Exclusive: At the First Landscape Hotel in the US, Sedona’s Natural Beauty Is the Star

·3 min read

The ochre- and cinnamon-hued red rocks of Sedona, Ariz., are the star attractions at Ambiente, North America’s first landscape hotel—and that’s just as it should be. A relatively new concept in hospitality, landscape hotels are properties that harness elements of sustainability and low-impact architecture to allow the natural environment to take center stage; these are hotels that make a point to blend into the natural topography, rather than impose themselves upon it. Over the last few years, lovers of nature and design have been flocking to remote landscape hotels like Sacromonte in Uruguay, Juvet in Norway and Vivood in Spain, but there will soon be an option right here in the US—and, as these exclusive first look photos show, Sedona is the perfect home for it.

Set to open in December, the hotly-anticipated Ambiente is the work of Two Sister Bosses, a Sedona-based luxury hotel development company run by sisters Jennifer May and Colleen Tebrakea. While creating a landscape hotel was not their original plan, the sisters knew they had something extraordinary from the moment they first walked the site, which occupies a wedge of paradise in the heart of Sedona, surrounded by a national forest and threaded with a series of ancient waterways and natural amphitheater-like elevations.

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The bedroom of one of the atrium structures. - Credit: Photo by Jeff Zaruba
The bedroom of one of the atrium structures. - Credit: Photo by Jeff Zaruba

Photo by Jeff Zaruba

“When we saw the site we knew we couldn’t build a standard hotel; we had to do something totally unique,” May tells Robb Report. “Instead of having the hotel build the environment, we wanted to flip the concept and let the environment build the hotel. We let the landscape dictate the placement of everything, down to the last inch, and were getting on ladders to identify the perfect placement of each atrium.”

The resulting hotel features a collection of 40 cube-shaped, mostly glass-walled individual accommodations (which they refer to as atriums) scattered across the property and elevated above the landscape on steel piers. Wrapped in floor-to-ceiling bronze-tinted glass, matte charcoal and rusted metal, almost all atriums feature a rooftop deck with firepit and daybed. The minimalist interiors are designed to feel soothing, with custom wallpaper in natural hues, live-edge wood furnishings, earth-toned fabrics and soft mood lighting. “We put a bit of an American spin on our version of the landscape hotel with larger rooms and more glass,” explains May. “In fact, our atrium rooms are almost half glass, so the effect is almost like Sedona on IMAX.”

Almost all the accommodations have roof decks from which to take in the views. - Credit: Photo by Jeff Zaruba
Almost all the accommodations have roof decks from which to take in the views. - Credit: Photo by Jeff Zaruba

Photo by Jeff Zaruba

While Mother Nature is the hotel’s most stunning amenity, there are plenty of man-made creature comforts, too. All atriums feature petite kitchens and on-demand wine dispensers stocked with a selection of Northern Arizona wines. The poolside Alchemy restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the three-room spa will focus on therapies that heal and relax using locally sourced ingredients; menus for both are still being finalized.

Golf carts laden with coffee, gourmet snacks, pressed juices and craft cocktails will make morning and evening rounds, as well—a particularly nice option for early-bird hikers who wish to take advantage of the property’s private trailhead, which connects to over 200 miles of biking and hiking paths. Morning and evening yoga, guided stargazing sessions (the area is in a designated Dark Sky zone) and poolside films projected onto a custom screening wall will also be available. Rates will start at approximately $1,500 per night.

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