God’s CountryAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Built into a crest of Jackson Hole’s East Gros Ventre Butte, Amangani is a stairway to heaven
Overlooking the majestic Snake River Valley at the southern end of Jackson Hole sits Aman’s first North American property—Amangani—an intimate 40-room escape that envelops guests into the true essence of the great Old West. The resort was designed by acclaimed architect Ed Tuttle—his extensive work on several Aman properties helped develop the global brand—who used his signature approach of respecting the surrounding environment by immersing the structure like a stairwell into the butte. Amangani, meaning “peaceful home,” blends immaculately into the foothills and yet remains one of America’s most significant architectural masterpieces of our time.
Built in 1998, its Pacific redwood-clad interiors and Oklahoma Sandstone architecture have aged like fine wine, enhancing the charm that draws guests to the destination year-round. “Amangani is designed to integrate sensitively into the vast natural landscape it inhabits,” says General Manager David Silva. “The interiors embrace the resort’s setting with large floor-to-ceiling windows offering panoramic views and redwood-paneled walls, while in each suite and the three homes, wood and stone finishes are perfectly complemented by soft furnishings made from woven cowhide or faux-wolf fur.” In addition to the 40 guest suites, Amangani offers three private residential homes for rent that continue the defined design of the main property and cater to larger groups who want to take advantage of the amenities and luxuries that elevate the Aman brand above the rest. “Through our residence program, we are pleased to offer more space, privacy and additional facilities to enable supremely comfortable and longer stays,” Silva says. “Our three four-bedroom homes include expansive living and dining areas, fully equipped contemporary kitchens and large outdoor terraces that provide spectacular panoramic views with unrestricted access to the main resort, ensuring every possible whim is catered to.”
Often recognized as one of the best ski resorts in the country, the hotel offers a variety of experiences throughout the year that take full advantage of all Wyoming has to offer. Aside from skiing, guests can enjoy anything from fly fishing in the Snake or Green Rivers to seeing the entire valley in a hot-air balloon, horseback riding through trails that the cowboys of the past once discovered or taking an exclusive photography workshop with David Brookover, owner of Brookover Gallery in Jackson Hole. “Endless entertainment can be found within the vast swathes of wilderness on the resort’s doorstep or in the two nearby national parks, Grand Teton and Yellowstone,” Silva remarks. “For wildlife enthusiasts, Amangani has launched a brand new three-night Adventures in the Wild package, available until December 15, 2023. The program includes a four-hour sunrise or sunset wildlife tour in a BMW X7.”
The region is home to the largest concentration of free-roaming wildlife; therefore one of the most exciting adventures the hotel offers is the wildlife tour with expert guide Jared Paul. “He has been a part of our team for 20 years and continues to impart his extensive knowledge on the local flora and fauna to residents of Amangani, conducting bespoke safaris within our nearby national parks,” says Silva. Guests can embark on an all-day wildlife observation excursion with Paul to learn about one of the many native species including elk, bison, bald eagles, river otters, mule deer, black bears and the magnificent grizzly bears. If lucky, they might witness one of the region’s most notable attractions—Bear 399—a 27-year-old female grizzly who is said to attract tourists from all over the world, generating $60 million annually. She is believed to be the oldest grizzly mother in the region on record, with a lineage of 22 cubs and grand cubs that has greatly contributed to the rebound of the once-endangered species.
After a long day of outdoor activities, those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation can swim in the heated infinity swimming pool and whirlpool, followed by a steam, then book one of the holistic treatments that draw upon ancient wellness philosophies from around the world. Silva notes, “In the spa, guests can enjoy a 105-minute Teton Wellness massage ritual, which includes a revitalizing essential oil foot scrub, an exfoliating dry-brushing session, a full-body massage, and a hand and foot wrap in heated organic paraffin wax.”
Real indulgence begins when drinking or dining at one of the property’s three lounges including the main restaurant, The Grill, which delivers American cuisine at its best. Helmed by Executive Chef Manuel Fernandez, dishes are focused around local, sustainable ranch meats, fresh fish and farm-to-table produce including caribou sausage, bison steaks, Idaho potatoes and Utah honeycomb. “The Grill also pays homage to the resort’s location with a curated menu that comprises the region’s finest dishes and incorporates seasonal, locally sourced ingredients,” says Silva. Additional food and fare can be discovered at Zinc Bar, where afternoon cocktail sessions and local beer and wine tastings occur. “A weekly program features tasting sessions of delectable indigenous wines in the atmospheric Zinc Bar,” Silva notes. With the 25-year anniversary approaching, Amangani has proved that by fully infusing the local culture and history of a region into the architecture, activities and ambience, hotels can make a lasting impact for generations to come.