Amangiri: A look at ultimate exclusivity
Amangiri is one of the most expensive and exclusive hotels in the world. It’s one of those places that, if you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it. There are five star resorts, and then there are properties like Amangiri that are exclusive to the very rich and famous. For the rest of us, this is a lodging bucket list hotel for one extraordinary celebration.
As a professional travel blogger, I’ve had the opportunity to stay at some amazing hotels around the world, all of them have been luxurious with outstanding service, and amenities you’d expect. Amangiri however, is a place like none other—it rests at the foothills of the southern part of the Escalante National Monument in Utah, completely secluded from the outside world. Guests enter a new realm, one of absolute serenity.
Driving up to the hotel is like entering a scene out of a James Bond movie. Off of Highway 89, about 20 miles north of Lake Powell, an obscure, unmarked road heads west. There is no signage or structures of any kind. At the end of this road, a mile or two long, a no-frills gate with a small intercom appears. There is but a tiny sign that could easily go unnoticed due to the unique and stunning landscape on display. Only after pushing the intercom button and providing the person on the other end with your reservation number, does the gate then open.
A winding, meandering road showcases the magnificent landscape in a very purposeful way, as if the architect is setting the stage for the illustrious experience ahead.
The drive is a couple of miles before reaching the top of a hill that turns downward into an alcove where the Amangiri resort is nestled. The property is naturally camouflaged into the landscape by design as builders used sand from the site in the concrete mix so that the color would blend in perfectly.
A host of people await our arrival. A porter takes the luggage, a valet takes the car and someone from reception guides us into the hotel while the manager and other team members welcome us. It’s a well-orchestrated reception.
The initial impressions are a bit overwhelming; like being in an art gallery not knowing what painting deserves your attention first. The Southwestern landscape is on display at every turn and the architecture takes full advantage by framing out scenes that literally look like paintings. Long corridors have square openings that deceive the eyes into thinking a framed painting is hanging on the wall.
Various water features throughout the property provide a sense of being in an oasis, which is exactly where guests have been transported.
The pool takes advantage of a gargantuan rock formation, utilizing it as an integrated barrier of one side of the pool. Integration is a common theme at Amangiri, which extends into the accommodations. Take the centerpiece of the room, for example, a multi-functional piece of concrete furniture is woven together to incorporate a desk, bed and sitting area in the middle of the space.
Even the rooms frame out the views. When you walk in, it seems you are looking at a massive painting on the wall, but in fact, it’s a wall of accordion windows that opens the inside up to the outdoors. A seating area with a little built-in fireplace and chaise lounge chairs let guests relax while taking in nature’s masterpiece on display. The skies are incredibly dark at night putting on an astrological show right from your own patio.
The accommodations have a free flow feeling that embraces the elements of nature. The bathroom is wide open with a large vertical window that allows you to take a soak, while, again, admiring the views—you feel almost like you’re bathing outside. His and her showers also encompass the space, while a long vanity allows two people ample space to get ready at the same time.
Given that the hotel is in the middle of nowhere, meals are included with a full menu from which to select. The food is not Michelin level, but quite nice nonetheless. The rooms also have fully stocked mini-bars and fresh fruits an snacks are also provided. Due to Utah state laws, alcohol is not included, but available.
There are two hikes daily in which guests can participate to get a better sense of the grounds, and the vitality of the desert landscape.
Lots of cozy nooks, crannies and seating areas using natural materials like solid blocks of wood and concrete tiles made from the earth are available throughout the resort.
The peaceful serenity is embraced throughout the property. The remoteness is unlike many resorts around the world, the property seems like it was just dropped within massive rock formations, isolating or insulating it from the outside world.
That’s a glimpse into what it’s like to stay at one of the most expensive and exclusive resorts in the world. If you’ve ever stayed at the Amangiri resort in southern Utah, please leave a comment below and share your experience. If you’d like to see more photos from Amangiri, click here.