Return to tranquillity

Amanpuri reopens on August 1

Timeless, tranquil, transformational. On the shores of the Andaman Sea, Aman’s original ‘place of peace’ is reawakening. As the first Aman resort, Amanpuri represented a new way to experience the world when it opened over three decades ago. It may be a very different world today, but as Daven Wu recounts his memories it is clear that some of life's greatest pleasures remain unchanged.

Amanpuri

Memories of Amanpuri

Written by Daven Wu

It was 20 years ago – though only yesterday in my mind – that I arrived at Amanpuri for the first time. It was just after sunset – one of those enchanting Thai evenings when the heat of the day morphs into a silky coolness.

Emerging from the shadows cast by the high vaulted ceiling of the reception pavilion, I remember a moment of silence as I stared at the tableau before me – that incredible, sprawling granite forecourt with its midnight blue-tile pool encircled by soft candle-light. Off to the side, perched on a grand stone staircase, a Thai musical quartet thrummed lovely low counter-notes to the chirruping cicadas and drone of bullfrogs.

For the two nights I was there, the world seemed a far better place than it really was

 

Quiet mornings reading in the warmly-lit library lined with maka timber. Pool-side lunches of wok-seared pad thai cocooned in lace-thin omelette, chilled fresh coconut, and oval cuts of incandescently sweet mango. Siestas in our outdoor sala, gently lulled to sleep by the afternoon heat and distant wash of the sea.

Descending that incredibly steep dip of stairs towards the jade green waters of the Andaman Sea just beyond. Walks along the white sanded secluded beach, strewn with enormous ancient granite boulders. Afternoon tea of freshly made Thai desserts and lemongrass tea. And cool sea-scented nights beneath a black velvet sky sprinkled with stars sparkling like diamonds.

 

Over the years, I’ve returned several times to Amanpuri

 

It always feels just like that magical first impression all those years ago – a quietly-held memory suspended so weightlessly in the amber of my past.

There is a seductive timelessness about the place. Each time, I marvel anew at the grand architecture of the pavilions, their gently swooping peaked roofs almost hidden by the thick palm foliage. The same soft smiles of the staff – small-boned, discreet, and as welcoming as an embrace. Each time, the sense of coming home.

I can’t think of another place on earth quite like it.  

 

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