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Concierge.com

Amanfayun, Hangzhou

$400 or more
China, Asia: Amanfayun is a rustic 42-room property surrounded by tea fields in Hangzhou, China
22 Fayun Nong
Xihujiedao
Xihufengjingmingsheng District
Hangzhou
China 310013
Tel: 86 571 8732 9999
amanfayun@amanresorts.com
www.amanresorts.com/amanfayun/home.aspx
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Located in the bamboo-filled mountains above Hangzhou, this rustic 42-room property, Amanresorts' second in China, is actually a conversion of an entire village whose inhabitants once harvested the tea for which the town is justly famous. Bisecting the resort's grounds is one of the village's original thoroughfares, a stream-lined cobblestoned path that's today traversed by not only hotel guests but day-trippers walking to and from the temples that dot the area. The concept aside, what's really remarkable about Amanfayun is its restraint: The landscaping is natural, even a little wild; the signage is minimal (perhaps too much so—you'll need a flashlight for nighttime strolling); and the 42 accommodations—once houses—with their stone floors, cloth-and-wire lantern lights, and subdued palette, are stunningly spare and sophisticated. Along with jettisoning tired design clichés (you'll see no silk fans or red lanterns here), the hotel also upends traditional notions of what a resort should be: There are no TVs, no electronic locks, no pools. In their place is silence, stillness, and, visible from some of the rooms, the breathtaking sight of thirteenth-century bodhisattvas and Buddhas carved into the nearby cliff. Amanfayun's only shortcoming is its overly shy staff, who march around in uniforms that are unfortunately reminiscent of Mao jackets and whose English skills run the gamut from barely existent to just adequate. The resulting stilted service toward Western guests is a regrettable barrier to what is otherwise a transporting experience. —2010 Hot List

Which room to book: For privacy during the day, get a room that's not on the heavily trafficked main pathway.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.