Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Zen Yard Guest House, Phoenix, Arizona

On what was a bit of a whim, we booked the Jerome Room at the Zen Yard Guest House

To be honest, I was a little uncomfortable with the new-age-spiritual-spa connotations of “Zen Yard” (just not my thing) and the fact that it wasn’t clear from the pictures that the Jerome room (the only space available at the time) had a real window (I hate dark rooms). However, the location was excellent (located near some of our friends), the price was right (further improved by a discount through BedandBreakfast.com), and every review on TripAdvisor raved about the place  (including the Jerome Room).

Any worries vanished the moment we arrived. Eddie cheerfully greeted us (materializing out of the darkness as we approached the building) and led us into a warm and welcoming living/dining area stocked with the little extras a travel might want – tea, coffee, energy bars, beverages (alcoholic and not), with instructions to either leave some money in the tip jar or let them know at check-out. How convenient!

(A large range of specialty tea is provided free of charge, which was fabulous for a tea-lover like me.)

From there he led us through a series of courtyards to the Jerome room – our pretty room with a large window looking out onto a pleasant little courtyard complete with serene sculpture and a grapefruit tree (with ripe grapefruits that we were encouraged to pick). It was everything I could have asked for and more.  
 
Daylight exploration showed that our courtyard was only one of several, most with sculpture, hummingbird feeders, water of some sort (fountains or hot tubs), comfortable seating, and gardens. 
 
Unfortunately, a recent cold snap had killed off some of the more tropical vegetation, leaving the gardens looking very much like winter had arrived. I’m sure it will soon be overflowing with greenery and blossoms again. 
Along with the hot tubs, the property has a pool – unheated, so not in use this time of year – but atmospherically lit at night and a reminder of how nice it will be here in warmer weather.
(Although I was pretty entranced by the patterns the leaves made as they floated around on the surface. Who needs to actually swim in a pool to enjoy it!?)

Homemade breakfasts are served in the main house. A small number of specialties are available and guests place orders the night before, assuring a tasty hot breakfast each morning. Seared oatmeal with blueberries (which is delicious) is available, along with more traditional fare and Dale’s banana bread.

The Zen Yard Guest House has four rooms, two in the main house and two in the courtyard area.  It is easy to reach and located in a very safe area of Phoenix. The entire property is also fenced (which is pretty common in Phoenix), further increasing security.  
We found it to be a good base for getting around the Phoenix area, with quick access to the city of Phoenix, as well as Scottsdale.

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