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Amanresorts Thread 2019

Amanresorts Thread 2019

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Old Jan 14, 19, 12:39 pm
  #46  
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Originally Posted by mike_la_jolla View Post
Regarding Vlad:

Yeah -- He more or less says exactly that in the quote in the final paragraph. The wish list is all big cities. Have we reached a consensus here as to whether (big city) Aman Tokyo is an 'Aman' and successful? I'm still skeptical and leaning towards 'no'. And ASP is a disaster -- that is the only other big city Aman in the present inventory. I wish Vlad good luck in HK. His chances of being successful with the Aman concept in that city are zero.
I'm with you. He's definitely not succeeded in transplanting horizontal Aman DNA to vertical city properties. I think the patient was DOA in Tokyo. NYC and HK will be even tougher cookies for Aman culture and service. I don't know where he puts it in Hong Kong.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 1:05 pm
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As long as the status seekers and Instagram crowd (including those who care more about hard product than the reputed Aman service) continue to fill the beds at a place like Aman Tokyo, Doronin will be incentivized to continue adding Amans in other major urban centers.

As has been true for many decades with hotels, there are many who prioritize a beautiful and impressive hard product over all else. These are the customers that Doronin is targeting. Because anyone who knows better already knows the urban Amans dont recreate that magic that was and still can be true for the more remote/rural Amans. And we also know that the incredible service standard that was true at 20-30% occupancy for Aman in the old days is less possible when occupancy is often closer to 75-100% in the current formats.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 1:13 pm
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Originally Posted by callmedtop View Post
Don't disagree with anything you're saying, but why do you think its a zero chance of success in HK?
HK has the highest concentration of 5* hotels in the world. Vlad's version of big city Aman has no chance of competing for my business. None. The best hotel in, say, Singapore doesn't make the top 10 (50?) in HK. Aman HK would just be another decent, yet expensive hotel in HK. He's going to have this problem in NYC. He won't knock out the Mark and the other 15 good hotels. Aman Tokyo, if transplanted to HK, might make the top 15. Maybe not ... on second thought ... for discussion. ASP, the other big city Aman, embarrassingly anchors the Aman chain in a bad way. Not as bad as FS Sydney for Four Seasons, but in the running.
Originally Posted by Cityflyer10 View Post
Personally, I think a more intimate and more public space version (spa, pool, lobby, etc) of Upper House could potentially be fantastic!
UH is hard to beat. I just wish the food improved.
Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
I'm with you. He's definitely not succeeded in transplanting horizontal Aman DNA to vertical city properties. I think the patient was DOA in Tokyo. NYC and HK will be even tougher cookies for Aman culture and service. I don't know where he puts it in Hong Kong.
Agree.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 1:34 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Cityflyer10 View Post
Personally, I think a more intimate and more public space version (spa, pool, lobby, etc) of Upper House could potentially be fantastic!
And without the high level of service that compares with that of The Upper House, the putative Aman Hong Kong would be just as disappointing to me as the Aman Tokyo—especially based on the relative rates charged.

Heck, without the high level of food/beverage that compares with that of The Upper House, the putative Aman Hong Kong would be just as disappointing to me as the Aman Tokyo—again based on the relative rate charged.

Again, it’s not that hard to build a more luxurious, more impressive hard product. Heck, the Conrad Osaka lobby may even surpass that of the Aman Tokyo.

It’s much more difficult to create a truly impressive service atmosphere. Lately, it seems that Aman doesn’t even try to achieve the high level of service for which it was known best—or even think it has to try. Aman instead is now focusing entirely on offering the best hard product.

Aman used to get away with just fine food/beverage because its hard product and service otheriwde were so much better than everyone else. Now Aman is trying to get away with only the best hard product.

Now other hoteliers have caught on and caught up.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 2:56 pm
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I have long come to accept (and love) the fact that some of the best Amans are indeed not Amans these days. We will likely not see Aman BKK in the near or distant future, though I think we can all agree that The Siam is the most wonderful city Aman anyone could think of. Service is beyond expectations, as is room count and the certain familiarity and love that flows through the property. Same in HK, where in my opinion The Upper House is where most here on this forum feel at home and undoubtedly better cared for than, for example, at Aman Tokyo. Aman Tokyo is wildly successful and almost always close to capacity due to social media, press/social media coverage and company/contracted rates, but I cannot get over the fact that there is a certain arrogance surrounding the hotel, which is very unfortunate. The machine-written welcome cards are just the first indication, but closely followed by interactions with team and management. They don't care and if you don't like it there is already another guest waiting patiently in the lobby beyond check-in time to experience that 'amazing' hard product in the sky. It would be entirely uncharacteristic for Nick at The Siam or Marcel at TUH to let anyone leave without having made an impression through the team or extending a certain level of care and consideration. Because it is personal to them, sadly it's not personal to anyone at Aman Tokyo. GMs come and go, occupancy is still great (so are the returns) and locals drive F&B revenue. It can be very subtle but this element of caring about the guest is totally missing with these city Amans. I cannot imagine it will be any better in New York, London or Singapore, if anything it will be worse. So I think my decision to follow the people who have Aman DNA and bring that to their respective properties is not too bad, it is about people after all. And we still have many of the golden days around, though less and less by the day it seems. Some don't know that VD is also one of the original '88 Amanjunkies and knows the resorts inside out, though I wonder how this translates into these future and current offerings. Many improvements for the better surely, though some of the pitfalls back then were more generously dealt with as it was about the guest after all, these days select guests are treated to Aman-"style" service levels in Tokyo, though the answer is a dedicated manager dealing with VIPs, moguls, "Instagrammers", celebrities and most importantly fashion designers... much like the big chains trying to deal with non-existent service levels in difficult markets with low yields.

Interestingly, I fondly remember when many years ago an Aman had failed me and I carefully mentioned this post check out. Within a few hours (!), the Grays, Olivia and Monty had all emailed me regarding my future reservations with them, asking me what happened and offered to make up for the disappointment in such a generous manner, I was at a loss of words. Various extravagant amenities were waiting in each of the respective resorts after that and we were speaking for ages about our "Aman Adventures". I couldn't imagine this happening today, I am almost certain it would be impossible in this climate. For those having their first Aman stays these days, I don't think it is imaginable how different it was.

Last edited by scented; Jan 14, 19 at 3:10 pm
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Old Jan 14, 19, 6:43 pm
  #51  
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aman tokyo and summer palace both have some amazing service reports here.
(as with everywhere else, and like with independent properties, depends on GM)
(same with sold out amans, many perfect reports) (same at hualalai 'long ago')

aman scale limits number of willing & interested owners in cities, especially biggest.
unless best GM is moved to aman city, city location irrelevant to operations.
and if aman veterans want to spend some time in city, better to keep them.
some amanjunkies here like tokyo and beijing even without service
(summer palace after hours, away from city center ; tokyo corner suite)

HK upper house - no pool
NY mark ; lowell - no pool
(only matters to pool fans)
mark was affiliated (marketing) with aman when it was a rafael hotel

re NYC, jean michel gathy did >
aman tribeca concept dated jun 23 2009
57 rooms including 2 duplex, hotel pool

tokyo and nemu also signed long ago

presumably when FS sydney was regent (and well regarded) it was not making much if any profit, although frankly i wonder how much of an impact changing labor laws were (vs then)

until aman opens much larger hotels (cant ignore how many bedrooms puri has, even if live-in staff) they will remain the only brand with ~30+ properties of that scale. personally, that unique aspect makes it the only brand of interest to me, but my narrowing travel interests make it likely i will not visit many. if only i had known about aman in mid 90s. i do look forward to giri.

literally only reason i did necker island at $4k/night was that it has fewer rooms than aman combined with very low occupancy during dates they loaded to inventory at last minute.

many here have spent similar even if for different things, and many do not care re costs

it is possible for city properties to have very few rooms, guests-only with pool etc. so far no one has tried doing such a property with extremely few rooms. residences could have separate facilities. at one point lebua brand owner mentioned considering it, prior to financial crisis. richard branson i am guessing was considering soho house competitor before downgrading virgin hotels also after financial crisis (virgin hotels not like virgin limited edition)

from article
“In 1990, I stayed at Amanpuri

“It has to be something unique,” he warns. “I don’t want to compromise on location. After all, if you put an Aman somewhere remote, it’s still going to work. So if we are going into a city, it has to be a top, top location.” “There are only four buildings like it in Manhattan,” he says. “The Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Center and The Crown. The others are impossible to acquire, so there’s only The Crown, an iconic building in the perfect location, on 5th and 57th with park views.”

Amanpulo, which offers beautiful kite surfing [kite boarding?]

Tibetan yoga, so I spend time in the monasteries there
maybe he will invest in amans in tibet !
few rooms/condos would work in miami as such hotels in miami are larger

until aman goes full dynamic rates, peak dates in places like tokyo and venice are less expensive at aman vs other hotels with full dynamic rates, without even comparing room size

i interpret overrated as not as good as best aman GMs, but 99% of the time i disagree with how people characterize rating / overrating based on what is said (as can be 'interpreted')

thankfully some of external hire GMs have done well, unfortunately some already gone

also re cities - massive entry rooms and or bathrooms are liked by a large number of regulars here, and some cities can be difficult in terms of size of entry rooms even at all the top hotels in the city

btw has anyone ever heard of architects like gathy getting paid in equity?
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Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jan 19, 19 at 2:37 pm Reason: adding
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Old Jan 14, 19, 8:53 pm
  #52  
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Originally Posted by scented View Post
I have long come to accept (and love) the fact that some of the best Amans are indeed not Amans these days. We will likely not see Aman BKK in the near or distant future, though I think we can all agree that The Siam is the most wonderful city Aman anyone could think of. Service is beyond expectations, as is room count and the certain familiarity and love that flows through the property. Same in HK, where in my opinion The Upper House is where most here on this forum feel at home and undoubtedly better cared for than, for example, at Aman Tokyo. Aman Tokyo is wildly successful and almost always close to capacity due to social media, press/social media coverage and company/contracted rates, but I cannot get over the fact that there is a certain arrogance surrounding the hotel, which is very unfortunate. The machine-written welcome cards are just the first indication, but closely followed by interactions with team and management. They don't care and if you don't like it there is already another guest waiting patiently in the lobby beyond check-in time to experience that 'amazing' hard product in the sky. It would be entirely uncharacteristic for Nick at The Siam or Marcel at TUH to let anyone leave without having made an impression through the team or extending a certain level of care and consideration. Because it is personal to them, sadly it's not personal to anyone at Aman Tokyo. GMs come and go, occupancy is still great (so are the returns) and locals drive F&B revenue. It can be very subtle but this element of caring about the guest is totally missing with these city Amans. I cannot imagine it will be any better in New York, London or Singapore, if anything it will be worse. So I think my decision to follow the people who have Aman DNA and bring that to their respective properties is not too bad, it is about people after all. And we still have many of the golden days around, though less and less by the day it seems. Some don't know that VD is also one of the original '88 Amanjunkies and knows the resorts inside out, though I wonder how this translates into these future and current offerings. Many improvements for the better surely, though some of the pitfalls back then were more generously dealt with as it was about the guest after all, these days select guests are treated to Aman-"style" service levels in Tokyo, though the answer is a dedicated manager dealing with VIPs, moguls, "Instagrammers", celebrities and most importantly fashion designers... much like the big chains trying to deal with non-existent service levels in difficult markets with low yields.

Interestingly, I fondly remember when many years ago an Aman had failed me and I carefully mentioned this post check out. Within a few hours (!), the Grays, Olivia and Monty had all emailed me regarding my future reservations with them, asking me what happened and offered to make up for the disappointment in such a generous manner, I was at a loss of words. Various extravagant amenities were waiting in each of the respective resorts after that and we were speaking for ages about our "Aman Adventures". I couldn't imagine this happening today, I am almost certain it would be impossible in this climate. For those having their first Aman stays these days, I don't think it is imaginable how different it was.
It doesn't take much to care for a guest but Aman Tokyo doesn't seem to be interested in trying. I suppose guests do come back for the hardware alone. We're not influencers, famous or celebrities so maybe those people see a side of Aman Tokyo that "commoners" never can. It is puzzling that they treat repeat Amanjunkies with very little enthusiasm or fanfare.

Doronin is one of the original Amanjunkies but he's lost sight of what made the resorts or brand. He must drink his own PR kool-aid if he really thinks the DNA has been transplanted or maybe his properties treat him like it's 1988. It really has become a billionaire's playtoy.

Aman Seoul would be just another VERY expensive city hotel. I'm sure he dreams of emulating what goes on in Tokyo and it could very well work too. Rooms get filled by well-to-do staycationing Koreans, influencers, celebrities, etc and ladies of all ages buy his tea sets.

Last edited by Aventine; Jan 14, 19 at 9:10 pm
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Old Jan 18, 19, 11:32 am
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Originally Posted by scented View Post
Thank god... great to hear what's going on!



Sean is nice indeed, but what is your 'overrated' assessment based on?
Generally not a fan of GMs anywhere . A welcome hello or good bye or a meal invite is nice but not essential. A perfect or A nice stay is more important with generous service when it’s needed. The former amansara GM Siddhart was excellent as was his team and for me would be the gauge.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by deer View Post
No hardware improvements in the last years, but very nice laid back vibe at both resorts. And very special atmosphere at Tea Trails.
Galle is not Tokyo or London, and Amanwella is not a new rich superposh super-hardware place, but the Geoffrey-Bawa-Inspired design is still cool and nice. Nothing for posers, just a relaxed place with a great fun beach!
Not sure if Bawa would have approved of the flooded and slippery verandas when it rains and staff grappling with the mops. But what an amazing beach.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 4:02 pm
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Originally Posted by bearbrick View Post


Generally not a fan of GMs anywhere . A welcome hello or good bye or a meal invite is nice but not essential. A perfect or A nice stay is more important with generous service when its needed. The former amansara GM Siddhart was excellent as was his team and for me would be the gauge.
I can understand -- but to be fair, this is not particular to Sean and in my experience Sean is one of the GMs who sensed very quickly if a guest wants to be left alone or needs more attention.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 3:10 pm
  #56  
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youtube.com/watch?v=ILoVeqhGxbw
2012 flakelar interview

Siddharth Mehra now at La Verda Dubai
($200 suite > $840 villa or penthouse)

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Jan 19, 19 at 3:40 pm
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Old Jan 20, 19, 11:41 am
  #57  
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Just a quick note that the Assistant GM at Amangiri has informed us they are sold out next Fri and Sat nights during my bday weekend trip. (Id asked about any possible upgrades, and he was more than happy to upgrade us for the other nights. But we probably wont bother.)

Sold out even in the middle of winter. Now we know how and why Amangiri can charge so much! This will be the second time weve been to Giri, and its been sold out both times. I still say that this must be the highest average occupancy Aman.
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Old Jan 20, 19, 1:06 pm
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post
Just a quick note that the Assistant GM at Amangiri has informed us they are sold out next Fri and Sat nights during my bday weekend trip. (Id asked about any possible upgrades, and he was more than happy to upgrade us for the other nights. But we probably wont bother.)

Sold out even in the middle of winter. Now we know how and why Amangiri can charge so much! This will be the second time weve been to Giri, and its been sold out both times. I still say that this must be the highest average occupancy Aman.
Seems so - during my visit it was also full.
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Old Jan 20, 19, 7:17 pm
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Originally Posted by offerendum View Post

Seems so - during my visit it was also full.
Especially since this is not a holiday weekend in the states
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Old Jan 22, 19, 11:09 am
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Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
It doesn't take much to care for a guest but Aman Tokyo doesn't seem to be interested in trying. I suppose guests do come back for the hardware alone. We're not influencers, famous or celebrities so maybe those people see a side of Aman Tokyo that "commoners" never can. It is puzzling that they treat repeat Amanjunkies with very little enthusiasm or fanfare.

Doronin is one of the original Amanjunkies but he's lost sight of what made the resorts or brand. He must drink his own PR kool-aid if he really thinks the DNA has been transplanted or maybe his properties treat him like it's 1988. It really has become a billionaire's playtoy.

Aman Seoul would be just another VERY expensive city hotel. I'm sure he dreams of emulating what goes on in Tokyo and it could very well work too. Rooms get filled by well-to-do staycationing Koreans, influencers, celebrities, etc and ladies of all ages buy his tea sets.
Is this fake news about VD being one of the original Amanjunkies? I say this because many ex-Amanresorts GMs had never heard of him, let alone met him, before he took over the company. I gather he was fond of Amanpuri, but he certainly had not visited many of the other Amanresorts, such as Amanpulo, which he finally visited quite a long time after acquiring Aman.

Maybe we should not believe everything we read...
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