Low-key family-friendly resort surrounded by majestic red rock views
Slightly south of Sedona’s town center, with a more relaxed atmosphere
Some eateries, bars, cafes, and red rock viewing points nearby
Spacious Studios, and One or Two-Bedroom layouts
Kitchens, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and iPod docks
Upgrades include fireplaces and terraces -- some with red rock views
Pet-friendly rooms are also available
Two heated outdoor pools and a hot tub
Fitness center, children’s playground, ping pong, and garden chess
Choice of two barbecue picnic areas
Plenty of free self-parking on-site, including space for RVs and motorhomes
Free Wi-Fi provided throughout
Room decor and fixtures can be dated
Pools are on the small side
No elevators to the second floor
Most of Sedona’s sights and shopping requires a drive
No on-site restaurant
Complaints of aggressive time-share pitches
Only stays of four days or more receive housekeeping
Fitness center has just a few machines
Nestled next to a picturesque stretch of highway in the Village of Oak Creek, the mid-range Bell Rock Inn is a family-friendly property for which affordable rates, self-catering facilities, proximity to hike trails, and quiet atmosphere are the main highlights. Its 85 earth-toned Studios and One or Two-Bedroom Suites are big, clean, and come with either kitchenettes or kitchens. Though somewhat dated, rooms are practical and well-maintained, with pullout sofas, flat-screen TVs, DVD players, and sitting areas. Many have patios or balconies, and upgraded units add fireplaces and beautiful red rock views. Amenities include two outdoor heated pools, a hot tub, two barbecue picnic areas, and a basic gym. There’s no restaurant, though eateries are within walking distance. The low-key atmosphere is a plus, but expect a 15-minute drive into Sedona. It's worth considering the more homey Las Posadas of Sedona.
Adobe-style, family-friendly property removed from Sedona's center, with majestic views of red buttes
The Bell Rock Inn may sit right on the main road, but its proximity to towering red rock formations comes with some impressive surrounding scenery. Towering red buttes dominate the skyline, including the very formation for which the hotel was named. Guests can easily see the rocks from much of the property (and from some rooms), but the collection of two-story buildings here will sometimes intrude on the view. The buildings are adobe-style, while interiors are decorated in a Southwestern style that incorporates leather seating and cowboy wall hangings.
A big car parking area separates much of the hotel from the street, and the small lobby is tucked away in the back corner. It features old-time movie posters of Westerns shot in the area, and there’s often plenty of activity with check-ins, check-outs, and guests booking tour activities at the concierge desk. Unfortunately, many past guests have complained of aggressive time-share pitches. The hotel is more or less divided into two sections (with car park in between), and each section has its own pool, and picnic area with tables and barbecue grills. Several grassy areas add a touch of green to the property, and self-catering families dominate the guest crowd.
On the Red Rock Scenic Byway, 15 minutes south of Sedona
Most visitors who drive to Sedona will pass through the Village of Oak Creek, which is seven miles south of Sedona. It’s not unusual to see cars pulled over at random places along the highway, as smitten gawkers stop to photograph the massive red sandstone formations that suddenly pop into view just before entering the Village (as it’s known to locals).
Bell Rock, one of the more prominent buttes, is one of the most popular hiking and mountain biking areas in the Sedona region, and draws hundreds of people each day. However, the pace of life in the Village is slower and quieter than in Sedona, and low-key travelers will appreciate the less hectic atmosphere. While the scenery and hiking here easily compares to Sedona, there are fewer dining and shopping options (though excellent restaurants in the Village, such as Cucina Rustica, do exist). The good news is that Sedona is only a spectacular 15-minute drive away.
Nearby sights include Bell Rock (five-minute drive), Sedona Golf Resort (five minutes), the Chapel of the Holy Cross (10 minutes). It’s about 20 minutes fo Red Rock Crossing, Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, and Uptown Sedona (a.k.a. Main Street), a stretch of Highway 89A that's lined with shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Side Rock State Park takes 30 minutes as does Sedona Airport. Sedona is about a two-hour drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
Clean, practical rooms with kitchen facilities, iPod docks, and often outdoor spaces
Air-conditioned rooms are available in Studio, One and Two Bedroom, and One Bedroom Townhouse categories. All are clean, well-maintained, and generously sized with cooking facilities, sitting areas, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and DVD players. Earthy tones and matching wood furniture echo the region’s nature surrounds, and while practical, some of the traditional furniture (and bathroom fixtures) could use updating.
Layouts expand dramatically with each category. The entry-level Studio Efficiency Room is 385 square feet and comes with a sleeper sofa, mini-fridge, coffeemaker, and microwave. Next up is the Studio, and One Bedroom (700 square feet), with partial kitchen upgrades that include two-burner stoves, dishwashers, and large fridges. Townhouses (also 700 square feet), and Two Bedrooms (1200 square feet) each offer full kitchens, two bathrooms, and fireplaces. Irons, ironing boards, and safes also come with each room, and the Two Bedroom has a washer and a dryer.
Bathrooms are well-sized with wide vanities and shower/tub combos. Hairdryers and some basic toiletries are also provided. Most rooms have patios or balconies, which are spacious enough to accommodate chairs and a small table. Generally, rooms facing north and east are more likely to offer a view of the red rocks.
Two heated pools, barbecue picnic areas, and a small fitness center, but no restaurant
There are two heated outdoor pools to choose from. One is larger with a hot tub, and they each come with deck chairs, along with a neighboring picnic and barbecue area. The fitness center barely qualifies as one with its tiny size and few dated machines, though there are several spectacular trails nearby that offer an alternative workout. Grounds also feature a small playground with a slide for the kids. Recreational games like giant chess and ping pong are set up in the garden for guests to use at their leisure.
There is no restaurant at the Bell Rock Inn, but there are several all-day restaurants nearby in the Village of Oak Creek. Also, there’s an IGA grocery in the Village about five minutes away -- helpful for guests who want to dine in using the kitchenettes or barbecue grills. Tea and coffee are provided in the lobby 24/7.
Guests can print boarding passes at the business center. There’s also a concierge desk in the lobby where guests can arrange local tours and activities. Plenty of free self-parking is available on-site. RVs and motorhomes can be accommodated when arranged with reception. DVD rental is on offer, as are guest laundry facilities, though they consist of just one washer and dryer, so it can be busy. The daily resort fee covers access to facilities, which include Wi-Fi. Housekeeping service only qualifies for stays of four nights or longer, and the property is pet-friendly.