It’s been said that you can take any single frame of Lawrence of Arabia and hang it on your wall. The same rings true of the sightlines you’ll find at Amangiri — the secluded, exclusive retreat in Canyon Point, Utah. This is because this hotel is such a thoroughly executed masterpiece in siting. The boundaries between landscape and structure shift harmoniously. The grand scale of the interior spaces work with minimalist simplicity, rather than against it. And this all has an effect on you.
Every time you walk to your room, you do so at a stately pace, absorbing your surroundings — the trickling water fountains, the desert hues of every surface, the vertical embrasures that frame the desert view. If you miss these details, you miss the proper justification of the $1,500-per-night pricetag. Summon your Merc and returneth to the Philistine land from whence ye came.
This is civilization evolved, even so far from population.
In the rooms, every interaction is moderated. The bed is the centerpiece. You transition to the den and then the patio, with its views of the desert during the day or a fireplace and the stars at night. The bathrooms — often afterthoughts in even the best lodgings — are generously apportioned; the interior view from the commode is fantastic. This is civilization evolved, even so far from population.
Can you level complaints against such a masterpiece? Sure. The beds sit elevated on platforms that extend a foot or so from the bed itself. Forget about that little detail at night, while navigating your way to the bathroom in a zen hypnosis, and you’ll be rewarded with a stubbed toe. The horror. But these can be forgiven. Amangiri sits on a plateau far above other resorts, by the simple virtue of its collaboration with the universe. You venture out — Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, endless hiking — and return to a still, revitalizing constancy.