The Otherworldly Landscape of Utah’s Amangiri
Lost in the desert.
The vast, otherworldly landscape presents itself as a blank canvas, one that inspires those who venture there to discover endless possibilities. A wilderness hideaway in Canyon Point in the Southern Utah desert, Camp Sarika, added to the luxurious 900-acre Amangiri property in 2020, is a year-round glamping destination with tented pavilions.
A crown jewel in the Aman Group’s portfolio since its opening in 2009, Amangiri is the go-to for those seeking peaceful leisure. A celebrity hot spot for the likes of Justin Bieber and Kylie Jenner, given its ultra-exclusive and secluded location, it’s a place to retreat from the world. The simple aesthetic evokes an immediate and overwhelming sense of calm. The architecture and design pay homage to the desert setting, with a colour palette of browns, sage greens, and creams, and materials such as wood, leather, and stone. Amangiri takes rustic design and modernizes it.
The journey from Page, Arizona, to Amangiri is a visually enthralling experience through a sea of red rocks, slot canyons, and rust-coloured sands. There seems to be nothing beyond the unassuming iron gates upon arriving at the property, apart from looming mesas and the vast lunar Colorado Plateau. Amangiri has 34 suites, each with a desert view, as well as the ultra-luxurious four-bedroom Mesa Home, with a private 50-foot pool and sprawling terrace. A well-appointed restaurant and expansive spa round out the resort’s offerings.
Camp Sarika is Amangiri’s more secluded younger sister. A five-minute drive or 15-minute walk from Amangiri, Camp Sarika has 10 luxurious oversize tents, each equipped with its own private terrace, plunge pool, outdoor shower, and firepit. Described as casual luxury, the camp is for those in search of complete privacy, with access to the facilities at Amangiri. A stay at either is customizable, and the Amangiri team works with you before your arrival to ensure every detail meets your expectations. “We want every visit to feel fully authentic to the guest’s needs,” says general manager Audrey Huttert. “Some people come to experience the thrill of the topography and all the adventures we have to offer, and some want to fully unplug and relax.”
Three national parks, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and Zion, as well as the Navajo Nation Reservation, are nearby. If it’s adventure you’re after, a tour of Antelope Canyon with guides from the Navajo Nation is a good way to see one of the natural wonders of the region up close and personal. The Via Ferrata Challenge is an adrenaline rush. Meaning “iron road,” a via ferrata is a series of ladder rungs and cables affixed to a rock face that one must climb, but Amangiri’s six guided via ferrata hiking routes also offer a look at local geology. “Mostly when you’re looking around the Colorado Plateau, you’re looking at sedimentary rock orders,” says geologist Gary Ladd. He explains that with a heating climate and irregular moisture levels, we are bound to see the creation of more sedimentary rocks and the erosion of others.
It wouldn’t feel like the American Southwest without a horseback ride, and Amangiri’s experienced wranglers will take you out to explore the sweeping desert and ridges in full-on Western style.
On a more restful note, yoga and meditation sessions take place outside, and the impressive 25,000-square-foot Aman Spa overlooks the canyons. Signature therapies and treatments are a nod to a variety of healing traditions, including those of the Navajo Nation, such as hózhó, which emphasizes being in tune with oneself and in harmony with the world. The sound bath experience based on Tibetan singing bowl therapy uses the frequency of sound to guide the mind through meditation.
The food at Amangiri takes its cues from the Southwest in dishes like Rocky Mountain elk tartare (elk tenderloin, pickled cactus, free-range hen yolk, juniper dust, and rice crackling) and Colorado river trout (sea salt cured rainbow trout cooked a la plancha and served with a herb salad and tamarind salsa). A four-course tasting menu from the chef pays homage to the culinary traditions of the five tribes of the region. Back at Camp Sarika, meals are rustic yet polished—food cooked on the rotisserie and firepit, alongside plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, creates a luxurious outback dining experience. Both Camp Sarika and Amangiri highlight fish and meats sourced from the surrounding area and other local ingredients.
Stepping away from the busyness of life at Camp Sarika and Amangiri is to experience a sublime landscape that transcends comprehension. The intimate connection to nature is palpable—an enclave of quiet relaxation.