Coastline may be known for planning vacations to exotic islands or unique European landscapes, so it’s easy to forget that there are some great travel destinations here in our backyard. A part of the United States’ magnificence lies in the fact that you can experience big cities, stunning beaches, grand mountain ranges or imposing forests all in one country. I often get caught up in the dream of traveling to unfamiliar countries when, in truth, there is a large chunk of this patriotic land mass I should be exploring already.
Agent Leah Bergner had the right idea when she accepted a FAM trip to famed ski resort town Jackson Hole, Wyoming, just a mere 2 hour flight from home in Los Angeles. Her trip was sponsored by Amangani, a beautiful luxury resort that boasts views of Grand Teton National Park. Amangani is owned by Aman Resorts, a collection of unique properties that offer contemporary luxury in intimate, natural locations. Aman properties not only offer sublime, high-level service to their guests, they are also environmentally conscious, using locally-sourced materials and sustainable ingredients to reflect the natural surroundings.
Amangani is a pleasantly warm and welcoming resort that sits on East Gros Ventre Butte in Jackson Hole with impeccable views of meadows and mountain ranges— most notably, the Teton Pass. As described on Amangani’s website: The Teton Range, dominated by the 4,200-metre (13,770-foot) Grand Teton, is the youngest formation in the soaring Rocky Mountains. Amangani’s peaceful location is at the southern end of this extensive alpine valley. The town of Jackson is the southern gateway to nearby Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, less than 100 kilometres away. The snow-fed waters of the Snake River gather in the Yellowstone Plateau and wind south through Jackson Hole.
So basically, it sounds like a panoramic alpine dreamscape. Because it is.
Though Leah’s stay was short (4 days to be exact), it was jam-packed with activities that merely sampled the adventures you can take while visiting Jackson Hole. I’m actually sitting here looking over her itinerary and I am admittedly very envious. These are just SOME of the awe-inspiring adventures Leah embarked on:
- Private Ski Lesson at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
- Sleigh Ride along the Snake River
- Wildlife Safari with Amangani
- Après Yoga in the Amangani Health Center
- Togwotee Dogsled Tour with Continental Divide
- Astronomy Viewing and Lecture
Note that the Astronomy Viewing and Lecture is one in a series of “seasonal experiences” that the property offers to its guests. Once a week, Amangani presents an exclusive opportunity for guests’ enrichment and enjoyment. During the seasonal period that Leah visited the resort, they were offering a Falconry Expert Lecture, an Amangani Photography Workshop, a performance by a local musician, and of course the Astronomy/Stargazing event.
While the resort is undoubtedly enjoyable during summer with warm days, cool nights, and colorful landscapes, it is no secret that this area is a snow-filled skier’s paradise during winter and early spring. Amangani has been voted as the #1 Ski Hotel in North America by Condé Nast Traveler readers and has its own private Ski Lounge located in the alpine Teton Village. Many ski enthusiasts know that Jackson Hole provides some of the best skiing in the world; the snow can pile up to 10ft during the winter. Though the resort is not ski in/out, they provide complimentary shuttle service as well as private transfers to the Amangani Ski Lounge. As Leah puts it, “the staff takes care of everything, you never lift a finger!” The Aman staff will also fit you on property to avoid the crowds.
Included in Leah’s itinerary was a private ski lesson offered by Jackson Hole Mountain Sports School, which was one of the highlights of her trip. Her instructor was highly professional and really familiarized Leah with the terrain and culture. If you are looking for a customized mountain experience, complete with lift-line priority and early Tram access, Leah strongly recommends hiring an instructor— “it’s worth every penny.”
Overall, Leah’s Jackson Hole Mountain adventure with Amangani was certainly memorable; the destination bears luxury vacationing in an organic setting, and the incredible Aman staff will make you feel right at home. This getaway is perfect for all types of travelers: couples, families, singles, adventurers, non-adventurers— you name it! Just a 2 hour direct flight from LAX and you will reach a splendid, scenic escape.
Tips for this destination:
- Getting to Jackson Hole, the aircraft may be pretty tiny. Many carry-on items must be checked at the gate, so keep note of that when packing.
- Speaking of packing: layers, layers, layers!
- Try the Amangani’s famous Huckleberry-Basil hot tea…it’s delicious.
- Leah recommends going into town for dinner. A local favorite is Trio American Bisto.
- If you love to see wildlife, this is a great spot for you! Leah was surprised by how many creatures she came across. To name a few: Bison, Moose, Magpies, Owls, Bald Eagles, Elk, Deer and Wolves. Here are some of the Moose and Elk friends she met along the way: