Review: Amanbagh

Introduction
Aman New Delhi
Aman-i-Khas / Safari in Ranthambore National Park
Amanbagh / Activities around Amanbagh


After a roughly five hour drive from Delhi we arrived at Amanbagh. While the area around Aman-i-Khas is fairly populated with a major city, you literally get the feeling that you’re in the middle of nowhere at Amanbagh. The last two hours of the drive were down a dirt road with virtually no civilization. There’s a tiny town maybe 10 minutes away, though it quickly sinks in that the area surrounding the hotel has more monkey residents than human residents (more on the surrounding area in the next installment).

The entrance to the hotel has lush gardens and a beautiful lobby, though the real treat were the employees waiting for us.


Entrance

I thought the welcome ceremony at Aman New Delhi and Aman-i-Khas were over-the-top. Nope.

At Amanbagh we were greeted by the GM as well as several staff, and even had a welcome ceremony whereby four traditionally dressed women sang for a “ribbon” ceremony.


Welcome ceremony

The lobby was grand, and felt more like the entrance to a nice residence than a resort.


Lobby


Lobby

The GM, Tim, was probably the most international guy I’ve ever met. He was Swiss/South African/German/100 other nationalities, and his wife was French.

We were escorted to our pool pavilion, of which the resort has 16. Our pavilion was located close to the lobby and pool.


Pool area

Each pavilion has a probably 50 foot walkway within the walls leading up to it.


Pool pavilion exterior


Area within the wall of pool pavilion

Inside the entrance of the pool pavilion was a foyer, leading in one direction to the bedroom and one direction to the bathroom.


Foyer

The bedroom was to the right, and featured a king bed and seating area.


Bed


Seating area

On the other side of the foyer was the bathroom, which had an interesting circular shape. There were two separate sink areas, two closets, a shower enclosure, and a bathtub in the middle of the room.


Bathroom


Sink


Bathtub


Shower


Closet

The highlight of the pavilion was the pool, which was a great place to relax. It featured a couple of lounge chairs and a table with benches.


Pool


Seating area

Now, while the private pool was impressive, the resort pool was more impressive, so I spent much of my time there.


Pool


Pool facing the main lobby


Pool at night

At the other end of the hotel was the gym and spa.


Hotel walkway

The gym was pretty basic though had all of the necessities.


Gym


Gym

One day I got a massage which was very reasonably priced (~$60USD, if I recall correctly).

The restaurant and library are also connected to the lobby of the hotel.


Outdoor dining


Outdoor dining

Every day they had a local artist putting together a “display” in the center of the restaurant courtyard, which often took him a few hours.


Artist

Located above the lobby is the library. The wifi was actually pretty fast throughout the resort, though the wifi is apparently even faster in the library, which was a welcome change after being rather disconnected for a couple of weeks.


View of lobby from library


Library

The resort features a restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating. While I don’t have the menu, there was a wide variety of options, both western and Indian. Here are just a few pictures:

As we left we had an equally grand departure “ceremony,” including a gift consisting of a couple of Amanbagh t-shirts and hats.


Adios!

I’ll have more in the next installment on the activities around the resort, which were probably my favorite during the entire trip.

On the whole the resort was phenomenal, though it’s really the people that set this place apart. The sincerity and friendliness of every single person working at Amanbagh couldn’t help but put a smile on my face. It was the little touches that made a big difference. For example, just about every time we left the room (no matter at what time of day or for how long) it was “refreshed.” In the restaurant the waiters remembered our names and preferences, and always made suggestions, which I appreciated. We were almost always the only ones in the restaurant, so despite that the service felt attentive without being overbearing.

Beyond that, I’ve never felt as disconnected as I did at Amanbagh. If you’re one of those people that’s addicted to technology, there’s no better place to disconnect than Amanbagh.

The rates at the Amanbagh start at $600 per night. If you book through a Virtuoso agent you receive a room upgrade upon availability, continental breakfast daily, and a complimentary lunch for two once during your stay. If you book through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts you get a room upgrade upon availability, continental breakfast daily, a 50 minute massage once during your stay for up to two in room guests, and guaranteed 4PM late check-out.

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Comments

  1. while the hotel seems nice, I probably wouldn’t want to be in the middle of nowhere in India. its too poor and smelly. why not be in the middle of nowhere in france or the swiss alps

  2. Great reports as always! Yet, as someone who has lived in India for a few years before, I can say without doubts that… this is not India. These fancy hotels that you stayed in remind me of some sayings that Westerners want to come to India without having to deal with Indians and hence choose to stay in their comfort zone within their luxury hotels that have a bit of cultures thrown in every now and then like a theme park (yet these seem enough to please the Westerners just like the local “artist” you mentioned). There’s nothing wrong with indulging yourself but I just wonder why you travel all the way to India for that. There are much more to India beyond the walls of your hotels I guarantee you.

  3. Interesting gym! I’ve never seen one without mats. I’m guessing there was no free weights…

  4. I echo Vincent’s comment above. You may claim there is a lot of “local” flavor here, but this is nowhere close to what an authentic Indian experience would be.

    Chuck, you are just a racist ignorant fuck.

  5. @Teabagpartier – Everyone is free to express his/her opinions but we all expect some civility to prevail. I do not know how lucky takes it but to me your last comment is slightly below the belt and unacceptable. I would suggest either you take it back or you should be banned from writing any comments here. Just my 2 cents.

  6. I am going to have to say I agree with caveman. While what chuck said might be deemed “racist” by some …. Teabagpartier’s comment is just dirty to even look at. You could have left a word or two off your comment and still got your point across.

  7. Wonderful review. Don’t think I’ll be adding this place to my bucketlist, though, too sterile for my taste. Food looks so delish I tried to eat the photos.

    The private pool – big brownie points when traveling with a spouse/so.

    Too much marble in the workout room. Need an area with carpet to place a yoga mat and do my downward dogs.

  8. In Amanbagh’s defense, this report only includes pictures of the resort. They offer many, many cultural experiences that get you out into the villages, meeting local people, having tea, attending ceremonies, etc. It’s not as sterile as you think.

  9. @Vincent one advantage of experiencing an “Western luxury hotel” in India is the Indian’s themselves who work at those hotels.

    Although one might travel the world and stay at nice hotels, commonly it’s the people of each area make those hotels special. If someone was to go to a “Western luxury hotel” near home, say in the USA, the level of service, courtesy and overall experience would be quite different (not to mention raw hard product – room size etc..). I don’t know what an “authentic Indian experience” would entail but even at the “Western luxury hotel” the culture is highly influenced by local customs.

  10. This has got to be one of the finest hotels I have read about in India. The “Aman” experience sure takes a hotel stay to a whole new level. Do you plan to visit again Lucky?

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