Great Stay at Amanera

Old Jun 17, 18, 2:38 pm
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Originally Posted by aa213bb View Post
I can also confirm the property is shutting down for maintenance and what-have-you from late August to Oct/Nov...

Lastly, again, xracer nails it - our A/C constantly said 17, but there’s no way it was there. Not an issue for us, as it was cool enough at night.
Thanks for your comments, too!

Here's hoping the shutdown maintenance update adds better air con.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 2:52 pm
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Completely agree with everything aa213bb said. Your additional information pretty much mirrored our experience. We also received a couple of 'special' dinners that were not requested, but just offered up as something nice they were doing. A very nice touch. Also had BBQ in the casita one night which was nice, but not worth the extra cost, IMO.

Also agree with the 'must have a pool' comment. I cannot imagine why they created casitas that do not have a pool. That being said, the main pool was always empty.

Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Here's hoping the shutdown maintenance update adds better air con.
Haha, you make me laugh. The funny thing is (we were told) the casita had three air conditioners - one for the bedroom, one for the living room and one for the bathroom. The bathroom was always cool.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 7:22 pm
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Did either of y'all venture off and do any excursions? We did the paddle boarding trip and it was honestly a let down... it really isn't worth leaving Amanera, because it's just so nice to be there...

That golf course must have seriously been in bad shape to need an 18+ month renovation.. I was actually just looking forward to it on our trip as a place to walk/ride bikes on.... when we visited it, they abruptly closed it a week before our visit....

Agree on the private pool.. they are great pools and the once the vegetation grows in will be perfect..

On the topic of air con I don't know how it would be possible to design a system that keeps up with the heat of the casitas.. they are basically greenhouses during the day... I guess if one was to close all the shades then it would be possible but then what's the point at that point... I never tested for bhrubin temps but at night they got quite cold....

I thought the food was pretty solid when we were there; great to hear that it's gotten better....

I hope Puerto Plato gets better air service; even from the east coast it's a bit of a struggle bus to get to...

FDW
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Old Jun 17, 18, 7:42 pm
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some prefer lower rates vs pools
in past, aman 'always' upgraded

new owner takes golf / residences very seriously
discoverylandco.com
kukio (built next to FS hualalai to be more private)
cordevalle (rosewood) and chileno bay (auberge)
yellowstone club (acquired rather than developed)

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jun 17, 18 at 8:48 pm
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Old Jun 17, 18, 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingDoctorwu View Post
On the topic of air con I don't know how it would be possible to design a system that keeps up with the heat of the casitas.. they are basically greenhouses during the day... I guess if one was to close all the shades then it would be possible but then what's the point at that point... I never tested for bhrubin temps but at night they got quite cold....
It's possible. Just a matter of money. If they can do it for an OWV in the Maldives or Bora Bora, they can do it at Amanera or anywhere else.

I'm notorious for shutting the shades in our bedroom when on holiday if it helps keep it cooler in the day. But if you can't keep it cool it without closing off the whole villa, that's a problem of poor HVAC and design.

I want a cool respite inside during a hot day, since I can't stay in a pool for hours on end. I've paid for a luxury experience, and a cool villa interior at an Aman or any 5* hotel is part of a luxury experience in the tropics/subtropics. For Aman rates and any new 5* build in a tropical locale, the air con should be able to reach 20 C or lower even during the day IMO.
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Old Jun 17, 18, 8:48 pm
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how many with similar glass? not noi (or cheval maldives) and zoe and giri have shared walls

would have been interesting to see what heah did 'next' with amankea , but they 'sold' to O&O

decent size sunrooms can require '2.5+ ton' HVAC
FS NY penthouse requires adjusting entire building
some hotel residence owners may add extra HVAC

i imagine nera seasonal temp may vary dramatically
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Old Jun 18, 18, 9:14 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingDoctorwu View Post
Did either of y'all venture off and do any excursions?
We did nothing, which was the point of this trip. None of their excursions really even appealed to us.

Originally Posted by FlyingDoctorwu View Post
I hope Puerto Plato gets better air service; even from the east coast it's a bit of a struggle bus to get to...
We just flew from Toronto, which was very easy for us to drive to. I think the other options are NY or MIA. So yeah, direct service is limited.
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Old Jun 18, 18, 12:23 pm
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Great to see two positive recent reviews in a row as I'm heading there in two days! I'll report back once I'm back next week hopefully with not much to add!

@xracer and @aa213bb - did either of you make it down the beach to the Playa Grande Beach Club? Looks like it's just at the other end of the beach and their website indicates their restaurant is open to outside guests. From pictures the property looks interesting (very different feel from Amanera) so we thought it might be fund to have a meal or coffee there and check out the property.
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Old Jun 18, 18, 12:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Fc912 View Post
Great to see two positive recent reviews in a row as I'm heading there in two days! I'll report back once I'm back next week hopefully with not much to add!
If you don't mind it being too cool, might you test to see what temperature the villa can achieve with air con during both the day and night? Not to worry if you prefer it warmer, of course!
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Old Jun 18, 18, 1:39 pm
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Once again, I agree with xracer: not only did we not partake in any of their excursions, not a single one looked even remotely of interest to us. On top of this, I should add we’d just spent a week hiking in Torres del Paine, so wanted and planned specifically and solely to have some pure R&R.

Too, as with some of the F&B pricing, I felt the excursion pricing was really high. I know some won’t bat an eye, but regardless of whether I can afford it, I don’t want to feel gouged.

I would also add that, while we didn’t miss it at all, I’m really baffled why such a new build would not have a proper spa incorporated. And, whatever spa they do have, currently is undergoing maintenance, and so the only options for treatments are in-villa, or on the beach. Again, we didn’t plan to have any treatments, so no problem for us.

bhrubin, I do think if, as you mentioned, you’d keep the bedroom shades/blackouts drawn, and the doors closed, the room would remain pretty cool. 17° cool? I’m not sure about that.

I really can’t fathom why they built this without every Casita having at least some type of pool, unlike Zoe where every one has a pool (and, kage, I don’t recall our Zoe pavilion having any shared walls. Are you sure about that? Maybe exterior/side walls, but not the living spaces, right?)

BUT ... regardless of these little quibbles, again, we thoroughly loved our stay. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I really, really, really enjoyed it.
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Old Jun 18, 18, 11:51 pm
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Sounds fabulous! Thank you all for sharing! Can't wait to go - likely not til next winter! I also wish it was easier to get to from the west coast!
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Old Jun 19, 18, 9:09 am
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are some villas closer together than others? first ratecard had 'twin villas' (pool + no pool?)

aa213bb, sorry i was vague, you describe it better than i did / intended

Originally Posted by xracer View Post
We just flew from Toronto, which was very easy for us to drive to. I think the other options are NY or MIA. So yeah, direct service is limited.
also some from charlotte on American Airlines
http://info.flightmapper.net/route/YY_CLT_POP
http://info.flightmapper.net/airport/POP

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jun 19, 18 at 10:28 am
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Old Jun 19, 18, 8:20 pm
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We are also just back from 5 nights at Amanera. Nothing much to add to the reports above, but I'll echo a few points and add a bit more commentary:
- Service was really good - it's not Asia, but it greatly exceeded our expectations. The staff was warm and on point.
- Food was very tasty, and 100% agree that their bread/pastry program is outstanding - kind of shockingly so. I'm a bit of a cocktail snob and these were a bit of a letdown... They were fine, but a bit sweet and uninteresting. I agree that the price point for alcohol was too high (not that that stopped us from drinking).
- Fully agree that a pool casita is an absolute must. We were in a villa with decent privacy, but only because the villa next door (which didn't have a pool) was unoccupied for the duration of our stay. We specifically requested a private location, which may have helped?
- The common areas / main building were stunning, comfortable, and really just perfect. We whiled away every evening there drinking and admiring the killer views.
- Casita architecture is awesome - one of the best layouts we've ever stayed in.
- There were almost no mosquitos, which is a huge plus for my wife, who gets bitten every tropical location we visit. This hugely increased her enjoyment. Benefits to being on the island's windward side.
- We had absolutely no problems with the air conditioning, and even found ourselves turning it warmer since it was so effective (and silent). I like the thermostat at 68ish at home, to give some perspective. Maybe this is casita-dependent somehow? I did appreciate that the casita had 3 separate thermostats for different zones.
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Old Jun 20, 18, 7:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
are some villas closer together than others? first ratecard had 'twin villas' (pool + no pool?)
Yup - we stayed in a pool casita (room 19) with another one next door sans pool and a gate between the outdoor spaces. The other one was vacant for the duration of our stay. Had it not been, it would have felt a lot less private.
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Old Jun 23, 18, 11:06 am
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Fourth day here and just wanted to share a quick update. I agree with everything that has been said recently; this is a great property and probably the most “Aman”-like out of the four North American (including Caribbean) properties. Fantastic personalized service (Annie the assistant FOM in particular, Angel at the bar, and Ramona at the spa), beautiful and functional rooms (some wear and tear in particular the floor tiles but I assume those will be addressed when they close this summer), and delicious food (some dishes approaching excellent, room service weaker but still generally fine).

Weather has also been great. We had some rain for an hour or two this morning but it is starting to clear up and the rest of the days so far had been sunny and in the high 20s to low 30s Celsius. Beautiful beach and relatively calm ocean until early afternoon when the wind picks up. Spa was also great, but the need to take an actual car instead of golf buggy (due to the golf course being closed for maintenance) somewhat detracts from the experience.

.
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