Serene retreat away from the big city
6161 Yuanjiang Road Minhang District (86) 21 8011 9999 www.aman.com
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At a Glance
A gorgeous property in an offbeat location with a unique back story, Amanyangyun is designed for true Aman junkies and locals wanting an easy weekend getaway from Shanghai.
- The massive and beautifully designed spa
- Excellent dining facilities
- Ming & Qing Dynasty villas restored to their former glory
It’s not obvious at first why Aman Resorts built a property one hour outside of Shanghai, in an area that can only be described as an industrial park. But once you arrive at this 25-acre retreat, surrounded by a camphor forest, it’s easy to see why.
The property’s design is exquisite. Kerry Architects, who also designed the Aman Tokyo, brought the same sensibility and overall aesthetic from its Zen minimalist masterpiece in Japan to China, with room to spread out. It’s a testament to Aman’s brand recognition that gray slate walls, airy spaces and clean lines are a signature–and instantly recognizable—look.
There’s no mistaking that this is an Aman resort, but the brand’s traditional concept (far flung location, World Heritage Site) doesn’t apply here. In fact, there was nothing in this area, until a Chinese entrepreneur facilitated the translocation of 10,000 trees, including an 80-ton emperor tree, and brick-by-brick restoration of 26 antique villas over the course of a decade.
Aman got involved in 2009 and was instrumental in not only completing this conservation effort, but giving life and purpose to it. You can learn all about it in the documentary I want to live another 500 years, which is a story told from the trees’ and buildings’ perspective, shown regularly in the resort’s IMAX theater. The large cultural center onsite, Nan Shu Fang, also offers numerous classrooms for tea ceremonies, calligraphy and painting classes, as well as traditional music demonstrations.
The 30,500-square-foot spa elevates Amanyangyun into a destination resort. With an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, a light-filled yoga and Pilates room, and a dozen or so treatment rooms and spa suites, some with a Russian banya and Turkish hammam, this is a spa extraordinaire. The hotel’s three restaurants (serving Chinese, Japanese and Italian food, respectively) are also excellent. Not to be forgotten, the rooms are, in typical Aman fashion, spectacular and include private courtyards with oforu tubs and a monochromatic palette that somehow evokes warmth. These elements you can count on almost any Aman to have. And, one could argue, that’s all you need.
Who Should Stay
Aman junkies will appreciate the signature design and reliably excellent facilities of this Aman resort. The lack of historical sites and scenery make it logistically tricky for those wanting to see more of China.
- Janine Yu