The goal is always to cast aside everyday distraction and explore the possibilities of a better, more nourished self.
ALMOST ALL HIGH-END RESORTS and boutique hotels promise visitors exclusivity and tranquility, but few deliver in a manner as magisterial as Aman. The ever-growing chain of resorts, hotels, and residences under the Aman umbrella now spans over 20 countries, and offers some of the world’s most impeccably considered travel experiences. Somewhere in the world there exists an Aman property to suit every fancy of the imagination, whether you choose to reset at a lodge nestled high up among the Buddhist Kingdom in Bhutan, forge a path through the seaside jungles of Sri Lanka to your own private beach retreat, or seek a moment of pause in a secret forest garden near Kyoto. Equal parts opulent and hermetically minimal, Aman properties are known, as Chief Operating Officer Roland Fasel describes it, for putting guests “into a state of uncomplicated serenity.” This involves creating spaces that blend almost seamlessly with their surroundings, and offering bespoke services that speak directly to the cultural context of the properties — making for experiences that are somehow both strikingly dazzling and simple.
When considering new locations, space is paramount. “We strive to find spaces that will allow us to translate all that Aman is renowned for — space, privacy, peace— into exceptional environments, whether in urban or remote settings,” says Fasel. Once a suitable location is found, he continues, “our considered approach to architecture ensures that the property forms a culturally integrated sanctuary that can live in harmony with the natural environment, while offering guests an unparalleled insight into the destination.” The company’s desire for harmony has influenced its approach to design and operations, including catering to a limited number of guests and allowing for large free-standing pavilions, many with private pools.
Aman has made a name for itself by creating luxury environments in a surprising variety of international locations, like Java and Rajasthan, but the company’s domestic U.S. properties are no less sublime. The Aman property in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — Amangani — is a shining example of how even the most rustic locale can be given a sheen of exclusivity.
Nestled in the foothills of the Grand Tetons, the always-booked destination, which includes 40 rooms and four free-standing multi-bedroom homes, is a paradise of redwood and sandstone architecture. The property manages to marry the sensibilities of the Old West with a meditative Zen aesthetic, not to mention spa services that rank among the best in the country. And though it boasts all the outdoor activities one might expect — wildlife tours, horseback riding, mountain biking, fly fishing, whitewater rafting, hot air ballooning, and hiking — the appeal of an Amangani stay is as much about a mental retreat as a physical one.
“We believe luxury has changed in that it now has more of a responsibility to the customer in providing headspace — an opportunity for rejuvenation and deep connection,” explains Fasel. “There is a spirit in and around our hotels that provides a sense of calm and peace, which have become rare and difficult to obtain in daily life.” That’s why Aman is always working to improve their holistic wellness offering, evolving spa menus, treatments, and technologies. Whether it’s a simple massage or a full three-day retreat, “most guests now want their trip to have a positive effect on body, mind, and soul,” says Fasel, and satisfying this need is among Aman’s highest priorities.
Despite having been around for over 30 years, Aman has largely relied on word of mouth to build their brand, catering to a loyal fanbase of “Amanjunkies” who eagerly await the announcement of new properties. The spirit and sensibility of Aman is so intoxicating that it has, perhaps not surprisingly, led to the creation of companion skin care products, fragrances, and most recently, The Essentials, a collection of ready-to-wear clothing and accessories. In keeping with the company's commitment to wellness, Aman also offers individual “Wellness Immersions” — tiny, tailored getaways for those who want to unplug — and the new “Journey to Peace,” which Fasel describes as “a six-night retreat, led by a renowned Buddhist monk and mindfulness coach, designed to help guests find their own path to peace.” It’s a holistic, immersive experience that, according to Fasel, has always been at the heart of Aman’s mission: to not only be wowed by your surroundings, but to leave feeling somehow changed. “The goal is always to cast aside everyday distraction and explore the possibilities of a better, more nourished self.”
T. Cole Rachel Writer
T. Cole Rachel is a Brooklyn-based writer, editor, and teacher with over 20 years of experience working in print and digital media. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Interview, and the Creative Independent. He is currently a senior editor at the New York Times creative studio, T Brand.
Mark Hartman Photographer
Mark Hartman is a photographer and director based in New York City.