Amanyangyun, Shanghai, China
Amanyangyun is the fourth Aman Hotel in China and the first located The Hotel opened on 8 January 2018 following a 15-year conservation initiative involving the relocation of a forest and the reconstruction of a historic village. In Fuzhou in the province of Jiangxi, 700km from Shanghai, construction of a new reservoir had threatened the existence of thousands of camphor trees and dozens of dwellings dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Over the course of a decade, Fuzhou-born entrepreneur Ma Dadong and Aman worked together to save these important relics, overseeing the transportation and replanting of 10,000 trees – including an 80-tonne 17m Emperor Tree. Works involved the stone-by-stone disassembly and rebuilding of 50 antique houses.
Kerry Hill Architects – also behind Aman Tokyo – have meticulously restored the 50 disassembled antique houses to create 26 ancient dwellings for, seamlessly integrating contemporary comfort into the 400-year-old fabric of the buildings. A number of the villas still bear original ornate stone carvings and inscriptions. Thirteen of the antique dwellings, now four-bedroom Antique Villas, measure between 800 and 1,000sq m, and include a private pool and Jacuzzi, as well as a courtyard – a signature feature of Chinese buildings of this age. Twelve of the historic homes rescued and restored from Jiangxi have been converted into refined Aman Residences to own. The result is a harmonious blend of modernity and tradition, and a living monument to the natural and human history of Jiangxi.
Amanyangyun also offers 24 newly created Ming Courtyard Suites that sympathetically complement the antique villas, offering expansive, light-flooded bedrooms and living areas characterized by refined wooden interiors and Aman’s signature Asian-inspired minimalist design aesthetic. These 65sq m spaces pay tribute to the structure of the classic Chinese courtyard home, with two spacious private courtyards attached to each.
The heart of Amanyangyun complex is said to be the Nan Shu Fang cultural complex. Named after the royal reading pavilion in the Forbidden City, it has been created from the final and most architecturally impressive antique building to have made the journey from Fuzhou. Enhanced with furniture crafted from the nanmu wood characteristic of Ming interiors, the pavilion is a modern-day recreation of the ‘scholars’ studios’ of 17th-century China’s literati – a space to learn, contemplate and practise traditional crafts such as calligraphy, music and painting, or to watch one of Amanyangyun’s frequent Kunqu Opera performances.
Across the courtyard, six dedicated rooms have been created to host traditional tea and incense ceremonies. Amanyangyun’s guests are each invited to nourish the Emperor Tree, which stands facing the entrance, with water when they arrive – reflecting the importance of nurturing the past to enrich the future.
Set around a central courtyard, the 2,840sq m Aman Spa is one of the largest within the Aman Group. Its ethos and atmosphere draw inspiration from the resort’s name, ‘Yang Yun’, which is taken from an inscription made on a pavilion in Beijing’s Forbidden City three centuries ago, and means ‘nourishing cloud’. The spa complex houses eight treatment rooms, two double spa suites, relaxation areas, a sauna, plunge pool, whirlpool and two swimming pools. The main spa building is also home to the fitness and movement centre, with professional cardio and strength equipment, and houses a Pilates and yoga studio, where three walls of floor-to-ceiling glass provide serene views over Amanyangyun’s lake and forest gardens.
The Aman also offers fine local and international cuisine at its three headline restaurants.
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