- Service that’s delicately balanced to meet every need but not obtrusive.
- Remote scenery perfect for unwinding.
- Explore the property grounds or take a day trip to the surrounding sights.
- Melt away in the world class spa.
- Indulge in the decadent food menu.
If we could categorize our taste in hotels, it is certainly luxurious, but comes with a caveat. The property must offer enough to be worth its value. We are captivated by Conde Nast’s top hotels but cringe at the thought of peak prices and inflated properties without amenities and the service to match.
Whether it requires traveling in the shoulder season, spotting a deal on a third-party booking site, or utilizing credit card perks, we are always on the lookout for steals on bucket list hotels. You may find it ironic that we are talking about a hotel that admittedly will make your wallet run and hide at first glance of the price but hear us out on why Amangiri has become the most exclusive hotel to visit in the US.
If you are familiar with the property’s origin, then you may already know the story that it took a law passed by congress for this resort to happen. It is said that the founder of Aman needed the famous horseshoe shaped pool to be built around a large rock formation, which at the time was government land. After several years that required a land swap with the government, the idea of Amangiri was set to become reality.
As with many other Aman properties, the location is off the beaten path with a small unassuming ranch post sign as you enter the gate to the property. After 2 miles down a windy road through sandstone cliffs that resemble every color of yellow, orange and rose gold, you arrive to the welcoming arms of the staff waiting to whisk you away to your suite. When we arrived, the sun was glistening off the water trickling down from the pool’s edge in the background, leaving us pinching ourselves to remind us that this is still real life. This is where all your problems and stresses seem to disappear as the welcome crew opens your door and calmly greets you with, “you are here now”.
If all that didn’t sell you, here are a few more reasons why Amangiri is worth saving up for.
The most exclusive hotel in the american southwest: amangiri
Service and Location
What makes Amangiri different from anywhere else is the blending of a uniquely remote location with service where no small detail is overlooked. It seemed as though the word “no” was not allowed in the Aman vernacular. Need a cup of lemon ginger tea? They will grind up fresh ginger and squeeze a lemon, regardless of if it’s on the menu or not. Need a bottle of water for your stroll around the property grounds? It is like there is a mind meld where two cold waters are already waiting for you before you even said a word. Each staff member will remember your name, where you have traveled from and what activities you have planned during your stay. Our room was cleaned twice daily, and to our blissful surprise, so was our car! And even when calling to ask reception if there happened to be any baby powder on sight for some severely blistered heels, the response we received was “we would be happy to send someone to town to grab you some”.
If you are only staying for one night, we don’t think you will want to wander far from the hotel. And if you do, the property grounds consist of over 600 acres (about the area of Central Park in New York City!) with 12 miles of hiking trails amongst sand dunes and cliffs only steps from your room. While they offer guided tours, you can easily grab a map and explore the trails yourself. We’d recommend heading over to the slot canyon just off the property’s premise which sits right on the Utah/Arizona border. For more of a challenge, they have installed a few via ferrata routes that look incredible and worth the thrill. If hiking or climbing are not your thing, the resort can arrange ATV’s, e-bikes, horseback riding or hot air balloon trips. And for those who can afford it, they offer private helicopter tours to many of the surrounding national parks, including the north rim of the Grand Canyon. If you are planning for a half day trip, you can arrange to borrow a BMW from their fleet aligned at the hotels entrance. It’s a short drive to Lake Powell, Navajo National Monument, Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona, the northern entrance to the Grand Canyon, and a reasonable drive to the iconic Wave Trail. In fact, hotel staff are willing to wait in line for the permit lottery for the Wave Trail, as long as you agree to book one of their other guided tours if they are unsuccessful.
Although many people come to Utah to explore the landscape, you come to Amangiri to be pampered. You can easily spend the morning at the state-of-the-art fitness center or wake up for a sunrise yoga class and then melt away for the rest of the day in their world class spa. Use of the water pavilion is complimentary for all guests and even if you don’t book a treatment, you can still get all the feels by alternating between the steam bath & sauna, dipping in the cold plunge, and then floating in the outdoor “heated step pool” that is surrounded by towering sandstone plateaus. The experience was so great we did it both in the afternoon, and returned for another at night!
If the surrounding area, property grounds and spa aren’t enough to convince you, the rooms will surely seal the deal. Each suite includes a private courtyard entrance, a sky terrace and some have private plunge pools. The interior design aligns with the rest of the resort with concrete walls, white stone floors and natural wood accents. You’ll be welcomed with a king size bed, sitting area, desk with ample workspace and immaculate bathrooms. Rinse off in the massive double shower or opt to take a hot bath, wrap yourself in the plush robe, and spark up your private fire pit on the patio that overlooks the vast desert landscapes. Grab a drink from the minibar as you prepare your palate for dinner.
(If you are opting for a few nights stay, consider spending a night at their new Camp Sakira, the newest Amangiri addition which consists of 10 new canvas topped pavilions each with a private plunge pool for a truly secluded desert safari vibe!)
We have read mixed reviews about the food, but it was spectacular. If you book during the off season your stay is all inclusive, so you will not even see a price on the menu. You can have breakfast by the pool, delivered to your room or they will pack it for an adventure to go. Lunch is anytime you want and quite frankly, anywhere you want! The resort will set you up with a private dining experience beneath the cliffs, out on a platform and even on one of their many concrete ledges. For dinner, we chose to dine in the restaurant both nights. After a five-course meal that would make any New York city chef blush, you can end with a night cap and gourmet marshmallows to roast by the fire.
The price of Amangiri may be outrageous, but it is simply worth the once in a life-time experience. From the moment you arrive to the moment they send you off (in your freshly cleaned car!) there won’t be a single aspect of your stay that leaves you disappointed. We were lucky enough to find a room in the off season for $2000/night, and let us tell you, Utah (especially in winter!) is never a bad idea. While it’s certainly easy enough to occupy your time in this oasis, below are three side trips we found to be worthwhile in the area.
- Angels Landing – Zion National Park Avoid the crowds (and the sizzling summer heat) and try this hike in the winter, but make sure to bring your crampons or grab them at the outfitters right at the park entrance
- Bryce Canyon We hiked a combination of routes and felt like we had the whole park to ourselves. Again, just bring your crampons and you should have no trouble navigating any of the routes that are open during the winter season.
- Horseshoe Bend Less of an active adventure like the first two and more of a photo opportunity. Take the 10-minute walk from the park entrance to the bed for some insta-worthy shots.