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luxury resort: Amanyangyun, NR Shanghai, China

Opened: October 2017

THE STORY of the Aman resort  which nestles in a rural setting near Shanghai , is a true love story.  The labour of love begins with the vision of Shanghai philanthropist Ma Dadong, a native of fuzhom in eastern China's Jiangxi province. It is here ,700 kilometres from shanghai that the story  begins.  Fuzhou is characterised by ancient camphor forests and historic villages. When plans for a reservoir were approved in 2002, the fate of these remnants of Old China appeared to be sealed. A Fuzhou native, Mr. Ma was determined to prevent the destruction of these important fragments of Chinese history. He conceived a plan to relocate 50 Ming- and Qing-dynasty villas and ultimately ten thousand of the trees – some dating back a millennium – all the way to Shanghai, no easy task.

And so the setting for Amanyangyun was born.  Nurtured lovingly  the trees began to flourish in their new home, and the centuries-old villas were given new life as they were carefully reassembled, brick by ancient brick. In 2007,Aman began collaborating on the extraordinary restoration project, and now a decade on, Amanyangyun is approaching completion

The ethereal camphor forest sets the tone for a peaceful  luxury retreat, where old and new, natural and manmade, coexist in perfect harmony. A notable piece of China's past has been preserved for generations to come – and Amanyangyun is a living part of that history.

Featuring ornate carvings and reliefs detailing family histories that date back two millennia, these 26 sensitively restored antique dwellings form the peaceful heart of Amanyangun, at the centre of which stands Nan Shufang, the most spectacular antique dwelling in the collection. Named after the royal reading pavilion in the Forbidden City, Nan Shufang is located in a serene garden. It’s a space for contemplation, learning and discussion where guests can enjoy a number of cultural activities such as ancient calligraphy and Chinese tea ceremony.

 The Light-filled luxury suites have woodland views and combine expansive living areas with tranquil courtyards, creating an inviting retreat throughout the seasons. Designed to complement the serene surrounding woodland, the 24 contemporary Club Suites create a pleasing balance of old and new.

Amanyangyun's setting belies its proximity to Shanghai's metropolitan heart; the historic Bund district, along with cultural, dining and shopping attractions, are all under an hour's drive away. Minutes from the property, play a round of golf or catch an international tennis match at Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena. Head further afield to explore the ancient canal town of Zhujiajiao and the cultural hubs of Hangzhou and Suzhou.

Amanyangyun's six dining venues , including the Chinese Restaurant, the All Day Dining Pavilion and a 200-seat Banquet Hall, along with a Club Lounge, Lakeside Café and Aman Deli Village Shop – each enjoy a distinctive ambience. From fine dining to relaxed alfresco meals, guests can expect the freshest, locally sourced delicacies wherever they choose to dine

Nearly 300 years ago, in a pavilion named Yang Xing Zhai inside China’s Forbidden City, the Qianlong Emperor erected a plaque bearing the words ‘Yang Yun’ – ‘the nurturing of clouds’. In the language of ancient China. The phrase  referred to the nourishing of the human heart, the cherishing of the natural world, and the reverence for rhythms of the universe.

 It is these words  that inspired the name of Aman’s fourth resort in China – Amanyangyun.

The name is well deserved.

Luxury Link: www.aman.com

Lisa Edwards 1/2/17 Updated 1/11/20

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