Checking In: Amangiri, Utah

26th May, 2015

“The goal of life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with Nature.” ~ Joseph Campbell

On a Tuesday afternoon in early May, we checked into Amangiri, a resort whose name means ‘peaceful mountain’ and whose location is so isolated it doesn’t even have a postal code. Accessible only by private plane or 5-hour car ride from Las Vegas, it is hidden amongst a dramatic, 600-acre expanse of wilderness in Canyon Point, Southern Utah, within the circumference known as the Four Corners ~ where Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico all connect at right angles.Amangiri2aAmangiri opened in 2009 and is the truest contemporary take on luxury I’ve ever experienced. It was designed to coexist in total harmony with its natural surroundings and so its architecture never imposes itself on the landscape, demonstrating enormous respect for the rugged Utah terrain. Every detail in its design refers back to the outside world. Amangiri’s architects deftly used the geometry of its desert home as inspiration, slanting walls toward each other to engineer ‘slot canyon’ views of the desert and mesa, and using local sand and cement to closely match the color and density of the surrounding geological foundations (which date back over 180 million years).
Amangiri21Amangiri20A razor-sharp, rectangular pavilion made of polished concrete planes that stand out against swerving shoulders of rock at the base of a massive sandstone escarpment, Amangiri articulates what life might be like inside a Donald Judd sculpture. At moments, it seems like it may actually have emerged directly from the earth through natural erosion by the elements (especially when swimming in a pool that curves ever-so-snugly around a bulbous outcrop of rock).Amangiri2b Amangiri2Light is an important protagonist in this place. Amangiri is so remote that there’s little to do but enjoy the exceptional play of sunshine and shadow that changes at every moment of the day. Buildings and awnings are articulated with an angularity that encourages this constant light show, and views through glassless windows give the impression that the landscape is a painting. Sunrises and sunsets reflect glowingly off the sand-colored walls.
Amangiri3ABOVE| Kelly wearing Janessa Leone hat, Carrera sunglassesVince tee and OAK pants  BELOW| walls slant toward each other to provide ‘slot canyon’ views of the desert and mesa
Amangiri4Amangiri5aAmangiri6Amangiri8 Amangiri9ABOVE| a cozy corner of the main dining room  BELOW| a reflecting pool inside the spa, which offers a flotation therapy pavilion, water pavilion with sauna, steam room, cold plunge and step pool, plus yoga, pilates and some of the best massages and reflexology we’ve ever receivedAmangiri10Amangiri7ABOVE| Vogue.com’s Alessandra Codinha and Zachary Lynd in the light-angled entryway of Amangiri   BELOW| glassless windows give the impression that the landscape is a painting
Amangiri11Amangiri12Each guest room grants panoramic views from the bath and bed, looking out across a sea of sand to the Studhorse Mesa and, in the distance, the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. I woke up early every morning to watch the sun rise over the canyons from the warm, salt-soaked coziness of our tub; as evening fell we would open a bottle of wine and saunter out the back of our suite, directly into the desert. At sunrise, jackrabbits and lizards scamper about; come sunset, bats fly by.
Amangiri15Inside and out, Amangiri reflects an intense dedication to purity of design and an assured absence of over-decoration. It is a marvel of monotone: all concrete walls, blonde wood, white leather and hints of sage that soothingly recall the surrounding landscape. Nature’s splendor is always celebrated; no element fights to pull focus away from the vast geological zoo that surrounds it. At night the sky is a pinwheel of stars, and cleverly every room’s private terrace is equipped with hidden fire pits for roasting s’mores and soaking in the sublime stillness. Amangiri is a monument to peaceful coexistence with nature, a total vibrational escape.
Amangiri13Amangiri14Amangiri16cABOVE| Kelly wearing Carrera sunnies, Proenza Schouler tee, Balmain pants, Tomas Maier shoes and Gucci backpackAmangiri17ABOVE + BELOW| the all-in-one lobby, foyer and restaurantAmangiri18 Amangiri19Amangiri23ABOVE| refracted views of the ancient, mystic landscape surrounding Amangiri  ALL PHOTOS| by Kelly and ZachAmangiri22

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TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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