When it opened in early 2006, the first Amanresorts property in the West Indies was such a big deal that "Travel + Leisure" magazine devoted an entire cover article to it. It's a stunning property, no question. Amanresorts' trademark purity of form, integrity of materials, and obeisance to eco-principles is a particular kind of luxury, one in keeping with its surrounds. Prices are heart-stopping, so it may be reassuring to know that no detail has been left to chance. Classically aligned wooden buildings practically float on glassy reflecting pools. The bar is simply gorgeous, with a teepee-style ceiling that soars toward the sunlight. Linen-wrapped sofa beds lord over the infinity pool, its bottom fashioned of speckled black Indonesian lava.

The 40 individual pavilions are stand-alone houses, utterly private; a few have ocean views. Wraparound patios are enveloped in native scrub brush, seagrape, and sea ox-eye daisies. It's all polished teak and earthy sisal matting, except for the exceptional gadgets: Touch a button and lower the privacy screens, groove to the surround-sound Bose system, or watch the flatscreen TV as you soak in the freestanding bathtub. Or head to the spa, which overlooks a reflection pond, for tip-top pampering.

The Restaurant serves two menus: one international and the other Asian; both take advantage of the resort's aquaponic veggie garden. Sit inside or on a candlelit patio. The Beach Club serves lunch and afternoon meals. The smiling resort staff is attuned to your every need. This is a place to get some serious R&R.

All that peace and quiet is tied to location as well: The resort lies on the island's northwest shore, a fairly isolated spot reached by traveling a winding two-lane road some 25 minutes from the airport. You're a good 30- to 40-minute drive from the restaurants and bars of Grace Bay, so take that into account if you prefer a place with a little more action. (The casual Blue Hills bars and restaurants are closer.) 

Note that the resort has several privately owned three-, four-, and five-bedroom villas. Each villa is centered around its own infinity pool and has a personal cook and housekeeper.