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.
Arriving by air you catch an amazing view of a turquoise Lake Powell and the striated cliffs of the surrounding canyons.
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.
(photo via Amangiri)
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.
The dashes of ultra saturated colours you glimpse here and there in the desert never fail to enthrall me.
Like all Aman resorts, the rooms are low-key, tasteful and chic.
Here, my hat with the bag, hat & walking stick the room provides.
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.
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.
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…
In the distance you see the cave we hiked to from the hotel. (Peer pressure)
My instagram shot from the cave interior
The Amangiri also offers a 3 hour complimentary photography lesson and hike.
Here, my silhouette shot of the instructor
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 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!
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
One the U.S.’s National Monuments, Rainbow Bridge is truly a site to experience.
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.
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)
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.