A restorative red rock backdrop fuels the sense of wellbeing at the 23-room Mii Amo. The pioneering all-inclusive resort, burrowed within Sedona, Arizona’s Boynton Canyon, is fresh off a $40 million revamp, and its connection to the luminous landscape is even more profound.
Mii Amo opened in 2001, and that legacy presented “an additional layer of challenge,” says Jennifer Johanson, president and CEO of Novato, California-based EDG Interior Architecture + Design. “The higher purpose of Mii Amo is to set guests on an inward journey, and we didn’t want any décor that distracted from that. Everything needed to be harmonious—with the strong architecture and the spirit of the canyon.”
Gluckman Tang Architects, the New York practice that worked on both the renovation and original incarnation, are personally vested in Mii Amo’s next chapter as partner Dana Tang is one of the property’s owners. Her vision called for an expansion—from the new restaurant Hummingbird and seven additional casitas to a bi-level movement studio and outdoor features like a sensory garden and hammock grove—grounded in such earthy materials as adobe brick, stucco, and concrete. Circular motifs nod to the long-beloved, round Crystal Grotto, where daily meditations unfold under an aperture-lit domed ceiling.
“Dana and I brought back gravel, brush, and stones from the canyon, so we had a natural palette and the colors we used were measured against that. For example, we landed on just the right shade of terracotta that was more pink, not red or orange. We played with nuances,” Johanson explains.
In the beginning, EDG was solely tasked with creating an engaging dining experience at Hummingbird, accomplished through the likes of artwork, custom leather banquettes, and a centerpiece harvest table fashioned from local eucalyptus displaying bowls and baskets filled with seasonal ingredients plucked from the chef’s garden.
Eventually, the firm left its imprint throughout Mii Amo. An abundance of alder wood, once a highlight, acquired an orange tint over the years. Rather than stripping the wood down, or re-staining it, EDG offset it with oak and dark walnut.
The living room, previously housing an indoor pool, transformed into a sunken lounge pit awash in carpeting and fabrics that capture the canyon’s mélange of red tones. It is aptly punctuated by Tang’s backlit plaster cut-out that “looks like the rising sun,” as Johanson puts it. A solid glass wall amplifying the canyon, meanwhile, is the star of the chair- and ottoman-lined relaxation lounge. This view is “overwhelming at first,” admits Johanson, and “then you ease into it.”
Serenity is just as easily found in the updated casitas, which Johanson describes as “monastically simple,” embellished with fireplaces and subtly luxe touches like goat hair carpets that were designed “to let you commune with yourself and your thoughts.”
A version of this article appeared in HD’s November 2023 issue.