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.
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.
The lobby was grand, and felt more like the entrance to a nice residence than a resort.
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.
Each pavilion has a probably 50 foot walkway within the walls leading up to it.
Inside the entrance of the pool pavilion was a foyer, leading in one direction to the bedroom and one direction to the bathroom.
The bedroom was to the right, and featured a king bed and 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.
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.
Now, while the private pool was impressive, the resort pool was more impressive, so I spent much of my time there.
At the other end of the hotel was the gym and spa.
The gym was pretty basic though had all of the necessities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.