An Oasis in the Desert – Discovering Amangiri
Miriam Webster defines an oasis as a “fertile or green area in an arid region (as a desert); something that provides refuge, relief, or pleasant contrast.” Pleasant contrast is how I would describe the design and architecture of a new addition to the ultra luxury hotel chain Aman. Small, secluded and designed for personal pampering, Aman Resorts delight discriminating travelers who are looking to escape.
Having experienced their flagship property, Amanpuri in Phuket, Thailand a few years ago, I knew the resort in the middle of the Utah desert would indeed be an oasis. That is, if we could find the hotel. Discretion is always assured at an Aman property. In this case, the property sits about 2 miles off the main road, behind mountains and rock formations. The sign on the street is indeed “discreet.” So much so that we drove right past it, twice! We knew we were in the right area but we were expecting something a bit more obvious.
The property is gated and if you are a registered guest, an intercom connects you with the front desk and the gate will remotely open for you. At this point there is still no sign of the concrete structure amongst the desert rocks and mesas. Continuing along the winding driveway for another distance brings you to a gray concrete wall. Around the corner is a small parking lot and just past that, the oasis begins to unfold.
Up the steps and down the main entry hall, open to the desert landscape in both directions, the beauty and simplicity of the architecture beginss to reveal itself. The plain, concrete construction blends so well but also contrasts with the natural rock of the desert setting.
The structural concept is so pure and clean yet juxtaposes nature in a totally natural way. Hard concrete against hard rock. Soft natural colors against a desert palate. Cool, trickling water features in the middle of dry sand and rock. Ultimate pampering pleasures and spa treatments in the wilderness of the barren desert.
One of the many fascinating things about Amangiri is that although the structure is entirely concrete, the mood is warm and embracing. The staff is extremely friendly and always ready to serve. The guest rooms are also open to the natural beauty, with a wall of windows that opens directly onto the desert landscape.
As one would expect, the linens are luxurious and the guest rooms are fully appointed with double-headed showers, separate soaking tub, dual vanity and top end bathroom amenities. Several rooms feature their own private plunge pools and private outdoor sunning decks on the roof.
Not for the faint of heart, these luxurious digs range from $1,000 per night for a Desert View Suite to $3,600 per night for the Amangiri Suite. Food, beverages and spa treatments are ala carte. Off season, they offer a package deal that does include all meals.
When the stresses of life require total seclusion and relaxation for a few days, and personal service is of the utmost importance, with just 34 luxury rooms, Amangiri offers the perfect get away from the reality of every day life. What an amazing place to recharge your batteries, soak in some sun and treat yourself to a spa treatment amongst raw, arid nature.