Since I was a child, I’ve always enjoyed staying in hotels. Something about the fresh, crisp turned down corners of the bed, the decadence of ordering room service, and being able to order anything with a simple phone call at the drop of a hat thrilled me. With my fond memories of traveling as a family with my parents all across the US, I’ve loved reading about different hotels in far away locales (specifically when I am frustrated at work and I need to some travel daydreaming.) My favorite discovery that I’ve been using as my source of solace during periods of high stress? Aman Resorts, a luxury, intimate small chain of hotels focused primarily on the southeast Asia region.
I’ve been awed by the gorgeous pictures from many hotels, but this is the first resort website where I’ve been stunned by the pictures from every single one of their resorts in over 16 exotic countries, such as Indonesia, French Polynesia, Cambodia, and India. What sets Aman resorts apart from other similar luxury resorts, is that founder Adrian Zecha, founded Aman on the premise of constructing a resort that felt like a vacation home. This means that the traditional 200+ rooms at typical hotels, done Aman style, are small, personal resorts with a max of 55 rooms. Some of the Aman resorts eschew hotel rooms all together, with only villa and bungalow options.
Keeping in line with the feel of an intimate vacation home, Aman resorts also don’t have the usual bustling hotel lobby, with a constantly buzzing front desk, bellhops, and travelers commuting to and fro. Instead, I’ve heard that staff personally greet you at the front door and address you by your name during the entire stay, made easier with the high ratio of staff people to guest (a rumored 4 to 1.)
While each resort retains these distinctive Aman signatures, they are unique in their minimalist architecture and look, tailored to match the specific culture of each locale. For example, although there are 5 different Aman resorts located in Indonesia, Amandari, nestled in central Bali, looks entirely different from Amanusa, near the Bali Sea. Drawing inspiration from the lush and leafy rice terraces and fields it is nestled in, Amandari is decorated in luxe Colonial style,with safari khakis, creams and whites, with batik, flat pleat canopy beds, sunken baths, and garden courtyards with each suite. Amanusa, is decorated with a beachside retreat inspiration, with Hindu poetry, with pillowy 4 poster beds with drapey veils, and picturesque bougainvellea and white ochre flowers, alongside the outdoor showers accompanying each suite.
Naturally, all that luxury comes with a price, and while staying at Aman resorts doesn’t come cheap, in an interview with Time magazine, founder Adrian Zecha explained, “We are perceived as being expensive, but we are not. If you have a mass product, you have to sell it for an affordable price. If you have a limited product, you can’t make money unless you sell it at a high price. For what we offer for $700 — the service, attention, size of room — compared to what you’d get anywhere else, we deliver more.”
I haven’t yet had the experience of being able to stay at an Aman resort, but I hope to be able to soon. Guests who have stayed at Aman are supposedly turned for life, spoiled by the extravagance and beauty of their resorts, are dubbed in the business as “Aman junkies” or “Aman addicts.” Aman’s newest resort is actually located in Southern Utah, which makes it just slightly more accessible.
Check out some more pictures of some beautiful Aman locales below and visit their website for some travel dreaming: