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paul2 Jan 2, 10 8:03 pm

Aman Poll and Questions 2010 onwards
 
This thread was started by Amanjunkie and became so busy,a 2010 onwards new thread was set up by Luxury to keep it in order.

It's a thread for all things aman so whether you have stayed recently and want to report or are thinking of going to an amanresort and want to post a question feel free to post here....

There is a seperate thread for reports on new Aman and GHM resorts before they open.

behuman Jan 3, 10 12:33 am

No surprise regarding Bhutan
 

Originally Posted by paul2 (Post 13099555)
Some interesting and quite negative (amankora) views posted on the Gallivanters website :

http://www.gallivantersguide.com/forum/index.html

Amankora has huge building problems. Soundproofing is inexistent and the woodworks are poorly done. The floors at the Gangtey lodge ar literally falling apart (probably due to miscalculations regarding the high altitude).

The main issue is as mentioned by the Gallivanters member the management. The GM is a surely individual who ignores his guests leaving it to the resident managers who I experienced to be nice people - including the "Norvegian girl" who was at Gangtey before.

Also absolutely unacceptable are the extremely cramped communal dining arrangements at Paro, Gangtey and Punaka. In Punaka however the palace is three storeys and meals can be served privately in the upper rooms. In Paro they have an outside fireplace where this can be done also.

Bhutan yes, Amankora no until the GM will have changed.

Kagehitokiri Jan 3, 10 9:32 am


Originally Posted by behuman (Post 13100696)
Amankora has huge building problems. Soundproofing is inexistent and the woodworks are poorly done. The floors at the Gangtey lodge ar literally falling apart...

...The GM is a surely individual who ignores his guests leaving it to the resident managers who I experienced to be nice people - including the "Norvegian girl" who was at Gangtey before.

Also absolutely unacceptable are the extremely cramped communal dining arrangements at Paro, Gangtey and Punaka. In Punaka however the palace is three storeys and meals can be served privately in the upper rooms. In Paro they have an outside fireplace where this can be done also.

have there been recent changes...? when were you there? can you clarify why your negatives of GM and communal dining at paro/punaka outweigh your positives?

may 31 2009

Originally Posted by bigmerv (Post 11831970)
Aman - Kora, Dari and Kila

Just back from a wonderful stay at the above resorts.


Originally Posted by bigmerv (Post 11833526)
staying at Amankora in Punakha and Thimpu

jun 1 2009

Originally Posted by Groombridge (Post 11840297)
...I spent 10 nights at Amankora last October, and thought it was one of the top 5 hotel experiences of my life. I went to all 5 lodges...

GANGTEY: very small and intimate lodge, with exquisite views across the valley...

PUNAKHA: the most exquisite of all the lodges, set in rice paddies, across a swinging bridge covered with prayer flags, with a wonderful outdoor dining courtyard with tremendous views. There are only a few rooms, so it's seen much more wear and tear than the other lodges; in fact, it was the only lodge that felt a bit run down...

...grand views of Paro, the otherworldliness of Gangtey, and the gorgeous intimacy of Punankha...

perhaps KrazeeJoe can comment on his stay last month.

dec 8 2009

Originally Posted by KrazeeJoe (Post 12947299)
On my travel to Amankora last month

from gallivanters commenter >

As we arrived in Thimpu John greeted just me (not my wife and my 2 friends) while I was behind my pc. Timing was bad and he stayed 10 seconds without really showing any courtesy whatsoever. The same for Choden, who just greeted me upon departure at Thimpu.

I regret that all the 5 lodges have the same interior. If you are in your room you don’t have the feeling that you changed hotels. It is not a question of love or hate it, as Bhutan is great. But Aman isn’t. The lack of interest that John shows to his guest, he brings, in my opinion,.over to his management team and.staff members. In Gangtey the charming lady did fine to welcome us and to say farewell. In Bhumtang we stayed 4 nights and we met the local manager for 30 seconds. Even worse is that we left this lodge anonymously after breakfast. Besides a waitress nobody was there !

We drove to Punakha, where at arrival we were greeted in her sweating jogging outfit by a Norwegian girl, who was apparently running this lodge, and just returned from her daily run. Staff informed me that at this time (very regular arriving time of guests between 3 and 4 pm, after a few hours drive from Bhumtang) she does her daily jogging. If she had no better timing. By the way, a mid 20 year old girl has in my opinion not the "layers and experience of Aman standards hospitality". She could have been my daughter..haha Again no farewell at departure and we left silently.

Than I was surprised that Punakha prepared a "lunch picknick" in order to have lunch in Paro. Why would you prepare this in Punakha as you have to drive around 3.5-4 hours and than you arrive.at Amankora Paro. Sounds logic to me that Amankora Paro prepared the lunch or picknick. At Paro we were nicely welcomed and Eduardo didn’t fail to wake up early to say goodbye at 6.30 am.

Overall comments:

- food: in general good

- spa: all lodges the same with average quality in general

- hospitality: low

I missed the personal attention and some surprises...why not set up a surprise picknick in a tent in the mountains somewhere for example, or a romantic dinner for 2 somewhere... All guest take more or less the same routings for hiking so it seems not too difficult to give it some "Aman-flavor" I have the feeling that management has a kind of semi holiday and are resting on her Laurels. I don’t think that I am under-estimating the job which has been achieved but as a regular Aman client I had expected that after a few years of running Amankora would have been more mature and more up to Aman-standards. My conclusion: new fresh wind in the management team

...
Heaven, heaven, heaven.... Robyn and Manav are the perfect Aman couple to run deeply out of their heart an Amanbagh family. They set an example with the quality of human aspects and well mannered hospitality styles.
...
EV – Spain.
included their positive comments about robyn at amanbagh for some additional context (based on varied reports here) to their negative comments about management/etc at amankora.

KrazeeJoe Jan 3, 10 6:36 pm

We went to Paro, Thimphu, Punakha and Gangtey at the end of November 2009. Didn't experience the service problems the other people had. We met some staff whom we have met in Amanjiwo and Hotel Bora Bora and they were very helpful as usual.

Some properties (at least in Punakha and Paro) have chefs from the states, the burgers and french fries are very tasty!

----"Also absolutely unacceptable are the extremely cramped communal dining arrangements at Paro, Gangtey and Punaka."

If I remember correctly the amankora was originally designed to have 7 properties so people can hike across Bhutan and using them as rest stations. Perhaps the communal dining were designed so the hikers can share their experiences :p . We definitely shared many stories with other fellow travellers.

Anyway, personally I had a great time in Bhutan and will return as soon as the new airport is built near Bumthang. Amankora is also planning to build the sixth property.

paul2 Jan 3, 10 6:50 pm


Originally Posted by KrazeeJoe (Post 13104965)
If I remember correctly the amankora was originally designed to have 7 properties so people can hike across Bhutan and using them as rest stations. Perhaps the communal dining were designed so the hikers can share their experiences :p . We definitely shared many stories with other fellow travellers

That makes sense. A collection of comfortable rest stations across Bhutan sounds just like what I would expect Aman to order.

behuman Jan 4, 10 7:27 am

To Kagehitokiri
 

Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri (Post 13102088)
have there been recent changes...? when were you there? can you clarify why your negatives of GM and communal dining at paro/punaka outweigh your positives?

Have been there in May 2008. The "Norvegian girl" who was very professional in Gangtey moved to Punaka indeed.

As a regular Aman guest I am always acknowledged by the GM's and treated in a friendly manner- some even became friends. During my stay in Bhutan the GM appeared "touring around" with a small group of people and behaving like a noisy guest, ignored me completely.

The very concept of the comunal dining especially in Gangtey and Paro is an absolute disaster being extremely cramped and not offering alternatives. In Paro I would prefer the Como hotel anytime.

paul2 Jan 4, 10 2:29 pm

I'm not a fan of comunal dining either behuman and you say no alternatives were offered.
I would have insisted on them setting up an alternative and if they couldnt I would have moved elsewhere as soon as possible, not easy I know in Bhutan.

Kagehitokiri Jan 4, 10 2:48 pm


Originally Posted by behuman (Post 13100696)
extremely cramped communal dining arrangements at Paro, Gangtey and Punaka.


Originally Posted by behuman (Post 13107834)
comunal dining especially in Gangtey and Paro is an absolute disaster being extremely cramped and not offering alternatives.

vs

Originally Posted by behuman (Post 13100696)
In Punaka however the palace is three storeys and meals can be served privately in the upper rooms. In Paro they have an outside fireplace where this can be done also.


Originally Posted by Groombridge (Post 11840297)
PUNAKHA: ...wonderful outdoor dining courtyard with tremendous views...

in-room and outdoor is not possible at which lodges?

Groombridge Jan 4, 10 9:00 pm

Outdoor dining options at Amankora
 
Since the weather's always pretty iffy in Bhutan, you shouldn't count on the outdoor options that most of the lodges have, but here's my recollection:

Paro: Outdoors during breakfast and lunch there were tables on a patio, but there are a lot of wild dogs in Bhutan, and they would come hang out on the patio, so we never ate outdoors. I never felt "cramped" indoors, was there in peak festival season (October), and felt that the dining was appropriate to the site. The dining room has long tables, so that if every seat were full you'd be sitting next to folks. But this was never the case. We had to proactively seek out closeness to other couples if we wanted to sit by anyone else here.

Thimpu: Not communal dining--the tables are separate, and we never felt crowded or forced into communion with other travelers. I didn't see outdoor options here.

Gangtey: Very small dining room, and yes, you will be seated communally at dinner even if there are only a few others there, since there are only, I believe, two tables, each sitting eight. I saw no outdoor dining options at this very small property.

Punakha: Gorgeous terrace with outdoor dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We ate outdoors whenever possible here. No dogs at all, since the property is very protected and walled in. The indoor dining area is somewhat cramped here--but also charming. It feels quite rustic--whitewashed walls. I believe it's large enough, though, to spread out so that you're not dining communally if you don't want to do so.

Bumthang: Outdoor patio for breakfast and lunch if you like, looking over to the yard of the active monastery next door. (One of those iconic photo moments of one little purple-garbed monk having thrown an apple at two of his friends, then ducking back behind a wall while the other two looked fruitlessly around in search of the thrower.) Indoors, there is both a casual lounge with separate, non-communcal dining tables, and then a more formal dining room that is quite thrilling visually--the longest dining table imaginable, with fireplaces at either end--and if you chose to eat in there and it were full (I cannot imagine this ever being the case, given how remote Bumthang is--we were the only ones in there at peak season)-only then would this be communal dining.

Kagehitokiri Jan 4, 10 10:15 pm


Originally Posted by Groombridge (Post 13113340)
Since the weather's always pretty iffy in Bhutan, you shouldn't count on the outdoor options

Paro: Outdoors during breakfast and lunch there were tables on a patio, but there are a lot of wild dogs in Bhutan, and they would come hang out on the patio, so we never ate outdoors. I never felt "cramped" indoors, was there in peak festival season (October), and felt that the dining was appropriate to the site. The dining room has long tables, so that if every seat were full you'd be sitting next to folks. But this was never the case. We had to proactively seek out closeness to other couples if we wanted to sit by anyone else here.

Gangtey: Very small dining room, and yes, you will be seated communally at dinner even if there are only a few others there, since there are only, I believe, two tables, each sitting eight. I saw no outdoor dining options at this very small property.

Punakha: Gorgeous terrace with outdoor dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We ate outdoors whenever possible here. No dogs at all, since the property is very protected and walled in. The indoor dining area is somewhat cramped here--but also charming. It feels quite rustic--whitewashed walls. I believe it's large enough, though, to spread out so that you're not dining communally if you don't want to do so.

thanks for the details. seems like punakha is also 2 tables for 8?
http://www.amanresorts.com/uploadedI...ng_rm1_alb.jpg

what about dining in room, or these other mentioned public areas?
- farmhouse relaxation areas and tea pavilion @ punakha
- living room @ paro

i wonder why they didnt do courtyard walls at paro.

punakha / gangtey - 8 suites
paro - 24 suites (ouch)
(thimphu / bumthang - 16 suites)
(aman building in trongsa)
(seems like studio suites)

(uma paro has 18 rooms, 2 suites, 9 villas)
(como building 11-bed in punakha)

http://www.destinasian.com/issuedet.php?id=631
http://seminyakvillasbali.wordpress....9/28/the-aman/

Aman’s Indonesia country manager Monty Brown. An American who has worked for Amanresorts since the beginning, Brown needs only one word: “Sincerity. It’s the reason our staff turnover is less than 1 percent.”

instyleprincess Jan 6, 10 11:23 pm

Wondering if anyone on FT has visited Amanfayun? Isn't it supposed to open on Jan. 1st?

paul2 Jan 7, 10 2:27 pm

Aman at Summer Palace Beijing has been named 'Hideaway of the year' by Andrew Harper http://www.andrewharper.com/Consider...Luxury-Travel/

Kagehitokiri Jan 7, 10 3:04 pm

maybe current aman discussion, and keep "upcoming" in the upcoming thread?

paul2 Jan 7, 10 3:08 pm


Originally Posted by luxury (Post 13134962)
I think the existing Aman Poll thread is getting unwieldy. Please continue 2010 discussion here.

If you are going to close the original aman poll thread can you provide a link to it? I don't think the 'new/development' aman thread will be required either as all new information can be posted here.

Kagehitokiri Jan 7, 10 3:09 pm

isnt it better to keep speculation and reviews separate?

not sure the "old" threads have to be locked? cant quote etc... (yes i know it can be done manually.)


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