There are airport landings which literally take your breath away and one of them for me was the arrival at Jackson Hole. Peeking out of the airplane window I could not help but just stare at the wide open spaces and the snow-capped mountains in the distance. It was like being greeted by one of the most majestic views of the Western frontier. Stepping out of the aircraft door the crisp and fresh mountain air filled my lungs, it made me forget that I had flown close to 24 hours and taken four flights after leaving Mumbai. I felt refreshed and energized.
From the airport, I set out on a 25-minute drive to Amangani. A secluded ultra luxury mountain resort set on the East Gros Ventre Butte. Built-in 1998 it is the first property of Aman Resorts in North America. Stepping inside the three-storey hotel the first thing that got my attention was the stellar view. The triple-height windows of the lobby offer sweeping views of the Teton Range and Snake River range. True to Aman style the interiors are extravagant yet minimalistic and take inspiration from the location, in the case of Amangani it’s the beautiful outdoor scenery. The Oklahoma sandstone, redwood beams, faux-hide artifacts and wooden furniture all of them point to the American West.
Like the lobby, my deluxe suite is quaint and cozy. There is a generous use of wood and stone. To help tame the Wyoming winters the suites come with heated floors and a remote controlled fireplace. The suite has all the possible creature comforts – his and hers vanities, spacious closet, Nespresso machine, a soaking tub with a view and walk in showers. However, my favorite part of the room was the private balcony. Like all the suites it offered panoramic views of the valley.
In all my years of travel, I have seen my fair share of ‘impressive’ views but this was a first of its kind, it was serene. Standing on the balcony I could just gaze for hours and hours – on the horizon were the snow-capped Tetons, across the butte was a cattle ranch with winding roads and closer to the hotel were Aspen trees. Staring at this gorgeous view with the chirping of the birds and the gently blowing mountain air, time just slowed down for me. Waking up to this sight, every morning was a special treat in itself.
Strolling across the common areas it was tough to not come across a quaint reading corner. Wooden furniture, fireplaces, dramatic views and a tastefully curated selection of titles on travel, lifestyle, and hospitality, I was hooked. Offering a better glimpse of the stellar views is the massive sandstone terrace and the 115-foot heated pool which was extremely popular with the guests and for a good reason.
The Amangani has one restaurant – the 65 seat ‘The Grill’ which serves all three meals. It is helmed by the extremely talented Chef Sebastian who along with his staff prepared one of the best veg burgers that I have ever had. Rather than using a traditional recipe, the chef wanted to give me something different and local – for the patty chef Sebastian made use of black and white beans, fennel, duxelle of local mushrooms, farrow and a hint of truffle. Knowing that I was a vegetarian he met me on the first day and after a long discussion about everything from Jackson Hole to Quinoa to our love for truffle he curated a special menu for my entire stay. I loved it all.
While luxury hotel chains build their reputations on opulence Aman builds on the one thing that matters most,’service’. On a vacation, you would want to be undisturbed by room service and Aman knows this. Their staff as discreet as ninjas perform the essentials like room cleaning, laundry pick up and turn down when you are away. They work as per your schedule and it’s just brilliant.
The Amangani has a lot to hold you back at the hotel – an outdoor pool, jacuzzi, gym, library with a selection of books and board games, bar and a huge spa with four treatment rooms. But I wanted to experience the outdoors and from the host of experiences the hotel offers I chose the wildlife tour. Jared an 18 year veteran of Amangani and an expert in wildlife conservation took me on a tour of the Grand Teton national park in a shiny BMW X5 SUV. Armed with his trained eyes and a scope I got to see a bald eagle, coyotes, elks, bisons and a winter wolf. Equally enthralling was the beautiful terrain we covered – Jenny Lake and Jackson lake reservoir had views that would even put a desktop wallpaper to shame. During the 5 hour experience, I particularly enjoyed Jared’s insights into wildlife and how even the smallest efforts from us help change the bigger picture.
As relaxing my stay at Amagani was it was equally enriching. Beautiful surroundings and most importantly the staff that literally take service and hospitality to the next level, you just cannot go wrong with the Amangani.
Note – A deluxe suite at the Amangani costs $1200++ per night. The writer was invited by the hotel but all the opinions expressed herewith are his own.
1535 NE Butte Rd, Jackson, WY 83001, USA
Phone: +1 307-734-7333