Checking In: Arizona’s natural beauty the star attraction at Ambiente Sedona
Ambiente Sedona is a recent addition to the city’s luxury hospitality scene. Most notably, it’s the first U.S. hotel to incorporate “landscape hotel” design — a term used to describe standalone minimalist guest accommodations immersed in the surrounding natural environment. In the case of Ambiente, that design drops 40 bronze-tinted glass boxes with spectacular views into the unique red rock surround for which northern Arizona is renowned.
“We wanted them [atriums] to feel like they floated out of the sky and just landed on this untouched earth,” says Jennifer May, co-owner of Two Sister Bosses, the luxury property management company that owns Ambiente.
The hotel’s glass and steel atriums are carefully positioned on stilts above the rust-coloured ground, with three sides wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass and angled to make the most of the breathtaking vistas. The atrium exteriors, with black matte metal and corrugated bronze trim, reflect the surrounding landscape.
Preserving the local landscape was a top priority for May and her family. The land, 1.25 hectares bordering Coconino National Forest, was originally zoned for a two-and-a-half-storey lodge, surrounded by a parking lot. May and her father, co-owner Mike Stevenson, soon realized the impact that type of build would have on the land, most importantly, on the ancient waterways, the dry creeks known as washes that surge during seasonal rainstorms.
To create a continuous running water feature through the property, May hired two local landscape artists specializing in water features to turn the wash system into a permanent creek. A pump system was built to preserve the stormwater’s original routing with minimal impact on the delicate desert ecosystem.