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Aman at Summer Palace

Text Sophy Zee

A place to truly feel like royalty, for the couple who want the ultimate in luxury.

Rating: ★★★★★
Price: $$$$$
Couple quota: ♥♥♥♥

Price guide
$ – Less than S$200 a night
$$ – S$201 – S$350 a night
$$$ – S$351 – S$500 a night
$$$$ – S$501 – S$600 a night
$$$$$ – More than $600

At a glance

Plus points
+ Beautifully restored buildings housing the most modern of luxuries
+ Delicious food with great variety at four restaurants
+ Unconventional tours which show you the hidden side of Beijing
+ Attentive staff who know you by name

Minus points
– Quite a distance from the city centre
– Not all staff have a good grasp of English

Sleep

The suites are furnished with Ming-style furniture along simple classic lines. While it appears sparse at first, the beds are supremely comfortable, and the entertainment system is state-of-the-art.

In the bathroom, outfitted with a rain shower, the bath gel is the resorts’ own concoction, scented with empress Cixi’s favourite flower – the magnolia.

Eat

Aman, Summer Palace has a range of international restaurants – The Grill serves excellent western food with fresh ingredients.

The Chinese restaurant has Cantonese fare that is on par with some of the best restaurants in Singapore. Naoki, the Japanese restaurant is helmed by Chef Naoki Okumura and serves original French Kaiseki, cuisine, which combines French technique with Japanese artistry.

Do

A subterranean sprawl houses the gym, indoor swimming pool, squash courts, a spa, a private movie theatre, and a Kim Robinson hair salon. Movies are screened at 9pm every day.

Aman designs tours that are not available to the average traveller. Our trip to a relatively untouched section of the Great Wall included a visit to a village head, our very own guide and a picnic lunch prepared by Aman.

Sweat

The gym is out-fitted with latest Technogym equipment catering to cardio, strength, flexibility and kinetic workouts.

Also check out the indoor swimming pool and squash courts.

Classes in wushu, taiqi and pilates are organised on a regular basis.

Buy

Sanlitun (三里屯) is where you can find international brands, local designer shops and cool restaurants. For the serious shopper, Xidan (西单) is where the megamalls congregate and where you can find everything from clothes to electronics.

In the area

The nearest attraction is the Summer Palace (颐和园), which was built during the Qing dynasty by Emperor Qianlong as a summer resort.

In Beijing, besides the must-go tourist attractions like the Forbidden Palace and Tiananmen Square, check out the new urban hangouts like Nanluoguxiang, Workers’ stadium, Hou Hai and the 798 arts district.

For a good Peking duck with a light, crispy skin, the locals swear by Da Dong (大董).

Read more in our article about Beijing.

Getting There

The resort is about 20 minutes by car from Beijing International Airport, and 40 minutes from the centre of Beijing.