Culture / Travel

Inside Camp Sarika at Amangiri — a Nature Resort Like No Other in Southern Utah

Mountain Climbing in a Luxurious Wonderland

BY

CANYON POINT, UTAH – As I stepped up a final iron rung to reach the top of a Utah mountain peak, trembling with fear, I caught a glimpse of my suite at Camp Sarika at Amangiri, shining in the desert sunlight from across the Southwestern mesa rock formations. 

Camp Sarika is an extension of the famed (at least by those in know) still relatively new Amangiri resort. Camp Sarika is an enclave of tent-like luxury pavilions set among the rugged wilderness that offers guests an intimate sanctuary amid a stunning nature land. With all the bells and whistles of an over the top five star luxury resort. 

Sure, the utterly picturesque terrain and the unique setting of Amangiri has dazzled the camera rolls of celebrities, putting this resort on many discerning travelers’ bucket list. But it wasn’t until I found myself hanging off the side of a mountain by nothing but a steel cable that I fully comprehended the magic of the Camp Sarika experience. That existential clarity, of course, came in between moments of grappling with myself (both physically and mentally) to hold it together.

The allure of this unexpected destination goes beyond the celebrity hype. Instead, it’s all about the juxtaposition between nature’s rugged lessons and extravagantly curated luxury. 

This is where the Wild West meets extreme indulgence — a winning and unprecedented combination offering guests the restorative journey many seek from an unusual vacation. 

Amangiri’s Camp Sarika Solitude

After a day of challenging outdoor excursions, my journey came full circle as I settled back into the comforts of my 800-square-foot tented pavilion suite at Camp Sarika. The solace of my private luxury tent set into a captivating rock formation provided much needed respite for my sore body. 

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Only a five minute drive or golf cart ride from the full Amangiri resort, Camp Sarika is nothing short of jaw dropping. In fact, Camp Sarika was always part of the plan for this resort since its opening. The collection of safari-like pavilion suites are meant to provide remote solitude while maintaining the same Amangiri resort standard.

Amangiri tapped Luxury Frontiers, which has built some of the best tented suite structures in the world, to help bring Camp Sarika to life. Each one of the one or two bedroom tents are built tucked away into the rocks with each window and corner framing a different slice of the desert view.

These are tents in both aesthetic and vibe, but they are also fully enclosed with air conditioning, running water and five star amenities throughout. Picture complete separate living rooms and spacious bathrooms with soaking tubs and indoor/outdoor showers. There are also sprawling patios, plunge pools, outdoor showers and fire pits to up the natural luxury.

Amangiri, USA – Camp Sarika Tent 9 Lounge
There are 10 one of two bedroom pavilions at Camp Sarika, all with living areas and ample space to spread out and stay awhile. (Photo courtesy of Amangiri)

At the heart of Camp Sarika is a main building with a dining room with Amangiri’s gastronomically profound food. Expect a menu of globally inspired cuisine that highlights seasonal, local ingredients cooked over an open flame for a camp fire flavor. The breakfast menu brought perhaps the best eggs Benedict I’ve ever tasted, served on focaccia bread and drizzled with black truffle hollandaise sauce. 

Camp Sarika also includes its own swimming pool and spa treatment rooms among Amangiri’s 600 acres. 

Whether soaking up the more nature immersive solitude of Camp Sarika or basking in the contemporary cool of Amangiri, guests enjoy the same amenities, dining and wellness offerings.

Yes, you’re in an unparalleled nature land. But you’re anything but roughing it.

The Amangiri Experience

Each day at Camp Sarika provides a tailored consultation with nature. You can do everything from taking a helicopter ride to the top of a plateau for a private yoga class to enjoying a decadent day of wellness treatments guided by Navajo natives. Every experience is influenced by the surrounding desert and fully bespoke. Nothing is off limits. 

Start with a morning fitness class as the sun rises followed by guide-led hikes through the property’s collection of hiking trails. This is a great way to get a taste of the history and geology of the land. Then, you can cap off the afternoon watching authentic Navajo hoop dancers while sipping a crisp cocktail.

Of course, those ready for something a little more pulse raising can take on the climbing paths. Led by one of Amangiri’s expert adventure guides.

For thrill seekers ready for a riskier challenge like the climbing excursion I went on, the resort is marked by its Via Ferrata — an iron path — a series of steel cables and ladders built into the peaks themselves.

The extensive mountainside pathway allows climbers to scale what are otherwise impossible sections of terrain. Like the Cave Peak stairway, a state of the art, 120-step sky ladder suspended 500 feet above the ground between two peaks. This is a true adventure with amazing views, an exhilarating and rewarding once-in-a-lifetime experience only available to Amangiri guests.

Amangiri, USA – Camp Sarika
Camp Sarika is a welcome new addition to Amangiri, one of the country’s most renowned resorts. (Photo courtesy of Amangiri) 

If the wanderlust goes further than the inconspicuous gates, Amangiri is surrounded by the most concentrated area of national parks in the United States with nature attractions aplenty. The resort can arrange custom trips to Antelope Canyon, Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon and more.

You can also get spa treatments at Camp Sarika or at the signature Aman Spa. The focus on nourishing the mind, body and soul is paramount, even down to the Aman line of skincare products. The holistic menu of healing body treatments includes wellness offerings like sound baths, meditation and flotation therapy.

Nature’s Magic

Throughout the rest of my Camp Sarika days, which were filled with basking in the blissful Aman spa and enjoying mouthwatering bites and smooth sips of cabernet, I was delighted by nature at every turn. 

Even the artworks that dot the polished concrete walls of the Amangiri resort illustrate the transformative power of this nature land. The resort’s resident artist Ulrike Arnold takes the pigments from the very rocks beneath Camp Sarika hikers’ feet to create vibrant masterpieces on canvas.  I never realized how many colors can be found within the shimmering rocks until one of Arnold’s breathtaking 20-foot canvases caught my eye while I sipped a signature margarita at the serene Amangiri Desert Lounge. 

Amangiri resort draws inspiration from the land’s native Navajo tribe who believes the ridges and colors of the canyons and rock formations are reflective of our own pasts. The idea is that each stunning color and curve of the mesas are a result of transforming life’s negative into something beautiful.

Now that’s transformative.

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