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Aman Resorts might be known for its luxury resorts in exotic locations, but the hotel group should be branching out to its first true city hotel this year, after dipping its toe in the somewhat urban water – quite literally as it were – in Venice.
And where better to take the next step than Tokyo, a metropolis if there ever was one? We had hoped Aman Tokyo would have been open by the time we were in Japan, but pre-summer became post-summer as it tends to do for hotel openings, with the latest we’ve heard being sometime in September. We did walk over to The Otemachi Tower complex that the hotel will be part of to get a sense of its setting, so read on for a first impression.
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Usually major metropolitan areas are where you’ll find every hotel brand under the sun close together, but in a few years’ time there might be a very unlikely contender for having one of the largest concentrations of different hotel brands in the world: a master development in Portugal, roughly 50 miles south of capital Lisbon.
If one day a reality, we couldn’t name anywhere else that boast hotels from Hilton, Marriott, Four Seasons, Park Hyatt, Raffles, Fairmont, Aman, and Six Senses, all cosily together on the peninsula across the water from Setúbal and further down the Alentejo coastline – yet that is what the above map calls for.
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Amanyara, Turks & Caicos
We might have only gotten two out of four hoped-for openings from Aman Resorts last year (that would be Aman Canal Grande in Venice and Amano’i in Vietnam), but despite the wait for Lijiang (China) and Jordan, we’ll continue to keep an eye out for anywhere else Aman might be popping up in the (near) future.
One likely destination is the Dominican Republic, which would make it the second Aman in the Caribbean, next to Amanyara in the Turks & Caicos. Rather than the popular eastern region of Punta Cana, the hotel will be part of the Playa Grande development on the northern coast, east of Puerto Plata and kitesurfer’s paradise Cabarete.
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The Regent Montenegro
There’s tons of hotel news flying around at the moment, so we have another roundup of news bites for you today to get you up to speed on the latest from Oman to Cambodia and China to Argentina.
Starting with the Arab sultanate of Oman, its newspaper Muscat Daily (Muscat is the capital) reports that the country will have the first Aman Resort in the Middle East, in the remote coastal town of Shuwaimiya. The developer of the eco-resort has confirmed Aman Resorts will open, with the hotel group so far taking a confirm-nor-deny approach. Whether or not it will be the first in the Middle East remains to be seen, based on what we hear about an opening in Jordan.
By the end of the summer, Aman Resorts will be crossing off another hotel opening of its to-do list for this year: Amano’i, its brand new resort on scenic Vinh Hy Bay in Vietnam will have the first lucky guests jumping in that gorgee-ous infinity pool on September 1.
Combining the usual Aman (Sanskrit for ‘peace’) and no’i (‘place’ in Vietnamese), Amano’i sits on the coast northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. There are just 31 pavilions and five villas, with arrival happening at a central pavilion on the hilltop, offering in-your-face views of the coastline.
We’ve shown that you get whisked around Amanpuri in open-air comfort, but what is it like to spend the night here, the original Aman Resort on the western coast of Phuket? This is a case of letting the pictures doing most of the talking, but there are definitely a few things that stood for us.
You’ll find Amanpuri on Pansea Beach, a thirty-minute drive from Phuket airport, which in turn is just under two hours flight from Bangkok, the Thai capital. Architecturally, this has to be one of the most impressive resorts we’ve stayed at recently. Forty individual pavilions are scattered across a hillside, tumbling down to the Andaman Sea. The driveway swoops down to the open air lobby, just beyond is a long midnight-blue tiled swimming pool, and wide steps take you down to the white powdery beach. The timelessness of it all (Amanpuri was constructed in 1988), is really refreshing in an age where we see lots of hotel design that wears out within a matter of years.
The hotel bike might be the ubiquitous amenity these days for tooling around town or the resort grounds, but in certain climates – and hilly terrains – a less strenuous alternative might be preferable.
We came across the perfect solution recently at Amanpuri – the original Aman Resort – in blisteringly hot Phuket, where getting around is both a breeze and breezy, courtesy of a fleet of semi-open buggies fashioned out of ripped up Nissans. Available any time at the main entrance or just a call away, you can be whisked to your room, back to the lobby and the main pool, down to the beach club, up to the spa, or to the top-of-the-hill gym with endless views over the surrounding area.
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When we mentioned at the beginning of the year that Aman Resorts would be opening a third property in China, very few details were available other than its location in the city of Lijiang, in the western province of Yunnan, towards the border with Myanmar (Burma).
We’ve since talked about the June opening of Aman Canal Grande in Venice, and now we have a few more details on what will be called AmanDayan, as well as word on two additional properties in Vietnam and Jordan.