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“Magical, and I rarely say that.”
Review of Amangiri

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Amangiri
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Big Water
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Magical, and I rarely say that.”
Reviewed October 3, 2011

The photos on the website don't begin to do justice to this extraordinary hotel. A lovely resort in an unmatched location, with flawless service. I had some anxiety that the "Aman" concept would not transfer well to the US and I was so happy to find that it does, beautifully. Most of the staff grew up in the desert and their perspective and experience significantly enhanced our stay.
Plus, where else can you spend the night under the stars on a bed made up with 800 thread count sheets and down pillows? We loved every minute.
Last comment: we were there in July and found the resort quite full of families with children. The kids were all very well behaved and not in any way obtrusive (and we have kids and love kids), but I don't think this is really a place for children. They all looked kind of wistful and a bit bored... The magic of this place is more adult.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SevenContinents07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2011

For me, the appeal of the Amangiri was the promise of an environmentally conscious luxury resort in an area that was so far off the beaten path as to be previously limited to back packers, hikers, and other hardy and self sufficient types. Although I long for desert landscapes, I also like resort amenities, and although pricey, the resort seemed like a lovely place to splurge for a getaway with my husband.
While we we generally pleased with our experience, there were a few things that make me hesitate to return.
First the positives:
The setting along the border of Utah and Arizona is absolutely incredible-remote and windswept, the spectacular sunrises, sunsets, and stargazing opportunities are unsurpassed. The resort architecture is stunning, comfortable, and thought provoking. Our mesa view room was wonderful and plush with a minimalist aesthetic. Although we stayed when the hotel was almost fully booked, we had a sense that we had the place to ourselves. There are daily lists of activities, both free and for a fee and the concierge is very helpful helping decide and arrange what to do. We enjoyed a mix of free activities (group hikes and yoga and day trip car rental) and extra fee activities (slot canyon tour, horsebackriding, houseboat dinner.)We were totally bowled over by the unique activities and splendid sights.
Next the not so good:
There is only one dining option, the hotel restaurant. The food was fine but the prices were high and the meal options became tiresome after only a couple of days.
The staff, while very friendly (maybe overly, self-consciously so), didn't seem up to the trained level of a high end resort.
We felt somewhat nickel and dimed to death at the end of our stay. The charges incurred while at the resort equalled, or maybe surpassed the price of lodging there.
My biggest beef was the lack of information about how the resort came to be. I was curious about how this new resort came to acquire hundreds of acres and water rights and exclusive ownership of a native american archeological site. This part of the state is surrounded by Native American reservations, cattle ranches, and Bureau of Land Management areas. Although I asked several people at the resort about the history, I never received a substantive answer, and stopped asking after a while. It made me feel like, by staying there, I was somehow complicit in some kind of land or people exploitation. I'm sure this isn't the case, but without answers to my questions, my imagination ran wild.

Room Tip: Our Mesa View room was wonderful with a great view and lovely little patio and courtyard.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank slgslc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Menlo Park, CA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2011

Recently spent 5 days/4 nights at Amangiri, and had the following thoughts:


OVERALL - While we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Amangiri, I found myself unable to give it a 5-star rating. I do think it's absolutely worth going once, just for the beauty of it, as long as you know that the service will be good but not great. I've tried to include lots of detail below to give a feel for what it's like.

BOOKING A ROOM - We used our Visa Signature Card to book the room (through the Visa Signature web site), which provided the following perks: automatic upgrade (if available), $25 food/beverage credit, complimentary continental breakfast each morning, and 3PM check out (if available). The room rate is the same, regardless of whether you use the Visa Signature offer or just book directly through the hotel. Upon arrival (and without us even asking), we were upgraded to a Mesa View Suite (from our original booked Desert View Suite) - the Mesa View Suite is $50 more per night, so over our 4 nights, this was worth $200. We were wondering how the complimentary continental breakfast would work out, since there isn't really such a thing on the hotel menu...we were pleasantly surprised to find that Amangiri dealt with this by just not charging us for breakfasts, regardless of the fact that we usually ordered normal breakfast entrees. This probably tallied to about $50 per day (for two people), so add another $200 in benefits. And as mentioned before, there's a $25 food/beverage credit which was automatically applied to our bill. All-in-all, the value of using the Visa Signature Card was probably at least $425...

GETTING THERE - We flew into Page, Arizona (connecting from Phoenix)...If you don't like small planes, you should definitely drive from Phoenix or Las Vegas (about a 4-4.5 hour drive from either of those cities). The plane is very small (no flight attendant and no restroom), and the ride was pretty bumpy. In addition, connecting in Phoenix (from USAir to Great Lakes Airlines) entailed taking a bus from one terminal to another, and then going through security again. When you add up all of the hours spent shuffling through the airport, there probably isn't THAT much of a difference between flying and driving.

ARRIVAL - We were met at the airport by a driver in a shiny new BMW X5 (transportation to and from the Page airport is complimentary). Joseph was an extremely smooth driver, and got us to the resort in about 20-30 minutes. We were met in the driveway by a phalanx of staff and whisked to the lobby, where we were greeted with lemonades and cool towels.

RESORT DESIGN - Amangiri is the most beautiful resort that I've ever seen. The hotel sits on 670 acres, and its design blends in seamlessly with the surrounding environment of mesas and desert. The end of each of the pavilions on either side of the main building features an opening that perfectly frames the view - it's so spectacular that it looks fake.

ROOMS - The rooms are spacious and elegantly designed. Both the bedroom and the bathroom are designed to flow toward huge windows that overlook the surrounding landscape (in our case, the mesa). As others have noted, the design of the bathroom can be disconcerting, in that the only part of the bathroom that has a door is the toilet itself. Within the bathroom, the shower/bath is not screened from the sink/vanity area, nor is there a door to close off the bathroom from the bedroom, so be sure that your travel companion is someone with whom you are extremely comfortable!

SERVICE - As mentioned in a number of other reviews, the service doesn't quite live up to the Aman hype. The staff is incredibly friendly, and once you ask them for anything, they will very quickly and efficiently get it for you. But there isn't the level of proactivity that one would hope for at this price point. The staff is attentive, but not omnipresent - so there are times when you're in the restaurant and will have to look around to get their attention for more water, or at the pool and will need to flag down someone to order food or to help set up an umbrella. Perhaps I'm jaded, but when I go to the ultra high-end resorts, I'm actively looking for how they're going to impress me with their service. Amangiri service is perfectly fine, but doesn't knock your socks off. One thing that they do very well is memorize who you are - you never need to sign for anything, whether it's in the restaurant, at the spa, at the pool, or in the gift shop. They know who you are, and just add it to the bill, which is only presented at check out (unless you ask to see it before). This definitely helps relieve the stress of traveling...at least until you have to face the music at check out.

POOL - If you've seen the pictures, you know that one of the signature design elements is that the pool actually works its way around an enormous rock. It's beautiful and serene. The daybeds are enormous and extremely comfortable. Part of the zen scene is that there isn't any music playing at the pool, so all you hear is a gentle waterfall. The other guests all seem to respect the fact that everyone is there for a peaceful experience, and keep conversations at a quiet level. If you're looking for a hopping Vegas-like pool scene, this isn't it, but for us, it was a fantastic way to relax and de-stress.

FIT AND FINISH - The color palette utilized throughout the resort (off-white is a dominant theme) helps things blend into the surrounding environment, but it also leads to couches and pillows that seem to attract stains. The covers for the menus in the restaurant were frayed. These things don't materially detract from your stay, but neither do they seem befitting of the price point.

MOST AWESOME PERK EVER - Amangiri has a relationship with BMW that provides a spectacular perk that isn't advertised or promoted anywhere on their web site or in their brochures - they have a brand new 7 series sedan and 6 series convertible that are available to guests for a complimentary "test drive" (they ask that you only use it for a few hours, and not for an entire day). I saw this on another forum, and asked about it when I made the booking. You can't reserve the car before arriving at the resort, but can do so while you're checking in. As a result, we booked the car when we got there, and took the shiny convertible out to Lake Powell for an afternoon a couple of days later. Sweet!

ACTIVITIES: Complimentary guided introductory hikes (about 1-1.5 hours long) on the Amangiri property are offered twice a day (at 8AM and 5PM). These were really fantastic, and the guides provided great insights on the geology and local flora/fauna. Bring hiking shoes if you have them, because while the hikes aren't difficult, you are often walking on rock as opposed to a defined trail. Complimentary yoga classes are offered twice a day (at 8AM and 4:30PM) - actually, it's yoga in the morning and yoga/pilates in the afternoon. My wife, who is a relatively advanced yoga practitioner, was pleased with the classes. The only real complaint is that the hikes and yoga overlap, which means that you have to choose.

FOOD - There is only one restaurant at the resort. I found the food to be hit or miss. Breakfasts were uniformly exceptional (get the French Toast!). Lunch was also generally quite good (definitely have the BLT and try pizzas from the wood-fired oven). My dinners varied between okay and very good. My wife, who is a vegetarian, was quite pleased with the efforts that the staff made - they planned additional entrees for her, and even put together something on the spot based on ingredients that she identified. Prices are reasonable if you are used to living in a big city - lunch entrees were $15-20, and dinner entrees ranged from $20-45.

SPA - The spa features a full slate of available services, and there is complimentary use of the hot tub, sauna, steam room and cold plunge. I had a 1-hour massage, which was very good. I also tried the flotation therapy, which was VERY cool. Located in a darkened room, the flotation therapy pool has very high saline content so you just float without trying. It's probably as close as you can get to a weightless experience outside of NASA. The idea is to reach a state of utter relaxation (you don't have to support yourself with a single muscle). Mission accomplished! One quibble about the spa - there are changing rooms, but no lockers in which to put your clothing...so most folks just put on a robe and slippers in their own rooms and walk to the spa that way. If this is part of the Aman ethos, I wish someone had explained it to me - instead, it just felt a little inconvenient.

FITNESS ROOM - Use of the fitness room is complimentary. The fitness room is VERY nice - it was larger than most hotel gyms I've encountered, which is particularly noteworthy considering that there are only 34 rooms in the entire resort. The cardio room had 7 or 8 very new cardio machines (bikes, ellipticals, and steppers), each with a built-in TV, along with foam rollers, fitness balls, a couple of interesting stretching machines, and an ab bench. The separate weight room had a couple of multi-positional benches, a rack of dumbells up to 50 pounds (in 2.5 pound increments), and a variety of weight machines (chest press, pull-downs, multi-purpose pulley machine, seated row, leg extension and leg curl). Bottles of water, towels, and headphones are freely offered, but there is no attendant at the gym, nor is there refrigerated water.

LENGTH OF STAY - We wavered between booking 4 days/3 nights or 5 days/4 nights, and decided on the longer stay. In retrospect, unless you are planning on making long trips to the Grand Canyon or other surrounding national parks, 4 days/3 nights is enough time to take advantage of the resort.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank highhandicapper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2011

This resort is absolutely beautiful, and the service is impeccable and discreet. The sometimes stark architecture blends in perfectly with the surroundings and creates a very peaceful atmosphere. We travelled for several months this year and this place definitely stands out as the best by far. We were there with three small children for a week and were made to feel very welcome. There were several other families with children and the resort manager told us that since they are having more families than expected they are thinking about connecting some of the suites to accommodate families better. They also have created a children's menu. The food was excellent. There are some beautiful hikes around the property and various activities can be organized through the resort (horseback riding etc.)

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MAG084
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
32 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed August 29, 2011

This Aman resort is certainly an architectural success, enabling guests to either relax in amazing environment or hike the surrounding mountains. We found the service friendly but lacking the smooth professionalism and competency of the usual 5 star Aman standard - our dinners often resembled a Fawlty Towers sketch with confused orders and missed items. The restaurant menu was good solid fare , rather than spectacular taste or imagination and I would become very bored after more than a few days.
All in all, good but not great, given the high price of the Aman when compared to other 5 star hotels.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank NickBB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenwich, CT
Level Contributor
32 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2011

My mom and I stayed in the hotel in August 2011. This was my second Aman property, first being Amanyara this april (you can see my review of that).

We were picked up from Scottsdale by Amangiri staff for about 4.5-5 drive to the hotel. Drive was pretty scenic, so could be a good alternative to flying into Page, AZ. The cost is 750 in X5. They also pick people up from Vegas (4 hour drive) and other locations.

The hotel is in the middle on nowhere. They own 600 acres and the area is very pretty. They are located 4000 feet up in case you have problem with altitude.

We stayed in mesa view suite, room 18, the closest to the restaurant/pool. Even though it was close to the pool we didn't hear anything coming from that area when we were inside the room. So they have good sound proofing. The room was pretty large with a nice balcony overlooking mesa. There is an ethanol fireplace that you can use outside, but it smelled a little while burning so we didn't use.

The bed in the room was super comfy. Loved sleeping there for sure. AC is not as powerful as I thought it could be. Also on/off clicking of AC is super loud. I loved all the toiletries, they are all natural. I have chemical sensitivity so it was nice to use products that didn't give me a headache.

The food was delicious. They have a set menu for lunch/dinner with some dinner specials every night. There are some local dishes, such as utah lamb, very yammi. The portions I found to be on a small side, so you need to order plenty.

I have a few dietary restrictions and they were pretty responsive to those with couple of mistakes. Once I wanted to order gluten free pasta and another guest just ordered it before, so they ran out. Another time I asked for gluten free bread but they also ran out. I think they should have more specialized items so that doesn't happen. They only have 34 rooms, so not that many people! Also, for breakfast they were able to give me roasted salmon with veggies and some rice, so that was good. Though, I asked for brown rice but was given white rice two days in a row even though i said if you have white rice don't give it to me as I can't eat it. So, a little miscommunication with food.

All water/juices and snacks in the mini bar is complimentary, which is a plus as you need to drink lots. Snacks included pretzels, cheese sticks, chocolate chip cookies, potato chips.

TV doesn't have moving ordering system. Also, pretty limited channels. They do have DVD hooked up and you can take some DVDs from the library.

Housekeeping was very thorough AM and PM. During turn down service each night they would leave you a small gift on the bed. It was so much better than getting a chocolate. We got: dream catcher, sage and some jewelry made by Navajo women. Loved it all!

Mom and I went to a spa once. We both had great treatments, thai massage and regular massage. There is also a fitness center to use.

We didn't get to sit by the pool as it was too hot. But there are about 10 beds where you can lay down. Pool is very pretty especially during evening hours.

There are tons of activities you can do while at the hotel. They can email you their brochure beforehand for scheduling. Mom and i did land/air tour of Bryce Canyon. We left from Page airport, flew over Zion and then landed in Bryce. There we were picked up by local guide and driven around the park, so it's basically individually tailored to suit your needs.

There are other activities such as horseback riding on the property, hiking, hot air baloon, lake powell boating, etc

The hotel also has a very nice store with local products, paintings, jewelry, etc. I bought myself a bracelet and a huge vase made by a local artisan which the hotel shipped to my house.

I also want to mention one point. The hotel adds 10% service charge to activities/services so you don't need to tip as it's already included. However, I felt very uncomfortable with some workers clearly expecting extra tipping. So, maybe they should increase service charge and state no tipping is expected. You don't get a bill for anything you do while staying on the property so they should do something similar with this.

They are building 28 villas on the property with the first one almost finished. They are for sale and probably soon will be in the rental pool. They are all 4 bedroom villas with kitchens, pool, pretty private.

Overall, I really enjoyed my stay. it is a very unique place and there is so much to do in the area. I saw this winter they will have special where room rates will include all food. Might good to go though it's kinda cold there in the winter.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank panthere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaumont, Texas
Level Contributor
28 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2011

amazing. This was my first visit to an Aman property. I came by myself in July 2011. It was like visiting a wealthy, pleasantly eccentric relative. The service was great although it's clear that they may have some difficulty attracting a full cadre of staff to work in such a remote location

I highly recommend the hotel to people looking for a mix of high and low in terms of being able to go out and hike, rough it and be in the heat while also being able to have lavish accommodations. While at the hotel, I rock-climbed in 110+ degree heat but also went to a world-class wine dinner and stayed in a minimalistic architectural wonder. The service was unobtrusive and effective. The approachability of the staff made it feel like I was staying with family despite the elegance of the place. Also, Aman hotels appear to situate themselves strategically, so the property is in striking distance of numerous natural wonders, including Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, monument valley and Zion National Park. I look forward to visiting other Aman properties.

The spa was unlike any I've visited in its layout and coed areas. Tasteful, understated and private yet in the open air.

One warning is about departure. Even though they pick up and drop off in a BMW, there is still some confusion about the time change. The hotel is across the time zone line from Page airport where many guests arrive. I accidentally left an hour early, even though being warned and joking about it with the staff, because the time on your cell phone and in the hotel may differ because they are trying to account for this. Just be careful and you’ll avoid this error.

Room Tip: be careful of the time change between page airport and the hotel.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SKS1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Amangiri

Property: Amangiri
Address: 1 Kayenta Road, Canyon Point, Big Water, UT 84741
Location: United States > Utah > Big Water
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Big Water
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Amangiri (peaceful mountain) is located on 600 acres in Canyon Point, Southern Utah. The resort is tucked into a protected valley with sweeping views towards the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Built around a central swimming pool with spectacular views, the resort blends into its dramatic surrounds of deep canyons and towering plateaus. Amangiri's Aman Spa features a floatation therapy pavilion, a water pavilion with sauna, steam room, cold plunge pool and step pool, a fitness centre and a yoga pavilion. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Amangiri Hotel Big Water
Amangiri Utah/Big Water

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