It’s 6:00AM, I’m sitting in the American Airlines lounge hearing dire predictions of an “epic winter snow storm” that’s going to blast the East Coast shortly. Though I had planned to leave the following week, “Snowzilla” and a deft travel agent prompted a quick and unexpected travel change. One flight connection and just a few hours later, I arrive into the sunny Turks and Caicos where passengers and natives alike have perpetual smiles on their faces. I’m quickly met by a VIP attendant and whisked into a beautiful new Land Rover. Just ten minutes later, I arrive in Paradise at the Amanyara Resort.
The Aman brand may not be known the world over, but to travel and luxury insiders, it’s considered the gold standard in travel and hospitality. What once started as a quite and quaint luxury spot in Phuket, dubbed “place of peace”, has spawned 30 properties around the globe which have become a favorite spot for celebrities, CEOs, heads of state and busy professionals. It’s unlike any other place in the world, and for good reason which I’ll document below.
Upon arrival at the Amanyara, I’m given a welcome drink and greeted by the hotel manager and key staff. After introductions, I’m taken to a picture perfect room that’s really a small villa. Winter coats are replaced with bathing suits and the latest US Weekly, and I’m off to the stunning pool. What I first notice is how quiet and calm the space is. There’s no music, no TVs, no modern distractions. The staff, extremely responsive to any request, are cheerful and adept at making guests feel like they’re visiting their home rather than a resort. That theme continues during the week whether dining in the two restaurants or cocktails by the bar. They have set the customer service imprint so high, I fear I will complain about service elsewhere when leaving.
I start my days with breakfast—they even made vegan banana bread to accommodate my dairy allergy—followed by lounging on the beach next to pristine water. Later stops including the stunning pool for afternoon tea, an occasional spa treatment, taking in sunsets with a cocktail by the bar, followed by dinner. It’s a schedule that repeats for days, never tiresome. I’m in vacation bliss.
After 10 days at the Amayara, I still feel like I can’t get enough. I typically look forward to returning home after traveling, but I find that I can stay here indefinitely. While I loved its pristine beach, the quiet and peace, it’s the warm hospitality and staff that have me returning. After all, I’m not a customer, but a guest in their home.
SHOP MY TRAVEL LOOK
A big thank you to the Amanyara staff for hosting us and making our stay so enjoyable2