Travel & Culture

Rock Star Stay

March 8, 2024

Celeb sightings? Maybe. But Utah’s Amangiri Resort offers the red-carpet (or is it red rock?) treatment to all its guests. —Noa Nichol


If you don’t see it at first, as your BMW 740 or X7 series guest transfer from the tiny airport in nearby Page, Arizona, winds through a desert landscape of canyons, mesas, ridges and gorges, you’re not alone. Amangiri Resort, a fave among A-listers like Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, Ariana Grande, Brad Pitt and Lady Gaga (who has reportedly danced in the kitchen), blends right into red-rock country. In fact, the modernist suites of Amangiri and the tented pavilions of adjacent Camp Sarika offer an inspiring welcome to one of the world’s most dramatic secluded settings. The suites, villas and tented pavilions are just a stone’s throw away from the stunning wilderness of Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park where, trust us, there’s much to explore.


Our stay centred around one of the most luxurious hotel rooms we’ve ever booked into. Spacious, with clean lines and natural materials, Amangiri’s suites reflect the luminous qualities of the surrounding desert—think white-stone floors, concrete walls, natural timbers. Each suite has an outdoor lounge and fireplace with expansive desert views; some even feature a private pool. In high-end hotel style, all stays include daily breakfast, lunch and dinner for two guests per room (alcoholic drinks excluded), in-room refreshments and non-alcoholic beverages, daily scheduled guided group hikes and wellness classes, and access to self-guided on-property hikes.


Speaking of hikes, there are many, close by, to choose from. Surrounded by the starkly beautiful scenery of canyon country, Amangiri is situated on 900 acres, making it a springboard for exploration and discovery. One solo trek, 45 minutes round-trip, led us to Broken Arrow Cave (the site of John Travolta’s 1996 Broken Arrow film), where remains from up to 8,000 years ago have been found, and guests, when guided by resort staff, can inspect ancient relics, sharpened rocks that were chiseled into weapons and a petroglyph representing a man. We also ventured off property with a Navajo guide, arranged through the resort, to tour several light-filled slot canyons: long, narrow channels with sheer sandstone walls. One of these, Upper Antelope Canyon, was photographed and featured as a Microsoft desktop wallpaper; another, Owl Canyon, is home to great horned owls (we were lucky to see one!).


Sure, you can do a Pilates class in a room with a ridiculous view or make use of the strength-training equipment in Amangiri’s fitness studio … or, you can sign up for Yoga on the Rocks: a short hike to the top of a rock formation for a one-of-a-kind experience high above the valley floor (magnificent anytime, but sublime at sunrise). After exercise, Aman Spa is a treat: a self-serve water pavilion boasts a steam room, sauna, plunge pool and heated step pool, while an extensive spa menu offers massages and beauty treatments using natural products.


When it comes to nourishment, you have two delicious options. Amangiri’s main restaurant presents sustainable, seasonal menus inspired by Native American cuisine and Utah’s southwestern culinary heritage. The four-course Spirit of the Journey tasting menu with matched wines, for one, pays gastronomic tribute to the five tribes of the region. Across the way, Camp Sarika Restaurant offers everything from classic campfire breakfasts to open-grill lunches to refined evening dining beside the fire and under the stars. This is where we had one of the most memorable meals of our lives, kindly converted to suit our vegetarian diet. Though the menu changes daily, take note: the key lime pie alone is good reason to put Amangiri in your travel plans.


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