Thank you to Rachel Fugate for providing the images for this posts.
I recently had the opportunity to experience Amangiri during a business retreat and let me just say, wow. A total masterclass in high-end service and attention to detail. From design, to communication, to execution Amangiri is certainly next-level. I’m sharing my trip experience for any of you thinking of adding this Southern Utah retreat to your bucket list (psst… you totally should!)
The design of everything at Amangiri is impeccable. As a designer myself, I notice the little things and there was so much to notice at Amangiri. The main buildings seem to suddenly appear as a part of the landscape. The way their architecture works with nature is part of the immersive experience that is staying at this resort.
In the main Amangiri section there are 34 suites set-up in two wings. All suites include private terraces, fireplaces, and king-sized beds. Although privacy is part of the ethos at Amangiri, if you really want seclusion there is a four-bedroom Mesa Home that’s hidden behind a rock escarpment.
Our group stayed at the second concept at Amangiri, Camp Sarika. This community of ten luxury pavilions is a short, chauffeured drive from main pavilion – or a thirty-minute hike through the property if you want a more leisurely path. These canvas-topped tents make glamping look like a hostel. These one & two bedroom pavilions feature spacious sleeping areas – they set-up our two bedroom with three twins in each bedroom and we still had plenty of space – heated pools, and fire pits.
I was truly blown away by these pavilions. From the heated-floors in the bathrooms to the well stocked beverage fridges, they certainly saw to every need. I’m a sucker for a good tub and the soakers in the restroom were well selected. And the view of the mesa outside our door added to the otherworldly feeling the resort invokes. They certainly took care in placing each pavilion to create a secluded feeling to each tent. Our group felt comfortable enough with the solitude that we even took some ~ artistic ~ photos in the desert to commemorate the freedom we all felt.
The turndown service also included daily lessons about the Navajo tribes that the land once belonged to. This along with the many, many ways the honor, highlight, and promote the heritage of the land was welcomed. The resident Navajo flutist was one of the highlights for me. His performance during dinner our final night was truly inspiring.
Food & Beverage
Pack your stretchy pants, friends!
You might be paying a pretty penny to experience Amangiri, but they certainly do not disappoint with the included food & beverages. Like much at Amangiri, the cuisine is inspired by the land and made primarily from locally-sourced ingredients.
The main dining room features a variety of seating options, fireplaces, and breathtaking desert views. My favorite bite of the trip came in the form of the scallops from the main dining room on our last night, although the skillet of mushrooms we shared as an appetizer were a close, close second.
The Camp Sarika dining room is more intimate (only seating about 40 to the main dining room’s 70) and features a fixed dinner menu. We enjoyed the family-style dinner as it encouraged us to try some things we might not usually order – like the Elk Tartar that surprised everyone! Breakfast and Lunch is still ordered a la carte.
And while alcoholic drinks were extra (and pricey, like really pricey), their crafted mocktails are included and scratched the fancy drink itch. I especially loved the “From Thailand with Love.”
Spa & Adventures
The 600-acre property has a plethora of space for outdoor activities. There are two guided hikes offered daily as well as a number of self-guided paths. However, with the chilly weather, our crew decided to opt for mainly indoor and/or heated activities. We did specifically want to see a slot canyon and the events director was quick to offer up an option that was a short 10 minute walk from the main building.
A portion of us decided to partake in the daily fitness class. The day we joined was a yoga class that the awesome instructor, Connie, personalized to our group. With her background in physical therapy and years of wellness experience, she immediately noticed our group’s weaknesses. Connie tailored a slow flow yoga session that targeted these areas. Needless to say we were all well “worked out” by the end. But that only made us even more ready for our afternoon massages.
Oh the spa… how do I sum up this up?
This place is immaculate. Immediately the ambiance is transportive and calming. The water pavilion features a number of cold and hot water options for relations. The reflection pool is an Instagram icon thanks to Kim K. And the jacuzzis are hidden behind wooden privacy fences with incredible views (have I said enough about the views yet?)
I was gifted a deep-tissue massage which began with a relaxing “warm up” in the water pavilion’s sauna. My therapist, Heather, then guided me to the treatment room. She offered a sage smudging before we began to pay homage to the land and clear my aura. I’m only mildly “woo”, but I enjoyed the scent and love experiencing something different. The treatment room itself was beautiful. I seriously wanted to wander around looking at all the smart design. The table was heated – thank goodness as it was in the low 40s outside.
Heather was a true delight. I don’t mind talking during treatments as long as it’s not just to “fill the space.” Heather knew exactly when to speak without disrupting the peaceful environment. We actually spoke about some of the mindset shifts I was coming up against at my retreat and she offered some genuine insight that I appreciated. While she was less firm than my usual treatments (I’m a as-long-as-it-works-I-don’t-care-if-it-hurts kind of gal), she was targeted in everything she did and I felt relaxed and well massaged without being sore.
NOTE: private classes, guided hikes, and adventures are available to guests who want to partake on their own schedule with additional fees.
What to Pack
NOTE: I traveled to Amangiri in early February with temperatures peaking at the low-50s and plummeting to the mid-20s at night.
Day 1: Travel Day & Welcome
Black Hoodie + Black Jeans + Camel City Coat + White PP48 Sneakers + White Beanie
For dinner I changed into my favorite black slip-dress with my white button-down tied at my waist. While there’s no dress code at Amangiri, I felt a little better changing into this casual, but classy look.
Day 2: Exploration
White Button Down + Black Jeans + Black Quilted Jacket + White Boots + Fern Neck Scarf
Day 3: Relax & Departure
White Silk Cami + Black Jeans + Oversized Vintage Flannel Button Down + Birdies + Pink Beanie
Other Packing Must-Haves
If you live on swamp like I do, don’t underestimate the dry air of the desert. My skin was soaking up product like I have money to burn.
No mater what time of year you’re headed to Amangiri – pack a swim suit! The pools are kept warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We enjoyed a few dips despite the February chill.
Comfy travel clothes are a must for this one because of the distance from airports (2 hours to Flagstaff, 4 hours to Phoenix or Las Vegas).
About the Photographer
Rachel Fugate has been a wedding photographer for ten years and specializes in artfully candid wedding photos. She never forces moments, but instead, takes a step back and allows them to unfold. Legacy is a huge part of her work, and she like to think of herself as a family historian. It’s really important to her to take photos of the people around you – your parents and your grandparents, the people who raised you and brought you to this day. And in the same sense, looking forward to your children and grandchildren. What will these photos mean in fifty years?
When Rachel isn’t photographing weddings, she’s spending time with her husband and their two dogs, traveling, reading a book, or cooking a way too ambitious recipe
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