Travel

By AnnMarie Marano

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Luxury can be found in the most unlikely of places. The Avan Hotels, brought to you by James Tufenkian (carpet manufacturer and all around social activist), are for the uber-vacationer, who’s seen, heard and done it all.
The Tufenkian Heritage Hotel collection is a network of three boutique hotels, traditional restaurants and tourism facilities – the Avan Dzoraget Hotel (Lori Province), the Avan Marak Tsapatagh (Lake Sevan) and the Avan Villa Yerevan (Yerevan) – all located in Armenia. This mountainous country in Eurasia has one of the oldest civilizations in the world. So if you’re looking to explore a few of the mostly unseen corners of the earth, it’s a good place to start.

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Tufenkian and his carpet company are on a mission to be more than just a manufacturer. He has set out to rebuild economies such as Armenia’s and make a tourist destination out of the country. So rest assured that your money won’t be wasted and it’s going to a very good cause.

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Tufenkian teamed with world-renowned interior designer, Clodagh, to create interiors that utilized local materials and traditions and captured an authentic ancient Armenian experience. The design is residential in nature, yet reminds you that you are far from home. She took metal, concrete and reclaimed wood from old wine casts to create the 38-40 room hotels which she describes as “small, but complete – very simple, drawing on Armenian textiles.”

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Guestroom color schemes consist of rich, natural hues.

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Even the restaurant will add to your experience. For example, the culinary team at the Avan Dzoraget uses local ingredients and serves inventive regional dishes. Their restaurant is a replica of a medieval Armenian dining room.

Other amenities include spa, sauna, gym, indoor pool, conference facilities and children’s room.

Originally published March 2007
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