Amangiri and Me – MT (pt 2)

Amangiri entrance

In part 1 we established the fact that:
1. Everyone should go to Amangiri
2. I didn’t have many childhood holidays
3. I don’t have a nostalgic association of what a holiday should be
4. My dad drove trucks and has a plane

I did work on a summer camp – Camp Birch Hill in New Durham, New Hampshire when I was 19. That experience has given me a slight insight into what an Americas thinks a summer break or holiday should feel like. It felt like summer. It was an amazing time as an employee. My guess is that it was better as a camper but I will never really be sure. The staff had the summer of their lives.

Amangiri entrance
Amangiri entrance

We are self-funded travellers. If we stay for free, those free nights are earned through loyalty or promotions. Sometimes I can get a discount because I am a luxury travel agent, but we don’t always take the discount. If there is an amazing promotion on and paying retail gets us better inclusions we will go with that. Where it is worthwhile we will use points to help pay, we only use Hyatt loyalty at the moment. Occasionally I will be able to go to the same destination at TW when he has a work trip. I will pay for my tickets and his work pays for his hotel, which I will then stay in as well. Those we don’t really consider holidays though, for actual holidays, we usually pay.

I might have some concept of what people think of when they picture the ideal vacation. We tend not to compare our holidays. Each trip is it’s own adventure. Either we like it or we don’t, we would go back or we wouldn’t. We are often asked, “what is your favourite?”. Every trip is unique and if you are wanting to know for your own planning, that is difficult to answer. It depends on why you are going and what you want to do. What food you like, will you stay where we stayed or just go to the country/city you are asking about?

Back to Amangiri

We have been to Disneyland with friends and family and down to Mexico already. As a gift to us, my then boss gave me a prize he won and confirmed that I could use it. It was amazing. Banyan Tree Mayakoba. Off the back of probably the best hotel room we had ever been to together (I stayed at some killer awesome ones on an agent trip but I was alone), we arrive at Amangiri.

Now to get to Amangiri you need to fly to Page, Arizona where they will collect you for free from the airport. We chose this method after weighing up the cost of the flights it made more sense than anything else. The next closest airports are Las Vegas and Phoenix. Coming from Mexico we flew into Phoenix. We could have hired a car to drive up. Our priority was to maximise our stay at the property. You can helicopter in, or even fly your private plane. They will arrange what you need as far as collection and transfers.

Our arrival really started back in Phoenix. This cute little plane and amazing scenery to fly over. When we landed we had someone to greet us. There was another couple on the flight and then two solo traveling men, business men I think but I can’t be sure. It looked like someone they knew had been waiting for them at the airport and just walked in when we landed. Walked over to them and ushered them outside to wait in the comfort of their waiting limo. Wow, fancy! I thought and possibly said to TW, these must have been some very important people.

I had plane snacks and wanted to share them around on the flight but TW said that was a stupid Idea. Stop being nice to strangers. So many good snacks. The flight was short and the plan was small. I thought because the plane was so small – 6 people on it, 8 seats total – that it was more of a reason to share. Not allowed to share. After that, I felt the need to sneak the snacks. So I decided to delicately, slowly and as quietly as possible open the snacks. This, of course, meant opening the packet was noisy beyond belief. Somehow opening a packet of chips generated more noise than the rumble of the jet engines just outside. Only me. This could only happen to me.

We did not have to cross paths with anyone. We didn’t wait for luggage or gather in a group of other travelers heading to the same hotel. There were no shuttle buses here. You arrived and either had a car booked, someone meet you or walked. No waiting nor wondering. Come prepared or be stuck.

We were found. Are you Mr. and Ms. T?
Yes.
Great, I am (insert name that I forget) and we have it from here. Water, snacks, air con, hot towel, cold towel, everything you could things of and more than you need is here – ready and waiting.

On board our flight from Phoenix to Page to Amangiri

VIP’s at Amangiri

The couple on the flight, the ones who TW wouldn’t let me share, or even offer to share snacks with were also staying at Amangiri. We didn’t know they were going to Amangiri until we arrived. Their luggage was in the final stages of being unloaded as we pulled up. They were on their way to their room as we started the check-in process. I felt like we could have had some friends if only I had been allowed to offer snacks. People don’t come here to mingle though, TW reminds me. They come here to escape.

Then it hit me. We had been met at the airport like someone was expecting us. They came to us without asking anyone else. If you’re expecting a couple from Australia, the dorky white couple might be a good place to start. The two businessmen had clearly not been associated with each other and the couple who were also staying here look less likely to be Australia. Though it was possible, the greeters had a 50/50 chance.

Hmm, did we submit our passports to book the room? – possibly. Maybe they know what we look like based on those photos. Anyway, what hit me was that all the things I thought were happening because this other couple was super important, had happened to us. I just didn’t realise that is what it looked like. It didn’t feel extraordinary. It felt efficient and fantastic service but my thoughts of the CIA ushering the Obamas cousins into a car for a speech at a newly built hospital or newly designated national park or something. Our trip was November 2016 but before the election. Obama was still president. You know, a few secret service agents out to get you away from the airport and vulnerability as soon as possible. I wasn’t though, it was just the same process we went through.

Our little courtyard entrance
If you have a plunge pool room, your pool is in this little terrace

Check In

The car that picked us up was a BMW 7 series. At check in they mention they have available for us to use a BMW 6 series car. We can take one out for 4 hours at a time, free of charge. Rather than hiring a car, we had decided if we wanted to go for a drive this is what we would do. I had known about it previously thus we went with the transfer from Page airport but TW didn’t really believe me it was a thing. Nice to have some instant back up on it.

BMW calls this a test drive. They see value in letting resort guests drive their cars for an extended period of time because it might convince them to buy one. It worked on TW – if only they didn’t cost over one hundred thousand dollars at home. They might cost even more than that, I am not a car buff. I just remember him saying they were very expensive at home.

So, check in tells us we can take a car for 4 hours a day for free. We could go into Page tomorrow night if we wanted to. The balloon glow is on. We had to get her to say that a couple of times. We had not heard the term “balloon glow” before. After some clarification if made sense. The hot air balloon festival was on and if we wanted to go in at night they light them up. We could go in the morning to see them all launch if we preferred but she thought the glow was more unique.

That pretty much settled it. We would stay at the hotel tonight, take a beemer for a drive tomorrow night and relax all the rest of the time. Maybe one of the free activities will make it to the list. That is a decision for later though.

Cement heaven at Amangiri

Cement has never looked so good

A hotel tour with highlights pointed out. A seemingly never-ending list of free activities is rattled off as we pass different parts of the hotel. inclusions, and walked to our room. The room is super high tech, so we do need some lessons. We are shown where to find switches and how to use the lights and, well, everything else.

The in-room mini bar is complimentary, we are in Utah so no alcohol is in the minibar and we will need to request a drinks list if we do want any form of alcohol. State laws the reason. I am not too worried about it. TW thought it was really cool. To be in Utah and immediately have their random laws shoved in our face, in a very friendly and polite manner. Still, there is no escaping that this state is unlike most.

So the biggest thing was the shock and awe when we entered the room. We came in through a little back terrace and then the doors rolled open. The view over the bedroom and out to the natural wonder of our surrounds. It was unlike anything I could have prepared myself for.

This building is cement. Cement as far as the eye can see. Our room is mostly cement. Fixtures and fittings thoughtfully placed in, on top of or around cement. The bed is a cement platform with a mattress on top. Yet the beauty of it all. It just takes your breath away.

Why you need to go

Part 3 coming tomorrow

One Comment on “Amangiri and Me – MT (pt 2)

  1. Pingback: Amangiri and Me - MT (pt 1) - The Empty W Chronicles

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