If you are looking for a change of scenery, but want to be socially-distanced as much as possible, America’s West offers plenty of opportunities.
This week we tapped into the expert luxury travel advisors at SmartFlyer to get their advice on where to go, what you can do when you get there. We’ve also added some highlights about the accommodations that are available.
Situated close to some of the USA’s finest ski slopes as well as Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, Amangani, or ‘peaceful home,’ is an all-season resort overlooking the beautiful valley of Jackson Hole in Wyoming.
Amangani clings to the crest of East Gros Ventre Butte, some 7,000 feet above sea level. The forty suite retreat and a handful of private homes is a year-round destination acting as an ideal base for exploring the magnificent natural surroundings.
With its floor-to-ceiling columns of Oklahoma sandstone, ceilings and walls in Pacific redwood and chairs of rattan and woven cowhide, Amangani embraces the spirit of the West.
Take to the fresh mountain air in spring or summer, a serene sanctuary from which to explore the backcountry of the old West – on foot or horseback, by hot-air balloon, or along the spectacular Snake River.
NYC-based advisor Tom Bartholomew weighs in on a recent stay, sharing, “The property has compiled a series of excursions that will allow you to explore Jackson Hole and its magical environment.
In addition to Amangani Signature Tours, some excursions are offered in conjunction with professional outfitters from the area and most of these activities are offered privately.
Warm weather activity options include hiking, horseback riding, fly-fishing, mountain biking and exploring the boutiques and galleries of downtown Jackson. Winter pursuits include skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing, dog-sledding and snowmobiling.
Offering 800 sq. ft. of living space, the Amangani Suite features a guest bathroom and can be connected to a Superior Suite to provide two bedrooms. Balconies or patios enjoy spectacular mountain and valley views
You like the living area with metal gas-lit fireplace, window-side daybed, and
spacious bathroom with bathtub, twin vanities, dressing room, separate shower, and toilet.
Opening onto a large patio, the 780 sq. ft. Sena Suite has magnificent views of the Teton Range. There’ a private patio, King-size bed, living area with metal gas-lit fireplace, window-side daybed, and bathroom with bathtub, twin vanities, dressing room, and a separate shower.
2. Dunton Hot Springs
Located just outside Telluride, Dunton Hot Springs breathes new life into a 19th-century ghost town. The thirteen rustic log cabins are all unique and surprisingly luxe, with heated slate floors and handpicked antiques; guests in the Well House enjoy their own hot springs.
Others can soak weary bones in the old bathhouse or under the stars at the source. Join a trail ride into the Rockies or fly-fish along a private stretch of the Dolores; guests will find every conceivable winter sport, including heli-skiing. Farm-fresh meals and wine from the resort’s vineyard are shared over the Saloon’s long table.
Alexandra Stockton shares, “Dunton Hot Springs will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time (that is if mining towns had world-class food and wine and a luxury spa with natural hot springs!). The property is tucked deep into the San Juan Mountains but it is worth the trek! The accommodations are individual log cabins so it’s easy to social distance and there is plenty of wilderness for everyone to explore. Splurge on the Well House cabin that has its own hot spring and cold plunge.”
The owner’s former residence is an immensely comfortable family home. There are two trout ponds adjacent to the house allowing for great trout fishing. From almost every window the views of the surrounding peaks are simply stunning. A private retreat in itself and can be a long term rental.
Potter House sleeps up to 10 with a Master bedroom with king bed, fireplace and en-suite bath; King bedroom; Queen bedroom, and bedroom with two twin beds.
There’s a full kitchen and living area with fireplace. Stairs are used to access this unit.
Translating into “peaceful mountain,” Amangiri is set in Utah’s stunning canyon country and incorporates the beauty of the Four Corners desert in its design. Beyond its reputation as one of the world’s most exclusive hotels with many clients opting to fly private to reach its highly remote location, the story of its conception goes far deeper than aesthetics. In fact, it took five years and an act of Congress to approve the use of the land from the national parks and wildlife departments.
Reflecting on a recent stay, Boston-based travel advisor Julie Palo Hayes shares, “Amangiri feels like you are literally on the moon – talk about a getaway. It’s a ridiculously sexy setting but also offers crazy adventures like climbing the Via Ferratas rock formation and walking across the iron bridge.”
Knoxville-based travel advisor Alexandra Stockton adds, “Between the impressive design of Amangiri and the dramatic landscape, you’ll leave feeling inspired. The property offers the perfect combination of exciting activities and relaxation. Be sure to try the Watsu massage at the spa, a guided Ferrata excursion, and a day-trip to Zion National Park.”
This summer, Amangiri’s thirty-four suites were joined by the unveiling of Camp Sarika. This cluster of just ten canvas-topped pavilions elevate the desert experience to feel even more remote and exclusive.
Palo Alto-based travel advisor Katie Lee says, “Camp Sarika at Amangiri is my obsession. Every pavilion utilizes indoor and outdoor spaces beautifully with their own private pool, fire pit and lounge chairs nestled at the foot of the breathtaking Mesas.”
Newport Beach-based travel advisor Michelle Manas adds, “With the new addition of Camp Sarika, Amangiri has created the ultimate glamping experience! Escape to their new tented oasis and enjoy so much space and tranquility. There’s no better place to be ‘desert-ed’ than Amangiri!”
The 3,472 sq. ft. Amangiri Suite features a large 59 x 13 ft. private lap pool with floating steps, an expansive sun deck with outdoor dining areas and a sky terrace, all with magnificent Utah desert views
At night make use of the fire pit, and anytime is a perfect time for your private sky terrace with a large day bed. The living area features reading chairs and a writing desk. The bathroom features twin rain showers, soaking tub, twin vanities, dressing areas, and. separate toilet. And don’t forget the underfloor heating.
The 3,734 sq. ft. Girijaala Suite features offer a 46 x 13 ft. private lap pool, an expansive terrace and a desert lounge with panoramic Utah desert views
Relax on the terrace with four sun loungers, built-in lounge seating, and dining table. The private sky terrace has a large day bed. Enjoy the oversize bathroom.
4. The Lodge at Blue Sky
Situated on 3,500 acres of lush ranchland outside of Park City, The Lodge at Blue Sky invites guests to slow down and forge meaningful connections with the natural environment.
Guests will immediately feel at peace as they check into one Blue Sky’s 46 rooms and suites followed by a meal at their farm-to-table restaurant. Or, just up the private road on which the property is located, opt for a meal at the iconic High West Whiskey Distillery which lovingly crafts small-batch whiskey from grain to glass.
SmartFlyer Maggie Barton says, “Lodge at Blue Sky was literally made for ‘the new normal’ that we are now living. This brand new Auberge property is a true gem complete with soul, offering wide-ranging activities from horseback riding, fly fishing or hiking during the summer, and skiing, snowshoeing or cross country during the winter.”
For the spa lover, The Auberge Spa invites reconnection with the self through indulgent treatments, yoga, guided meditation, and products that feature nourishing bloom-to-bottle ingredients. The CBD massage is a favorite!
New York City-based SmartFlyer Marketing Manager Kayla Douglas adds, “For the city-dweller looking to connect with nature, there are few better places. The equine program here is so special; guests can visit the stables and see the property’s vet provide their rescue horses with massage therapy, acupuncture, essential oil therapy, light therapy, and chiropractic work.
Two-Bedroom, Two-Floor Signature Suites
At 2,240 sq. ft. Signature Suites are the largest at Blue Sky. These accommodations are located in the central Sky Lodge and are perfectly suited to families or those seeking more space in which to relax and take in the impressive mountain views. Each has a 465 sq. ft. patio.
The first floor features a dining table that seats 8 guests, and an expansive living area and private outdoor terrace. The second floor features two master bedrooms, each with a king bed or two twin beds, private ensuite bathrooms, and outdoor terraces.