If the thought of luxurious pampering amidst a tranquil landscape of towering sandstone buttes and mysterious caves sounds preferable to, say, travel that features crowded international airports and hectic itineraries, then the southern Utah desert paradise of Amangiri might be calling your name.
Situated on 900 pristine acres full of ochre-red rock formations, colorful wildflowers, and uncrowded hiking trails, the Amangiri Resort is big on deep breaths, luxurious dining, and relaxing massages. Of course — located as it is within easy reach of iconic sites like Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, Zion National Park, and Horseshoe Bend — Amangiri is also a great base for adventure.
Amangiri is less than a half-hour’s drive northwest of Page, the northern Arizona town known for its pastel backdrops and proximity to the fascinating culture and art of the Navajo Nation. With its fine dining and superb guest suites, Amangiri is a definite splurge, but the resort more than delivers on its promise of rest, relaxation, and recharge. For me, Amangiri’s splendid solitude offered a wonderful respite from the sometimes-frantic pace of international travel.
Here are seven features that make Amangiri perfect for a luxurious getaway.
Note that I was a guest of Amangiri, but all opinions are my own.
1. The Five-Star Ambience
Amangiri often makes it onto lists of the best luxury resorts in the world, and it’s easy to see why.
From the moment I arrived and was greeted with a cool towel and a carafe of fresh-squeezed, sage-and-mint lemonade until I checked out, after an intensely relaxing massage, I understood the resort’s five-star rating.
The resort prides itself on its stellar staff-to-guest ratio, and during my visit, all of the staff members were unerringly friendly and helpful. Anytime I appeared to be at a loss for where to go or what to do, a staff member was there to help. And as a nice bonus, they all greeted me by my name.
2. The Swimming Pool’s Rock, Water, And Sky
While the entire Amangiri Resort is considered a work of architectural art, the centerpiece of it all is the main outdoor swimming pool, which wraps around a natural rock escarpment and offers a lovely tableau of rock, water, and sky.
The pool is a part of the resort’s main area known as the “pavilion,” which features separate interior sections divided into a living room, dining room, library, and gallery. Because of the floor-to-ceiling windows that make up the walls on all sides, the indoor pavilion area offers great views of the swimming pool and the surrounding desert terrain. The pool is also bordered by an outdoor patio with tables, making for the perfect spot for a casual afternoon snack or morning brunch.
One of the features I especially loved was the 24-hour schedule for the main pool, which allowed for a dip under the starlit skies of Utah — touted to have the largest concentration of International Dark-Skies in the world.
3. Magnificent Desert Views From Suites
Amangiri was built to honor and celebrate southern Utah’s magical cliffs and rock formations, as well as the region’s ancient Navajo heritage. The design is obviously a contemporary interpretation of those features and both of Amangiri’s separate wings — the Mesa Wing and the Desert Wing — offer sweeping views of the surrounding terrain.
My suite was in the Mesa Wing, and I was able to watch as a summer monsoon storm rolled in over the buttes and across the wide-open desert terrain. When the sun came out later, the changing light on the desert made for a spectacular scene.
The suites were designed with angular minimalism against the rock and guests enter through rock archways said to be reminiscent of the region’s spectacular slot canyons. The interior of the suites is equally fabulous, with raised stone islands in the center that feature a bed, desk, and sofa, as well as sumptuous adjoining bathing and dressing areas.
4. Southwestern Cuisine At Its Finest
Taking inspiration from Native American ingredients, Amangiri features a breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu that offers a twist on fine southwestern cuisine. Breakfast and lunch ingredients include regional choices like prickly pear marmalade; elk and wild boar andouille sausage; a cast-iron pancake with macerated desert berries, snow sugar, and maple syrup; and black oak pizzas with toppings such as sun-dried tomato and elk andouille.
At dinnertime — along with its regular menu of specialties like miso salmon and tandoori masala native lamb — Amangiri offers Spirit of the Journey, a selection of four-course choices that blend old-world southwestern and Native American cuisines. Among the choices is the Navajo theme, which features native fried bread, juniper-braised bison, nopal cactus, and sun-dried tomato aioli; and the Paiute theme that offers sage-roasted Colorado River rainbow trout, wild rice pilaf, smoked trout caviar, and chili rojo.
Pro Tip: Camp Sarika
In addition to all-day offerings at Amangiri, the resort also offers dining at its Camp Sarika area, newly opened in 2020, which features classic campfire breakfasts, open-grill lunches, and refined evening dining beside the fire and under the stars.
5. Hiking To Spectacular Broken Arrow Cave
The large Broken Arrow Cave can be seen from a number of vantage points at Amangiri and I was happy to hear that a guided hike to the landmark was one of the resort’s featured activities.
To get to the cave, hikers traverse about a mile of rolling desert terrain. When I did the hike in mid-August, the trail was bordered with pretty sunflowers and other desert blooms. The cave itself is massive and our guide allowed my group to walk up the steep stairs to the cave’s interior, where Native American artifacts have been found and artist Ulrike Arnold regularly creates her art pieces.
Fun Fact: Broken Arrow Movie
Located alongside the cave is an old movie set from the filming of the 1996 John Travolta movie Broken Arrow. Our guide told us that the cave got its modern name, Broken Arrow Cave, from the movie.
6. Ultimate Relaxation In Amangiri Spa
Wellness is a main focus at Amangiri. The resort features the beautiful Aman Spa, which offers a range of massages, body polish and wraps, facial rituals, and clay body wraps.
The spa incorporates five separate pavilions that are designed for reflection, inside and out. The architecture is said to mirror the timeless nature of the surrounding terrain with tumbled rocks and natural and colored light.
Along with the relaxing aura of its massage rooms, the spa also includes a beautiful outdoor reflecting pool, a sauna and steam room, and a yoga area high on the surrounding rocks.
Pro Tip: Crystal Sound Bath
One of the treatments available at the Aman Spa is a crystal sound bath, a form of audio therapy that uses sound vibrations from Tibetan singing bowls and a tuning fork. I was not familiar with crystal sound baths beforehand but found the session to be wonderfully relaxing.
7. Perfect Base For Exploring Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, And Zion National Park
Guests can also fly into Page via Contour Airlines and rent a car in Page. Amangiri is less than a half-hour’s drive from Page and its beautiful Lake Powell reservoir, the slot canyons of Antelope Canyon, and helicopter tours of Tower Butte.
For supreme luxury, the resort offers the Ultimate Amangiri Experience, which includes airport transfers from Page along with a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon; three slot canyon tours, including Antelope Canyon; two 60-minute massages; and full board, excluding alcoholic beverages.
Guests should be aware of several factors that impact the time of day while visiting northern Arizona/southern Utah. Amangiri sits near the border of Utah and Arizona, and the resort operates on Arizona time, which means that it is on Mountain Standard Time (MT). But, like most of the rest of Arizona, it does not observe Daylight Saving Time. Guests should remember that their cell phones might remain on Utah time during Daylight Saving Time. Also, the nearby Navajo Nation does observe Daylight Saving Time, unlike the rest of Arizona.