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The Scottsdale architectural firm of Candelaria Design Associates is one of the premier luxury residential architecture firms in the country. Enjoy our blog which features our work, our travel, our recipes, wines, tips on design and decorating, and the lives of our clients and employees, etc.....its all the ingredients for the Candelaria Design Lifestyle. Contact Candelaria Design to start your dream residence 602-604-2001!

30 Year Anniversary of Enchantment Resort in Sedona, AZ

Historic North Central Restoration - Nance Construction, Berghoff Design, Vallone Design
I cannot believe this month is already half over. This is going to be another busy year. You can feel it in the air and the way this month has started. Wow – what a start. I hope you all saw our intro Episode 1 of Architainment at
We have received over 77,000 views so far! Episode 2 - Designing Fantasies - will launch on The Design Network at on Tuesday, February 4th! Stay tuned for an amazing Architainment launch party at two $9 million Candelaria Design ~ MRA Custom Homes estates in Paradise Valley featured in Episode 1. See our Candelaria Design Events tab for details.

First and foremost we are excited to be retained to design the residential portion of the new Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley. What an opportunity to bring our thirty plus year history of designing residences in Paradise Valley to such a marquis property.

Enchantment Resort - Sedona
And so that’s the perfect segue to looking back at an Arizona classic I was fortunate to be a part of and that’s the Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona It was 30 years ago when we started our initial design work for this truly spectacular place while I was a Project Manager with Christensen-Miller & Associates. The resort sits on 80 acres in the gorgeous Boynton Canyon which is the birthplace of the ancient ancestors of the Yavapai Tribe whereupon they emanated from the earth.  When you visit this canyon you feel the energy or the “vortex” of the canyon.

I was fortunate to be assigned this project by my mentor and amazing architect, the late George W. Christensen. I was 23 years old – hard to imagine! I remember my first visit there and was in awe of the challenge of first having to rezone this property for the use as a resort. It involved gaining the acceptance of the Yavapai Tribe, Sierra Club, the National Forest, and the public in general. After a year of designs, sketches, hearings, meetings, etc., we were ready go.

Left to right - John Gardiner, Merv Griffin,
George Christensen and Mark Candelaria
Our client was the late John Gardiner of the famed John Gardnier’s Tennis Ranch in Paradise Valley and his team, primarily my good friend and fellow Charro Grande, Clayton McKnight! Add the construction team of the Phil W. Morris Company and their Project Manager, Larry Peery. Larry, Clayton and I are all still great friends some 30 years later – but this is where that friendship started.

Enchantment Resort Clubhouse

Croquet Lawn at the Enchantment Clubhouse
The project involved remodeling and adding to an existing fired adobe house and turning that into the Clubhouse. The guest house would become the Spa. Then we would add some 50 casitas which we walked every spot and determined exactly where we would nestle them in and save trees going as far as to have them grow right through the decks. We master planned and designed some 30 patio homes and then laid out all of the single family lots of which we were fortunate to design several custom homes including a fun Pueblo style casa for the Hall of Fame quarterback, Y.A. Tittle.

Enchantment Casita Exterior

So many people contributed to the beauty of Enchantment. From Clayton McKnight’s wife and John Gardiner’s daughter, Tricia McKnight, who did all of the interiors, Dan Richardson from Security Savings who spearheaded the project, and many of my teammates at Christensen-Miller, especially Craig Stoffel who built an amazing model of the whole canyon!

Enchantment Casita Interior

Enchantment Clubhouse Pool Terrace

Some 30 years later, the Enchantment Resort is still one of my crowning achievements and is one of my favorite places to go, escape and look back at some amazing times and memories. I encourage you to take someone special and go enjoy a romantic escape.

Enchantment Resort Aerial - Boynton Canyon - Sedona