HISTORIC HOMES AND ANCIENT TREES FIND NEW LIFE AT AMANYANGYUN SHANGHAI

It feels like our Master List of 2017 Worldwide Hotel Openings is only days old and yet here we are, the first month of the year is already behind us. We’ll be highlighting some of the destinations and hotels on there over the next weeks – there’s lots to talk about – and as details about what’s in store for us in this hotel year become available.

Speaking of details, we learned a lot more about Aman Shanghai – the fourth resort in China for Aman – when we attended an Aman evening in London last week. Opening this autumn, it will be called Amanyangyun, in reference to the Chinese phrase Yang Yun, meaning ‘the nurturing of clouds, the nourishing of the human heart, the cherishing of the natural world, and the reverence for the rhythms of the universe’. We can all use a little Yang Yun in our lives at this point, can’t we?

The resort is worthy of its name too: Amanyangyun is the result of a decade-long conservation effort, incorporating 50 Ming and Qing dynasty homes and 10,000 camphor trees rescued from the Jiangxi province, 700 kilometres from Shanghai. With the decision to create a reservoir threatening to flood the homes and trees forever, a Jiangxi-born businessman worked with botanists, engineers and Chinese architecture specialists to bring the trees and homes to Maqiao town, 40 minutes from downtown Shanghai.

This is just a hint of what that looks like. The 50 homes were used to create 26 historic dwellings, with at the heart of the resort ‘Nan Shafung’, named after the royal reading pavilion in the forbidden city, a ‘space for contemplation, learning and discussion’. Thirteen dwellings were turned into four-bedroom villas, each with private pool. In addition, there will be 24 contemporary one-bedroom suites, leaving total room count below 40. The last twelve historic dwellings are part of private residences that are for sale.

Interiors are by the hand of Kerry Hill – like Aman Tokyo and Amanemu – with the understated design we’ve come to expect. The one-bedroom suites each have dual courtyards and an outdoor bath.

The resort will have a variety of places to eat and drink, from a lakeside café to a signature Chinese restaurant. Nan Shafung will host Chinese cultural activities, including calligraphy, painting, tea ceremonies, and martial arts and Tai Chi. A spa will have both indoor and outdoor pools.

There’s more coming from Aman this year as well, with a major new property announcement following later this spring – could it be another city Aman joining Aman Tokyo? Perhaps Paris? Hong Kong? The list of rumoured Aman properties is long. Whatever it is, you’ll read about it here.

[Photos and renderings: Aman]

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Paul J DeVries
Paul J DeVries is a freelance travel writer and was previously a contributing editor for HotelChatter.com. Based in London, he knows the city's hotel scene inside out, while also covering the latest in destinations around the world. When not checking out a new hotel, he checks in on the airlines and inflight products that get you there.