They are informally known as “Amanjunkies”. Are the most exquisite tribe of travelers and these days they are in luck because, finally, after years of delay caused by the pandemic, their beloved hotel group lands in New York. But who are they? What is Haman? Are you an amanjunkie and ignore it? If he has not even heard the expression, it is clear that he does not know many things about paradise, dear reader, no matter how much he spends his summers in Sotogrande or Formentor. The expression in question has been referring for years to those lucky creatures who feel an almost addictive passion towards luxury hotel chain created in 1988 by Indonesian journalist turned businessman Adrian Zecha. In addition to guests, Aman Resorts has true fans of these exclusive universes, the only hotels where they stay (or almost), tiny parallel worlds with their own philosophy, with an extraordinary ability to create an experience with an unreal, almost magical point.
The chain was born more than 30 years ago, somewhat by chance, in a beautiful Phuket beachwhile Zecha was looking for a piece of land for his second home. From that idea he derived a concept that broke many rules of the ultra-luxury resort game: welcoming hospitality, high-level service, a feeling of private residence, remote location, lots of space and very few guests, local identity, good design, a certain minimalist simplicity, privacy and utmost discretion. Since the opening of that thai flagshipthe iconic Amanpuri, the empire has been expanding until reaching the current 38. Virtually all resort names begin with the word Aman, which means peace in sanskritand an ending is added that forms a word with a specific meaning.
There are true gems in this collection that stand out for their extraordinary locations, for unforgettable details that range from the suite’s key ring (it can be a simple shell or a carving of local crafts) to the license plates of their vehicles. flee from wow factorof the architects and star chefs, of the celebrities as hook, of the prescribers, of the influential people. Although naturally, celebrities do not run away from them. One of the most mediatic episodes in his history was George Clooney and Aman Alamuddin’s wedding on the splendid Aman Canal Grande in Venice. david beckham celebrated his 40th birthday at his Marrakech resort. Amanwana welcomed the late David Bowie and Princess Diana. Other renowned addicts are Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Novak Djokovic, who married at the Aman resort in Montenegro in 2014. Naturally, the group never makes a comment about their clients or guests and they are not exactly one of those who call the press and mark an “Anita Obregón” on the beach with 20 photographers. Well there is always an exception and in this case It is named after Isabel Preysler. True to itself and to its leading publication, it appeared, or surprise, on the pages of Hello! in 2016 together with his dedicated writer in two Indonesian resorts easily recognizable by the “Amanjunkies”. In one of the anthological images, one saw Vargas Llosa reading the folios that every morning he wrote in Amanwana to his beloved Isabel, as well as the one who does not want the thing. (Is there really any reader of our beloved glossy magazine who thinks that a photographer can enter a resort of this type without having everything more than tied up with the client?). Preysler is rather the exception of a paradisiacal world characterized by discretion and low profile media of its faithful, with no interest in becoming “muses” of the foam of life.
But even in paradise there are storm clouds from time to time, Vargas Llosa knows that during his stay there he suffered a terrible jellyfish attack that required hospitalization, as he himself wrote in The country. In 2014, two self-confessed Amanjunkies businessmen were involved in a bitter bid in court to take over the company created by Zecha, in a transfer of power that was not exactly a bed of roses. The entrance of the Russian tycoon Vladislav Doronin, and owner of it, raised some suspicions at the time, but the truth is that Aman remains superlative even with its octogenarian and admired legendary founder out of the game. The clouds dissipated, this exquisite universe continued to grow little by little, very very personally cared for by Doronin (with house in Ibizahis particular paradise) and not only in remote places, but in the heart of Venice or in Tokyo, where it seemed extremely difficult to preserve that magical atmosphere of Aman that makes everything seems lighterwhich makes time pass more slowly.
If the question is whether I am an “Amanjunkie” capable of crossing the pond just to go to see the brand new Aman New York, the answer is yes. Y I hope I can do it soon. If it isn’t already reserved until Judgment Day! More than anything, naturally, for fulfilling my duties as a correspondent in the paradise of El Debate. There are so many paradises in Aman! Most are in half lost places in Asia (also in deep America), so the best and almost only advice is to pull the piggy bank again and stay in one of them if you can afford it (about 1,000 euros per night). Especially admired are Amanpulo, in the Philippines, and Amanpuri, in Pukhet, the mother house and a place with a truly special atmosphere, a destination for many honeymoons, just like Amanpulo. Indonesia is one of the strengths of the group and it is impossible forget the pools of Amankilafor instance. in venice You won’t need to stay in his extraordinary palace on the Grand Canal, which doesn’t hurt if you can afford it and want to treat yourself to a night in your life in a suite with an original fireplace by Sansovino or one with frescoes by Tiepolo.
If your option is something cheaper, but you consider yourself a true gourmet, include in your next visit to the Serenissima drink a coffee in one of its rooms. She won’t forget it. tokyo is another of his most spectacular addresses. It has the most magical and poetic lobby that surely a skyscraper can accommodate. Don’t miss it if you go to Japan! But I remember that Aman is not for all tastes. If you’re into the atmosphere of the Seville Fair, let’s say, you’ll find them too muted and totally lacking in spirit. Plan B if you think you’re a potential ‘Amanjunkie’ is, as always, to start by taking a look at the Aman Resorts website. In this particular case, it is especially recommended for its extraordinary ability to take us into that otherworldly atmosphere they can create. On the website there is a small section with different products of a line of creams that they released a few years ago, such as facials or serums. It is not a bad idea if you have to give a gift to that friend who has invited you to spend a few days to his house in Sotogrande and “that he already has everything”. The content is of exquisite quality and the containers were designed by Kengo Kuma. In short, all very Aman.