"Our vision was to bring back the lifestyle of the original inhabitants of the small island, which consisted of 14th-century stone cottages."
Even the names of properties draw from the local culture or region, combining the Sanskrit word for peace, aman, with a local term, such as ruya, the Turkish word for dream, in the case of Amanruya located amid pine trees and scalloped bays on the Bodrum peninsula, or Amanbagh, which would translate as peaceful garden by coupling aman with bagh, the Hindi word for garden. “As we built new properties, we used the ‘Aman’ and connected each property in some way to its location, culture, or history,” Zecha explains. “Amanpuri was actually the name that I had considered for a house I had in Bali, before Amanpuri’s location was actually found.”
"While the common design philosophy is to always be relevant to the place where we are, we do try to contemporize the purist design in order to make it compatible with contemporary lifestyle. This site dictated a more massive building rather than small log cabins — firstly — and secondly, the drama of the site is the views of the Tetons, hence the expansive window walls."
These days, Zecha isn’t doing as much scouting for locations; opportunities seem to present themselves, which was the case with Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro. The Montenegrin government decided to revitalize the island — it was forced to close in the 1990s after the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the subsequent civil war — and selected Amanresorts as its hospitality partner in the restoration effort. Come spring, Amanresorts opens in Greece, in the exclusive enclave of Porto Heli on the Argolida Prefecture.
Some 30 other possibilities are also under consideration and you can be sure they will fit well within the Amanresorts philosophy. Says Zecha, “I believe that we will find new places that, for all their distinctiveness, will retain the original goals we strove for when we started Amanpuri.”