IPA Magazine-Luxury Travel Reviews

Amangiri Resort Utah

amangiriSituated in a secluded Southwestern US valley amidst majestic rock formations, The
Amangiri Resort near Page, Arizona is the latest addition to the stunning collection of
Aman resort destinations now on nearly every major continent (see www.amanresorts.com)

With 24 luxury resorts worldwide, each Aman location invites and architecturally captures the natural beauty of exquisite geographical locations in places such as Phuket, Thailand, Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Morocco and Turks & Caicos Islands.

In its newest iteration of luxury living, Amangiri presents its guests with starkly simple yet elegantly smooth concrete walls, featuring rooms furnished with natural materials in rich, harmonious colors and hues. The effect of so many right angles of walls, corners, edges and seams—rather than clashing with the rugged desert landscape of jagged rock formations erupting here and there—complements the serene landscape authentically and respectfully. Amangiri beckons the visitor to explore for hidden treasures, both inside and about the resort.

Upon arrival, we were welcomed into the Pavilion, the centerpiece of the resort and the
amangiriheartbeat of activity. We passed through the Living Room, divided into three secluded seating areas next to huge picture windows that welcomed and framed the immense rock shapes in the distance. Central within the pavilion is an elevated library area where guests may read, play board games, or use the laptop with wi-fi access. On the other side of the seating areas were tables set for indoor dining, next to huge glass doors that opened onto the outdoor dining terrace and a capacious swimming pool. Intruding into the center of the large rectangular pool, a giant rock monolith—an imposing sight—jutted in from nearby cliffs.

Meals may be taken here on the terrace or at the Open Kitchen, where, seated in front of the wood-fired oven, chefs prepare meals and describe your fare as you watch.

Back inside the Pavilion is the private dining room next to the walk-in Wine Cellar, the latter featuring floor-to-ceiling cabinetry housing the resort’s unique selection of wines, along with a cigar humidor. In all, the Pavilion is a welcome place to lounge, read, dine, chat or sit back to enjoy the changing hues of sky over the stunning desert landscape.

On my first walkthrough within the magnificent spa complex, a huge solid metal door stood guard imposingly between me and its contents. I stopped to assess the heft of the thing, wondering what lay in store behind. Our staff host-serving-as-guide seemed to anticipate my need for a metaphor to describe this arresting barrier, yet couldn’t find the words to adequately fit our impasse. “It seems as if we’re walking into a vault,” I said. “That’s it,” she exclaimed. “I’ve been looking for a word to describe this, and that fits it perfectly.” Indeed, once past the heavy door, a treasure chest of exquisite experiences awaited. A day later we would return, me for a one hour spa treatment and my wife for an hour long facial. Both left us feeling like…can I say it?… a million bucks.

amangiriEntering the Spa area, you discover the Water Pavilion, featuring a reflection pool, open fireplace and lounge. Beyond the large wooden doors lies a step pool, a treat we enjoyed briefly during one lazy afternoon. The step pool also allows users of the nearby steam room or sauna to relax outdoors between sessions as an alternative to the cold plunge pool, a more invigorating alternative.

Amangiri offers a tremendous array of spa treatments, including four Navajo-inspired Spa Journeys lasting two-and-a-half hours each. Other treatments include hot stone massage, aromatherapy massage, Thai massage, Chakra Balancing Treatment, body scrubs, body wraps and facials. My massage therapist, Jessica B, employed the Chinese technique known as tuina (pronounced “TWEEN-uh), that consisted of working deep acupressure points along with Table Thai massage and Stretching Shiatsu. Her high level of expertise was evident and the exhilarating experience of deep tissue massage left me feeling refreshed, relaxed and comfortably serene. Though the spa menu is said to reflect Navajo healing traditions, my treatment seemed more Asian than Native American, except for the Navajo music and singing that played softly in the background.

Dining Delights 

aman restaurant

The end of the day in the desert is an especially lovely time as the fierce daytime temperatures give way to soft, warm breezes. We chose to dine outdoors on our first evening, sitting poolside, gazing at the shadows cast along the water by the jutting rock escarpment. Studying the menu, we considered starters such as chilled cucumber and dill soup, artichoke salad, wood oven roasted shrimp, and baja diver scallops. We opted for the Amangiri signature salad, consisting of endive, Fuji apple, candied pecans, goat’s cheese, and meyer lemon vinaigrette. For the main course I chose what turned out to be a superb Buffalo Steak, accompanied by succulent chanterelle mushrooms.

My wife enjoyed her Utah elk loin, served with dried cherries, buttered spaghetti squash and a serving of cooked spinach. The 2005 Hall Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley was the perfect complement to our wild game entrees. Later, we couldn’t resist the dessert of hot berries served over vanilla ice cream, a coolly sweet conclusion to a wonderful day.

Breakfast at Amangiri is served buffet style or made to order. Chefs are happy to put together an omelet on request with ingredients of your choice, though this option is not found on the menu. Just ask, and you will be pleasantly rewarded! Each day a talented pastry chef created an elegant array of puff pastries that adorned the buffet table, enticing me to sample only a couple. (I swear!) To die for! Ethiopian coffee was served hot in a French press, the stuff worthy of a tasting competition.

The lunch menu offers tantalizing pizza creations, an option we chose for dinner the second night. At the very wide granite countertop, we sat in front of the glowing wood fire oven and engaged our chef in lighthearted conversation as he prepared our dinners. Other guests, seated nearby, shared stories of other visits to Aman resorts elsewhere in the world.

Situated amidst the erosion-carved, painted landscapes of rugged Southern Utah land, Amangiri beckons like an enchanted oasis, offering refreshment, serenity and luxurious pampering. With its shimmering pools, relaxing spas and elegant lounges, there is always a place to bask in the arid warmth of desert air or find an air-conditioned spot to cool off. Amangiri, “peaceful mountain,” invites each visitor to experience the incredible beauty of massive sandstone rock walls, powerful panoramas, majestic canyons, and natural formations that simply take your breath away. Explore, dine, rest and, if you dare, begin to wonder again in a sculpture gallery of legendary design.

Amangiri

1 Kayenta Road
Canyon Point, Utah, 84741
Toll free: 877-695-3999
Local telephone: 435-675-3999
Email: amangiri@amanresorts.com
Website: www.amanresorts.com

A 600-acre resort in Southern Utah, close to the Arizona border. The resort can be reached
in a 25 minute drive from Page, Arizona. Thirty four suites range in price from about $900
to $3500.

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