A Lynch family favorite and well-known by many of our clients and friends, Singapore-based Aman represents the pinnacle of world-class luxury hotel/resort hospitality. While the Peninsula, Four Seasons, Rosewood, and Mandarin may rule the 5-star deluxe hotel category, Aman alone occupies the elite level, with an understated sense of luxury, personal service, and unique, high-touch wellness and spa programs. Initially based in the Southeast Asia region, each resort is characterized by a small number of rooms (typically less than 50) and minimalist architecture, designed to complement the location’s natural setting and local culture. Reflecting Aman‘s attention to personal service, the staff to guest ratio is an incredible four to one!
Bev, Zen, and I have been fortunate enough to have stayed at many of Aman‘s global properties including Amankila (Bali), the first Aman resort Amanpuri (Phuket), Aman Tokyo, Amanemu (Japan), Amanpuri (Phuket), Amanwella (Sri Lanka), Amansara (Cambodia), Aman Summer Palace (China), Amanzoe (Greece), Amantaka (Laos), and the Amakora circuit in Bhutan.
With just one location in Africa (Amanjena-Marrakech) and none yet in South America we anticipate more openings to come!
With Kyoto being our favorite city in Asia, we are most excited about the new 24-room Aman Kyoto, just opened in November 2019. The 80-acre site includes 72 acres of native forest and eight acres of traditional Japanese gardens. We are particularly impressed with the property’s location in the Takagamine district, walking distance to Kinkaku-ji (Golden Temple)! The property features spacious and light-filled interiors, similar to traditional ryokans; natural hot springs; and spectacular dining celebrating the unique culinary traditions of Japan using the finest local produce. With large floor-to-ceiling windows, the outside is brought in, allowing for a complete escape in total luxury.
Set on an olive-tree covered hilltop complex of 38 pavilions, Amanzoe is Aman’s only Greece property and we feel worth the trek from Athens. Each suite contains soaring windows, bedrooms that open onto patios and plunge pools, and ultra-modern bathrooms (think huge showers!)
Located in the 40-story Otemachi Tower in Tokyo, within walking distance of Ginza shopping and dining and the Otemachi Forest (Marunouchi’s Naki-dori tree-lined avenue), perhaps the most impressive sight of the Aman Tokyo is its magnificent lobby, with floor to ceiling windows that boast views of the Imperial Palace grounds and even Mt. Fuji on clear days!
Having first visited the Amanemu in 2016 when it first opened, we are big fans of this property. Set on the hills of Ago Bay (“Bay of Pearls”), Shima National Park, the area is known for its pearl cultivation and abundant seafood (especially oysters!). All of the 24 suites and villas include private hot spring baths. Very close by is perhaps the most venerated Shinto shrine in all of Japan, Ise-jingu, dating back to the 3rd century. Here you can enjoy beautiful hikes while practicing your “Shinrin-Yoku” (Forest Bathing) within this bucolic setting. The site of Ise -Jingu has long been considered sacred, due to its majestic, venerable Japanese cypress (cryptomeria) trees. Being 80 minutes by train to Nagoya and a mere 35 minutes via Shinkansen to Kyoto, Amanemu makes for a unique stopover as part of our Japan private tour.
Aman’s presence in Bhutan consists of five luxury lodges, collectively known as “Amankora” (combining the Sanskrit word for peace and kora or “circular pilgrimage” in Dzongkha), carefully chosen in the cultural hubs of central and western valleys of the country. Situated in a blue pine forest in the upper reaches of the Motithang area of the Thimphu Valley, we feel the 16-suite Amankora Thimphu is the highest quality lodge in the surrounding area.
Located on the Grand Canal with private access to Palazzo Ducale, the Aman Venice includes beautifully decorated public areas, with contrasting Rococo-style rooms designed in a more contemporary aesthetic. We particularly enjoyed the hotel’s rooftop terrace offering 360° views over the roofs of Venice.