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“Trying too hard and not communicating enough” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Amangiri

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Amangiri
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Big Water
Certificate of Excellence
New York
Level Contributor
34 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 258 helpful votes
“Trying too hard and not communicating enough”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2013

The Aman brand is synonymous with luxury and service in Asia. I alas have never been to one if their Asian properties, only the Turks and Utah. There are some aspects of the brand that just don't translate to North America.

I would say the Amangiri suffers from two problems shared with the Amangani. First is the plain idiotic design of the bathrooms in an open plan. This assures no audio or visual privacy or insulation, leading to at best waking up your partner if you use the bathroom at night, and at worst embarrassment if things get a little noisy. That may be TMI, but it's a fact and it's aggravating. The "barn door" design of the toilet doors at Amangiri could not be louder or worse. Squeaking, banging and impossible to keep open, yet affording no privacy. Just horrible. Also, the vanity lights are some bizarre yellow bulb that cast the most unflattering pallor I've ever seen. It was World War Z for my wife to do makeup and not think she looked like a zombie.

That aside, the rooms are lovely and luxurious, and the small ethanol-fueled fire box on the narrow terrace on the desert was a nice touch, if not as sensuous as a wood fireplace... Of course wood has to be trucked in and is relatively dirty. The tiny plunge pool was pleasant, and we did spend one night trying to sleep on the rooftop bed made up under the stars, but the wind drove us back inside at 2 am.

The other fault of the two Amans was what I would call a combination of poor intra-staff communication, and too many people trying to do everything. We had major issues, as we had come out solely to hike the National Parks and they were closed. Of course, Aman has an insanely punitive cancellation policy, so we couldn't reschedule. I sent advance messages to plan alternative activities, but no one toon ownership, and little planning was done.

So, day one, our hot air ballooning was cancelled for wind, even though the morning dawned bright and totally still. We were informed the balloon provider decided to take the week off, so there was no chance of rescheduling. Then, our guide hadn't done his research on what would be oopen or closed, and we headed out for a full day hike. 40 minutes by car out he discovered he'd been given the wrong info and thought it was a half day. He insisted on driving back for our packed lunch, even though I urged him to just stop and pick up a couple of sandwiches. He ignored me, and thus we were an hour in the car before even leaving the property for the day. After a 40 minute walk to see some cliff drawings, he flagged down a ranger who was technically not even on duty, and volunteered our destination. The ranger told him that technically that canyon was closed, but no one would be working. So, our guide refused to go there, now that he had been informed it was closed, lest he somehow be discovered and punished. That blew up plans B and C so we would up driving another 2 hours for a mediocre hour slot canyon hike and stop for lunch at 230 and then the 90+ minute drive home. That was $1200 for almost five hours of driving, mostly over bumpy dirt roads, a chicken Caesar roll, and less than two hours of completely challenge-free hiking. The day was a total bust. Had he kept his mouth shut we might have had a great hike, but he had to blab. I spoke to some other guests who had gone to the exact canyon on their own and had a great day. Their hike was free, too. Our mistake for hiring an Aman guide, at insane prices, only to get completely hosed.

The next day, I gave up and sprung for a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. It was great. Later, I discovered the aman first marked up the tour about $1000 more than the company charges normally, and then added a $500 activity fee. So we had a $6000 90 minute helicopter ride. Awesome.

We spent the rest of our time hiking around the vast and fun paths on the property and adjacent. There was no need to have wasted the money on a guide... That was our mistake as we'd known to hike Bryce and Zion with a guide is much better. When Obama care ditched that plan, we should have just gone on our own recognizance.

The food at the Amangiri is taken very seriously. And it is good, but far from great. Every single dish was vastly over salted at three dinners. We both live for salt. I kid my wife if she'd like some fries with her salt at home. The open kitchen at the a man is cool and the dishes imaginative, but someone needs to control the sodium a bit. Clearly, no one is tasting things before they go out. The curried spinach side was so salty it burned my tongue and was inedible. We didn't complain, because we'd had enough issues with the busted activities we didn't want to keep being difficult. And as an aside on service, bizarrely at the pool, twice we had to get up and go inside to order drinks because no one even peeked out for twenty minutes or more.


Scheduling spa services was hard. We were told that they only had two massage therapists on duty all day. So we adapted our schedule to theirs. Both massages we got were great though.


The Aman is in an incredible setting and there is no need to go off property to get in a challenging hike. I would make it a destination, not a base, were we to return, and stay closer to the parks to hike them. A The service is a bit disjointed if incredibly pleasant and well meaning. The activities organization is still evolving, as amanagement clearly did not anticipate the property being seen as a base for touring the area every day. They did not do a good job of scrambling to adjust for the parks closure, and we spent almost $10k to make up for it. That's insane, and I'm almost embarrassed to admit it.

If you go,book your spa and activities well in advance. Don't eat gassy food, and bring earplugs if your partner gets up at night to use the bathroom. Make sure to ask the kitchen to moderate their salting.

I still loved the place despite some shortcomings, and forgive most of them as the government's fault. But a luxury resort has to step up it's game when things out if their control go sideways. The Aman wasn't quite up to the task.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank MikeONYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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505 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (129)
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English first
Chicago
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 11, 2013

I stumbled upon Amangiri after browsing the Aman website to inquire about the Turks and Caicos location. I was intrigued that there was a prestigious Aman resort (there are I think two) right here in the U.S. so we decided to book it. Unfortunately a lot of the national parks were closed due to the government shut down (thanks a lot). But there was still plenty to do even with the closures.

Like the website says, Amangiri picks you up free of charge from the Page, AZ airport. Shortly after booking, the hotel sent an email inquiring about our flight info. The hotel is a 20 min. stunning drive from the airport. Once we arrived at the hotel, we were given a brief tour of the grounds. The host told us that you would never know the hotel was sold out except for at the restaurant at dinner because you never see anybody during the day, and we found this to be true. We had a Meza view suite and the views from the patio and bathtub were amazing. The room was very clean, and even though it was more modern than cozy, the bed was so fluffy and comfy and after a long day of hikes and tours you do not want to leave it. My ONLY complaint of the hotel was that on two different nights we had bugs in our room. The first day we had a fairly large beetle in the bathroom, and the third night we had three large similar type bugs. When we called on the third night to have someone come and spray the room, the gentleman who answered the phone somewhat rudely said "we are in the middle of the desert". He clearly did not know my fear of bugs and spiders, but I would have thought when you are spending $$$$ a night that they would at least pretend to be a little sympathetic. However, he did send the engineer promptly to spray our room. The engineer said that it is not very common to see bugs, but it does happen. If you go, I *highly* recommend keeping your doors completely closed at all times so no bugs can crawl in... just in case. The rest of the staff was very attentive and friendly. If a staff member did not know you they introduced themselves and then called you by name every time after making you feel welcome.

As far as the location and hotel grounds, there is nothing like this around. Everywhere you look there is a breathtaking view. I think I took over 400 pictures in total, but pictures do not do this place justice. There are several different hikes on property ranging from .75 miles to 4 miles for those who have little experience. They also free offer daily group hikes at 8am and 5pm. On the 5pm hikes you can catch beautiful views of the sunset from the top of a meza and the 8am goes to an ancient cave where they filmed the 80s movie Broken Arrow. The only hikes that require a guide are the ones that involve lots of climbing and the use of harnesses. Whether we hiked alone or in group, we never saw anybody else on any of the trails. It is very secluded. They do offer off site private activities, but they are all very expensive. We did a private tour to the slot canyons where they have their own private areas of the canyons so there is no crowding. We saw many tour buses filled with people passing us and it was nice to have just us and the guide.

My biggest surprise was how good the food was after reading all the negative reviews. I think the best advice I could give to the hotel would be to change your menus daily. Even if that means splitting the current menu in two to give the illusion of change and something to be excited for, I think the guests would appreciate a change. When you travel to a remote place you rely on the hotel restaurant and it's disappointing to see the same menu night after night. However, with that said everything we tried was fantastic. And even though the menu did not change, they still offered a bit of variety. It is wise to make reservations to specify what table you would like such as outside on the pool patio, by the fireplace, etc. One day we borrowed the 6 series BMW (which was awesome!- they let you use in 4 hour increments) and drove to Page, AZ to see the horseshoe bend and found a pizzeria and a few other small restaurants and hotels that guests could visit if they want something different and/or cheap.

The pool is warm during the colder months and cold during the summer. It was at 86 degrees when we stayed in October. I could have just spent every day at the pool, but there is too much to do. But it was nice to just sit near the pool and have morning tea and cappuccinos. The spa is beautiful and they have some creative (but expensive) treatments. Even if you don't book a treatment you can still use the amenities (sauna, steam room, step pool, etc.) which are all very private and only one time did we run into another guest while using them.

I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone thinking about going. Overall, it seems like a lot to pay for just the hotel, but when you are there you see why. It is not very well known so it feels very private, and will make you feel like you traveled thousands of miles to an exotic place, instead of Utah.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jill T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level Contributor
37 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013

The setting is dramatic and the facilities are truly beautiful...However, the service was disappointing from start to finish. The hotel staff forgot to mention that they offered airport transfers -- which would have been really nice to know about since the place is very remote and we had a real hassle arranging our transp.... When we arrived, it was chilly (unseasonably cold and rainy) and they gave us cold towels and iced drinks as a welcome. (While a nice gesture, it was truly thoughtless...)
Our inexperienced hotel greeter then pointed out the amenities in our room (pointing out stationary for writing letters???!!) and gave us a very inaccurate overview of the property (didnt know the architect or any history...#lame). The person also mentioned that the hotel discreetly records guest preferences (a standard at most good hotels...) and I ate multiple meals and had many of the same serves at the restaurant and not once did anyone recall any of my preferences. It's a small thing, but it makes a visit memorable and makes a guest feel welcome. Speaking of the food, it was overly fussy and not at all extraordinary...(fortunately, you can modify and order whatever you want.)
The spa, while stunning, had mediocre service providers. The sensory depravation/floatation tank didn't work and the therapist was no where to be found. I had to walk outside in my skivvies to find some help. It was a disaster experience. The tours/hikes are ridiculously priced and not all that great. We hiked on our own.
Upon our departure, the hotel packed our car (nice touch) except they lost our hiking shoes...And since we were going to Moab and to another park post visit, it posed a real problem.
We chose this hotel based on brand and reputation. We assumed (incorrectly) that a property at this price point and pedigree would truly blow us away... Instead, we were truly underwhelmed. We had a really disappointing experience and it was all service based. I am sure that with some care and training, that can be fixed. I just wont be back to find out -- I will however check back and read updates.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
13 Thank GETAGRIPNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
113 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 6, 2013 via mobile

Some of the most discerning travellers, and a good percentage at that, are from California, Nevada and surrounding areas.
So it makes sense to have a camp of folks ready to serve. And that they do, Amangiri does have a small sustainable village for staff near the compound ousting staff. I can understand how some travellers express disappointment when it comes to service. Other locations around the world, service is clairvoyant. Not intrusive but immediately there when you need it. The Chinese do a good job of this. So do the south Western Asia and India. However, I did not encounter any service issues during my stay. To amans credit not only do staff get to spend time at a sister property, but also, some elite staff come to Aman to train.
I agree though it has to be a way of life, not forced.

Lunch was fantastic, pool amazing, rooms very private, and the BMW x5 ride pick up from a neighbouring state was a nice touch. Although admittedly a fam trip, Aman shone through.

Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank SonicSpringBok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2013

The View's and the Architecture are the best I have experienced. We found the hotel lacking in general management. The room was not clean, dirt and trash under the built in furniture you can see while laying in bed. The pool area was not picked up or cleaned after guest left around 6pm. Many people were still enjoying the pool and there was not a clean towel or lounge to be found. We enjoyed the staff, they were helpful and very kind. The food was uneven, my husbands dish was fresh and simple, but my fish was frozen and flavorless. Hotel Manger does not seem to have and eye for details.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank ElVerano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lausanne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
30 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 3, 2013

The Amangiri is an amazing hotel ; the architecture is stunning, the location makes it a one of a kind hotel. Rooms are beautiful, very large, the outdoor area opening directly on the, almost endless, stunning landscape is breath taking. Bathrooms are just awesome, double showers, bathtub, a lot of space for your personal belongings and very large closets. Complimentary minibar. The pool is a must see. We went to the spa, didn't have treatments, but enjoyed the steamroom and sauna (both just beautiful), there's a small pool to relax by, very quiet and relaxing. This is a place where you can really forget everything and unwind. The overall feel is very zen like. We took a pilates class, hikes, did a via ferrata, a boat tour, paddle boarding, their teachers and guides are knowledgable, attentive and very professional. There are many great activities you can do.The muted tones of the whole complex, reminiscent of the colors you see in the surroundings, the gorgeous interior decoration...really if you can splurge, it's worth the experience !!
The only downsides : everyone was friendly and helpful, yet the staff is sometimes a bit "green" and not up to a five star hotel level. The food is mostly a disappointment, just average, again not what you'd expect in a five star hotel and you really have no other choice but the hotel's restaurant around (breakfast is fine). We spoke to the assistant manager about it and he said it's difficult to find the right people to work all the way out there !! I can only imagine and I give it a five star rating in spite of those 2 weak points, which they are very aware of and working to improve.

Room Tip: I don't think there are bad rooms there ! The desert suites are quiet, they are huge, we liked s...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank cgailloud
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Framingham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
200 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2013

This was one of the many hotels we stayed in while crossing the country ( twice). It's outstanding by many means, but also because it's so hard to find: we drove by the small sign twice and no GPS could help us. The greetings, offers of water and cold towels, check in and luggage handling were all above and beyond. The location, the desert, the view were all absolutely superb. The room was very specious with patio and tremendous bathroom and a complimentary minibar was a nice touch. Bed was heavenly, but bedside lams were impossible to use and lighting everywhere was insufficient (no such a thing as reading in the bathroom)! And to walk to the dining room you'll need a flashlight. The dining room is very dark as well, no tablecloths even for dinner and food was absolutely the lowest point of the stay ( like a very soggy French toast staffed with equally soggy strawberry)! The service was absolutely amazing everywhere, personable, friendly and very helpful.
The room, I wanted to say 'the bunker" was colors of desert and very comfortable, but not a cozy place.

Room Tip: I guess all the rooms have spectacular desert views
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nadrod
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 84741-0285
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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