Heaven in Hades

A nondescript marker sits just off the highway, easily missed if not for the GPS chirping, “next left turn”.  Turn left here?  Post-apocalyptic monochromatic mesa stretches across the horizon.  A short, remarkably smooth paved road ends abruptly at a gate and another nondescript, but elegant marker:  Amangiri.  The next mile of private drive funnels one through an otherworldly scene of stratified and statuesque pillars and bluffs punctuate with desert shrubs, flowers and the occasional tumbleweed. 

I step out of the car and feel like I’ve stepped onto the set of a James Bond movie.  Like an austere modernist sculpture, the Pavilion rises out of the escarpment.  On one side oversize picture windows frame the desert, on the other, glass doors open on an extraordinary pool built around a 160 million year old stone outcropping.  The room overlooks the undulating mesa, and comes with its own plunge pool and sky terrace.  At night, the intense isolation (there are only 34 accommodations to this 600 acre resort on the edge of a national park) is broken by the infinite stars and galaxies – like sleeping in a planetarium.

Amangiri is surrounded by the so called Grand Circle of national parks, Zion, Bryce, and the Grand Canyon.  With the resort's dramatic surrounds, however, you might never find reason to venture off the grounds.


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