Top 10: most fabulous Aman resorts in the world

Monday newsletters always feature top 10 travel lists to inspire.

Today (August 21, 2017): top 10 most fabulous Aman resorts in the world.

Aman is widely acclaimed as the most exclusive hotel brand in the world. Meticulously designed to frame their natural settings, Aman hotels are renowned for breathtaking locations, locally inspired architecture, and ultimate privacy. Each welcomes guests as if to the home of a close friend, instilling a sense of peace and belonging amid some of the most diverse natural and historical landscapes. It is an approach that has changed little since 1988 when the first retreat was built on Phuket’s west coast. It was named Amanpuri, meaning ‘place of peace’, and Aman was born. Today, embracing 31 ultra-luxe hotels in 20 countries, Aman continues to seek out transformative experiences and awe-inspiring locations around the world. Among Aman’s habitués is a group of passionate repeat customers – self-proclaimed ‘Aman junkies’ (count me in) – who rave about the service and design aesthetic and whose travel plans are determined by Aman locations. I hereby present you my 10 favorite Aman hotels & resorts on the planet.

There is more information (with reviews and Youtube clips) below the slide show. Think I missed one? Share your favorite Aman hotel in the comments section or take my poll below!

Click to view slideshow.

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10. AMANPURI, THAILAND

This timeless retreat on the west coast of Phuket is in harmony with its idyllic setting. Ancient Ayutthayan architecture determines the design of its pavilions and villas, which overlook lush vegetation and the pristine Andaman Sea. Interspersed throughout a mature coconut plantation, the Thai-style pavilions and villas are approached by elevated walkways, and all have a private outdoor sala for dining and relaxing, shaded by tropical flora. Sloping roof lines frame soothing, spacious interiors, furnished with Thai textiles, art and antiques. When it opened in 1988, Amanpuri was the first Aman resort to grace the planet and as such the resort has built a legendary reputation, attracting the rich and famous, including A-list celebrities and royalty. Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Leonardo Di Caprio, and Mick Jagger have all stayed here.


9. AMAN AT SUMMER PALACE, CHINA

Just steps from the East Gate of the Summer Palace grounds lies Aman at Summer Palace – the ideal location from which to discover the Chinese capital, since the property provides easy access to such cultural landmarks as the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and the hutongs, as well as Beijing’s restaurants, art galleries and other contemporary delights. A serene retreat that embraces traditional Chinese architecture, the 51-suite resort is housed in a series of pavilions. Some date back over a century and were originally used by guests of the Empress Dowager Cixi. All accommodations overlook internal courtyards that feature an intricate latticework of pathways, separating formal gardens and trees. The resort’s aesthetic references draw upon traditional materials and the architecture and design of the Qing and Ming Dynasties.


8. AMANYARA, TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS

Set on the beautiful island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Amanyara is a secluded haven embracing the best elements of the Caribbean. Bordering the pristine reefs of Northwest Point Marine National Park, acclaimed for some of the world’s best wall and reef diving, the ultraluxurious resort is blessed with a magnificent, semi-private, sugar-white beach. Contemporary in layout and design, Amanyara’s 38 timber-shingled pavilions enjoy extensive outdoor space and views of the ocean, tranquil ponds or coastal vegetation. All have entrance terraces, wooden sundecks and king-size beds. There are also 20 Amanyara villas with three distinct outlooks, each on over half a hectare (1.5 acres) and serviced by a chef and a host. The resort’s wellness facilities offer an array of rejuvenating treatments and holistic programs.

AMANYARA, TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS


7. AMAN SVETI STEFAN, MONTENEGRO

Perhaps the most iconic image associated with Montenegro, the fortified island of Sveti Stefan dates back to the 15th century when Adriatic pirates held sway over this crystal-clear coastline. Attached to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, the restored village lies across the bay from Villa Miločer, a former royal retreat, and provides unparalleled access to the Bay of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along with 80 acres of grounds, two kilometers (1,3 miles) of beaches and a standalone Aman Spa, these two historic sites comprise Aman Sveti Stefan. While the island’s historic exterior remains largely unchanged, the resort’s interiors have been restored and updated to meet contemporary expectations. Expect to find 58 unique luxury lodgings, all coming with gorgeous bathrooms and with a myriad of views ranging from sea and rooftops to quaint courtyards and piazzas.

AMAN SVETI STEFAN, MONTENEGRO


6. AMAN VENICE, ITALY

Filled with museum-quality treasures, Aman Venice’s home on the Grand Canal is the 16th-century Palazzo Papadopoli, one of the city’s most significant buildings. The great 18th-century painter Tiepolo once lived here, and his frescoes adorn the walls of many of the rooms. In the 19th century, the presiding Papadopoli family turned adjoining buildings into two gardens that, today, are among the city’s rarest private green spaces. When Aman Venice opened in 2014, its sensitive incorporation of contemporary comforts won the palazzo a heritage award for Italy’s best restoration. More home than hotel, Aman Venice offers the rare privilege of space in the centre of the Floating City. High ceilings and spacious light-filled salons are joined by two mature outdoor private gardens and a small rooftop rarely seen in the city. With views to the hotel’s private garden or the Grand Canal, many of the 24 rooms and suites feature protected frescos and reliefs.


5. AMANZOE, GREECE

Amanzoe is a hilltop property, laying amongst centuries old olive groves, boasting panoramic views of the Peloponnese countryside, the glittering tranquil sea, the neighbouring vineyards, and the awe-inspiring mountains. The property is located within easy reach of a wealth of archaeological sites and the cosmopolitan island of Spetses. Designed by quintessential Aman architect, the legendary Ed Tuttle, this exclusive haven of unsurpassed beauty has quickly become the Mediterranean playground of those in the know. Classically inspired yet sleekly contemporary, Amanzoe’s Pavilions and Villas open to expansive private terraces, creating a seamless extension of the airy interiors and an unrivalled sense of space and seclusion. A stone’s throw away, the Aman Beach Club comes with two lap pools and two children’s pools and provides fun and games in total privacy by the water.

AMANZOE, GREECE


4. AMANERA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The first golf-integrated Aman, Amanera (meaning ‘peaceful water’) is set on the idyllic north coast of the Dominican Republic. Nestled within more than 2,170 acres of pristine Caribbean jungle, Amanera enjoys breathtaking views of the ocean and Playa Grande, whose golden sands make it one of the region’s most beautiful beaches. One with the island’s dramatic scenery, Amanera’s 25 free-standing casitas dot the lush coastline with unobstructed ocean views. Overhanging eaves shade expansive terraces with outdoor dining and lounging areas, while inside, the floor-to-ceiling glass doors lead to rooms specially positioned to maximize views. All casitas feature lofty ceilings and warm wooden finishes, while a selection offer private swimming pools. The spa features two treatment rooms, while therapies can also be enjoyed in the privacy of your Casita.

AMANERA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC


3. AMANGIRI, USA

Overlooking starkly beautiful desert scenery and the Southwest’s iconic flat-topped mesa rock formations, Amangiri (meaning ‘peaceful mountain’) is located in the USA’s Grand Circle region. Five national parks, numerous national monuments and the Navajo Nation Reservation, the largest Native American reservation in the United States, surround the resort. Built around a central swimming pool with spectacular views, the resort blends into its dramatic surrounds where deep canyons and towering plateaus create a raw landscape of immense power. The spa features a floatation therapy pavilion, water pavilion with sauna, steam room, cold plunge and step pool, fitness centre and yoga pavilion. The resort’s trail system and unrivalled backcountry access allow guests to explore the region’s striking desert scenery on foot.

AMANGIRI, UTAH, USA


2. AMAN TOKYO

Occupying the top six floors of the recently-built Otemachi Tower, Aman Tokyo is an urban sanctuary high above the atmospheric whirl of tradition and modernity that epitomises Tokyo. The hotel draws its design inspiration from traditional Japanese residential structures, with classic Japanese materials such as timber, Washi paper and stone blended to great effect with modern technology and luxurious fabrics. The 84 rooms and suites, all with unique layouts, enjoy magnificent city views and every contemporary convenience. Each room has a large ‘furo’, a deep soaking tub intrinsic to the Japanese ritual of bathing. There is also a continuous reference to nature, from the hotel’s inner garden in the phenomenal lobby, to the fabrics and art incorporated into the design.


1. AMANOI, VIETNAM

In 2013, Aman brought the brand’s signature sleekness to its debut resort in Vietnam, a contemporary beachside resort alongside a full-service Aman Spa. Named for the Sanskrit-derived word for ‘peace’ and noi meaning ‘place’, Amanoi is a tranquil, ultraluxe retreat situated on a gorgeous golden sand beach overlooking spectacular Vinh Hy Bay in Nui Chua National Park, northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. The luxury hotel’s polished, slate pagodas peek out from a lush green landscape; its infinity pool segues into the sea; and its spa rests by a lotus-blossom-dotted lake. Amanoi offers total privacy in beautifully designed accommodations that are located in 31 pavilions, a number with private swimming pools, and five Aman Villas, all positioned on the hillside with impressive views. The off-the-grid property designed by Belgian-born Jean-Michel Gathy positively encourages calm contemplation, whether lounging by the cliffside pool or at the elegant beach club, or surrendering to the tranquillity of the Aman Spa – set by a lotus-filled lake with a floating yoga pavilion.


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