For most of my life, I’d heard about the mystical landscape of the upper Southwest, a place I’d never visited because houseboats and Winnebagos just weren’t my thing. But that’s all different now.
After more than a decade of effort, Aman Resorts has quietly opened what might be the most spectacular small hotel in America: Amangiri. Built with local white stone and dust-colored concrete, the 34-suite resort magically disappears into a 600-acre expanse of former Navajo wilderness in Southern Utah. The kitchen—the heart of the resort—centers around a wood-burning oven, and floor-to-ceiling windows substitute for art—with breathtaking high-desert views of tumbleweed-dotted valleys and towering plateaus. A 25,000-square-foot spa butts up against a stratified escarpment, unfolding in a series of indoor/outdoor pavilions for meditating and bathing, including a cavelike steam chamber. In discreet, walnut-lined treatment rooms, a local healer delivers Navajo therapies based on the balancing principles of earth, wind, fire and water, while natural light therapy is supplied by an ever-changing desert sky.
Nightly rates from $800; all-inclusive, three-day spa journeys from $3,370; seven-day spa journeys from $8,250; amanresorts.com