Whether you’re arriving by night, guided by the pinwheel of stars that dot the translucent sky, or escorted through the unfolding beauty of Canyon Point by sunlight, it’s not hard to see why Amangiri is nestled in such a remote locale 4 hours away from Las Vegas in the heart of the Grand Circle.
Rolling through the aptly named ‘Gates to Heaven’ on arrival introduces a path that meanders along to the hotel. A purpose built feature, this stretch of road is a journey and a privilege in its own right, designed to acquaint you with the views of incredible rock formations and ridges that will be commonplace during your stay.
Amangiri; a Masterpiece of Craftsmanship
Following the crescent shape of a cliff curve and surrounded by a desert landscape, the contrast of man-made creation and natural beauty has never been so finely balanced. Smooth geometric lines compliment the jagged rock faces, while chrome-toned concrete walls present a minimalist and uncomplicated home away from home. Water, so scarce in a sandy region is everywhere, collected in small beds that reflect the carefully placed light of the fires by night.
In typical Aman fashion, the suites here are an ode to simplicity. It’s hard not to stop and analyse the perfectly aligned nature of the room when you first walk in. There’s no clutter, just gleaming white furniture that is arranged in such a way as to make the best out of the elongated windows that reveal the stunning views of your desert surroundings. Each of the thirty-four suites extend away from the central pavilion to create two separate wings named Mesa and Desert and the little nuances of each suite adds an extra sense of variety to your holiday. The Mesa Pool Suite, for instance, offers sunset views and a sky terrace that captivates a romantic mood, while the Desert View Suite is a favourite of ours for its compelling vistas of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park.
Relax Aman Style
Amanjunkies will know better than most just how much emphasis is placed on the concept of comfort, but for the uninitiated, Amangiri’s Navajo themed spa is a welcome introduction. Accessed through the floor-to-ceiling glass tiled reception and lounge, five walnut coloured treatment rooms are joined by a steam room, a yoga space and a smooth, temperature controlled stone-lined step pool. A key highlight of the spa is the water pavilion accessed via a walkway from the main reception space. You can expect to learn more about flotation therapy at the pavilion, a form of treatment designed to induce deep relaxation that would otherwise take many sessions of traditional meditation practices to achieve. Flotation therapy is also used as a form of alternative medicine for some ailments, including rheumatism, migraines, high-blood pressure and back pain.
Dining by the Pool
Channelling the tastes of the cowboys who once tread the same path through the Grand Circle, the cuisine at the sleek open kitchen is all about combining simple meat cuts with light flavours. Meals take in steaks, beef and lamb of all complexions, while light fish bites are also available alongside a vegetarian option. Breakfast, lunch and tea is all taken in the same space, where tables spill out on to the terrace in little pockets around the swimming pool.
Simply marvelling at your surroundings is not enough here, you will inevitably want to be up close and personal with the caves, the ridges and the valleys and Amangiri has a lengthy list of adventure experiences. The Colorado Plateau has the highest concentration of national parks in the USA and at Amangiri you’re in full view of the Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument and only 3 minutes away from its winding paths. Play archaeologist for the day at one of the world’s richest planetology sites and explore its 50 million year old rock face which can be organised at the hotel’s reception, alongside private tours of the Grand Canyon National Park, one of America’s most famous tourist landmarks. Change it up a little bit and book an early-morning hot air balloon flight to get the best views of Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell, or discover the rich history of Monument Valley on a Navajo Guide Tour. If nothing else, Amangiri is a nature lovers dream thanks to its wildlife and national parks, so why not wake up early by the light of sunrise and create your own wilderness adventure before the trails become busy. Routes are marked excellently by stakes or rock piles and maps can be provided by the hotel staff.