It’s hard to imagine a resort that blends in so seamlessly with its natural surroundings, but the sleek geometric planes and sweeping curves of Amangiri are an undeniable architectural masterpiece built from sandstone and delicately hued concrete at the heart of some of America’s most iconic scenery, from the Grand Canyon to Monument Valley.
You will arrive at the Pavilion, the heart of Amangiri, which serves as a reception, dining rooms, library and living space, furnished with wood-burning fireplaces and extended sofas – with huge picture windows, it’s the perfect place to watch a mesmeric desert sunset, enjoy some daytime relaxing or evening cocktails such as a Prickly Pear Margarita or Sage Mojito.
Facing, and spilling out onto the swimming pool area, is the restaurant, where you can enjoy a small but well-chosen list of authentic high-rustic seasonal dishes, and you can also sit at the chef's counter to watch the chefs work at the wood-burning oven.
The swimming pool itself is beautifully sunken into a courtyard, and winds around the natural contours of a rock escarpment – a fabulous place to swim or relax on one of the day beds. There is also a hot tub, which in winter makes a wonderfully relaxing place to enjoy the views and the star-lit skies.
Two accommodation wings lead out into the desert, and accommodations here are suitably stylish without being ostentatious. The 34 huge suites each have a private courtyard, bedroom and living area, and glass doors open onto a desert lounge with a central fireplace. Bathrooms feature twin rain showers and a soaking tub with uninterrupted views. Needless to say, technology is state-of-the-art. If you love sunset views, we would recommend opting for a Mesa View Suite; for a private pool, try one of the two Terrace Pool Suites. For complete unfettered pampering, the Girijaala Suite is quite fantastic with a huge sky lounge and private swimming pool. Every detail, from the woven horsehair keychain on the room key to the hanging, hammered brass lamps, feels harmonious, conveys a sense of the ancient into a modern setting.
One of the glories of Amangiri, the 25,000-square foot Native American-inspired spa at Amangiri is a huge complex of stone, water features and streams of light, with uninterrupted views of the mesas, and offers a wide range of treatments including colour therapy-enhanced floatation treatments and a watsu pool.
While here, venturing out to explore is a must, and an expert team of guides will take you out on hikes, bikes and even rock climbing in the desert, all with an emphasis on the fragile desert ecology and Native American customs. Amangiri can also organise day trips to the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Zion National Parks, with private sightseeing flights available for those who want to see this spellbinding scenery from the air. A stay at Amangiri is of course a huge extravagance, but it is also a true lifetime experience, and one that will linger for many years after you have stayed.