“The desert is a natural extension of the inner silence of the body.” – Jean Baudrillard
Set in the heart of the southwest’s wondrous Grand Circle, Amangiri reveals a spellbinding confluence of light and inspired architecture – a grand amphitheater of angled concrete conferring upon the observer a luxurious composition of windswept stone and halcyon horizons.
The Aman Story
Aman Resorts is the premier luxury resort brand in the world, featuring 31 leisure properties in 20 countries. The word “aman” means “peace, security, safety, shelter, protection” in the Sanskirit, Hindi, Punjabi, Arabic, Urdu and Persian languages.
Aman properties are generally named by adding a second part that represents the location of the property. Hidden in the muted magnificence of the plateaus and canyons of southern Utah, Amangiri means “peaceful mountain.” It’s difficult to think of a more aptly named property.
Amangiri – The Location
Amangiri and its approximately 600 acres are located a few miles across the northern border of Arizona in Canyon Point, Utah; in the center of the Grand Circle, the largest concentration of US national parks and monuments. Click here to view the location of Amangiri on Google Maps.
A crisply dressed gentleman greeted us at the Page Municipal Airport in northern Arizona. Tucked into the royal blue courtesy BMW sedan, we sped across the Arizona border into Utah, brimming with expectation. The desert landscape rushes past the windows, and it’s impossible to capture the vastness of the landscape – the colors, textures, and the most of all, the light.
Click here to view a short video of the views.
At the outer entrance, the only indication that you’re in any proximity to the property is an elegantly modest sign, and a gate with a small call box. The car proceeds, revealing a new selection of desert highlands and expansive vistas. After a few minutes, the property is revealed – a masterpiece of clean and quiet architecture, effortlessly merging with its wind-sculpted surroundings. Spectacular.
Photo credit to Amangiri.
Photo credit to Amangiri.
The entrance opens up the stairs to the Entrance Lounge, where a crisp breeze surges through the expanse. Each step upward reveals a breathtaking and stirring desert portrait.
This welcome is dramatically punctuated by four square stones, each with an etched message. The four messages communicate Ocatvio Paz’s famous poem “Viento, agua, piedra,” which one of the Amangiri architects Wendell Burdette found inspiring during his work on the property. Paz’s poem discusses the four elements – wind, water, fire, and land.
Amangiri’s 34 suites and exterior architecture stretches across the muted landscape like an unfolded fan, formed in thick sand-colored concrete walls – cool, tall, and smooth to the touch. Some segments of the exterior wall feature delicate water flows as art, adding sound and texture.
The suites are experiences in peaceful refinement – a contrast in textures, colors, sharp angles and soft, plush appointments; including a private courtyard, exterior water feature, and personal fireplace; all framed by a profoundly piercing view of the surrounding canyons, mesas, wide-ranging spaces, and the sense of deep stillness.
Click here to see a video tour of our suite.
Click here to see a video of our fireside suite view.
At the heart of Amangiri is the Pavilion, a grand communal gathering place for guests that includes multiple dining areas, a living room surrounded by a library with a variety of books and games, and elegant open format kitchen cast in dramatic stone. The Pavilion spans across the center of the property, featuring a generous array of floor-to-ceiling windows that accentuate the exterior desert views. The windows opposite reveal the interior of the property, and its most acclaimed and magnificent element – the main pool designed in and around a millennium-old rock formation.
Pictures courtesy of Amangiri.
Due to its remote location, Amangiri features an impressive array of food and beverage options. We enjoyed all meals in the Pavilion – varied, flavorful and fresh; dishes such as Stone Crab Cakes and Smoky Tomato Lobster Bisque.
Amangiri features a 25,000 square foot luxury Spa – where stone and warm wood abounds, reflecting the surrounding earth – replete with steam rooms, cold plunges, vast showers, treatment rooms, terraces, fitness facilities, and a lovely outdoor jacuzzi. The Spa’s wellness treatments incorporate the healing traditions of the Navajo, and the four elements (water, earth, wind, fire) that resonate throughout the property.
Click here to view a video of my Jacuzzi view.
The Amangiri Suite
It’s rare that a particular room or suite is worthy of a separate article entry, but the Amangiri Suite is deserving of its own article entirely. There’s little need for an overwrought description as the images speak for themselves. It’s one of the top two or three suites I’ve ever seen. And yes, the private wrap-around pool is heated – as hot as you’d like it.
Area and Activities
As mentioned, Amangiri is located in the Grand Circle, in close proximity to a variety of parks and destinations. Didn’t drive here? No problem, Amangiri offers its BMW sedans to its guests for free usage in four hour increments. We chose to visit the famous Horseshoe Bend, which was absolutely spectacular!
There are also a variety of hiking trails on or nearby for guests, including the exhilarating suspension bridge.
Photo courtesy of Amangiri.
It will come as no surprise that the people who serve Amangiri’s guests are a treasure. The magic of an Aman property is that the visitor feels as if they are a guest in someone’s home, and Amangiri’s people made us feel welcome and well taken care of during our visit. I’d like to thank Debora, Mary, Winona, Natalie, Paola, Traca, Sarah, Skyler, Rowena, Mariana and Mike for adding to the experience of our trip.
Amangiri is a love letter to vision, nature, spirituality, and the singular expression that the beauty of our world knows limitless forms. And if we are to believe as Jean Baudrillard does, that the desert is indeed a natural extension of the inner silence of the body, then Amangiri is to be savored as an extraordinary sanctuary for those seeking to find their own silence in the desert’s embrace.
Amangiri – Location and Social
Click on the links below to further learn about and connect with Amangiri:
Also, Click Here to view additional high resolution images that show off the majesty of Amangiri.
Thanks so very much to everyone at Amangiri for the visit of a lifetime. Thanks also to Lai for making this visit possible, and for the use of some high resolution images!
Please take note that the resort welcomed me as a special media guest, but that my opinions are, as always, entirely my own.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to read this article, and happy dining and traveling!