THE GOOD EARTH

Aman­gani’s dis­cern­ing ap­proach and lo­ca­tion re­stores the mind, body and soul. TRAVEL & LEISURE

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Travel & Leisure - By KEN­NETH TAN

At an el­e­va­tion of 2,134m above sea level, Aman­gani en­joys glo­ri­ous re­pose in the ma­jes­tic land­scape of the Grand Te­ton moun­tain range. Here, in Jack­son Hole, Wy­oming, you find your­self plugged into na­ture like you’ve never known be­fore.

“This is my cathe­dral,” says An­drew White­ford, one of a half- dozen res­i­dent nat­u­ral­ists at Aman­gani. He’s re­fer­ring to the sur­round­ing coun­try of Jack­son Hole which is 97-per­cent na­tional land. On a wildlife ex­cur­sion, White­ford demon­strates a keen knack for spot­ting traces of wildlife, such as a coy­ote’s paw print and black bear scat among the sage­brush. In un­der four hours, the route un­cov­ers a moose graz­ing among the wil­lows, a bald ea­gle soar­ing against the ma­jes­tic moun­tains and herds of play­ful elk. “Na­ture has a way of hum­bling you and you be­gin to feel a sense of be­long­ing to the en­tire ecosys­tem,” White­ford says. Here at Aman­gani, that sense of na­ture nur­tures the ur­ban-weary trav­eller. The re­sort’s name is a port­man­teau of the San­skrit word mean­ing ‘ peace’ and the Shoshone Na­tive Amer­i­can word mean­ing ‘ home’. In

“You be­gin to feel a sense of be­long­ing to the ecosys­tem.”

the morn­ings, a deep rolling mist streams through the val­ley, while win­ter brings up to 500cm of snow, blan­ket­ing the land­scape with daz­zling white­ness.

Within the re­sort’s 40 beau­ti­fully ap­pointed and spa­cious suites (start­ing at 45sqm) and four homes, one even finds a calm­ing au­di­tory am­bi­ence such as the flute mu­sic of Na­tive Amer­i­can Keith Bear – a re­call of Jack­son Hole’s his­tory when it was a des­ti­na­tion for fur trap­pers, moun­tain men and the in­trepid David Ed­ward Jack­son who be­came one of the first white men to spend an en­tire win­ter in the val­ley two cen­turies ago.

You can prop­erly re­lax here; the spa utilises chem­i­cal-free Aman skin­care prod­ucts and el­e­ments from the sur­round­ing wilder­ness such as ju­niper, sage, laven­der and cedar. Your day might os­ten­si­bly start with a work­out at the 24-hour fit­ness cen­tre and laps in a heated 35m out­door in­fin­ity pool be­fore a hot stone mas­sage ( US$250 (RM1,056) for 90 min­utes).

Break­fast at The Grill serves strips of de­li­ciously ten­der Wagyu Za­ba­ton beef hash, sourced from the nearby Snake River Farms, nestling among smoked chill­ies, crushed tomatil­los and Yukon potato. Din­ing at this restau­rant, among red­wood-pan­elled walls and ceil­ings and crack­ling wood fires, is a cosy, ca­sual af­fair amid moun­tain views and a sea­sonal menu of­fer­ing of lo­cally sourced, sus­tain­able ranch meats and fresh fish.

Its lunch menu of­fers whole­some bowls of poke with fresh fish, edamame, av­o­cado and tog­a­rashi fries, and steak burg­ers from the neigh­bour­ing Mead Ranch, with sliced camem­bert and caramelised onions. Din­ner spe­cials in­clude rib-eye with a foie gras re­duc­tion on top and co­conut lime sor­bet to fin­ish.

Never far away from your restora­tive jour­ney is the

Din­ing at The Grill is a cosy, ca­sual af­fair amid moun­tain views.

en­velop­ing sense of calm ra­di­at­ing from the an­cient moun­tain range and an end­less cerulean sky. This year, dur­ing the to­tal so­lar eclipse in Au­gust, Aman­gani cel­e­brated with stargaz­ing ac­tiv­i­ties – ob­serv­ing the rings of Saturn and moons of Jupiter – and a pool­side cel­e­bra­tion. Then, in that mo­ment of to­tal eclipse, Stu­art Lang its gen­eral man­ager, re­mem­bers how “ev­ery­thing went cold”, a sin­gu­larly mag­i­cal episode of nat­u­ral won­der.

Other tran­scen­dent mo­ments of na­ture may be ex­pe­ri­enced through­out the course of the sea­sons; ex­plor­ing the Yel­low­stone and Grand Te­ton parks with a pic­nic lunch, float­ing 305m above the val­ley in a hot-air bal­loon, horse­back riding, cy­cling and golf­ing at the Te­ton Pines Re­sort and Golf Club or the Robert Trent Jones Jr-de­signed Jack­son Hole Golf. One may also par­take in shoot­ing ex­pe­ri­ences, fly fish­ing and kayak­ing down the Snake River (named for its wind­ing course, not the rep­tile).

In the warmer months, you get the Jack­son Hole Rodeo and a Wagon Cook­out with live folk mu­sic and Old West hu­mour a 15-minute drive away. Win­ter of­fers big-moun­tain runs, snow­mo­bil­ing, alpine ski­ing, dogsled­ding, heli-ski­ing, snow­shoe tours and on Fri­days, ski­ing with the gen­eral man­ager him­self. www.aman.com ≠

Win­ter of­fers big- moun­tain runs, snow­mo­bil­ing, alpine ski­ing, dogsled­ding, heli- ski­ing and snow­shoe tours.

Home to some of the best ski­ing in the Rock­ies, Jack­son Hole of­fers over 1,000 hectares of slopes for ex­perts and begin­ners.

Aman­gani’s 40 suites and four homes have king-sized beds, fire­places and ter­races or bal­conies with panoramic moun­tain views. Inset: The Lounge serves light meals through­out the day.

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