Hot List 2009

Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing 

14 Gongmenqian Street

Summer Palace

China 100091

Tel: 800 477 9180 (toll-free)

Tel: 86 10 5987 9999

Amanresorts has converted a collection of dwellings adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage Summer Palace into 51 dramatic guest rooms spread across nine courtyards, most of them part of the original 1750 construction. The hotel's seven-acre grounds include a Pilates and yoga studio and an indoor lap pool, and Chinese landscape paintings and brightly lacquered exterior details give the resort an authentic old China feel. Guest rooms feature sliding latticework doors that reveal soaring wood-beamed ceilings, floors of polished Jin clay tiles, and closets made from Chinese wedding chests. There are plenty of authentic touches, from the presence of a master paper cutter who creates works of art in the Culture Room, to room service orders that arrive in stacked bamboo cases balanced on a pole across the waiter's back. The courtyard Chinese Restaurant serves a spectacular Peking duck while instrumentalists perform ancient melodies in the nearby Music Pavilion.
When to go: The cool, sunny days from September through November.
Which room to book: With latticework four-poster beds, Deluxe Suites are especially romantic.
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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