We learned a lot about me in part 1 and 2 but not a huge amount about Amangiri. Why was that important? I always read reviews and then discard them because I don’t know what kind of person they are. Do they hate life and everything good that has ever happened to them? Are they the kind of people who insist on seeing only the good in everything. Is their bed at home comfortable (my mattress was my single most important purchase so most hotels couldn’t get close to the comfort I was used to. It is important to have a good nights sleep and I never slept well so I spent my savings on the first mattress that made me sleepy, not the first mattress).
There are a thousand reasons why someone may love or hate a resort. Every review of the hotel will basically be the same. Cement, earthy, pretty, great location. Rooms face this way and that. Some with pools, all with firepits. To be fair, if you don’t know about Aman’s you won’t ever really hear about them. You can’t search them on Expedia or Booking.com or any online travel agent. So you will be at the mercy of their own website, a luxury travel agent or your credit card concierge travel agent to tell you about the hotel. You are left to your own devices to find out more and everyone is telling you the same, without
Yes, a lot of famous people have stayed or have been rumored to be guests. We have rumours some of the Kardashian/Jenners have stayed. Brad Pitt, Drew Barrymore, not together, also make the list and a host of other super-rich guests. The flight/crash scene from Broken Arrow was filmed here with some of the movie props still in place. So the resort is exclusive. There is a house, just one at the moment, that you can rent. A chef cooks for you and you never have to interact with normal hotel guests, like us.
I see online people hyping up the cost. It is expensive but you can get a night for US$1550. They do have promotions for a free night if you stay longer which will set you back a decent penny but bring that nightly rate down.
My theory is if you want to do something really special Aman is the spot. If you have thought of going to Vegas and spending a few nights at the Bellagio and taking the helicopter tour where you land in the Grand Canyon. You know, maybe a proposal or anniversary. If you are doing this and not worried about gambling, then you have spent a similar amount of money for a tenth of the experience. Amangiri is beyond compare.
If you can’t afford Amangiri, you can stay in Big Water or at the RV camp just down the road. You will pay next to nothing and still be in this magnificent part of the country. With Lake Powell nearby, numerous national parks, horseshoe bend you aren’t going to run out of things to do.
The difference though is not just the rooms, exclusivity or service at the resort. Or the food, which is simply divine. It is the experiences exclusive to Aman. I mentioned we had thought to do one of the free activities. We did.
Our choice was the free guided walk over to the cave, and in fact to the film set area. We learned so much on this simple walk and it was such a great time that when we got back to reception we asked about rock climbing. It was sold out that day but we could go in the morning. The morning of our departure. Our departure that involved, driving back to Page, a flight to Pheonix, a flight to LA and then on to Sydney. Arriving in time to go to work. I took that day off after the rock climb but TW went in. He had a conference day and had to go. I tell you climbing a mountain and then sitting on a plane for a day, was not the best idea.
This was the single most amazing thing. Our guide was the kindest, most patient, encouraging human. I had no upper body strength, no hand grip ability and my legs turned to jelly because I am not the best with heights. The tour was private. Any time you book an activity it is private, their arranged activities are group activities. If you are paying for an experience, though, it is just your group and the guide. So the cost for one person or two or four is the same.
We hadn’t even walked to the Mesa we were going to climb when my doubts started to creep in. I laughed but I wasn’t joking. How could I possible climb up a Via Ferrata (iron ladders) on this Mesa with no strength, no ability to grip and legs that had already given
This first part is the hardest, trust me, if you can do this the rest will be a breeze. Hand here, a foot there. Look you are doing it. I was doing it. And then my foot slipped. My arm had been looped around the ladder rung so I didn’t fall but I did get a scare. TW laughed, he was behind me. The laugh of someone who thought things were just about to end terribly but didn’t. Then his foot slipped and I catch sight of his backside heading towards a void of nothingness, there isn’t anything here to catch him. He didn’t move much and corrected it quickly. That scared both of us though.
Before we know it, we are at the top. Hearing words of encouragement the entire way. The patient little being how just sends out a beacon of light. Suggesting that usually, men come unstuck. Women seem to plan. They think and consider and then move. Men try to muscle it in without considering where next. He said that most people he guides are novices to rock. He has had only a few men stop and consider before making their move, those were the experienced guys. The guys who could just muscle through it anyway.
Oh, and then we had to cross a bridge. TW set off first because I was afraid of heights, it was thought to be better for me to follow. Oh, my word did TW throw a hissy fit once I stepped on to it. He insisted that I was shaking the bridge and I was going to flip it upside down and we were both plummeting to our deaths. I hadn’t actually taken the step, that was the breeze. He was too scared to turn and yell at me and he was doing a lot of yelling so he couldn’t see that I was still way back on the flat rock. We both made it over.
The worst part was ahead. At no point in the climb did I understand that there was one way up and down. I joked so many times that the spot we were in would be impossible climbing down, sure am glad we are climbing up. I thought we had to go down the other side, we crossed a bridge, it made sense that we were doing that to get to the other side. Once on the other side, we would take the easy way down.
Right? Now, the fun news. It is revealed we will just walk back around to where we came up and go back down. I sat down and sobbed for a bit and then we got on with it. I didn’t really sob, I don’t think. It is what I felt like doing. Down was definitely harder for me because I am short and weak so I couldn’t see or reach the step or platform. I had to basically salmon ladder lower myself back down the Mesa. Just let go and jump backward, it should be ok.
Everyone knew our name. They knew our room number. We didn’t have to sign a check or bill or do anything to do with money. We did have to pay at the end, you do get to check the bill for accuracy before you pay. It was all correct. The s’mores probably cost more than I would have paid if I saw a price but I do not regret getting them. Not at all. And that is the thing, you might
The hotel that I have nightmares about never getting back to. If that doesn’t convince you that you need to go, I don’t think any review, celebrity hangout, award-winning pool, food or activity will convince you. I love you and miss you Amangiri. I want my friend to date our rock climbing guide. She loves rock climbing and so does he and, he was just the sweetest. I don’t think he is at Aman any more. I think he is in South America but if he is back, WS can you date my friend and then be our guide.
You may say, well then, it was the rock climbing or the guide that was the highlight of the trip. It was and wasn’t. These are the elite of the elite guides, you can’t hire them unless it is through the Aman. Amans worldwide get the best of the best. They are going to charge a premium for it so they need a guide that matches. I don’t know that I would climb again, I might do another trail or go for a different experience option. Maybe just enjoy more of the hotel. I would go back, always go back.