Costa Rica has been a really popular destination for many…
Having tried my first Aman property in mid- 2015, I knew where the term “Aman-junkie” came from; so as I planned my first ski trip in 2016, Amangani in Jackson Hole was on the top of my list. A short 1 ¾ hour flight from LAX, you arrive at Jackson Hole airport and are immediately met by Amangani. You are then driven about a ½ hour in a new BMW X5 to the resort. Round trip airport transfers are included with every reservations. As soon as you arrive, you immediately experience that “Aman” feeling. It’s not something you can easily describe, but it’s sort of like being home. With only about 40 rooms, the resort is set atop a hill with amazing views.
The feeling of being home is something that comes easily at the resort, as that is how you are made to feel ~ well of course, with the addition of luxury food, service and the most amazing setting. There are a number of different public areas, all of which are checked in by the Amangani staff on a regular basis. If you want something to drink or eat, it’s always available to you.
Upon arrival we were hungry, so we had a quick resort tour, then off to lunch. The theme of great food, service and views continues into the dining room, as it does at the outdoor heated infinity pool, Jacuzzi and all the public areas. As soon as we sat down we were immediately welcomed, and our server made sure to introduce himself. Throughout our stay the staff, wherever we were, knew us and checked in on us to see how our day was, how the skiing was, etc. It was always like chatting with a bunch of friends, and it was great how they always knew, and not in a negative way, it was more of a caring feeling.
At Aman properties, you never sign your bill, it’s just added to your hotel folio. The reason behind that is to continue the theme of feeling like home. You don’t have to sign a bill after lunch at home, nor do you at Aman. It’s so much like home that if you’re going out for the evening they request you let them know in advance so they don’t wait for you for dinner.
One day after skiing, we headed to the outdoor Jacuzzi, and the waiter came by to greet us. While I ordered a beer by the Jacuzzi, we requested that the “afternoon snacks” we wanted from the dining room menu be ready around 4:45 in the Library. After a quick run inside to the spa changing room (to prevent the 20 degree winds from taking away the joy of the Jacuzzi) and a visit to the steam room, it was off to the Library to enjoy our Ski-après snacks.
Initially the distance from the ski resort, Jackson Hole, was something I was not looking forward to. However, the ½ hour shuttle ride to/from the ski slopes each day was a great time to relax, warm-up, chat with other guests (only once were there others on our shuttle) or check e-mail on the way back “home.” Upon arrival at Jackson Hole Ski resort, your first stop is the Amangani Ski Lounge, right at the base of the ski slopes. There your skis are waiting outside, your warmed boots are set out waiting for your arrival, and the Ski Lounge host greets you by name. There are a number of baskets for you to store anything you don’t want to bring back and forth, and water and coffee to enjoy before you head out (or when you return). After your day of skiing, back to the Ski Lounge, where you leave your skis and boots, and head back to the resort. Upon arrival it’s amazing how all the staff knows you and confirms any evening plans.
Not wanting to drive in snowy winter conditions we chose not to rent a car, which is not a problem, because the resort’s fleet of BMW X5’s is waiting to take you where you want to go, and pick you up when you’re ready to return. Although the ski shuttle is free, there is a charge for any other ride around the area.
We enjoyed daily breakfast and one dinner at the resort, and 2 dinners in the town of Jackson. It takes about 20 minutes to get to Jackson, but it’s one of my favorite small towns and a great place to visit. I do have to recommend one incredible place to eat in Jackson, although the town is full of great restaurants, most of which we didn’t get to try. But one night we ate at “Gather,” definitely worth the visit, some of the best food and warmest service you can find.
As a little treat on our last breakfast at Amangani we shared the Sweet Potato Gluten free waffles (at the recommendation of another guest, as we probably would not have chosen to order them), and they were fantastic, a must order when visiting!
As I continue to try and find ways to describe Amangani, it is extremely difficult. Aman has done an incredible job of making you feel at home in the resort, more at home than any other place I have traveled except my own home, and it’s a close second to that. What you’ll find at Amangani is a “home” that is a great base to explore the surrounding areas. Whether it’s skiing Jackson Hole, visiting Yellowstone Park, fishing, river rafting or any of a number of other outdoor activities.
On our last morning, before we headed to the airport we took a sleigh ride through the Elk Refuge. The entire tour lasts about an hour and was a great way to learn more about the area. A short walk back to town, and some time to enjoy the small town shops, then back to the resort for a quick change and then off to Jackson Airport for our 1 ¾ hour non-stop flight to LAX. Now I just need to see when I can return to Amangani, or which is the next Aman property that’s going to knock my socks off!