Saturday, April 10, 2010

Amangiri Puts Page on the Map

Leave it to Aman Resorts to put a small town like Page, Arizona on the map. Seriously, unless you like house-boating with throngs of tourists on Lake Powell, there’s little chance you’d choose Page as your destination of choice. That is, until now, with the recent opening of Amangiri.

Just over the Utah border, 20 minutes from Page, Amangiri opened last fall as Aman’s second stateside venture. The secluded 34-suite resort sits on 600 acres of wilderness 4,000 feet above sea level in a canyon setting ideal for hiking, exploring and of course, in true Aman style, chilling out and spa-ing. Highlights of a recent stay included yoga classes in a glass-walled pavilion, Thai massage in an outdoor treatment cabana, and dining poolside—all with phenomenal views of the mesas and canyons that date back millions of years.

An open kitchen and residential-style lounge/living room lend themselves to lots of mingling among guests. Sounds silly, but it’s that kind of place regardless of whether you’re a Wall Street banker or a California yogi. The staff, many whom grew up in the area--including the nearby Navajo Reservation--add an air of authenticity not often found at remote resorts.

Each of the 34 suites feature a private courtyard with outdoor furnishings, a sleek, Zen-inspired bedroom/living room area with lots of natural light and views of the mesas and surrounding desert—best seen from the suite’s private patio appointed with its own fire pit. Sage green tiles line the suite-long bathroom/dressing area, and the twin rain showers plus soaking tub add to the overall design appeal. White stone floors and concrete walls compliment the natural landscape while colored cushions and cozy soft throws add a dash of warmth to the suites. Larger suites feature such added touches as private pools, outdoor day beds, larger dining areas and even outdoor sky lounges, ideal for stargazing.

During your stay, venture off property to enjoy a day trip to Bryce Canyon (two hours away), and/or the Grand Canyon and the funky town of Flagstaff. For sure, also stop by Horseshoe Bend as it’s one of the most scenic parts of the country —equivalent in level of striking beauty to the Hoover Dam. Guests have complimentary access to house BMWs (they’re available first come, first served on a reservation basis) so once you have your bearings, enjoy the scenery in style.

Based on a recent experience, we recommend flying into Page privately, so as to avoid the somewhat inconsistent turboprops operated by Great Lakes Aviation out of Denver and Phoenix. Other options are to fly into Phoenix or Vegas, and book a private transfer for the scenic four-hour drive in one of Amangiri’s luxury SUVs.

Book your stay at Amangiri through a Virtuoso agency like Elite Travel International and rates will include complimentary daily breakfast (the selection of teas and fresh-squeezed juices is outstanding, as is the morning buffet with bowls of fresh cut berries, housemade granola, smoked salmon, homemade pastries plus cooked to order eggs) plus a complimentary lunch for two and a priority upgrade upon availability.

For more information, email elitetravelgal@gmail.com or call 310.979.9036.

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