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Amangani, Jackson Hole, WY

Amangani, Jackson Hole, WY

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Old May 17, 09, 11:39 pm
  #1  
formerly lelandv
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Amangani, Jackson Hole, WY

Any trip report/reviews?
Have heard about issues with service etc which is hard to imagine at an Aman but is it really worth 600+/night?

Many thanks!
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Old May 18, 09, 5:20 am
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Originally Posted by lelandv View Post
Any trip report/reviews?
Have heard about issues with service etc which is hard to imagine at an Aman but is it really worth 600+/night?

Many thanks!
When Amangani first opened there were lots of service issues because they hired local staff that consisted mainly of students that did not understand or appreciate the Aman way of doing things.

Since then, service has improved because Aman are now hiring Hispanics who appreciate the work much more and have a better understanding of hospitality.

Yes, it is worth $600 plus a night.
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Old May 18, 09, 5:47 am
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We were there in the first few years of opening. We didn't have any service "issues" as everyone was very friendly and efficient. But few people knew our name and it wasn't quite as personal as the Asian Amans can be. Still, we loved the property.....the activities....the view! I'm anxious to try it again based on Vuitton's comments.

I believe I have a trip report on this forum though it would be pretty old.
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Old May 18, 09, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by Ericka View Post
We were there in the first few years of opening. We didn't have any service "issues" as everyone was very friendly and efficient. But few people knew our name and it wasn't quite as personal as the Asian Amans can be. Still, we loved the property.....the activities....the view! I'm anxious to try it again based on Vuitton's comments.

I believe I have a trip report on this forum though it would be pretty old.
Ericka, I am not saying that Amangani is in the same league as the Asian Amans, just that it is much better now, in terms of service, than it was. I still find that the climate there is incredibly DRY (chapped skin etc), so it is not a destination that appeals as much as some.
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Old May 20, 09, 11:04 am
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Originally Posted by lelandv View Post
Any trip report/reviews?
Have heard about issues with service etc which is hard to imagine at an Aman but is it really worth 600+/night?

Many thanks!
I have been to Amangani twice, both in winter for skiinng and summer for sightseeing. I would say that the best Amangani has to offer is the stunning view that makes you feel like living in the sky. The facility is pretty good but not on the scale of the asian aman. Service is americanized but still very decent, and it did improve on my second visit. Just keep in mind that Amangani is not set to be a destination hotel like other asian amans where you can literally stay in the hotel's ground during the whole stay. It is there for your comfort and convenience while you explore the magnificent grand teton and yellow stone national park. For me that is why I go to Amangani. So from this prospective, Amangani is more than sufficient.
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Old May 20, 09, 2:21 pm
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Can anyone contrast Amangani with Four Seasons Jackson Hole? Which is better? This is for a summer visit only.

Any recommended dining in Jackson?
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Old Jan 14, 10, 5:34 pm
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Just finished a several night stay over new years, and I have mixed feelings, but mostly good ones.

We were greeted at the airport (part of the standard amenities). Transfer was via BMW X5 and was friendly and efficient. Driver asked permission to use phone to call front desk as we approached the entrance. (this was the only time throughout our stay that the driver asked permission to use the phone...not a big deal, though).

Upon arrival at porte cochere, we were greeted by manager on duty, who welcomed us and introduced us to our guest services representative. No drink, towel, etc...like one would find at Asian hotels in this class. Offered a brief tour of the grounds and facilities, then escorted to our room for in-suite check-in.

Due to the sold-out holiday, we were not upgraded. But IMHO, the standard suites are much more than sufficient, and based on what we were told, the next 2 categories up are not substantially different. It seems you have to book 3 categories above "standard" to get something really special, and by that time you are up to $1500+ per night. Bathroom was quite large, as was the his & hers closet area. Bath amenities were private label for Amangani, but both my wife and I would rate them as good as BVLGARI or L'Occitaine. Outdoor deck was very spacious, but it was a bit too cold to use it. Fireplace was a nice touch, but I really can't stand the remote-control fireplace concept. In-room media was mediocre (small Dell-brand LCD TV), but included a DVD player and small stereo.

Hard product is quite impressive, with extensive use of stone, wood, and floor-to-ceiling windows that perfectly frame the grand vistas from every room in the property. Wide hallways, tall ceilings, chairs and couches everywhere...the property is really quite welcoming and comfortable. Only area I would consider too small and/or cramped is the gym, which is one of the smallest I have ever seen in a hotel.

Front desk staff (aka guest services, or something similar) seem to be omnipresent and are a genuine delight to talk to. They are all very cheerful and go out of their way to interact with guests - perhaps even share a joke.

The bar is rarely staffed, but the front desk people are happy to help pour your favorite drink. For more complex mixology, the bartender is summoned from back of the house. Quite a selection of specialty liquors, including some house-made concoctions like vanilla-infused vodka. Wine and beer were reasonable, but I found mixed cocktails to be exorbitantly expensive ($17+ for most). The bartender made quite a big deal about his special drink menu, but after trying 3 of his favorites, we were not very impressed.

The Grill is the only restaurant on-premises. For breakfast (included in Virtuoso amenities), you have a choice of a miserly buffet (blah) or a handful of menu items. We tried 3 menu items and the buffet and have to say that breakfast is among the least inspiring of any 5-star hotel anywhere. Thankfully, they redeemed themselves at lunch and dinner, offering some very tasty treats. The lamb reuben and the hamburger were both exceptional, but the highly-touted elk chili is not that special. Dinner was mixed, with entrees and desserts that were exceptional, but side dishes and appetizers were uninspiring. If there was a single negative service experience in the hotel, it would be here in the Grill. Breakfast and lunch took an hour, and dinner took nearly 3. Water glasses regularly went empty, and I had to request soft-drink refills several times per meal.

The spa was another mixed bag. The hotel was at full occupancy for the holiday, so spa treatments were completely full the entire weekend by the time we arrived. They were able to squeeze in a couple treatments when they had cancellations, but they were at very inopportune times. IMHO, if you're going to operate a 5-star spa and you know you have full occupancy, either inform your first time guests to book treatments in advance, or hire extra help for the holiday! On the positive side, the treatments themselves were of very high quality.

Shuttle service to and from the ski resort is complimentary (during daylight hours). However, car service to town and to the ski resort after-hours costs an arm and a leg. As such, I would strongly recommend renting a car, especially if you want to explore the national parks.

We considered Rusty Parrot and Four Seasons instead of Amangani. Rusty Parrot made some big waves a few years ago when they won "best hotel in America". We decided to try their restaurant one night, and it was one of our top-5 dining experiences of all time (competing with several Michelin-star establishments on our list I might add). However, we toured the hotel after dinner and, while the service may be exceptional, the hard product is Marriott quality at best. Plus, if you came to Jackson to ski, Rusty Parrot is a solid 40-minute drive to the slopes. Four seasons is slope-side and priced slightly less than Amangani. It is much larger and attracts a more high-strung "shi-shi" crowd.

If you're a hardcore skier with a 5-star budget, you should look seriously at Four Seasons, for convenience if nothing else. However, for a great all-around place to stay located conveniently between the town and the slopes, Amangani is hard to beat - despite its few shortcomings.
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Old Jan 14, 10, 6:14 pm
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Originally Posted by trojanman View Post
...Rusty Parrot...one of our top-5 dining experiences of all time (competing with several Michelin-star establishments on our list I might add)...
wow... other 4?

presumably including setting. 6 tables, 26 seats. view?

Originally Posted by trojanman View Post
1. Alinea, Chicago
2. Bar Charlie, Las Vegas [closed]
3. Alex, Las Vegas [closed]
4. Wild Sage (Rusty Parrot), Jackson

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Aug 27, 13 at 12:59 pm
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Old Jan 14, 10, 6:51 pm
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My stay at Amangani was flawless! I think it's much better than the Asia Amans I've stayed at
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Old Jan 14, 10, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
wow... other 4?

presumably including setting. 6 tables, 26 seats. view?
1. Alinea, Chicago
2. Bar Charlie, Las Vegas
3. Alex, Las Vegas
4. Wild Sage (Rusty Parrot), Jackson
5. <Tied> with about 3-4 other places

Wild Sage @ Rusty Parrot is not your typical high-end meal setting, and that is perhaps what made it so enjoyable - there was not a hint of pretense in the air. It's a very intimate space, set much like a large living room. There's a large stone fireplace at one end, surrounded by deep leather chairs and a couch. Arriving guests are invited to wait for their table on the couch, and departing guests are invited to enjoy a cordial by the fire.

Our server was young, but incredible. She took the time to explain each dish and guided us through the very limited menu (about 5 small plates and 5 entrees). Though there was no tasting menu, per se, she gathered our preferences and worked with the kitchen to create a properly proportioned multi-course meal consisting of amuse, soup, salad, appetizer, two entrees, and dessert. The technical skill used to prepare the food was second to none. Lobster was cooked to perfection, my Elk Tomahawk Chop had a beautiful and even pink center, and the cut was butchered and cleaned beautifully - perhaps better than any tomahawk I've seen. The flavors were incredible. The wine our server picked to pair with our individual dishes were excellent matches.

All of this extravagance for 2 people for a total of only $225 including tax and a 25% tip! No better food value anywhere, IMHO.
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Old Jan 14, 10, 7:52 pm
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I have cancelled an NYE stay at Amangani twice (including this year). Something always stops me from going there. What was the NYE celebration like? Dinner with some kind of entertainment? Lots of families with children or no?
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Old Jan 15, 10, 12:04 am
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Originally Posted by BLV View Post
I have cancelled an NYE stay at Amangani twice (including this year). Something always stops me from going there. What was the NYE celebration like? Dinner with some kind of entertainment? Lots of families with children or no?
Staff spent most of the 31st tearing down Christmas decorations and preparing for the festivities. We were told to be at dinner around 8:45, but when we left our room at 8:15 to grab a cocktail first, we were surprised to see the program was already well under way. It would have been nice if someone said to be in the lobby by 8pm...

Apparently it's been the same program for 2 years now, and it appears to be popular, so it might just become an annual tradition.

They hire several local native americans to come in full tribal dress and share dances, songs, and explain the significance of the various costumes. Then towards the end they do a "line dance" kind of thing where they involve hotel guests who are so inclined. It sounds like a weird program for NYE, but it was actually really cool...even my wife liked it (sort of), and she's not big on culture.

We were then invited to take our seats for dinner, but therein was the problem. All 100+ people staying at the hotel showed up at their tables at the exact same time. The staff was horribly unprepared to serve all of us at once, so it took nearly 1 hour just to get the 1st course served! It was only a 4 course meal (no amuse, intermezzo, or other nice touches), yet they managed to drag it out over 3 hours (to get us as close to midnight as possible). For comparison, I did 16 courses at Bar Charlie in the same amount of time.

Timing issues notwithstanding, the meal was very good, with dessert being the highlight. During dinner, a DJ was playing light mood music, but when we got within an hour of midnight, the 70's, 80's, and 90's music started to get a lot louder.

There was dancing, drinking, etc...and at midnight they did a balloon drop. Somewhere in the mass of gold and black balloons was a solitary red one. The person who caught the red balloon won a free night. Another strange concept for a 5-star hotel, but one I certainly wish I would have won!

Dinner was $175 per person (excluding alcohol). Considering it was only 4 courses, it felt a bit like a ripoff. However, considering there was a 45 minute "show" at the beginning, I guess it's not horrible.

There were some children there, but not more than 10-15, and they were actually very well behaved. The youngest was perhaps 5 or 6 years old. No infants or toddlers from what I could see.

It wasn't the most fun I've ever had at a NYE party, but it was a nice change of pace.
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Old Jan 15, 10, 12:18 am
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Originally Posted by kmklint View Post
Can anyone contrast Amangani with Four Seasons Jackson Hole? Which is better? This is for a summer visit only.

Any recommended dining in Jackson?
I stayed at both Amangani & FS Jackson Hole during my last trip in Jackson, and I'd recommend Amangani for summer, FS Jackson Hole for winter
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Old Jan 15, 10, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by kmklint View Post
Any recommended dining in Jackson?
Thankfully, there is no shortage of truly excellent food in Jackson.

During our relatively short trip, we had the opportunity to dine at:

1. Wild Sage @ Rusty Parrot
2. Osteria @ Hotel Terra
3. The Grill @ Amangani

All 3 were excellent, though the pace at The Grill was a bit slow.

From other hotel guests, employees, and locals, we heard that Koshu and Teton Thai were both considered quite good. From the same group we also heard that Trio and Snake River Grill are somewhat over-rated.
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Old Jan 15, 10, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by trojanman View Post
Staff spent most of the 31st tearing down Christmas decorations and preparing for the festivities. We were told to be at dinner around 8:45, but when we left our room at 8:15 to grab a cocktail first, we were surprised to see the program was already well under way. It would have been nice if someone said to be in the lobby by 8pm...

Apparently it's been the same program for 2 years now, and it appears to be popular, so it might just become an annual tradition.

They hire several local native americans to come in full tribal dress and share dances, songs, and explain the significance of the various costumes. Then towards the end they do a "line dance" kind of thing where they involve hotel guests who are so inclined. It sounds like a weird program for NYE, but it was actually really cool...even my wife liked it (sort of), and she's not big on culture.

We were then invited to take our seats for dinner, but therein was the problem. All 100+ people staying at the hotel showed up at their tables at the exact same time. The staff was horribly unprepared to serve all of us at once, so it took nearly 1 hour just to get the 1st course served! It was only a 4 course meal (no amuse, intermezzo, or other nice touches), yet they managed to drag it out over 3 hours (to get us as close to midnight as possible). For comparison, I did 16 courses at Bar Charlie in the same amount of time.

Timing issues notwithstanding, the meal was very good, with dessert being the highlight. During dinner, a DJ was playing light mood music, but when we got within an hour of midnight, the 70's, 80's, and 90's music started to get a lot louder.

There was dancing, drinking, etc...and at midnight they did a balloon drop. Somewhere in the mass of gold and black balloons was a solitary red one. The person who caught the red balloon won a free night. Another strange concept for a 5-star hotel, but one I certainly wish I would have won!

Dinner was $175 per person (excluding alcohol). Considering it was only 4 courses, it felt a bit like a ripoff. However, considering there was a 45 minute "show" at the beginning, I guess it's not horrible.

There were some children there, but not more than 10-15, and they were actually very well behaved. The youngest was perhaps 5 or 6 years old. No infants or toddlers from what I could see.

It wasn't the most fun I've ever had at a NYE party, but it was a nice change of pace.
Very interesting. Thank you for such a detailed reply. That's exactly what I was looking for. Ocean Club in Bahamas had something similar (tribal dancing), which did not appeal to me, despite the whole thing being fun, I guess. I will stick to what works (or what I can reserve, because I've been frustratingly unsuccessful with booking places like Amanyara, Parrot Cay, Palmilla, etc for NYE b/c they quickly sell to "returning guests". I was surprised that Amangani has always been available, even last minute), which is some haute cuisine establishment in one of the european capitals.
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