AMAN Summer Palace | Beijing, China | Explore the other Beijing. A Royal residential, spiritual, and recreational experience within a landscape of lakes and mountains, in accordance with the Chinese philosophy of balancing the works of man with nature. A luxury resort, surrounded by a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces conceived by the Qing emperor Qianlong. I must admit, I am a huge fan of the AMAN Resorts collection. I have stayed and experience them at Amantaka (Luang Prabang, Laos), Aman Canal Grande (Venice, Italy) and Amapuri (Phuket, Thailand), but I must say that Aman Summer Palace, ranked top as the perfect China experience. Just steps from the East Gate of the Summer Palace grounds. Allows you to have your own Royal experience embracing traditional Chinese architecture.
It is on me !!! Because you deserve it, book the Aman Summer Palace with me and enjoy the following extra VIP Amenities: Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability + Continental breakfast daily, for up to two in room guests + One complimentary Chinese Set Lunch Menu for two persons + Early check-in/late check-out subject to availability.
We spent 2-nigts at one of their lovely Deluxe Suites. It was such a relaxing experience and the perfect location to explore the Summer Palace and the Great Wall of China – Mutianyu Gate. Other than that we didn’t do much else, since Aman Summer Palace is itself a destination, and since we have already spent a few days in central Beijing, and we were coming back at the end of our journey, we decided to just relax, and enjoy the resort. If you are familiar to Aman Resorts, you will well know that usually they are located in secluded unique locations. In this case Aman Summer Palace, is located 35-45 minutes away from central Beijing. Some say it is not an option for first timers to Beijing. I say, that if you plan your itinerary correctly, you would be able to enjoy, as we did, a few days away from the city center, enjoying this oasis of calm.
Adjacent to the East Gate of the Summer Palace grounds Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing, housed in a series of dwellings, most of which date back over one hundred years. Some of the original dwellings were used by guests of the Summer Palace awaiting an audience with the Empress Dowager Cixi at the turn of the twentieth century. Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing is a peaceful retreat from which to explore the many exciting faces of China’s capital.
Aman Summer Palace, offers a variety of accommodation which pays homage to the traditional architecture of the Summer Palace, celebrating its courtyard architectural style. Suites surround an internal courtyard featuring an intricate latticework of pathways, separating formal gardens and trees. I spent most of my time there, walking and exploring the grounds. The aesthetic references draw upon traditional materials and the architecture and design of the Ming Dynasty period. Floors are finished in Jin clay tiles which have been polished to achieve a deep lustre. The ceilings are mostly open to exposed wooden roof beams and structural columns.
During our 2-nights visit, we stayed at one of their lovely Deluxe Suites. Showcasing furniture inspired by the Ming Dynasty, and while some have a combined bedroom and living area, others have separate bedrooms. All feature king-size beds, daybeds, reading chairs and writing desks. Bathrooms are spacious, with twin vanities and free-standing island bathtubs. Adjacent to the bathing area is a dressing room that is furnished with two large Ming-style wardrobes.
Waking up early was a joy more than a sacrifice. Enjoy the quietness an silence, while zipping through a few cups of Tea checking my emails. The all ready to head off to the gym and and a quick dip into their indoor pool.
Aman Spa and Fitness areas are located beneath the resort in a unique 5,000-square metre, double level, underground recreational facility. The Spa features a tranquil reception, nine self-contained double treatment rooms and a dedicated Pilates and yoga studio which is naturally lit through an extensive panel of skylights. The Pilates studio is fully-equipped with reformers and private classes can be arranged. The Spa menu features a wide range of health, well-being and beauty treatments. Other facilities include a 25 metre indoor lap pool, a 300-square metre sky-lit Gym with Technogym equipment (including Kinesis), two squash courts and a juice bar serving healthy fruit and vegetable drinks. Fitness consultants are on hand to offer personal training and squash partners at all times.
After my morning working, I was ready to enjoy breakfast. This was such an experience itself. Every morning we would seat outdoors, next to the pond and enjoy a local traditional Chinese breakfast. All I would do is look at the Koi Fish swim in the pond and relax.
For those of you, like me, that enjoy a traditional afternoon Tea, where else better than China to do it. The Reflection Pavilion features a peaceful terrace over-looking a lotus pond. The adjacent Music Pavilion is host to performances and private dining.
Evenings would go very quite. We enjoyed dinner at their exquisite Chinese Restaurant. Decorated with classic, Ming Dynasty-inspired furniture, the Chinese Restaurant features Peking duck and several imperial dishes, along with traditional Cantonese cuisine for both lunch and dinner. The restaurant consists of nine different rooms including six intimate spaces for gatherings.
As I mentioned before, Aman Summer Palace is a destination. Once there, you have plenty of activities to do, some of them educational, like the Chinese Calligraphy Class by a skilled master of this ancient art. This classes take place at the Library Room, which includes a wide selection of material on various subjects in several languages, from rare books on the Summer Palace to historic and photographic works on China and the Asian region.
One of the highlights of staying at the Aman Summer Palace, is the private access to the Summer Palace and Kunming Lake. Explore this landmarks at your own pace and after-hours once all tourist head back to the center of Beijing. This is to me, the true definition of the word LUXURY. A private passage will allow you to enter the Summer Palace incognito. The resort will provide you with a backpack with maps, water, and a mobile phone. Once you are finished exploring the Summer Palace, you just need to call, and someone will come to open the gates to access back to the resort.
The Summer Palace in Beijing – first built in 1750, largely destroyed in the war of 1860 and restored on its original foundations in 1886 – is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value. The Summer Palace in Beijing integrates numerous traditional halls and pavilions into the Imperial Garden conceived by the Qing emperor Qianlong between 1750 and 1764 as the Garden of Clear Ripples. Using Kunming Lake, the former reservoir of the Yuan dynasty’s capital and Longevity Hill as the basic framework, the Summer Palace combined political and administrative, residential, spiritual, and recreational functions within a landscape of lakes and mountains, in accordance with the Chinese philosophy of balancing the works of man with nature. ( source: unesco.org )
Such a romantic and relaxing experience. We were so happy seeing this other side of Beijing, and it was the perfect base from where to explore the area of Summer Palace and The Great Wall. Carlos Melia Luxury Travel Curator – www.carlosmelia.com
(*) To book your own travel experience, do not hesitate to contact me either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone # 917.754.5515. Also check our scheduled Small Travel Groups at Coups de Coeur. I am an experienced Travel Agent with over 25 years of experience, member of LGTNetwork, VIRTUOSO, First in Service Travel, TZELL Travel Network. www.carlosmelia.com