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A Discreet & Luxurious Hideaway

Virtually limitless activities in the shadow of the Grand Tetons, Wyoming

Article by Lynette Standley

Photography by Lynette Standley + Provided

January is the perfect time to rest, relax and hit the reset button.

As the world begins to recover and rebuild – businesses, jobs, lives – remember to include the spirit. Take time to nourish your soul as the days lengthen and we leave the uncertainty and chaos of last year in the rearview mirror.

Perhaps there is a greater appreciation in this season for what we have; for our abilities and freedoms and the opportunity to seek regeneration. Whether a staycation in the Treasure Valley or a long weekend in a neighboring state, there is something about a change in scenery, meeting new people, or eating a new dish that invigorates the soul.

My husband and I recently visited Jackson Hole, Wyo., for a new experience in the “old west,” a secluded mountaintop retreat that exudes warmth and welcome and something out of the ordinary. The name itself sets the expectation: Amangani means peaceful home. It’s part of the worldwide Aman family of resorts, and one of only two in the U.S.

The theme at the luxurious Amangani is one of nature and simplicity, and it’s a perfect complement to the surroundings.  The resort feels more like a tranquil home than an opulent hotel.  Rattan and natural sinew chairs are lined with faux fur cushions throughout the lounge areas and suites. The two-story windows facing the valley below greeted us with marvelous views. The wood-lined walls and fireplaces harken back to the pioneer days of the west. Imagine yourself in a cozy, rustic old-west cabin on a mountaintop with a crackling fire and a fur blanket. Then kick it up five stars.

“Our locations are strategically chosen and offer a sense of peace and tranquility,” said Amangani General Manager Stuart Lang. “We create sanctuaries where our guests can unwind and rebalance.”

When I need to hit the reset button, I seek out experiences that create joy. Big or small, those feelings of enjoyment truly are healing, and my go-to is a spa day. With a menu of curative treatments I opted to start my visit to the Amangani Spa in the eucalyptus steam room to warm up and unwind. Afterward, I donned my thick robe and slippers and walked outside to the infinity pool overlooking the valley. I sank into the jetted hot pool and sat chin-deep in the hot water, giving me a sense of levitation in the falling snow. I felt one with the land as my senses took in the clean air and incredible vista.  

When it was time for my massage, I moved into the spa’s waiting area and enjoyed hot tea in a dark and cozy room with furry blankets. Spa Manager Audrey brought me to the women’s lounge where large walk-in showers and lemongrass beauty products beckoned - and I had it all to myself. Once again, Amangani’s “peaceful home” felt like exactly that. Hot towels and the strong hands of my massage therapist pushed me further into tranquility. I left feeling more relaxed, more inspired – and ready to book it all again!

After dinner, my husband and I went back to enjoy the hot pool at night. We were treated to a brilliant starry sky – something we don’t see as often among the city lights of Boise.

The secluded location of this home-away-from-home, on a small mountain range between Jackson and Teton Village, allows for as much or as little isolation as you’d like. In 15 minutes, I could be shop-hopping in town and visiting galleries and museums. Or I could “stay home” and enjoy the spectacular views from the Amangani resort or residences, the many sitting rooms and patios throughout the resort, or my own suite. In fact, we opted to return one afternoon and canceled our dinner reservation in town. We just couldn’t get enough of the upscale-rustic atmosphere at our temporary “home” – or the food. With Amangani’s “The Grill” on-site, we never needed to leave. The dishes we ordered from their impressive seasonal menu were exquisite. A foodie’s paradise!

“We invite guests to come and experience what we offer,” Lang said. “Ours is a very unscripted, intuitive hotel-stay experience,” Lang said. “Amangani is the base camp. Our guests come to explore and rebalance. ‘Wide open spaces’ is the theme; clean air and natural resources abound,” he added.

Winter activities to pursue in the area:

Enjoy a wildlife expedition, with a guided winter hike or snowshoe excursion. Keep an eye out for bison, moose, and elk, as well as hawks and bald eagles. Teton National Park is number one in the nation for wildlife viewing!

Spend a day on piste. Thousands of acres of skiable terrain await visitors at Jackson Hole and Snow King ski resorts. And conditions are usually excellent with an average 450 inches of snow each year. Amangani guests have a private lounge at Jackson Hole with a ski concierge to help design a perfect day on the slopes.

Or go off piste. Romantic sleigh rides, unique dogsledding excursions or adventurous snowmobile trips offer winter fun with beautiful views. Family entertainment includes indoor and outdoor ice-skating and a snow-coaster. Private guides and local vendors can help make it happen.

During our Amangani stay, it was easy to experience their peaceful home. I understand why people come from across the U.S. and from around the world. Nature provides the wildlife, rivers, wide valleys, and the jutting Teton Mountain range. We saw elk, deer, eagles, and hawks. I watched keenly for moose, but they eluded me this time.

We felt a natural calling to drive, hike, explore, take photos and soak up the magnificence. However, we also slept late, curled up with a book, and sat by the fire in our room. Why not? We were home. Mother Nature guided us to the perfect opportunity to appreciate and enjoy the unscripted; to take a break and look ahead with a renewed spirit in the coming year.

Editor’s note: Follow Lynette and read more about her travel adventures here on her City Lifestyle Ambassador Page.

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