Anniversary at Amangiri

UtahSouthern Utah


Happy First Week of August!

Here in Santa Barbara we continue to wake up to grey, gloomy skies

morning after morning, after morning.

Sure, it clears by mid-day most of the time but at the risk of sounding like a TV commercial, it makes such a difference to start the day off with sunshine don’t you think?!

We had no such problem in Utah earlier this year, where we traveled with a few close friends to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.

The colour of the sky in the photo above is true, no filter, nada.

flying over Lake Powell

Arriving by air you catch an amazing view of a turquoise Lake Powell and the striated cliffs of the surrounding canyons.

Amangiri hotel, Utah

My girlfriends check out the view as we arrive at the entrance of our hotel.

The Amangiri  has been on my Travel Wish List since it first opened 4-5 years ago so I was thrilled to experience it on such a momentous occasion.

And I do believe hitting the 25 year mark in marriage these days can be considered momentous!

The hotel was everything we had hoped for and more.

First off, may I say that the huge pool area is outrageous and was built around a boulder that’s about 9 billion years old.


OK, I don’t remember exactly how old it is but something really mind bendingly crazy.

You can see why I never considered being a geologist. Or a museum docent.

Giri_Swimming Pool_Dusk_hp

(photo via Amangiri)

Travel, USA

The hotel sits in such a harmoniously unobtrusive manner that it’s barely visible until you’re almost directly upon it.

Way to go Amangiri architects.

Seriously.  I’ve had chin hairs more prominent.

cactus flower

The dashes of ultra saturated colours you glimpse here and there in the desert never fail to enthrall me.

hats & bags

Like all Aman resorts, the rooms are low-key, tasteful and chic.

Here, my hat with the bag, hat & walking stick the room provides.


Stargazing bed, Amangiri Hotel, Utah

A star gazing bed on the roof of the only two-bedroom suite in the resort.

And you definitely want to be gazing skyward in the desert night.

Amangiri hotel, Utah

The complex is single-storied and designed so every room has both a beautiful bathroom with soaking tub, and a terrace with a fire pit facing out to the spectacular views.


Two of my favourite words


The spa does not disappoint. In fact, the technicians, despite their average age of, oh I’d say 19 (?!) were truly fantastic.

As were the yoga classes.


Cocktails were generous, despite being poured in Utah.


One cocktail and a 90 minute massage later, a spa-selfie is in order.

Do I really have to get dressed for dinner??

I dropped my phone on the concrete floor after this photo.

Relaxed much??

U.S. desert

The architecture, interior courtyards & walkways are full of interesting angles, shifts of light


and spare, desert appropriate landscaping.

There isn’t a superfluous detail


yet around every corner or slatted wall there’s something wonderful to discover


The jacuzzi “amphitheatre” where we watched a movie projected against the wall one night.


Peeking through the slats



If relaxing poolside with a book is not your thaing, there are plenty of opportunities to get all sporty, including some great hikes…

Utah desert

In the distance you see the cave we hiked to from the hotel.  (Peer pressure)


Slim Paley Instagram

My instagram shot from the cave interior

photography lesson

The Amangiri also offers a 3 hour complimentary photography lesson and hike.

Here, my silhouette shot of the instructor

rock formations, Utah

who imparted some really interesting tips about lighting and composition…

In addition to a plethora of geological information that I’d completely forgotten by the time we drove back to the hotel.

But these mountains and rocks are like really super ancient and form and deform in fascinating(ish) ways at a pace I can relate to.


On a more serious note, we also fell madly in love with how skinny we looked in our shadow selfies 🙂

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is just a short drive away, so one day we rented a boat and explored. I had NO idea of the vastness of the lake. It looked nothing like what I was expecting!

Lake Powell, Utah

Unfortunately, it clouded over a little that afternoon but the scenery was breathtaking nonetheless.

We docked the boat at one point and hiked to Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge, Utah

One the U.S.’s National Monuments, Rainbow Bridge is truly a site to experience.

Hiking Utah

A couple of the boys hiking back from Rainbow.


For the more adventurous in our group, there was also a rock-climbing excursion (pinions, clamps, helmets, the whole 9 yards)

The pay off was traversing this suspension bridge at the top.


Don’t strain your eyes looking for me in this photo.

I’m back at the spa. Looking for the piece of my phone.


Desert ‘Roses’

Amangiri hotel Utah

As night descends  on the Amangiri, a thousand lanterns light the labyrinth of paths and destinations where one can enjoy cocktails, dinner, or a movie under the stars.


and when it’s time to retire, simply hook the  braided horsehair “Privacy” rope across the entrance to your suite.

(Genius. SO stealing this. Not the actual rope, just the concept)

Slim Paley

We shall see you again beautiful  Southern Utah.



Until then, thanks for the wonderful memories.


 Amangiri is located in the south west corner of the State of Utah, in the area referred to as ” The Four Corners”

The closest airport is in Page, Arizona, about a 25 minute drive from the hotel which provides complimentary shuttle services there and back.

For more information and photos of Amangiri click HERE

Happy Travels and Happy Weekend!



*PS. I have no affiliation with, nor receive any compensation whatsoever from The Aman Resorts.


Even though I’m a really loyal client. And I never took that rope.



  1. Fabulous! Their resorts are the best and what a beautiful place to spend some time. (We’re off to Amangari in September….now I am thinking I should have gone “giri”!) Glad you enjoyed! xx

    • Happy Anniversary!!!! Wow, this is beautifull. I have to add Amangiri to my list of places to visit. Thank you for sharing!
      Colleen T.

  2. Another stunning post. Definitely going to make that a pit stop on the way to our cabin in the Rockies. Thanks for the beautiful inspiration.

  3. Oh Slim, I feel like I was there from your GORGEOUS photos! What an amazing place! We have never been to Utah but now I need to add that to the bucket list. CONGRATS on your anniversary!!!! We are coming up on 46!!!!!!!!!! HOW can I be that old????

  4. SO amazing! I’ve never really thought about getting away to the desert but your photos inspire me. Our 35th anniversary is coming up…

  5. This hotel reminds me of the hotel where Daniel Craig (Bond) finds the bad guys, Quantum of Solace. Very cool. Happy Anniversary (belated, but sincere).

  6. What an amazingly beautiful place! Kinda Southwestern Zen – could learn to love this for sure. You dropping the phone reminded me of a time I was at the Spa at La Costa, gosh 30++years ago – (I was but a babe…) The afternoon was spent getting massaged and buffed and when I walked out the door on rubber legs towards the spa pool, I fell down the steps. Humiliation – I thought I was being so cool… Congratulations on the 25 years! That’s a big accomplishment – I only made it to 22!

  7. Well, I absolutely abhor the high desert landscape and would never have thought to stay at the Armengiri, but you have made it come to life in a very appealing way. Happy 25th Anniversary, Slim! Way to go!

  8. First of all Happy Anniversay! That’s a great milestone! Next, love your photographs. Beautiful!. I will now have to look into that hotel. Looks like perfection. Did you teach yourself photography? These are some of your best, or maybe it’s just such beautiful scenery. Love the post.

  9. Spectacular place but do wonder about the water for pools, spas, etc. Isn’t a little contradictory to build something so terrain-friendly but then need all that water in the middle of the desert?

  10. What a spectacular place! Looks like a great spot to relax and recharge…
    The surrounding area is just gorgeous…makes me want to wear Navajo jewelry and hurraches sandals.
    Happy Anniversary Slim.

  11. “Aman Spa” HA! heeee! (that’s how I spell the sound of my laugh)

    Pomegranate, lime and vodka? Details please. Have you spread out on the tarmac at 4 corners? Important to do, but as impressive as the reality of Plymouth Rock. 😉 Cheers!

  12. It is official, your blog life is my dream life! What a fabulous place , thank you for sharing your photos, which are as gorgeous and informative as always.
    Of course, congratulations on 25 years of wedded bliss, a true achievement in present times.

  13. Oooh. On my dream list too! I LOVE the self-portrait in the spa. It reminds me of me after having a shirodara (that can’t be spelled right but it is where they dribble warm oil over your third eye) treatment at Udaivilas and I was a zombie for days! Days!!

    Thanks for letting us all dream a bit, Slim.

  14. We spent some time with one of the owner/architects of all the Aman properties and he explained the lengths they go to to make their hotels blend and not damage or compeat with the environment. Fascinating man. Wonderful hotels they all must be. We were invited to go to this one but sadly couldn’t. Will make a point to go now. Thank you for the inspiration.

  15. Oh Slim, I am truly Feeling that I have missed so much of the beauty right here in the states!!
    Reeling in awe of it all…should you ever need a travel companion..please let me know!
    By the way if you are not considering writing a book of your travels…I encourage you to!

    2013 Designer Series

  16. Happy Anniversary!
    Amazing place! Gorgeous photos (as usual.)
    (You had me with the chin hair. You’re so funny!)

  17. Goodness, such beautiful photos of a gorgeous landscape! If I start saving now, perhaps the husband & I can do our 25th there…in 9 years! 🙂

  18. Yowzers that was a feast for the eyes while enjoying my morning coffee! amazing photography.

    “Super.” that made me laugh:)

  19. Well, there’s a $400 million Powerball tonight and guess my first stop when I win. Jeepers, you really know where to spend those anniversaries. Can’t wait for the 50th! I;m sure there is an Aman resort somewhere in the moon….

  20. For a girl that lived so many years in the Southwestern US, and is now stuck in the NE, that is a PERFECT vacation spot! Those pictures are absolutely gorgeous and makes me miss AZ and UT very much! See you all there soon! 😉

    • We flew from California but it seems like you could get there by plane, train, automobile, or helicopter!

  21. nice zen,would love to sit on those hot desert rocks naked……………………..did you paint that lantern yet?……………..

  22. So delightful. The photos, the chin hair, the selfie, the horse hair rope…all of it. Seeing a notification of a new post in my email and clicking on it is like opening up a present. Every time. (And knowing you’ll want to keep it without even looking! 😉 )

  23. I am completely shocked at how much the level of Lake Powell has fallen since I was there 12 years ago. I heard that there was a “bathtub ring” around the edge, but your pictures are the most dramatic I’ve seen. The trip to Rainbow Bridge is just incredible, isn’t it. As well as a little jaunt up a slot canyon by boat. Our Chesapeake Bay is the same size as Lake Powell, which boggles one’s mind.

    • Shasta Lake has not been full in the last 10 years (or more) – and is so low that major extensions have been added to the boat docks to reach the water level. We need to have a regional rain dance day.

      And a dry dance day/week in the U.S. mid section right now.

  24. SLIM, Just catching up on your posts. Happy Anniversary! What an amazing spot. This is on my bucket list. I love the combo of luxury and nature. You can’t do any better than that. The spa selfie was a riot. Especially love your water bottle in the pocket! You crack me up!

    Love it!


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