A milestone year for Aman, 2018 marks a more lauded celebration of 30 years since its first ‘place of peace’ Amanpuri, was opened on Phuket’s secluded west coast. Now embracing 31 resorts, hotels, and private residences in 20 countries, Aman is delighted to announce a series of beguiling and enriching experiences for 2018.
As ‘permanxiety’ becomes the norm for many societies around the globe, Aman’s role as a sanctuary, a breathing space and a gateway to transformative experiences outside the constraints of everyday life becomes ever more precious. Aman has always sought to create experiences that go beyond the hotel, with destinations grown from their surroundings, offering the utmost privacy, a place to restore and unwind, and an opportunity to experience a destination in its truest sense. From the launch of Amanyangyun, a reforested woodland resort on the outskirts of Shanghai, to geisha dinners in Japan with Aman Tokyo, and a new honey sommelier at Amanjena in Marrakech, each new experience is designed to bring a unique insight into the destination like no other – connecting guests to the spirit of a place, like only Aman can.
Opening its doors on 8 January 2018, Amanyangyun will stand tribute to one of the boldest conservation projects in China’s history. The result of a staggeringly ambitious 15-year initiative to relocate a forest and reconstruct a historic village of 50 Ming and Qing dynasty houses, Aman’s fourth destination in China is a soul-easing sanctuary with a focus on holistic wellbeing and restoration.
Reborn 27km southwest of Shanghai, the relocated houses and trees now shape the soul of Amanyangyun, a 10-hectare retreat that presents a tranquil, nature-rich counterpart to the dynamic cosmopolitanism of its neighbouring city. More than just a guardian of the past, Amanyangyun offers its guests the opportunity to experience advanced holistic wellness facilities, with nearly 3,000 square metres dedicated to its state-of-the-art Aman Spa and fitness centre. Open to resort guests and private members, Amanyangyun’s Spa is the first to launch since the brand’s global introduction of Aman Wellness in 2016. As a result, it offers the first full expression of this initiative, incorporating every aspect of wellness from nutrition, movement and beauty, to emotional and spiritual wellbeing through the carefully curated Aman lens. Setting the benchmark for Aman’s vision of wellness, the Spa at Amanyangyun pioneers the integration of cutting edge technology and innovative science with holistic healing modalities, both ancient and modern.
These include high-tech German Hair Bio-Profilers during wellness assessments, offering instant and comprehensive bio-profile reports via bio-resonance; Energetic Body Mapping with the InterX Neurostimulation device to uncover areas of imbalance, de-stress and jumpstart the body’s healing processes; and Accu Laser Light Therapy using low-intensity, non-invasive lasers to assist in energy infusions, treating jet lag, sleep issues and general fatigue with raw photonic energy; among other frontline wellness technologies.
AMANWELLA and AMANGALLA, Sri Lanka
The Southern Coast of Sri Lanka is considered one of the finest places in the world from which to spot Blue Whales, Sperm Whales and large pods of Spinner Dolphins as they frolic in the calm waters. Amangalla and Amanwella, Amans properties in the city of Galle and by the seaside town of Tangalle, are introducing excursions aboard two locally-crafted Catamarans, making the vast untouched swatch of coast accessible from Mirissa Harbour, a 40-minute drive to the south of Amangalla and 75-minutes from Amanwella.
Guests will travel to the most southerly point of Sri Lanka to spot the whales. Accompanied by a captain, chef, private butler, guests will be guided to private beaches and snorkelling sites with a picnic lunch, evening BBQ’s or golden sunset sessions accompanied by canapés and champagne.
48-foot and 53-foot in length, the Catamarans accommodate up to 6 guests and are fitted with fully-equipped kitchens which provide everything a chef needs to prepare a traditional Sri Lankan meal at sea while the outdoor living room and open upper deck offers stunning views over Weligama Bay and the Laccadive Sea. This excursion is possible from late November to early April.
Overlooking starkly beautiful desert scenery and the Southwest’s iconic flat-topped mesa rock formations, Amangiri is located in the USA’s Grand Circle region. In 2018, Amangiri will introduce an exciting new aerial adventure concept for younger guests and a family friendly addition to the six existing via ferrata climbs.
Comprised of exhilarating rock scrambles, challenging via ferrata traverses and four distinctive suspension bridge passages, experiencing the natural desert environment will make up an integral part of this new project and allow guests to truly take in the treasures of the remarkable location. Parents and children will also learn about the region’s ancient inhabitants through interactive activities that are designed to educate, engage and inspire. A replica dinosaur dig provides a peek into the paleontological treasures found in nearby Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, including actual castings from dinosaur fossils and trackways.
Amangiri’s team of explorers have also mapped out a new via ferrata climbing route; the Canyon Crossing, which provides a fun physical challenge and an introduction to paleontology, geology and archaeology to those aged five and above. Following which, guests can learn to make the traditional marshmallow campfire snack at Amangiri’s new S’more School.
As well as an expanded programme of children’s cooking classes and watersports tuition, Amangiri will introduce Family Yoga, a special private class held either in the yoga studio or outdoors providing bespoke instruction for every member of the family.
AMAN TOKYO, Japan
2018 sees Aman Tokyo introduce the authentic flavours of Italy’s rich culinary heritage to Japan’s gastronomic capital, becoming the next Aman destination (following Aman Venice, Amanpuri and Amanyangyun) to offer guests the warm, familial ambience and bold, flavour-packed dishes from Arva, Aman’s second culinary concept.
Aman Tokyo guests will also be the first to have the privilege of visiting the Tsurunaka ryotei (a high end traditional Japanese tea house where business or political meetings take place) which only admits customers by personal referral. Here, Aman Tokyo guests can enjoy a meal accompanied by authentic cultural performances from some of Tokyo’s most accomplished geisha, revered for their grace, musical ability and mastery of hospitality as an art form.
Honey has become a potent symbol of sweetness in literature and folklore for cultures across the world. North Africa is considered the cradle of apiculture, and the town of Argana in Morocco is home to one of the oldest collective beehives in the world, and the host of a celebrated honey festival every May. Harvested straight from natural hives and undergoing no further processing, Moroccan honey is renowned for being the most delicious and fragrant in the world, and serves as everything from a staple of the breakfast table to a medicinal remedy and natural antiseptic.
Chefs at Amanjena have been working with local honey farmers to create a menu of 12 different varieties from across the country. Amanjena has appointed Aman’s first honey sommelier, Bruno Vengadabady, who will share his recommendations for food pairing and his extensive knowledge of each honey’s origins, flavour profile and health benefits.
The epitome of a tropical paradise, Amanpulo embraces the entire island of Pamalican in the Sulu Sea, just over an hour’s flight south of Manila. With white sands, warm sunshine and surrounded by turquoise waters, 2018 will see the resort and its community celebrating 25 remarkable years. Amanpulo will invite guests to celebrate this momentous anniversary with a range of activities and excursions including al fresco barbecues on the 25th of every month as well as 25-minute activities from palm leaf weaving to cardiovascular workouts. The resort will support a number of community initiatives including learning programmes led by heads of department from the resort and experts in their respective fields.
To celebrate their 25-year milestone, Amanpulo will also launch a scholarship programme to fund the university studies of one exceptional high-school student from Manamoc Island, where over 90% of the resort’s staff live. This will be awarded to those pursuing a baccalaureate degree in a discipline that can bring long-term benefit to the island and its community.
AMAN VENICE, Italy
Taking place between 27 January and 13 February, the Venice Carnival will involve over a fortnight of dramatic soirées, elaborate costumes and vibrant celebrations. Guests of Aman Venice will be invited to celebrate the 60th birthday of Antonia Sautter, a Venetian couturier specialising in recreating exquisite textiles and costumes from the 17th century to the 1920’s. At one of the most exclusive parties of the year, the 25th anniversary of the Ballo del Doge, Aman Venice guests attending can opt to have a bespoke Antonia Sautter costume especially made and delivered to their room in advance of the ball to fully embrace the festivities.
Guests of Aman-i-khas can experience the wilderness of Ranthambore National Park with wildlife conservationist Daulat Singh who has recently joined the resort and available to accompany guests on safaris. An expert in animal behaviour and tracking, Mr Singh has spent the last 33 years with the Rajasthan Forest Department, specifically working with threatened and endangered species including Bengal tigers and leopards.
The recipient of multiple conservation and environmental awards, Mr Singh is known for his heroism and bravery in critical rescue operations, continuing his mission to save India’s wildlife. On numerous occasions he has been responsible for tracking and then tranquilising large injured cats that require medical care, or have wandered outside of protected areas into human territory. The latter often prove to be extremely high-pressure situations with fearful crowds and a defensive predator at its most dangerous. His success in darting these animals so that they can be taken back to the safe havens of national parks has contributed considerably to India’s conservation efforts.
Amantaka lies in the centre of picturesque Luang Prabang, Laos’s spiritual capital, with sacred Mount Phousi as its backdrop. In 2018, the resort’s culinary offering will be further enhanced with the appointment of Bordeaux-born Head Chef, Charly Gomes, who has put together a Street Food Tour of Luang Prabang, taking in the alluring charm of Laotian street food culture. Chef Charly will guide guests on a walking tour of the night market, taking them to the most authentic, off the beaten track food stalls serving sticky rice in hand woven baskets, banana pancakes and a mélange of East meets West dishes inspired from French colonial days.
With a career spanning Europe and Asia, Chef Charly appreciation of organic produce and passion for cooking were conceived in the hub of the renowned wine-growing region of Bordeaux, where he began his career. Chef Charly joins the team at Amantaka following a year’s stint at the two-Michelin Star Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, England. Chef Charly is enthusiastic to share his many delicacies with Amantaka guests, particular highlights of which include vegetables steamed in banana leaf, fresh coconut sauces, vegetarian summer rolls and light noodle broths.
In March, Amankora’s circuit of five lodges across the central and western valleys of Bhutan will open its first swimming pool, at Punakha Lodge. The sole surviving Himalayan Buddhist kingdom and one of the most remote and pristine environments on earth, Bhutan’s temperate climate, reaches 23–26ºC in the spring and summer months from March to August. Amankora Punakha, east of the Dochu La Pass and north of the resplendent Punakha Dzong, is at the midpoint of the circular pilgrimage, and the ideal rest-stop to enjoy the 30m infinity pool. Surrounded by rice paddies and fruit plantations, the eight-suite lodge at Amankora Punakha occupying a traditional Bhutanese farmhouse, will also present four brand new suites.
For 2018, Amansara will unveil a new bountiful roof garden with aromatic plants and herbs growing in hanging baskets and tiered bamboo planting shelves. The Roof Top is an intimate spot for guests to enjoy evening cocktails using locally-made liquors and spirits, a private dinner or to experience a cultural performance.
As part of Amansara’s commitment to the local community, for one week during March and November 2018 the spa at Amansara will partner with ‘Ostéopathes de France’, a group of 30 professional osteopaths who visit Cambodia every year to provide treatment to pregnant women and children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Over these two weeks, osteopaths from this voluntary organisation will offer their services to guests at the Amansara spa with the proceeds of these treatments being donated to treating more children in Cambodia.
AMAN PRIVATE JET EXPEDITION
Following the success of Aman’s private-jet journeys in previous years, 2018 sees Aman take to the air once again, with new and unique expeditions taking in the diverse cultures, landscapes and experiences that make up the Aman world. In spring, Aman’s Caribbean resorts – beachside Amanyara and clifftop Amanera – become the focal points of a unique wellness journey by private jet. From 29 April to 5 May, 12 guests will have the opportunity to fly from New York or Miami on a transformative six-night expedition, taking in two Caribbean island escapes, and accompanied by raw-food chef Adam Kenworthy. Through a series of culinary seminars and demonstrations, Adam will offer insight and instruction in the health and wellbeing benefits of a plant-based diet. By the uninterrupted golden sands at Amanera in the Dominican Republic, guests are invited to partake in sunrise yoga, nature walks, evening meditation, and salsa dancing on the beach beneath the full moon. Flying on to Amanyara in the Providenciales, guests will enjoy a full programme of spa treatments, energy yoga, core training on the sand and magic-hour cruises.
Departing on 7 October, the customised private jet will carry up to 16 guests on a two-week adventure across Asia, visiting seven Aman destinations en route. From the sacred camphor forest on the outskirts of Shanghai, to the wilderness adventure of Ranthambore National Park in rural Rajasthan, to the golden palm-fringed beaches of southern Sri Lanka, this once-in-a-lifetime journey will immerse passengers in the history, culture and cuisine of China, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka.
Aman was founded in 1988 with the vision of building a collection of intimate retreats with the unassuming, warm hospitality of a gracious private residence. The first, Amanpuri (place of peace) in Phuket, Thailand, introduced the concept, and since then, Aman has grown to encompass 31 hotels and resorts located in Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Dominican Republic, France, Greece, Indonesia, India, Italy, Japan, Laos, Montenegro, Morocco, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, the Turks & Caicos Islands, the USA, and Vietnam.