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Vogue fashion spreads have been shot in some of the world's most glamourous locales: Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Utah. Wait a sec—Utah? Before you poo-poo what might seem like a strange location choice, take a look at one editorial layout in the magazine's January issue.
It features Canadian model Daria Werbowy in various designer states of dress (and undress), sporting YSL dresses and practicing yoga inversions with the desert's Amangiri resort providing the backdrop. As we previously reported, Amangiri is an uber-zen retreat whose rooms run upward of $3,300 for the most cushy accommodations.
Essentially, it's buried deep in the middle-of-nowhere, but if you're a socialite whose grown tired of skyscrapers and the nightlife, horses and hydrotherapy sound pretty darn appealing.
Mention zen meditation and Sanskrit names, and canyon country (the Utah-Arizona border, to be exact) isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But when it comes to choosing between an ashram and pilates classes at a resort, we'll take what's behind door number two, thanks.
With last week's opening of the Amangiri (which in Sanskrit means "peaceful mind"), the choice between East and West has become non-existent. The 34-guest suite resort has landed smack dab in the middle of towering rock formations and national parks, made possible by an Act of Congress that legally allows for the swap of private and Federal land.
The Amangiri belong to the Amanresorts family of Singapore, also known for operating hotels in East Asia. For those looking to do big thinking—or no thinking—amidst a natural backdrop, there's an entire menu of OM-inducing activities to choose from. Hydro and color therapy? Check. Yoga? Check. Stargazing on secluded sky terraces? Check.
The Cosmopolitan Hotel in downtown Toronto bills itself as a place of tranquility in this hectic world. A popular (read: cliché) sales pitch in the travel industry these days, but does it fulfill its promise to cleanse and recharge? Most say yes, although some find irony in the hotel's pledge to pamper its guests.
Practice what you preach, argued one disgruntled guest from Scottsdale, Ariz.:
For a hotel that markets itself as a Zen retreat with it's primary purpose being rejuvenation and relaxation, this hotel fell abysmally short. My "view" room on the 17th floor had a view of a steel beam and a brick wall. My second room on the 9th floor had a floor to ceiling window in the bedroom that had blinds that were stuck in the "up" position. But that really didn't matter anyhow because the room was next to a loud generator that woke me up at three in the morning. After three nights of poor sleep, not having the basic amenities in the room such as creamer for coffee and lights that worked, I checked out early and found somewhere where I could actually "rejuvenate" from this hotel.
With the exception of Crabby above, we have heard plenty of visitors rave about The Cosmopolitan's exceptional amenities. Each of the hotel's 95 suites and two penthouses include floor-to-ceiling windows, a full kitchen, air purifier, washer/dryer, Sony CD player, and LCD flatscreen TVs. Bamboo décor and yoga mats also abound, naturally.
So is this a case of one bad crab apple? Could be.