Grand Tetons High: Amangani Scores a “10”

IMG_0722Set in one of nature’s most magnificent amphitheaters at the foot of the Teton Range, the Amangani is celebrating its tenth anniversary as the only North American property of the Aman luxury hotel group, with another slated to open in Utah in the early fall. It’s a property full of superlatives, beginning with a stunning location, perched high on a butte looking west over the green valley of Spring Gulch to the jagged snow-capped Grand Tetons. Even the stop signs on the road that winds up from Jackson are unique: the familiar red octagon is a hand-painted “WHOA”.

It would be worth coming up here just for the view and a meal, but the Amangani also offers sybaritic accommodations in forty wood-paneled suites, each opening onto a private terrace. Seattle-born designer Ed Tuttle has abstracted the Western vernacular in local stone and redwood. Everything is understated yet expansive and stairs sweep down from the modest entry, through a lofty lobby and out to a pool terrace that seems to hover over the valley far below. The cuisine is as satisfying as the ambience, which is enhanced by amenities including a spa and club-like library for those who prefer to stay home.

IMG_0738Most guests prefer to use Amangani as a springboard for hikes or day trips to the Grand Tetons National Park a few miles to the north. It’s worth getting up at dawn to glimpse the early sun on the peaks, which rise from a cushion of clouds filling the valley. A new visitors center at Moose provides a lively introduction to the park. Stripped pine columns support an angled roof that juts out over a wall of glass framing a vista of the mountains at their most spectacular. This was the location for the classic Western, Shane, and a score of other movies. A few miles on is another architectural gem, the Laurance Rockefeller Interpretative Center.  This scion of the legendary family first came here on camping expeditions in the 1920s, and later persuaded his siblings to donate their estate to the National Park Service. Now it’s open for everyone to enjoy epic hikes into the mountains and around crystal-clear lakes.

Rate Information: Rates from $875 a night with a two-night minimum through October 11 dropping to $565 a night through mid December.

Michael Webb

Michael Webb

Michael grew up in London and now lives in a classic modern apartment in Los Angeles. His twin passions are architecture and travel, and he indulges both as often as he can, exploring every continent in search of material and inspiration. His travel memoir, Moving Around: a Lifetime of Wandering (ORO Books, October) recalls memorable experiences of people and places over seven decades. Michael is the author of 28 other books, most recently Architects' Houses. He has written on travel and design for The New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Virtuoso Life, Monocle, Architectural Digest and other publications
around the world.
Michael Webb

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1 Comment

  1. Edwina Arnold on July 16, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Geez guys – $875 a night – in the middle of a recession??? Edwina

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