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Published on: Aug. 30, 2021, 2:13 p.m.
‘Demand for travel overwhelmingly positive’
  • A dining set-up reflected in the pool at Amanbagh

By Suman Tarafdar

Among the changes enforced by the pandemic lockdowns for the global hospitality sector has been a search for solitude. The luxury resorts, have been uniquely well suited, and for the solitude seeking, well-heeled vacationer, Aman has been a natural choice. 

“Our guests can come to an Aman property and, should they wish to, they could see no one else during their stay without compromising their experience. Owing to this, our day-to-day operations and offering for our guests have not been greatly affected, within the context of the wider restrictions of each country. Luxury and tranquillity are assured even in this new era,” Roland Fasel, COO, Aman points out.

The restrictions on travel, however, have meant an entirely domestic market, but the group remains confident. “At Aman, we have found the demand for travel to be overwhelmingly positive when we look at the global picture,” says Fasel. “There are of course ongoing challenges with international restrictions remaining in place in certain locations, however, once a destination has lifted these measures, we see an instantaneous spike in bookings.”

Unprecedented levels of ‘revenge travel’ seem to fuel this surge. “Our sales teams are also reporting unheard of pent-up demand when speaking with guests, so we are hopeful once restrictions start to lift further internationally, that Aman will continue to play a pivotal role in hosting memorable trips for new and existing clients alike who are longing to travel once more,” explains Fasel.

Fasel says that at the moment, both its India resorts, Aman-i-Khas and Amanbagh, continue to welcome guests solely from the domestic market while international restrictions remain in place. “What we have seen is that with international travel restrictions remaining in place in India, guests are keen to rediscover the diverse landscapes that are located within close proximity of their homes. This has meant that in 2020 and 2021 so far, we have focused entirely on welcoming guests from within our domestic market. Due to the intimate size of both of our properties, our expansive surroundings and our unique experiences offered, we have been very lucky to receive a steady flow of local guests throughout the global pandemic.”

New world, new experiences 

Anyone familiar with the group’s nearly 40 odd resorts spread across 20 countries could attest to the sense of spaciousness within them. Fasel points out that since its conception, Aman has been built on principles of privacy, generosity of space and exceptional service. “While it was never intended for this purpose, the new concept of social distancing is very easily catered to within these long-standing Aman principles and architecture. For example, Amanbagh features only 37 rooms that are spread across 43 acres. The smallest room category is 1,345 square feet in size and includes its own private outdoor courtyard and dining area. In addition, Aman-i-Khas features only ten luxury tents and is surrounded by raw wilderness on the edge of Ranthambore National Park.” 

Adaptations have been called for though, even if less than in most other hospitality groups. “As well as ensuring we have additional protocols in place to support guests and staff, we have also worked very quickly to adapt to the changing needs of the current traveller,” says Fasel. “Since the pandemic, we realised Aman-i-Khas and its 10 luxury tents is perfectly positioned for buyouts, and in response to a recent rise in microevents and mini celebrations, we launched a new A Camp of Your Own offer enabling guests to book the entire property for an exclusive escape. In light of the focus upon domestic travellers, we curated new exclusive experiences that were tailored specifically for local guests. For instance, in October last year, we launched a two-night Wildness Break at Aman-i-Khas. This exclusive stay included special resident rates, as well as daily cultural excursions, wildlife safaris, outdoor yoga sessions and a 60-minute spa treatment.”

The unrivalled service at Aman destinations retains its standards. “Personalised service does not have to rely on physical proximity and our teams have adapted incredibly quickly to ensure they can continue to deliver their intuitive service within the confines of social distancing,” stresses Fasel. 

Fasel says that at both Amanbagh and Aman-i-Khas, “We support guests to arrange RT PCR testing, as well as offering as much flexibility as possible in relation to bookings, as we understand the unpredictability of travel in the current environment and aim to ensure our guests have a seamless experience at every step of the journey. When staying with us, the Aman experience will continue to focus on offering our guests utmost privacy in other-worldly surroundings, with bespoke experiences that will leave them with lasting memories”. For the discerning traveller, that is a reassurance few could resist. 

Now, wear your Aman style

‘Amanjunkies’, that super elite group of travellers known for spending quality time in Aman islands of tranquillity across the world, now have another reason to rejoice. Aman has announced the arrival of a new retail collection, The Essentials by Aman, inspired by these minimalist, ultraluxe getaways. The inaugural collection comprises activewear, loungewear, knitwear, swimwear, resortwear and soft accessories. 

Designed, developed and manufactured in Italy, the collection is tailored to encourage uncomplicated living, clean lines and subtle prints inspired by Aman destinations form the design language, with understated detailing. The colour palette is also reminiscent of Aman locations, with warm terracotta capturing the vibrancy of Amanjena, Marrakech, sea blue and deep green celebrating the azure seas and olive groves of Amanzoe, Greece and warm yellow celebrating the desert landscapes of Amangiri, USA. 

“We had already begun to develop lifestyle products following demand from guests, such as the Aman Spa Candles, Aman Skincare, Aman Fine Fragrance and Sva – our range of Traditional Chinese Herbal Formulas,” says Roland Fasel, COO, Aman. “The development of a retail collection was a natural expansion of this and marks a further step in the Aman vision to expand beyond our property experiences.”

Speaking on the development process, Kristina Romanova, Director of Product Development at Aman said, “Creating The Essentials has been an inspiring journey that has allowed us to collaborate with some of the most experienced design professionals in the industry and work with some exceptional artisans to select the very best materials.” The designs have all been developed in-house, alongside expert consultants, with the team drawing inspiration from Aman destinations around the globe.

Fasel picks out his favourites. “My personal favourites are the items we’ve created in the Aman monogram, such as the matching monogram set comprising super-soft cotton shirt and trouser separates. Additionally, our men’s tailored swim shorts, which we’ve also made in the monogram, are perfect for taking guests from the beach to bar.” 

The collection is positioned to be timeless which will not date and is perfectly suited to a number of occasions. Fasel says there are currently no plans to release new collections each season or year, but rather add select pieces over time. No, the collection is not limited to Amanjunkies, and is available at Aman boutiques. 

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