When we decided to make a stop in Sedona, I researched a couple dozen resorts and hotels in the area. It's not always easy choosing a place to stay because our requirements are different than most typical travelers.
We search for places that offer kitchens because we do our best to cook every meal. We also prefer places with a nice view since we spend plenty of time working in the room. And it's essential we have access to laundry and the property has good reviews. If we can find a really great deal, well that's even better!
All these needs and more are why we chose Bell Rock Inn Resort.
What we really like about Bell Rock Inn
Before I even write about the property, I want to salute and thank the staff. The front desk team of Dora, Pat, and Dani are complete rockstars. These ladies have been SO FUN to visit with but more importantly they have all gone above and beyond with customer service.
After the first night I requested to move upstairs because I can't stand noise above me. They got us situated in a corner upstairs room that had perfect views and peacefulness. Then when we extended twice, they ensured we didn't have to move from our room even when the resort was booked. They've been super friendly and helpful ... and I've chatted with them SO MUCH I'd even consider them friends. :)
This alone has made our stay here pleasant.
But wait, there's more!
Like every review we've done for hotels we've stayed in, it's important to break things down so you know what to expect -- the good and the bad. So here we go.
Bell Rock Inn is in a great location, right off Highway 179 in The Village of Oak Creek. There are plenty of great restaurants within 1/2 mile (Famous Pizza next door kicks ass) and it's very close to several trailheads. In fact, you can walk half a mile to the Bell Rock Loop Trail.
I like that this resort is in a nice area and not so close to center of Sedona which is insanely busy.
We have LOVED looking out the window every day for three weeks. Our corner upstairs room (#427) provides large windows that give you plenty of light, people to watch, and views of the mountains that are stunning. You'll have to go with a one or two bedroom close to the street but it's well worth it.
The overall property is clean and nice. While it's an older resort for this area, we thought it to be in good shape and mostly comfortable. They offer an outdoor heated pool, hot tub, laundry center, and a courtyard with a grill. We have no complaints here.
Our one bedroom accommodation was very clean upon arriving and very spacious! In fact, we unloaded our entire truck into the room to reorganize everything and never felt cramped. The kitchen was great and well stocked with dishes and utensils.
The furniture is a bit outdated which isn't a concern, but the couch and bed were a bit uncomfortable. The air is a mystery too because sometimes it blows out hot and other times cool.
The price for Bell Rock Inn averaged about $100 per night, including resort fees. Our goal is keep this cost below $80 per night, so we were over budget. But having a kitchen also greatly reduces our eating expenses so it cancels each other out.
We did get our rooms comped a few nights by doing a Diamond Resort International vacation club preview (see below). Overall we'd prefer to save money but this stay was worth it.
This wouldn't be an honest hotel review if we didn't talk about the negatives right? Yet it's important to state the first two have nothing to do with this resort.
The Wifi: The biggest frustration is the crappy Internet service. Apparently Wifi in Sedona sucks. Because of this, we bought a Verizon MiFi JetPack and maxed that out in two days with their bullshit "unlimited" plan. Sometimes our phone data didn't even work well.
If you have to work from the road like we do, then be ready to pull your hair out. Don't expect to binge watch Netflix either. But on the flip side, do you really come to Sedona to watch TV??
The Traffic: Highway 179 is a continual stream of traffic especially on the weekends. If you're looking for solitude, being by the street is not the answer. After a few days you'll tune most of it out but it's almost always there. Again the plan should be getting outside and not living in your room.
The Resort Fees: Paying resort fees on top of the daily room rate, especially when there are no extras to be enjoyed due to Covid 19, isn't something I agree with -- no matter what the hotel. We've spent about $300 in these fees to wash our clothes twice. The good news is we'll end up with credit points to offset these charges.
What about the DRI preview offer?
Many reviews stated that people were being pushed into going to a DRI timeshare presentation in exchange for free rooms or discounted tickets. I personally was never pressured or coerced into a preview. In fact, I approached them.
My interaction with Yvonne, the concierge in charge of these services, was fun and easy going. There was no pressure or bullying. She's a wonderful person who is just doing her job by asking visitors if they're interested. And she has an incredible story you should hear.
As for the actual preview at The Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort ....
Yes, they are going to tell you all these wonderful things and ask you to purchase a package at the end. Yes, you will spend a couple of hours of your time to go through it all. And of course, some of it will entertain or frustrate you in the end. But if you want to save some money and have time to kill, then go for it.
No doubt there are horrible time-share experiences but not all experiences are horrible either.
Final Thoughts on Bell Rock Inn
Donetta and I have truly liked our stay at the Bell Rock Inn and we've loved talking with their staff. Aside from the WiFi issues it's been a real pleasure. Some of our friends visited over a weekend and they liked this place too. Next time we stay in Sedona we'll look to book here first.