Tag - Arizona

Finding Tranquility at Aravaipa Farms Inn and Orchard
Globetrotter Lodge- Holbrook, AZ
Arizona Blogger Conference 2013- Hotel Palomar- Phoenix

Finding Tranquility at Aravaipa Farms Inn and Orchard


Aravaipa Farms Inn and Orchard is located about 70 miles north of Tucson. The drive up via Arizona 77 is beautiful and takes you through the small towns of Oracle and Mammoth. Once you turn off 77, it’s another seven miles to get to the inn (with three miles being well-maintained unpaved road). The driveway is a somewhat steep descent into the property, where you can either leave the car parked and get shuttled across Aravaipa Creek (which is generally low and accessible with a four-wheel-drive but isn’t required). I chose to leave my car across the creek and requested a shuttle ride across the creek. The Inn owners- Jill and Kevin Maddon, and the Inn’s host- Laura Bailey met me and took me across the creek and to the property.

The Inn and (mainly peach, pear, and apricot) Orchard sits in a riparian countryside, and is nestled beneath the shadows of Brandenburg Mountain. In 1995, Carol Steele (widely known in the Phoenix and Scottsdale culinary scene in the 70s through 90s) acquired the property from Bill Farney. For almost twenty years, she hosted guests in her “reverse B&B” (Arizona Highways- March 2001) and served up her legendary artisanal food. In October 2016, the Maddons bought the 46 acres after learning that Carol was retiring and was selling the property. They did some renovating, while still maintaining Carol’s original flair and tradition, and re-opened in 2017. Check out the article on ‘Carol Steele- The Godmother of the Phoenix Culinary Scene’ here.

I was given a tour of the Inn, which included a peek into most of the casitas (minus the Blue Door Casita, as a guest was staying there), The Tree House, and the Farmhouse. Two casitas are housed in the original barn, where you can see remnants of the original horse stalls and the barn doors. Other features include galvanized steel roofs and ceilings, and Saltillo tiling. The other two casitas have been built out (of the original property). The Farmhouse is the largest of the lodging options, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a full kitchen. The Tree House is the largest of the casitas, with a tree trunk post that stands majestically in the middle of the space. Each of the lodging options has its unique style, decorated with kitsch and rustic items (Carol’s quirky folk art, handmade birdhouses, paintings, rocks, primitive items, etc.) that don’t necessarily make sense, but yet, fit perfectly in their nook. Walkways feature bits of broken pottery and old dishes.

Inside The Farmhouse, The Tree House, and Mountain + Garden Casitas

I stayed in the Orchard Casita- a beautiful stucco suite with eclectic furnishings, and stonework designed by Lazaro Cervantes (you can see more of his work throughout the property). The kitchenette was well-stocked with fresh coffee, honey from the orchard, sugar, and creamer. The distressed hutch contained utensils and dishware for my convenience. Breakfast is available for an additional fee, but I highly recommend it. You’ll find a homemade frittata, yogurt, granola, fresh fruit, orange juice, and muffin(s) in the mini-fridge. There is no phone nor television, however, I was still able to access wifi on my phone (which was still spotty).

Inside the Orchard Casita + Breakfast

In the evening, we gathered at the main house’s patio for Happy Hour. When the dinner bell rang, we proceeded to the communal dining room for the farm-to-table three-course meal that was prepared by Laura and her lovely staff with recipes that have been handed down by Carol. It was an intimate group, with the Maddons and the only other guest at the Inn. We started with salad and Laura’s homemade bread (which I’m still dreaming about to this day…). The main course was a noodle dish with veggies for me (let the staff know ahead of your stay of any food allergies or dietary restrictions), while the others had fish. Dessert consisted of prickly pear sorbet with a madeleine cookie. Everything was delicious! Tip: Bring reusable containers for leftovers.

Dining Area and Dinner

This was a wonderful and peaceful experience. I enjoyed roaming around the orchard, stargazing and watching the bats flutter around the casita porch after dinner, looking at all the unique curiosities, taking photos, and just enjoying the solitude. I would’ve taken a dip in the pool, but the temperature was too cool for me. However, when I stay there again, I’ll be sure to test out the waters. Tip: Be sure to obtain your hiker’s permit prior to staying here, as it’s only three miles to Nature Conservancy’s Aravaipa Wilderness Preserve.


The most photographed door on the property, which has also been featured in Arizona Highways and Sunset Magazine. 

Enjoy this video of the serene Aravaipa Creek …


Address: 89395 E. Aravaipa Rd., Winkelman, AZ 85192

Phone: (520)261-7373



NOTE: I was hosted for a night in exchange for an honest feature. All opinions are my own.


Globetrotter Lodge- Holbrook, AZ

Globetrotter Lodge

902 W. Hopi Dr.
Holbrook, AZ 86025
PH: (928)297-0158

I had the extreme pleasure of staying at the Globetrotter Lodge in the small town of Holbrook, AZ recently. I had heard great reviews about it through the grapevine and from fellow Route 66 travelers, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Boy, I’m glad I did. You see, Route 66 motels are generally mom n’ pop motels that have been known for their outstanding hospitality and well, the Globetrotter really exceeded my expectations. From what I hear, the motel was originally constructed in the 40s or 50s and in later years, had seen some decline. However, Mona and Peter Hoeller, formerly of Austria, thankfully came in and rescued it from demise a few years back. The quaint single story motel is now a favorite among travelers and offers ten basic yet clean rooms, cozy lobby, great wi-fi, breakfast in the morning and a pool area. The owners truly brought their European touch to this Route 66 icon.

The owner’s wife personally escorted me to my room and was kind enough to show me around. The room I had had a western theme. There were two comfy beds, a flat-screen TV, a mini-fridge, coffeemaker and best of all- a Southwest theme painted sink. The bathroom was somewhat small, but again, it was beyond clean. They still keep the room’s original Mid-Century construction, but had it refreshed for the modern travelers.

The next morning, I went to breakfast, which was held in their bright breakfast room. This was actually one of the main highlights of my stay, besides the sink, as the owners go above and beyond to make their guests feel welcome. Each place setting had the guests room number and the state/country where they are from. They use real dishware, silverware and linen napkins. The assortment of nourishment they provide are a few varieties of cereals, toast and other breads, hard-boiled eggs, fruit…everything you could possibly want for a hearty start to the day. Of course, everything was freshly prepared.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the pool area this time, but again… it looked like a clean welcoming oasis from the desert heat. I was bummed to say good-bye after a night’s stay, but will definitely be back again. I’d much rather stay here than at an overpriced hotel right off the interstate! Thank you again Peter and Mona and I look forward to my next stay!

If you are traveling along the I-40 corridor through Holbrook, be sure to book your stay at the Globetrotter!

Arizona Blogger Conference 2013- Hotel Palomar- Phoenix

Sometimes, you just have to love how things just “work out.” Well, in this case, I just happened to be scheduled to stay the weekend with friends in Phoenix during the time that the second annual Arizona Blogger Conference was to be held. The Arizona Blogger Conference is an annual event that is hosted by the Phoenix Style Collective. This year, it was held at the trendy Hotel Palomar at CityScape. The attendance for the event seemed to have doubled since last year. There was a amazing food spread provided by the Palomar, mingling with other bloggers, raffles and a pop-up marketplace. Booths that participated in the marketplace were: Kendra Scott, Superstition Vintage, Tucson Fashion Week, Madewell, Mr.Fun Booth and Windows Surface. After some fun at the reception, everyone gathered in the ‘Dreamcatcher’ ballroom for the panels, held by: Danielle of Sometimes Sweet, Jessie of Style and Pepper, Sara of Frances Vintage, Sarah of Emma Magazine and Summer of The Girls with Glasses. Each girl gave their own perspective of being in the ‘blogging industry’ and gave out helpful advice for attendees who were new to blogging. Jessie, if you are reading this- those pink pants were gorgeous and please bring Pepperologie to Houston! I was so pleased to have learned about Frances Vintage’s blog and Emma Magazine as they are truly inspiring for DIY projects and general shenanigans. It was lovely meeting you Danielle, you are one stylish mama and loved your speech on “Finding your Voice.” Miss Sara- well done on the “I am a Girl” video. Especially the wardrobe! The event ended when one of the lovely Phoenix Style Collective members- Chelsea‘s boyfriend got on one knee and proposed to her. It was adorable and I wish them all the best. After that, everyone was adjourned to Lustre Bar for an afterparty.

Huge thanks to Phoenix Style Collective for having me. It is always a pleasure seeing you guys. Amy– thank you for attending the event with me! To the panelists, lovely meeting you all! The Hotel Palomar- beautiful venue and I hope to stay with you next time I’m in Phoenix!

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