Amanresorts Go All Cultural In China, Again
Staying in Beijing at Amanresort's luxury Aman At Summer Palace - the hotel that's actually built in part of the Summer Palace so you don't need to leave your room to go sightseeing - is apparently not enough. Amanresorts are now saying they're giving travelers to China the "town and country" version of a Chinese vacation, because in 2010 they will open the Amanfayun Resort on the outskirts of one of China's seven ancient capitals, Hangzhou.
Hangzhou is about a hundred miles south-west of Shanghai, and the Amanresort will be twenty minutes outside of its center, in the buildings of an old village. Tea farmers used to live in the 47 stone courtyard houses which have been turned into 16 rooms, 21 suites and 5 villas, and with a pilgrim's circuit of Buddhist temples passing through the area, it's currently under consideration to become World Heritage listed.
We think this all is reason enough to consider a stay at Amanfayun, but there will actually be a lot more: an Aman Spa which even has a room dedicated to tai chi and meditation, a library including books and DVDs on Chinese history and culture, and talks on topics like Buddhism and Chinese medicine; a boutique offering local antiques, crafts and jewelry, and a Tea House with a menu including green tea picked from the very hills that surround the resort.
Opening is planned for January 2010. For the first few months, rates will start from $333 a night, but from May 1 they'll jump to $580, so it'll pay to get in early.