Heading north on Hwy 179 toward Sedona, the landscape is similar to that of the drive from Phoenix. However, just a few miles after you round a bend in the road, the landscape dramatically changes, revealing the first signs of Sedona’s awe-inspiring red rock formations. As you enter Oak Creek Village, three monolithic formations immediately captivate your attention; Courthouse, Bell Rock and the Castle Rock. While staying at the Cozy Cactus Bed and Breakfast, these three sandstone monuments delighted us as clouds whisked by the peaks by day, and as night fell, the nearly full moon’s illumination provided a new and magical perspective.
When we arrived at the Cozy Cactus, Mark and Carrie, the owners and innkeepers for the past six years, warmly greeted us. During our stay we saw just how passionate the couple is about providing their guests an enjoyable and welcoming visit. As a matter of fact, we met a couple from Quebec who’ve been to the Cozy Cactus five times in the past five years. One of the things they shared with us was…while the amazing views attract guests for the first time; it’s the hospitality that Mark and Carrie provide that brings folks back time and again. After staying three nights at the Cozy Cactus, I concur.
Our first night was spent in the Desert Rendezvous room, which was a bit small, but really “cozy.” [My girlfriend Terri and I kept ourselves laughing throughout our stay with all the, “cozy” cliché remarks we’d come up with]. The leather love-seat and sliding barn doors accented the room nicely. There is a lovely private patio with vibrant flowers, colorful mural and bistro table where we enjoyed our morning coffee.
As evening began to take hold, we noticed some of the guests out on the patio with libations in hand, so we decided to take our own glasses of wine and join them. There are two fire pit areas to stay warm and “cozy,” with plenty of seating. It’s an enjoyable experience meeting new people at B&Bs, as they are generally well traveled and have a lot in common. After wine time we walked across the street for dinner at a Thai restaurant that I’d visited before. It was a lovely end to a wonderful first day in Sedona.
The next day we moved to the Cowboy Hideaway, which is quite spacious and can accommodate two couples or a family with its second bath and bedroom. This room actually has two outside doors, one in the front, and one that opens to the most fantastic patio view you’ve ever seen. There is also a mini-kitchen that we utilized for basic food preparation so we didn’t have to venture out all that often. It’s worth noting that there is a gas barbecue on the patio for those who wish to fix lunch or dinner and not leave the B&B. I recall Mark telling me that they are striving to make the Cozy Cactus a “destination,” which I could see. Guests can easily stock up on food, and with all the nearby activities, rarely have to the leave (if they so choose). You can rent bikes across the street, take hikes straight from the back of the B&B, and, they even have a couple of carts that can be used to drive directly to one of two nearby golf courses.
Each morning at 8:30am, a wonderful three-course breakfast is served (except for Tue). Depending on the weather, breakfast may be served inside or out on the lovely patio enjoying the views. Every other day they alternate between a sweet or savory main dish. First course is a freshly baked muffin made by Mark, the self-proclaimed “muffin czar.” I’ll admit I’m not generally a fan of muffins, but these were outstanding and quite different each morning, from orange peel with honey butter, to peach/apricot/cranberry…to the best brand muffins ever. The next course is a fresh fruit plate, which, one morning, was an array of fresh berries with a slightly sweet dessert cheese I’d never had before called, Mascarpone…it was such a great combination of flavors. Entrées during our visit included a quiche, a breakfast burrito and a baked scone-like dish with glazed fruit and a sausage link.
There are a number of other amenities guests are welcome to use during their stay…from the golf carts I mentioned, to ice chests and ponchos. Each room also has some light snacks, coffee/tea/cocoa and many other items that will make your stay that much more enjoyable. Terri and I both had a fantastic time staying at the Cozy Cactus, and we think you will too.
If you’ve ever stayed at the Cozy Cactus before, please leave a comment below and share your favorite things or memories.