Plan an Amazing Desert Honeymoon

From Chile's Atacama to Arizona's Sedona, we've rounded up the best desert adventures!
Donna Heiderstadt

Sedona, Arizona
Located just north of Phoenix, Sedona, with its high-desert locale, is renowned for its striking red-rock landscape framed by verdant green juniper and cottonwood trees, as well as its spiritual metaphysical vibe. The destination excels in both nature and nurture, with top-notch spas, creative cuisine, and varied activities that appeal to hedonists and adventurers.

The Sedona Rouge (photo courtesy of Wilderness Safaris/Dana Allen)

By day: Mornings in Sedona are glorious — cool, clear and perfect for a hike or mountain bike excursion (trails are plentiful and many are easily accessible from hotels) or a round of golf (there are a half dozen courses) or a tennis match. Have your cameras ready as you take in the region’s iconic redrock stone formations with names like Bell, Cathedral and Coffeepot during a classic Pink Jeep Tour sightseeing expedition. Collect handcrafted gemstone jewelry, Southwest-inspired photography and striking artwork at Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village and the Sedona Arts Center gift store. Or just laze by the pool and relish lunchtime room service.

At night: Transition from day to evening with a couple’s spa treatment — the pampering 90-minute jojoba butter wrap with massage at Mii Amo is a favorite — followed by an astrology reading. Even if you’re zodiac skeptics, the insights and coincidences may astound you. Or take part in stargazing of a more scientific sort with a nighttime astronomy lesson as you sip wine and ponder the mysteries of the universe.

Where to stay: Enchantment Resort, set on 70 spectacular acres in Boynton Canyon and home to Sedona’s most splurge-worthy spa, Mii Amo, lives up to its name, offering 218 spacious casita-style rooms and suites (most with fireplaces). There’s also a trio of restaurants, a Native American cultural program and fitness activities ranging from yoga to obstacle courses (room rates start at $295 a night; A more centrally located yet just as romantic option is Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa, offering 77 comfortable Andalusian-inspired rooms and suites (the most seductive are the spa rooms with large, free-standing soaking tubs); a serene spa with a couples bathing and massage ritual; and flavorful, modern American comfort cuisine at Reds (room rates start at $219 a night;

enchantment resort
The aptly named Enchantment Resort (photo courtesy of Enchantment Group)

Where to eat: While Sedona’s resorts have their own exceptional restaurants, be sure to reserve a table at Elote Café for Chef Jeff Smedstad’s lamb adobo. Another great casual option with a red-rocks view is Heartline Café, known for its creative American bistro cuisine.

More Amazing Deserts:
Ayers Rock/Uluru, Australia 
Marrakesh, Morocco ►
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile ►
Sossusvlei, Namibia ►