Surrounded by 600 hectares of raw wilderness in the heart of the Utah desert, Camp Sarika by Amangiri opened earlier this July, heralding a milestone moment during Amangiri’s ten-year anniversary. Consisting of just ten tented pavilions, the camp is a serene and timeless retreat where cloud shadows dance over vermillion rock formations, boundless skies expand horizons and time stands still. Within this remote sanctuary, utterly attuned to nature, guests can experience solitude, privacy, escapism and adventure.
The new luxury encampment claims 55 pristine hectares a 30-minute hike (or five-minute drive) from its iconic sister resort; Amangiri. While camp guests enjoy full access to the resort’s facilities whenever they wish, everything they need is conveniently located at Camp Sarika.
Overlooking striking flat-topped mesas, the camp comprises ten tented pavilions each with its own spacious outdoor deck and private plunge pool. These are intuitively placed to provide the utmost seclusion and unimpeded views, while still allowing easy access to the camp’s main pavilion with its two spa suites, restaurant, sun deck, swimming pool and jacuzzi.
Deriving its name from the Sanskrit word for “open space” and “sky”, the camp enables a back-to-nature wilderness experience in consummate comfort, revealing Utah’s otherworldly landscapes and intriguing aspects of Native American culture at every turn. The abundance of space surrounding the camp is reflected in its design, making the camp the ideal destination for groups or families looking for an exclusive insight into the destination or a special place for an important celebration in undisturbed privacy.
Offering a connection with nature that leaves city-life a distant memory, Camp Sarika’s design has been developed in timeless-tune with its inspiring environment. It forms an architectural statement and the first year-round camp of its kind in North America.
Camp Sarika’s ten tented pavilions have been designed by San Francisco and Johannesburg-based international design and development services firm, Luxury Frontiers. Balancing form and function, they bow towards the sandstone formations and are covered in soft canvas – woven from recycled plastic bottles and each one able to handle up to 12 tons of snow.
The interior décor of each tented pavilion includes custom designed walnut and leather furniture and etched timber headboards that echo the camp’s carved surroundings and are suspended from soft leather straps. Meanwhile outside – accessed via sliding doors – the architectural design continues to captivate; individual plunge pools, firepits with fireside furniture and telescopes further encourage an immersion in nature and the outdoors.
Camp Sarika’s central pavilion was designed by New York-based Selldorf Architects, and the building seamlessly anchors to the environment. Paying homage to its neighbouring sanctuary, Amangiri, the main building is designed with minimalism in mind, where simple concrete blocks blend effortlessly into the rock. Upon entering, a breathtaking art installation, by internationally acclaimed artist Maya Lin titled Wahweap, welcomes guests. Inspired by tracing the shape of water as it travels from nearby Lake Powell to Lake Mead the piece is created in glass and marble, while open fireplaces and earthy materials further connect the building to its natural surroundings. Leading through to an expansive outdoor terrace, the swimming pool is flanked by shaded daybeds for escaping the midday sun and a heated jacuzzi for relaxing at dusk. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating, surrounded by fire pits that add to the atmosphere.
Claiming unobstructed views of the mesas or facing west to catch the sunset every evening, the camp’s spacious ten tented pavilions feature either one or two bedrooms, as well as a living area, dining area, bar, and private terrace with a fire pit and heated plunge pool. The five one-bedroom tented pavilions each cover 175 square metres, while the five two-bedroom tented pavilions cover 262 square metres.
The tented pavilions evoke the clean lines of the suites at Amangiri, where natural materials reflect the light- transforming, undulating surface of the desert outside. Set in unparalleled proximity to nature, the interiors include soft decorative canvas ceilings, and wooden fittings, as opposed to Amangiri’s blackened steel and stone furnishings.
With Chef Anthony Marazita at the helm, the camp’s restaurant is open throughout the day, serving innovative, responsibly sourced dishes with a focus on Southwestern Native American cuisine. The restaurant’s menu changes daily, incorporating the freshest local produce while also catering for vegetarians and vegans. In-room dining, and outdoor locations are used for memorable private dining experiences.
Situated in the main pavilion, with both indoor and outdoor seating and breathtaking views, the restaurant serves an a la carte breakfast ranging from kettle oats and house granola to Mequite eggs benedict and smoked Utah ruby trout toast. Culinary highlights for lunch and dinner include wild game chili, grilled Scottish salmon, duck confit and a black bean burger, while after dinner heralds the arrival of craft cocktails and the nightly chef’s appetizer. Afternoon tea is served daily.
Spa and Wellness
Camp Sarika allows guests to reap the benefits of connecting with nature – increased mindfulness, reduced stress levels and a clearer headspace – with every convenience and luxury at hand. Claiming tranquil desert views, the two spa suites offer an extensive menu of spa therapies inspired by traditional Navajo wellness practices, as well as Aman’s Signature treatments based on the brand’s Grounding, Purifying and Nourishing skincare pathways.
Camp Sarika offers a special two-hour spa journey known as Desert Calm, designed to hydrate and soothe body, mind and spirit. Following a gentle full-body exfoliation, a body wrap of Red Sedona Clay infused with natural botanicals draws out toxins and provides nourishment to the skin. Warm sesame oil infused with lavender is massaged into the scalp, then after a hot steam shower, hydrating lotion is massaged into the body.
Yoga and guided meditation are offered al fresco in multiple settings, allowing guests to reground themselves within the astounding natural beauty of the Utah desert. Tailor-made experiences include greeting the sunrise atop Tower Butte, 5,000 feet above sea level. This journey begins with a scenic helicopter flight over Lake Powell and Glen Canyon, before an hour’s yoga and meditation session atop the butte. Camp Sarika guests also have full access to Amangiri’s Aman Spa, a 2,322-square-metre destination unto itself.
Surrounded by numerous national monuments, the Navajo Nation Reservation, and five national parks including Zion, Grand Canyon and Bryce, Camp Sarika is exceptionally well placed for exploring the natural and cultural attractions of the region. Serving as an idyllic escape and a springboard for exploration of the area, the camp offers desert and mountain hiking with its own private trail system covering over ten miles of routes directly from its doorstep. The camp offers morning and afternoon wellness experiences indoors and out, canyoneering, its own Via Ferrata route and horseback riding, as well as many other activities.
Adventure activities include hiking to Horseshoe Bend, Paria Overlook or Resurrection Canyon, touring Monument Valley, exploring the well-preserved cliff dwellings of the Navajo National Monument and kayaking, fishing, paddle-boarding or boating on Lake Powell. The Colorado Plateau is also home to some of the world’s best biking trails. Guests have access to e-bikes, and can choose from 3-hour, half- or full-day guided tours.
Camp Sarika arranges private tours by plane, helicopter or hot air balloon to reveal the magnificence and true scale of the region from the air. Or guests can get up close and personal with the region’s history exploring the slot canyons or studying the 6,000-year-old petroglyphs in Broken Arrow Cave. The camp also enables a deeper immersion in Native American culture, with storytelling and stargazing around the fire every evening.
A scenic five-minute drive from Camp Sarika, Amangiri is tucked into a protected valley with sweeping views towards Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Built around a magnificent swimming pool that embraces a dramatic stone escarpment, the resort’s Main Pavilion houses the Dining Room, the Living Room, a library, gallery, private dining room and cellar. Beyond lies the Desert Lounge, an open-air living room ideal for sundowners or stargazing. Two accommodation wings lead from the pavilion into the desert, housing 34 suites in total – many with private swimming pools and roof terraces.
Since its launch in 2009, Amangiri has won multiple awards for its remarkable design, intuitive service and luxurious proximity to nature. Camp Sarika adds a new dimension to this extraordinary all-season destination, providing another setting in which to embrace the pristine and astonishing beauty of the American Southwest.
A 30-minute drive from the nearest town of Page and its international airport, Camp Sarika encourages a private and peaceful connection to its dramatic surroundings while remaining surprisingly accessible. The camp’s remote location imbues a sense of community and exclusivity to those in residence, a nod to Aman’s trademark appreciation of a destination.