Sky Ranch Lodge is located at the end of Airport Road in Sedona. For more information, call 888-708-6400 or visit www.skyranchlodge.com.
There are many places to spend the night in Sedona, but there's only one that sits on Airport Mesa. It's called Sky Ranch Lodge, and it offers some incredible views of Red Rock Country.
© George Stocking
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By JoBeth Jamison
SEDONA It's no secret in the world of travel that airport-adjacent accommodations are more about convenience and less about meaningful and memorable getaways. So, it stands to reason that if you're planning a trip to Sedona, the place next to the airport probably won't be your first choice. That is, until you learn about Sky Ranch Lodge, which has an ideal address and an interesting history.
The year was 1982, and Sedona was still virtually unknown outside of Arizona. With its spectacular scenery, abundant recreation and budget-friendly lifestyle for starving artists and followers of the budding New Age movement, the town was a "best-kept secret" on the verge of becoming anything but. Building on that, Gary and Sherri Graham opened the rustic, camp-like Sky Ranch Lodge, which sits 500 feet above West Sedona atop the now-famous Yavapai County-owned Airport Mesa.
After the 35-unit lodge proved to be a significant source of revenue for the neighboring Sedona Airport, it eventually grew to 94 units, varying from reasonably priced private cottages to romantic rooms with kitchenettes, fireplaces and patios. The property also includes a charming garden shaded by mature deciduous trees, an outdoor pool and hot tub, and porch views that no other hotel, motel or resort can match — especially at sunset.
Airport Mesa (the only place in town that could host a 5,131-by-100-foot runway) is not only home to the 56-year-old Sedona Airport, but it's also the site of a rewarding hiking trail, a scenic overlook and one of the area's most accessible vortex sites — one that "vortexperts" claim increases the body's energy levels and awakens psychic abilities. Perhaps it also wards off airplane noise. While there is some, it's limited to small, mostly private aircraft (for now) and it won't keep you up at night or shake you up in the morning.
Just like the airport, Sky Ranch Lodge has continually evolved to meet Sedona's growing acclaim and attraction, but because of limited space, it remains remote and quaint. Nonetheless, some things are changing. In April, the Grahams (now Sherri and Gary's sons) unveiled newly painted and carpeted rooms, which feature new firm-style mattresses and feather-down bedding to better enhance romance and general comfort and joy. Also new to the property is a scenic wedding site and a wine bar featuring area wines and locally brewed beers.
While there are no convenience stores or Starbucks up on the mesa, the lodge's kitchenettes, coffeepots and microwaves make it the ideal place to BYOB, so that you don't have to make the narrow, harrowing mile-long drive back into town once you're in for the night. And as you'll see, you won't want to leave. Despite the stereotype, Sky Ranch Lodge is the perfect place to land.
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