Once an Original Traveller, Aman's Director of Sales for the UK and Scandinavia, Olga Pavlova knows all about what our clients look for in a luxury hotel. I sat down with Olga to get the inside track on all things Aman...
What's the best Aman you've ever stayed in?
This is like being asked to choose a favourite child! They all have something so unique and authentic to offer - but if I really, really had to choose it wouldn't be just one. Amangiri in Utah is in the most spectacular location; a 4 hour drive and a lifetime away from Las Vegas, among some of the most varied natural wonders of the world - Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Zion National Park, the list goes on.
Aman Canal Grande in Venice is the ultimate city retreat; a 24 room palazzo elegantly floating on the Grand Canal, a short stroll from Rialto Bridge. With Tiepolo frescoes, a Sansovino fireplace and a Ballroom that's straight out of the Hermitage it's a tough place to leave, even when the narrow alleyways of Venice are calling to be explored. And then of course heading East, where it all started for Aman is the beautiful Amanpuri in Thailand. This is indulgent, relaxing luxury at its best.
Of those you haven't been to, which is the one that you are most desperate to visit?
I'm really keen to get out to Bhutan, where Aman has 5 separate lodges spread across the central and western valleys of the Kingdom. Also high on my list is the brand new Aman Tokyo, followed by some time at Amanpulo in the Philippines. There is a direct flight between Tokyo and Manila, and the new Treetop Pool Casitas look absolutely divine.
What is it that makes Aman such a long-standing success story?
It's the people that make it special - from the barman who mixes the perfect cocktail to accompany a sunset to the General Manager who ensures that every experience is perfectly curated. Each property is designed to blend in with its spectacular surroundings and to offer guests privacy and exclusivity with impeccable personal service. Aman doesn't follow or set trends, it stays local and authentic, and without fail evokes a feeling of peace. I think that's why people keep coming back, because they know the emotion they will get when they stay at an Aman, while at the same time experiencing the best of local culture, be it the listening to chanting from Borobudur temple or walking through a secret door into the Summer Palace in Beijing. And then of course there is the fact that beds are so big that two people can sleep like starfish and still have plenty of space!
Having worked for both brands now, what do you think makes Amans so perfect for Original Travel clients?
Original Travel clients are explorers, they are curious about the world and want experiences that are out of the ordinary. Aman does that - there are now 28 resorts across 19 countries. Cities, mountains, private islands, deserts, temples, tented camps, there is something for everyone, and each place is so special in its own way. Once you become one of the Aman family you are part of it forever, much like being with the Original Travel crew!