around are the majestic red rocks, named for the objects they resemble. So there’s “Teacup,” “Coffee Pot,” “Cathedral Rock,” “Courthouse” and many more wonders of nature. And while they’re hell on cell phone reception, they make for a heavenly backdrop.

Although I’ve seen such formations in films and in pictures, nothing seems to capture the beauty of the American west better than seeing it with your own eyes.

It has been said the area harbors vortexes, or concentrations of energy that are so strong, their proximity can create a feeling of well-being, some say euphoria. So if you spot someone climbing the rock opposite the mystical “Kachina Woman,” that’s probably why.   

As for me, I didn’t come to absorb the power of Mother Earth, as much as to expend energy to lose a few pounds. I’ll admit, however, I love the idea of energy vortexes and so, I participated in meditation circles and joined Native American Bob Bear’s tour of the sacred property.

But these were the resort’s bonuses. Bob Bear blessed us all, as the deer wandered out from behind the trees, joining us, he said, because they sensed the atmosphere of peace surrounding us all.    

Enchantment in Sedona

Aside from the beautiful hikes, stunning scenery and spiritual nature of the resort, there are also top-notch exercise classes at Mii Amo. And we took them nearly non-stop each day.

For those of us whose backs suffer after a day in high heels, Wendy’s get-your-back-on-track classes were the answer. She started by having the group bounce on giant fitness balls and chant “Whee.”

For raising heart rates, Zoe took the prize with her “Boot Camp,” by alternating bouts of jump rope with floor and wall exercises. Sherry made pilates easy for beginners, such as myself, while Jan helped us stretch out and lengthen our connective tissue.  

Given such a regime, it seemed only right to take care when dining, which we did at all the restaurants, with the result that now – feeling lighter and healthier – Janis and I are ready to face the fall.  

Click here for more information about Enchantment in Sedona, Arizona.


Just a few tips…

* Sign up for the morning hikes in advance. Area regulations decree that the hotel can only take two groups of six on the hiking trails each morning and so, the spots fill up fast.

* If the hikes are full, show up anyway, because when the alarm goes off at 6:30 a.m., there are very likely to be some people who would rather stay in bed than slip into hiking gear.

* Don’t miss the Portobello Quesadilla at the Mii Amo Cafe. Containing only 200 calories and combining marinated mushrooms, Monterey Jack cheese, avocado and caramelized onions. It has to be the world’s best low-cal dish.    

* Rent a refrigerator for the room. The classes are so terrific that on some days, you may not have time to enjoy a Portobello Quesadilla. So it pays to have a chilled salad or two on hand.    

Enchantment in Arizona

* It’s OK for first-timers to Sedona to skip a few classes and head into town for lunch. The stunning l’Auberge de Sedona creekside restaurant is worth the trip. 


Top photo: The rocks above the spa seemed to be watching over us through the treatment room windows at Mii Amo in Sedona 

Second photo: That’s me, in front of Thunder Mountain, near Enchantment in Sedona; this mountain, said the guides, inspired Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. 

Third photo: That’s not me, atop a rock formation opposite Kachina Woman. I’m a hiker, but not a rock climber, as are  the people who climb this rock to absorb the energy at Enchantment in Sedona

Fourth photo: Deer came out from behind the trees during Native American Bob Bear’s talk at Enchantment in Sedona

Fifth photo: The hiking guides from Enchantment in Sedona pointed out the cactus plants that inspired Mickey Mouse



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Enchantment in Sedona
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Published Aug. 21, 2013 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA